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Help with Alternate tuning - E E B B B B

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by adam79, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. adam79

    adam79 TDPRI Member

    49
    Sep 15, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I'm always messing around with alternate tunings, but I've never tried E E B B B B.
    I'm pretty sure that the identical notes are tunes based on their octave. I'm not that familiar tuning this way, so I was hoping someone could help walk me thru it.
    On most of the tab in this tuning, the only directions are "up" or "down," next to each string note. Does up/down pertain to the direction to tune said string?
     

  2. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 6, 2012
    Sydney
    Yes, exactly.

    I'm not sure how you'd get a B from an E string - it'll be tight. Always be careful tuning up.
    (others here will know, no doubt)
     

  3. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 21, 2012
    Montana
    Yup, you got it, but that is a strange tuning. You either have some wet noodles or a couple strings that could break. Good luck and be careful which way you go when tuning back to standard.
     

  4. adam79

    adam79 TDPRI Member

    49
    Sep 15, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I'm pretty sure you need to use a specific string setup, as well as a guitar, dedicated to the tuning....from what I know, the tuning goes like this:

    (low to high): E, E(down), B(down), B(up), B, B(down) (E-E-B-B-B-B).

    Is this correct? If so, I need to figure out the string gauge for the guitar.

    Thanks,
    Adam
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017

  5. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 6, 2012
    Sydney
    My suggestion, heavy strings - 013, 014...

    I suspect you'd need a special guitar - but it doesn't hurt to try.
     

  6. adam79

    adam79 TDPRI Member

    49
    Sep 15, 2011
    Boston, MA
    By special guitar, do you just mean one that's dedicated to this tuning? That was actually my plan.
     

  7. rburd2

    rburd2 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    37
    Sep 13, 2016
    Georgia, US
    I'd be tempted to use two low E strings, an A string, and 3 B strings.
     
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  8. dlew919

    dlew919 Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 6, 2012
    Sydney
    Yes, that's what I mean.

    The other thing, suggested by the next post is a modiefied nut? and then use a B string, G, A E and a C from a seven string set?
     

  9. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Holic

    555
    Jan 15, 2013
    Heart O' Dixie
    Are you sure you aren't trying to use EBEEBE? That's the common open E tuning.
     

  10. rburd2

    rburd2 Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    37
    Sep 13, 2016
    Georgia, US
    That's be open E5. Open E is usually E-B-E-G#-B-E.

    Edit: my guess would be working out a Soundgarden cover. That sounds like one of their tunings.
     
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  11. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member


  12. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Holic

    555
    Jan 15, 2013
    Heart O' Dixie
    Yes, you're correct. Still, I wonder if the OP is attempting E5?
     

  13. adam79

    adam79 TDPRI Member

    49
    Sep 15, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Ya, E5: E E B B B B

    Will I really need to modify the nut? I never even thought that it could potentially cause problems.

    Using two low E's, an A and 3 B's seems like it'd work pretty well, but then there's the whole intonation part. Not really sure where I'd even begin with that.

    Thanks for all the help.
     

  14. stringslinger

    stringslinger Tele-Holic

    540
    Mar 22, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    A more "practical" and I suspect, a more resonating, tuning would EBEBBE. Tune your A and D strings up a whole step. Tune the G up (maybe use with a thinner gauge for that one). You get more octaves, while still getting a monstrous E5 power chord.
     

  15. adam79

    adam79 TDPRI Member

    49
    Sep 15, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Cool, I'll check out that one as well. I haven't been able to try any of the open E5 variations yet; still need to buy strings.

    And yes, I originally learned of this tuning while attempting to figure out The Day I Tried to Live, by ear.

    I've been using 9's for years now and I've been thinking of changing it up to either 10's, 11's or even 12's (for a heavier/meaty sound). Is this something I should do gradually, i.e. start with setting the guitar up for 10's, give it a few weeks and then move on to 11's (and then the same for the 12's)? Or can you jump from 9's to 11 or 12's without hurting the guitar (as long as it's setup properly)?

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017 at 9:58 AM
    stringslinger likes this.

  16. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Friend of Leo's Ad Free + Supporter

    Feb 15, 2014
    Maine

  17. Kerberos

    Kerberos Tele-Meister

    Age:
    67
    356
    Nov 27, 2016
    Long Island
    Wha????? I have a hard enough time with standard tuning.
     

  18. stringslinger

    stringslinger Tele-Holic

    540
    Mar 22, 2011
    Nashville, TN
    Honestly, don't overthink it. If the strings are too high after putting on 11s or 12s, then adjust the neck and saddles/bridge as necessary. Focus on playing first and foremost!
     

  19. tfarny

    tfarny Tele-Holic

    529
    Sep 4, 2008
    Hudson Valley, NY
    EEBBBB - is that supposed to be

    E2E3 B3B4B5B6B7 - B6 and B7 are not going to happen. B6 is the 19th fret of the normal E string. B7 is...not a guitar note.

    or E2E3 B2 B3 B4 B4 B5 - that's maybe possible with a tiny little weeny string on the high end and a thick baritone / bass string on the B2. B5 is "normally" the 7th fret of the E string and B2 would be the B below the low E on a standard guitar.

    Right? I could see E2 E3 B3 B4 B3 B4 or something. I guess.

    What would a four octave guitar tuning that was *playable* look like? The limitations are basically string gauges and the string tension imposed by scale length, you want it not too floppy on the low end and not likely to break on the high end.
    How about:

    C2 (big bari string, good luck with intonation)
    G2 (normal A string - tune up 1 step)
    E3 (normal D string - tune up 1 step)
    C4 (use a B string)
    E4 (normal E string)
    G4 (skinny little E string)

    That would get you about as close as you would want to go, grab an easy 5th fret 1st string C5 note for a HUGE cowboy chord.
     

  20. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Tele-Afflicted

    May 10, 2017
    Tucson, AZ
    EEEEEE is also sometimes called "Grand Barre tuning" and relies upon up/down movement on neck for changing the major chord. Just lay the index finger across all six strings and move up/down for chord changes. All six strings are tuned to E but their gauges are different, so notes are octaves apart, like this:

    EE.E'E'.E"E"
     

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