Drop E-Tuning Six-String?
Drop E tuning on a 6-string guitar involves tuning the strings to the pitches E, B, E, A, D, and G, with the lowest string (usually the 6th string) tuned down from its standard E to a lower E. This means all the strings are tuned down by one whole step except for the second string, which remains unchanged. Drop E tuning is popular among heavy metal and hard rock guitarists as it allows for a lower, heavier sound without requiring a seven- or eight-string guitar.
Dropping the lowest string to E provides a deep and powerful low-end, allowing for chugging, palm-muted riffs, and heavy power chords. This tuning facilitates easier string bending and offers more versatility for playing heavy and melodic passages. Notably, tuning down to drop E puts additional tension on the guitar neck and requires heavier gauge strings to maintain proper tension and intonation.
What Tuning Is Drop E?
Drop E tuning, also known as “Drop D tuned down a whole step” or “Drop D flat,” involves tuning the strings of a guitar to the pitches E, B, E, A, D, and G. Here is a detailed explanation of this tuning:
<h3>1. The Starting Point: Drop D Tuning</h3>
To understand Drop E tuning, it’s important to start with Drop D tuning, a widely used alternative tuning. In Drop D tuning, the 6th string (usually the lowest-pitched string) is tuned down a whole step from E to D, while the other strings remain in standard tuning. This allows guitarists to play power chords with a single finger across the lowest three strings, creating a heavier, fuller sound.
<h3>2. Tuning Down to Drop E</h3>
In Drop E tuning, you take Drop D tuning a step further by tuning the entire guitar down a whole additional step. So, the lowest string (6th string) is further tuned down from D to E, while the rest are also tuned down by one whole step. This means each string is tuned as follows: E, B, E, A, D, and G.
<h3>3. Achieving a Lower and Heavier Sound</h3>
Drop E tuning primarily aims to achieve a lower and heavier sound on a standard 6-string guitar. You create an even deeper and more powerful low-end by tuning down to E. This is particularly useful in genres such as heavy metal and hard rock, where guitarists strive for a crushing, aggressive tone. The lower tuning allows for chugging, palm-muted riffs, and heavy power chords that sound massive and impactful.
<h3>4. Increased Versatility and Easier Playing</h3>
Drop E tuning offers more versatility than standard or even drop D tuning. The lower pitch allows for a wider range of heavy and melodic possibilities. Guitarists can play complex riffs, intricate arpeggios, and solos while still maintaining the heavy, dark character of the tuning. The lower tension on the strings makes it easier to perform string bending and facilitates faster playing techniques.
<h3>5. Considerations and Adjustments</h3>
It’s important to note that tuning down to Drop E places additional tension on the guitar neck. This increased tension may require adjustments to the instrument’s setup, such as truss rod adjustments or raising the action. Moreover, due to the lower tuning, it is advisable to use heavier-gauge strings to maintain proper tension and avoid floppy strings. This ensures the guitar retains good intonation and overall playability in Drop E tuning.
In summary, drop E tuning is an extension of drop D tuning, where the entire guitar is tuned down a whole step, resulting in the strings being tuned to E, B, E, A, D, and G. This tuning allows for a lower, heavier sound on a standard 6-string guitar, making it popular in heavy metal and hard rock genres. It provides a deep and powerful low end, facilitates easier playing techniques, and offers increased versatility for heavy and melodic passages.
Is The 6th String A Low E?
The 6th string is typically called the low E string in standard guitar tuning. However, the term “low E” can be ambiguous in the context of drop E tuning. Here is a detailed explanation clarifying the terminology:
<h3>1. Standard Guitar Tuning: Low E</h3>
The 6th string is called the low E string in standard guitar tuning. When all the strings are tuned to their standard pitches, the low E string is the thickest and lowest-pitched string on the guitar. Its pitch is E2, which is two octaves below middle C.
<h3>2. Drop E Tuning: The Tuned Down Low E</h3>
The low E string is tuned down from its standard E pitch in drop E tuning. Instead of being tuned to E2, it is tuned down a whole step to D2. Consequently, the lowest-pitched string in Drop E tuning is a D, not an E.
<h3>3. Naming Convention and Confusion</h3>
The confusion arises because the 6th string in standard tuning is typically called the low E string due to its pitch. However, in Drop E tuning, the previous low E string in standard tuning is tuned down to D, while the other strings are also tuned down a whole step. So, while it is technically the 6th string, it is not the low E in Drop E tuning.
<h3>4. Identifying the Low E in Drop E Tuning</h3>
In Drop E tuning, the lowest-pitched string is the 5th, tuned to E. This string, known as the “dropped E” string, provides the deep, heavy low-end characteristic of Drop E tuning. The 6th string, originally the low E string in standard tuning, is tuned down even further to D.
To summarize, while the 6th string is traditionally referred to as the low E string in standard tuning, in Drop E tuning, the lowest-pitched string is tuned to D, making it a low D string. The low E in Drop E tuning is the 5th string tuned to E. It’s important to be aware of this distinction to avoid confusion when discussing specific tunings and their corresponding string names.
How Do You Tune A 6-String Guitar To An Open E?
To tune a 6-string guitar to open E tuning, where the open strings produce an E major chord, follow the detailed steps outlined below:
<h3>1. Start with Standard Tuning</h3>
Begin with your guitar in standard tuning (E, A, D, G, B, E), where the 6th string is tuned to low E, the 5th string to A, and so on.
<h3>2. Tune the 6th String to E</h3>
You must tune the 6th string from low E down to E to achieve open E tuning. You can do this by comparing the pitch of the 6th string to a reference E pitch from a tuning device or by matching it to the 1st string (high E string) played at the 12th fret.
<h3>3. Tune the 5th String to B</h3>
Next, tune the 5th string down to B. You can either use a tuning device or match the pitch of the 5th string to the 2nd string (B string) played at the 7th fret.
<h3>4. Tune the 4th String to E</h3>
Now, focus on the 4th string and tune it down to E. You can use a tuning device or match the pitch of the 4th string to the 1st string (high E string) played open.
<h3>5. Tune the 3rd String to G#</h3>
The third string needs to be tuned up a half step from G to G#. Use a tuning device or match the pitch of the 3rd string to the 4th string (the D string) played at the 4th fret.
<h3>6. Tune the 2nd String to B</h3>
For the second string, tune it down to B. You can use a tuning device or match the pitch of the 2nd string to the 5th string (A string) played at the 2nd fret.
<h3>7. Tune the 1st String to E</h3>
Lastly, tune the first string down to E. You can use a tuning device or match the pitch of the 1st string to the 6th string (low E string) played open.
After completing these steps, your guitar should be tuned to Open E tuning (E, B, E, G#, B, E). When strumming without fretting any strings, it will produce an E-major chord. Slide guitarists often favor open E tuning, allowing easy chord formations and slide melodies while maintaining a rich, resonant sound. Remember to adjust the string tension and intonation if necessary, as tuning to a different pitch may affect the overall setup of your instrument.
How Many Steps Down Do I Drop E?
Drop E tuning involves tuning the guitar by two steps from standard tuning. Here’s a detailed explanation:
<h3>1. Starting Point: Standard Tuning</h3>
The standard tuning for a 6-string guitar is typically E, A, D, G, B, and E. In this tuning, the 6th (thickest) string is tuned to low E.
<h3>2. Tuning Down a Whole Step to D</h3>
To achieve Drop D tuning, you lower the pitch of the 6th string by one whole step from E down to D. This means the 6th string is now two whole steps lower than the original standard tuning.
<h3>3. Further Tuning Down to Drop E</h3>
To reach Drop E tuning, you continue to tune down the entire guitar by one additional step from Drop D tuning. This means you lower each string, including the 6th string (now tuned to D), by one step.
<h3>4. Resulting Pitch in Drop E Tuning</h3>
As a result of tuning down by two whole steps from standard tuning, the pitch of the 6th string in Drop E tuning is E. Two steps from their standard pitches also tune down the rest of the strings.
In summary, drop E tuning involves tuning down the guitar by two steps from standard tuning. The 6th string, originally tuned to E in standard tuning, is lowered to D in Drop D tuning and then lowered by another step to E in Drop E tuning. This creates a heavy and low-pitched sound, suitable for genres like heavy metal and hard rock.
What is drop E-tuning for a six-string guitar?
Drop E-tuning refers to tuning the lowest string (usually the sixth string) of a guitar down to an E note, which is one whole step lower than the standard EADGBE tuning. The rest of the strings remain in standard tuning.
Why would someone use drop E-tuning?
Drop E-tuning is commonly used in heavy metal and other heavy music genres. It allows guitarists to achieve a heavier and lower sound by utilizing the low E string as a pedal tone or a foundation for playing power chords and riffs.
How do I tune my guitar to drop E?
To tune your guitar to drop E, you’ll need to lower the pitch of the sixth string from its standard E note to a D note, and then further down to a C note. You can use an electronic tuner, a tuning app, or another reference source to help you achieve the correct pitch.
Do I need to adjust the string tension or use different string gauges for drop E-tuning?
When tuning to drop E, the string tension will be lower than in standard tuning. Depending on your playing style and the gauge of strings you prefer, you might need to choose a slightly heavier gauge for the strings to maintain proper tension and avoid excessive string floppiness. This is especially important if you frequently switch between standard and drop E-tuning.
Can I still play chords and scales in drop E-tuning?
Yes, you can still play chords and scales in drop E-tuning. The main difference is that the open strings will sound different, so you’ll need to adapt your chord shapes and fingerings accordingly. Once you get familiar with the tuning, you can explore new chord voicings and experiment with different scale patterns to make the most of the lower tuning.
Are there any disadvantages to using drop E-tuning?
While drop E-tuning can provide a heavy and powerful sound, it may also limit some of the higher range possibilities on the guitar. The lower tension of the strings may affect the overall feel and playability of the instrument, especially if you’re used to higher tension from standard tuning. Additionally, if you’re playing in a band or with other musicians, you may need to adjust your playing to accommodate the different tuning.