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Eb anyone?

billyjett

Member
Messages
642
I play in a Blues/Rock band that does covers, but a lot of original stuff as well, we are currently two guitars, Bass and Drums and will be adding a Keyboard player soon. We have recently started tuning down a 1/2 step to Eb(ala SRV, early Van Halen). I like the change, it seems to add fullness and more bottom end to everything, and since I do almost all the singing, just that 1/2 step down makes a big difference.My other thought is when we add a Keyboard player, it will make them happy, because they love Eb!My other Guitar player is not wild about the change because he says it changes the feel of his guitars too much, and that he will probably have to jump up to a heavier string gauge to compensate. I'd like to hear how some of you feel about this, are there some of you who like to tune down? or not? Would it mess with your guitar too much to do so? What are your thoughts on the advantages/disadvantages of doing this?
 

sleewell

Senior Member
Messages
10,588
i use 10-52s for everything and have no issues. standard, Eb, drop D and drop Db. all my guitars stay in tune just fine and i use both strat and LP scale lengths.

people who can't deal with new tunings or who aren't open to at least trying something new frustrate me. its not that hard; you just have to have an open mind and try.

his excuse is stupid. if everyone else in the band wants to give it a try he should at least make an effort.
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,689
Well tell him it's actually gonna sound closer to the record, or more authenticate if you're doing covers, since those type of styles do tune flat. A setup and maybe moving up a gauge and he'll be fine.
 

2HBStrat

Senior Member
Messages
41,223
I think you're incorrect in thinking that playing in Eb will make a keyboard player happy......maybe you're thinking about horn players?.....or?......
 

billyjett

Member
Messages
642
Is Eb tuning exotic?
Hardly! I've done it many times before, I have no problem with it, neither do any of my guitars, the guitarist I currently play with is not the first person that has had a problem with this, so I thought I would throw it out there to see what folks had to say about it. One guy told me that his Luthier had set up his guitar for certain strings, and that the Eb tuning changed the feel of it to the point that he didn't like it. My Guitar is set up for a certain string gauge as well, but I got no issues.Maybe they are all just whiners!!
 
Messages
536
I don't think that keyboard players are over the moon about Eb but with transpose button available on most keyboards it shouldn't affect them that much.
 

Motterpaul

Tone is in the Ears
Messages
13,478
Eb for keyboards is not fun. When my band did it I jumped to heavier strings and never looked back, even when we went back to A440. They sound better. If you tune down I highly suggest heavier strings. Also - Tuning down and going to heavier strings will make your guitar setup easier than tuning down and staying at the same gauge.

For keyboards, the transpose button works, just make sure you get a keyboard player who knows how to transpose (ours was known to go to the wrong key, and it really sounds bad).
 

JonR

Member
Messages
15,678
Does a Hammond B-3 have one!
If you're working with a non-transposing keyboard, you have to consider how you're going to communicate chords and keys. By the shapes you're used to (so he/she has to transpose, probably while muttering something derogatory about guitarists...)? Or in concert? Eg, when you play what you might (still) think of as a G shape, that's Gb or F# for the keyboard of course. Are you OK calling it Gb, or would you want to stick with "G"?

In a sense, the issue is no different from a bandleader who is a horn player - the difference (possibly) being that they'd understand the transposition issue very well, and wouldn't talk to concert musicians in their own horn keys. Eg, a tenor sax player in his key of G will be telling the others the tune is in F.

If you want to talk shapes (eg to suit your other guitarist or bassist, assuming they both tune down like you), look for a tolerant keyboardist, or be prepared for the occasional withering look or mild headshaking/sighing...
 

cameron

Member
Messages
4,281
Just because you're tuning in Eb doesn't mean you'll be playing all your songs in that key. Having said that, there are some common "guitar keys" that get a little gnarly in that tuning. I don't think any keyboardists are going to grouse about playing in Eb or Bb. The keys they'll be complaining about are F# and C#.
 

guitarjazz

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
23,354
Hammond B-3's can play in Eb....
1. Play chord
2. shut the power off while you are holding.
3. You'll have about 2 seconds to play the chord down a 1/2 step
Old trick...a little hard on the mechanism.
 

JonR

Member
Messages
15,678
Just a little comparison of easy guitar keys with what they'd become tuned down:

C/Am > B/G#m (5 sharps)
G/Em (1 sharp) > Gb/Ebm, F#/D#m (6 flats/6 sharps)
D/Bm (2 sharps) > Db/Bbm (5 flats)
A/F#m (3 sharps) > Ab/Fm (4 flats)
E/C#m (4 sharps) > Eb/Cm (3 flats)
Dm (1 flat) > C#m (4 sharps)
(Not sure whether you consider F major an easy guitar key...;))

So, most keys will require the keyboard player to use more black notes than normal. Only E major (or C# minor) means fewer. So it depends how they feel about that.
 

micycle

Member
Messages
3,951
[FONT=&quot]Growing up a classic KISS fan and owning guitars with Floyd Roses certainly made for interesting times trying to learn/jam along with that (they’re all in Eb) and then the rest of the stuff I wanted to play along with.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]I’m in 2 bands, one of which tunes 2 whole steps down, and I found the best solution to be The Drop. Anything beyond 2-3 steps and it’s a little flubby for full-time chording/“reverse capo” use, but man, is it ever great for bouncing in between 2 bands. I’m a very touchy player and to me it feels and sounds very natural. Not that your guitarist wants to spend money on something like that but it’s an option..[/FONT]
 

billyjett

Member
Messages
642
If you're working with a non-transposing keyboard, you have to consider how you're going to communicate chords and keys. By the shapes you're used to (so he/she has to transpose, probably while muttering something derogatory about guitarists...)? Or in concert? Eg, when you play what you might (still) think of as a G shape, that's Gb or F# for the keyboard of course. Are you OK calling it Gb, or would you want to stick with "G"?

In a sense, the issue is no different from a bandleader who is a horn player - the difference (possibly) being that they'd understand the transposition issue very well, and wouldn't talk to concert musicians in their own horn keys. Eg, a tenor sax player in his key of G will be telling the others the tune is in F.

If you want to talk shapes (eg to suit your other guitarist or bassist, assuming they both tune down like you), look for a tolerant keyboardist, or be prepared for the occasional withering look or mild headshaking/sighing...
Yes, that's an excellent point, and I have Keyboard player who I''ve worked with a lot who always gets pissed at me when I tune down, then strum an open E and don't refer to it as Eb! Between guitar players it works because we are often talking about our position on the neck in regards to standard tuning, but the keyboard player is correct!
 




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