Full Step Down: DGCfad
Full Step Down is a tuning where all six strings are tuned down 1 full tone. Your guitar will sound lower and the strings will be looser, but you can still play any song the same way, it will just sound lower.
Step 1: The 6th String – D
Tune the low E to a D. Exactly like you’d do to get into Drop D guitar tuning. Pluck the 6th string and the 4th string together or alternate between them and loosen the 6th string tuning peg until the pitches are in harmony. The low D will be an octave lower than the D you are tuning from, but they are the exact same note.
Step 2: Use the Standard Tuning Pattern
Tune the rest of the strings in relation to the D you just dropped down. The easiest way to do this is to follow The Standard Tuning Pattern (5th fret, 5th fret, 5th fret, 4th fret, 5th fret). This pattern is used purely to show you where you get your reference tones from.
- 6th string reference tone = D (since you just tuned it)
- 5th string reference tone = 5th fret of the 6th string
- 4th string reference tone = 5th fret of the 5th string
- 3rd string reference tone = 5th fret of the 4th string
- 2nd string reference tone = 4th fret of the 3rd string
- 1st string reference tone = 5th fret of the 2nd string
Now that you can get into Full Step Down, Half Step down or 1 and a Half Step Down are super easy to do. The tuning pattern from the top down for Standard Guitar Tuning is always 5th fret, 5th fret, 5th fret, 4th fret, 5th fret. If you wanted to tune down half a step you would tune your 6th string to a D then follow the Standard Tuning Pattern.
Going lower should never be a problem, unless of course you go so low that the string becomes so loose that it is unplayable. However, be careful when tuning a string higher as it might break. You can always try to tune a string or 2 higher, but if you need to do more that a few or go higher than a few semi-tones it’s best to use a capo.
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