E Flat Guitar Tuning

E Flat Guitar Tuning

What is E Flat Guitar Tuning?

Some of the songs I reference in my Fretboard Theory program have guitars tuned down to E. This means that all the strings are tuned down one half-step lower. The open sixth string, E, is tuned one half-step lower to E♭ (hence the name “E flat tuning“), the open fifth string, A, is tuned one half-step lower to A♭, and so on with the rest of the strings.

Standard Guitar Tuning (starting with the thinnest string, high E)
E B G D A E

E♭ Guitar Tuning (starting with the thinnest string, high E)
E B GD A E

E♭ tuning may be used for a couple of reasons:

  1. You can play in a lower key and use open strings.
  2. You can drop a song’s key by one half-step to help the singer hit the high notes better.
  3. You can bend more easily when the tension on the strings is reduced.

When it comes to playing along with a song in E flat tuning you can either retune your guitar to match or you can, in some cases, simply play one fret lower. If you need to use open strings, then you’ll need to tune down (a capo can bring open strings up but not down).

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