Something has been bothering me for a while...

When, in rock music, did someone look at their guitar/bass and say to themselves, "hey...what if I tuned the strings down a half step or step?" Was there a specific person that decided to do this, or has it existed for a really long time and I'm just stupid?
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what a tard

I'm sorry I'm not as intellectually sound as you are. I'll try not to stoop to such a low level in the future.

When was slide guitar invented? I'd assume shortly after open tunings were used often. They've probably been used since guitar was invented.
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i bet someone just didnt feel like tuning their instrument and decided it sounded cool that way and left it like that. this being a long time ago. or maybe they wanted to tune the instrument so they could make it easier to sing in their range?
Well, for rock music...a long time ago, probably in the 60's when people tuned by ear, and ended up getting Eb (human ear tends to do that).

But, purposefully in rock? Tony Iommi. And, for uhh...un-rock, since guitar was invented.
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originally everyone always tuned their guitars differently, because there was no unification of guitarists. Once standard E tuning was established as the norm, some people preferred their other tunings, and that's when they became "alternate". While some have disappeared and others have formed, they've always collectively existed since the inception of the guitar and its predecessors.
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i was just fucking around. i knew i'd get some twat response that consisted of you trying to sound smart.

Boy, you sure showed him

I would think its been around for a long time, but if not, then it would be when slide guitar was "invented"

Jack my swag
Well since music was invented different people tuned in different ways. With guitar this went on for hundreds of years until fairly recently when tuning became standardised (100 years, dont quote me on this). Im not sure about rock music though.
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i was just fucking around. i knew i'd get some twat response that consisted of you trying to sound smart.

But...I am smart...

Metallica invented it when they made St. Anger, duh.
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Probably some drunk fuck was trying to tune his guitar, failed, and went along with it.
popularly most likely Iommi
but to answer your question in general, and answering it with a question, who said "hey guys, the guitar should ALWAYS be these 6 notes when we aren't changing teh pitch, and it's gonna be the standard....mmmmkay?"
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People had been using alternate tunings way before rock music became big.
It was probably a bunch of people at different times not knowing other people were doing it and were just messign with their guitar.

before the time when I got on UG and the rest of the internet to learn about guitar, I tuned my guitar to DADFAD and was like COOL I INVENTED A NEW TUNING. Then I realized it was a common tuning.
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Maybe different countries learned instruments differently?

Or maybe, some people were too lazy to stretch their fingers 2 frets up.

Well technically today's Standard is an alternate tuning....
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