E tuning

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M2Pilot
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E tuning

Post by M2Pilot » October 26th, 2009, 1:28 pm

I've read on another guitar website that It's a bad idea to leave an acoustic guitar in E tuning because of the strain on the neck from the tighter strings. Sounds a bit farfetched to me,but what do I know. I have an old Gibson J-50 & don't want to damage it. Any informed opinons on this? Thanks.

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dogbite
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Re: E tuning

Post by dogbite » October 27th, 2009, 3:35 am

nonsense. I would avoid that other guitar site.

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Blue Jay
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Re: E tuning

Post by Blue Jay » October 27th, 2009, 5:33 am

Chances are you could get away with it. I like that ... avoid those other sites! :D

The bridges on the older Gibsons tend to lift the soundboard over time, and cause a slight arch.

Check your soundboard using a straight edge or rule, and see if it has lifted yet or is lying basically flat.

The older bell-shape style bodies were not as prone to this damage (I had a '56) and would remain in pretty good shape.

I also had a bell-shape J45 confirming that, at least in my experience. The OTHER shape, the dreadnaught seems to be touchy. So, J45's and 50's of later years could be dreadnaughts, then I noticed them going back to bell-shape again.

I'm not trying to be an accurate history source there, I only know what I know, or remember? :shock: My current Gibson flattop is a 1971-73 SJ Deluxe, dreadnaught, and I have to be very careful about NOT letting it lift, forming an arch.

I would tune it to an E but wouldn't leave it tuned or stored in E tuning for long. :?
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dhodge
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Re: E tuning

Post by dhodge » October 27th, 2009, 5:56 am

If you read our lessons on Dylan's Simple Twist of Fate or Buckets of Rain, you'll also find that bit of advice on our pages. With open E tuning it's not so much that you're tuning up, but which strings you're tuning up. The G comes up a half step while you're tuning both the D and A strings up a whole step. That's a lot more pressure in the thicker strings. Even playing with extra-light strings, you're adding a bit of pressure to the bridge.

If you're only doing it for a song or two and then tuning back, it's usually not that big a deal, but if you're going to be keeping your guitar in that tuning for any extended length of time, it's not really a good idea. Again, especially if you use mediums on your acoustic.

The easy solution (which is also mentioned in those lessons) is to tune to open D and then use a capo on the second fret.

Hope this helps. And for whatever it's worth, you should visit any guitar site you like. We hope you like this one! :wink:

Peace

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almann1979
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Re: E tuning

Post by almann1979 » October 27th, 2009, 10:06 am

sorry to hijack this - but what is E tuning? i always assumed E tuning was the same as standard tuning??
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dhodge
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Re: E tuning

Post by dhodge » October 27th, 2009, 11:37 am

Hardly highjacking at all. And, rereading the thread, the original post might well be about "E standard tuning" and not open tuning. We'll have to find out about that because if that's what the discussion is about it seems strange to argue against something that guitars (not to mention strings) are specifically designed for.

An "open" tuning means that when you strum the open strings you get a recognizable (and simple) chord. Open E means that you get an E major chord when you strum it. Traditionally, open E is (low to high) E, B, E, G#, B and E, so you see that you have to tune three strings up to achieve the correct pitch.

If you go with open D (D, A, D, F#, A and D), you tune strings down and saves the guitar the extra tension.

You can come up with all sorts of open tunings, but D and G (D, G, D, G, B and D) are the two most often used. Keith RIchards plays quite a lot in open G and he often removes the sixth string entirely on his open G guitars.

Hope this helps.

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almann1979
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Re: E tuning

Post by almann1979 » October 27th, 2009, 1:19 pm

i see! - thanks for that. i might dig out the unused acoustic from the attic and play about with some of these tunings!
thanks. AL
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Re: E tuning

Post by Ande » October 28th, 2009, 8:06 am

Bob Dylan did a fair bit of stuff in open E. So did Joni Mitchell. Playing with open tunings is really fun- sort of shakes up what you know about the instrument. Can also create some situations in which it's really HARD to hit a wrong note.

I don't know if you SHOULD leave a guitar in open E, but I routinely do, and haven't had problems. The arguments against make good sense though...Maybe I won't any more.


Best,
Ande

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Re: E tuning

Post by rparker » October 29th, 2009, 6:35 am

I tried it for a Black Crowes song once. Lots of tension, that's for sure.

Wasn't the 'Stones song "You Can't Always Get What You Want" originally done in open E with a capo up at 8? I know he's been doing open G and capo 5th. Lots less tension and I've already got an open G guitar. :D
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M2Pilot
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Re: E tuning

Post by M2Pilot » October 29th, 2009, 4:50 pm

Thanks y'all. Open D & capo on 2nd fret sounds like a plan for now. I do go to a couple of other guitar websites but in all honesty this is my favorite.

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Re: E tuning

Post by Ricochet » November 5th, 2009, 8:49 pm

Total tension on the strings in a given tuning depends on the string gauges. You can look up the tensions of each string in the tuning you're using on a string tension chart. I use the one on D'Addario's website. A lighter set of strings may well give you less tension in Open E than a heavier set in "standard" tuning.
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