Who keeps guitars dedicated to specific tunings?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Gallery, Dec 7, 2016.

  1. Gallery

    Gallery Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2013
    Red Bank, NJ
    I'm not really talking about keeping one guitar in Eb and the rest in E standard. I'm looking for feedback from those of you who keep specific guitars in a range of tunings.

    I play in a Stoner Rock project. At first I kept one guitar in D standard dedicated to our music and adjusted tuning as needed (i.e.. Drop C, Db, Eb). But that slowly evolved into keeping several guitars in various tunings we use. After getting a Non-reverse Firebird earlier this year and recently pickup up a new LP I've adjusted my line-up to cover more options and I'm just wondering what everyone else does.

    Before the new LP & Firebird:

    Gibson Les Paul R8 E standard / Drop D
    Gibson DG-335 Eb
    Gibson Les Paul Studio D standard / Drop C

    My current line-up:

    Gibson Les Paul R8 E standard / Drop D
    Gibson DG-335 Eb
    Gibson Les Paul R8 D standard
    Gibson Non-Reverse Firebird D standard back-up
    Gibson Les Paul Studio Drop C

    We don't play much that can't be covered by those. However, I recently tuned to Db and really liked how some songs sounded down a half step. So, now I'm considering dedicating my Non-reverse Firebird, which was my E standard backup, to Db tuning.

    Here's my new plan if I start write or play more songs in Db:

    Gibson Les Paul R8 E standard
    Gibson DG-335 Eb
    Gibson Les Paul R8 D standard
    Gibson Les Paul Studio Drop C
    Gibson Non-Reverse Firebird Db

    I've also been considering a C standard guitar as well.

    So is it silly to keep a guitar in each and every tuning or should I go back to just having E, Eb, D and adjust tuning on the fly?

    Does anyone else keep a broad range of tunings like this? I'm sure some of you must play slide or do the Keef open G tuning?

    • What are your challenges or concerns?
    • What does your quiver of guitars look like?
  2. John Hurtt

    John Hurtt Supporting Member

    Jun 3, 2002
    Northern California
    My son has two guitars and is always playing with the tuning. I have a bunch of guitars...and have one in Dropped D...another in Eb and the rest in standard tuning. The Eb is entirely for playing along with CD's or something to learn a song to match the tuning.
  3. bossaddict

    bossaddict Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2014
    Birmingham, AL
    I keep most of mine in standard or Eb, but do keep one acoustic tuned to DADGAD.

  4. SecondFloorTones

    SecondFloorTones Member

    Aug 8, 2014
    I have a Chandler strat copy that's tuned to open A for whenever the delusion that I can play slide kicks in. I was contemplating getting another acoustic and leave my Martin in some sort of open tuning, but I've come to the conclusion that I'm a standard tuning kind of guy.
  5. rummy

    rummy Member

    Jul 12, 2008
    I have one Tele in open E for some two songs that we do.
  6. Chicago Slim

    Chicago Slim Member

    Oct 31, 2004
    Bowling Green, KY
    I keep and HH Strat, 25.5" scale, in D tuning, with 10's.
    My standard tuning also uses 10's, with a 24.5" & 2,75" scale.
    25" scale guitars have 9.5's.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016
    Gallery likes this.
  7. tschelle668

    tschelle668 Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2012
    Not as many tunings as some:
    1 D# (Explorer)
    1 D Standard (HSS Strat)
    1 Drop D (V)
    1 Open G (SG)
    and a few more in E Standard
    Gallery likes this.
  8. kiki_90291

    kiki_90291 Member

    Mar 15, 2006
    Portland, OR
    I did for a while and then I got a Variax and don't need to anymore. I don't recall the exact tunings, but I had one guitar in an open tuning and one in standard. I'm playing some slide these days, so I may wind up setting up one guitar for slide, but haven't done it yet, since it would make the most sense to do that with the Variax and I like it for other things as well.
  9. dubdub

    dubdub Member

    Dec 23, 2014
    Is the whole idea behind alternate tunings mainly built around fingerstyle playing?
    Cause thats the majority of players that I see use many different tunings usually play fingerstyle.

    I am mainly a lead/melody player and if I ever get a sit in gig, I have to know where all my notes are, so never really ever have to change tunings lol.
  10. Bob T.

    Bob T. Member

    Aug 10, 2015
    Definitely a valid question. As someone in the audience seeing you perform, I would think that seeing multiple guitars could add to the entertainment aspect (new shapes, colors, etc.). It could also make some of your transitions smoother overall and feel more natural. Overall, I am having a difficult time finding negative aspects of using multiple guitars.

    As musicians, however, we see the other side of the story. If you are using a variety of guitars through the same rig, you may run into issues of some guitars being louder/hotter than others. This can cause some issues when setting levels. Nothing that a capable sound man can't handle. Then again, that is assuming the sound man is capable :rolleyes:

    Some other minor aspects to consider would be maintenance; more guitars could equal more work. More guitars would also equate to more money (if you don't already have a dedicated guitar for a particular song or tuning of course).

    I would say if you are willing to put forth the effort in doing so, I think it would pay off in the long run. Joe Bonamassa :)anon) has been known to bring lots of guitars on the road; only a few of those are in a different tuning. He would change guitars relatively often just so the people he was entertaining would be... well... more entertained. I understand his perspective. That may not be a concern of yours anyway.

    Just a few thoughts.
    Gallery and bgmacaw like this.
  11. Lewguitar

    Lewguitar Member

    Nov 29, 2009
    Longmont, Colorado
    I do. I have a Strat I keep in open E and a Tele I keep in open A. Those are used for songs I've written in those tunings and for slide playing.

    I also have four acoustic guitars and two of those are kept in open D and open G...sometimes DADGAD or Dropped D (DADGBD) too.

    I spend more time playing my acoustic guitars in open tunings than I do standard tuning.
  12. muzishun

    muzishun Member

    Dec 9, 2014
    We do Eb, D standard, and drop C.

    I am going to try the Digitech Drop. Changing guitars at a gig is a momentum killer.
    Gallery likes this.
  13. Stev0Griffin

    Stev0Griffin Trendsetter

    Feb 23, 2011
    Houston, TX
    '98 Gibson Explorer - D Standard
    '16 Gibson Explorer - E Standard
    '13 *** "Les Paul" - Eb Standard
    '16 "Griffin" LP - E Standard backup
    '16 "Griffin" LP - D Standard backup
    '78 Ventura acoustic - D Standard
    '16 Squire J Bass - D Standard
    '98 Fender J Bass - E Standard

    As you can see, I mostly stick to two tunings, but I do have one guitar in Eb standard as well.
    Killed_by_Death and Gallery like this.
  14. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

    Nov 25, 2005
    In The Basement
    All my guitars are dedicated to standard, A440, tuning.
    stormtrooper likes this.
  15. R13D

    R13D Member

    Apr 10, 2007
    Slo Cal
    I keep one in open C.
  16. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Member

    Nov 14, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    I've got 2 guitars in open D and 2 in open G for slide work. Occasionally I'll tune down for open C or open C#. To tune up to E or A, I use a capo.

    For a live performance, you don't want to halt the action by futzing around with re-tuning. Although it would give the lead singer time to take stage selfies and post them on Instagram.
    muzishun and Gallery like this.
  17. nastynate

    nastynate Member

    Apr 28, 2008
    I have a Strat tuned down to Eb, a Tele tuned to Open G, and a dobro tuned to Open D for slide. I used to have a Casino tuned to Open D for electric slide, but it was stolen :(
  18. Mikhael

    Mikhael Member

    Jan 2, 2013
    All standard here. I don't need to go lower; I have a bass player for that. Now, sometimes I'll do an alternate tuning on an acoustic, like drop D or something, but never on an electric. That just ain't me.
  19. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Member

    Jan 10, 2016
    14 Megameters from Groong Tehp
    Once upon a time I did, but now I just use The Drop:


    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016
    bullet6759 and Stev0Griffin like this.
  20. JonSick

    JonSick Member

    Aug 10, 2010
    Yep, hear hear...

    I use:
    Female fronted metal band (think Slipknot/Within Temptation) Peavey 6505+ though may be going rackmount:
    Jackson Broderick 7 string tuned to Bb
    Esp Custom SV 7 string tuned to Bb (on order, awaiting, these two will be my only 7 strings)

    Melodic death metal band (think Vader) Peavey 6505+:
    ESP SV Standard black with white pinstripes in C#
    ESP SV Standard white with black pinstripes in C#

    Depressive prog metal band (think Insomnium) Marshall TSL100:
    Jackson KV2 Custom shop Ferrari red in D standard
    Jackson KV2 Select Custom Snow White in D Standard
    Jackson WR1 USA in Gunmetal Grey in Drop D (only two songs and our bassist doesn't need to detune)

    Gibson SG Standard in D Standard (main writing guitar for prog metal band)
    Jackson Stealth XL E standard (writing and lessons)
    Jackson SL2H E standard (writing and lessons)
    Fender USA Standard Strat E standard (writing and lessons)
    ESP MII Drop D (writing and lessons)

    Retiries, but still play them every so often for fun. Configs and tunings change on these every so often:
    Kramer offset V
    BC Rich Ironbird MIJ
    BC Rich Warlock MIJ
    Gibson Les Paul Custom MIA
    Ibanez RG2570z
    A couple of self mades and mutt guitars

    EDIT: I just thought, I should really update my home insurance...
    Mikeyboyeee and Stev0Griffin like this.

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