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The 5 Most Commonly Used Guitar Tunings
Posted by Drop-Tuning.com 5:38AM CST 7/28/17​

There are a number of different tunings used for almost every string instrument. These non standard tunings, also known as scordaturas, help the player more easily replicate a certain sound or passage in music. Here we will take a look at the very debatable list of The 5 Most Commonly Used Guitar Tunings.

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  E-Standard [E-A-D-G-B-E​]

  Half Step Down [Eb-Ab-Db-Gb-Bb-Eb]

  Drop D [D-A-D-G-B-E]

  D-Standard [D-G-C-F-A-D]

  Drop B / Drop C
#1 - E-Standard / E-A-D-G-B-E

The guitar player's bread and butter, standard E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4 tuning is likely the tuning you will find on your buddy's acoustic. Standard tuning is the root of the majority of guitar compositions in American and European pop cultures. EADGBE tuning features perfect fourths from the lowest string to the highest string with the exception of the G (3rd) to B (2nd) strings, where the step is instead a major third.
#2 - Half Step Down / Eb-Ab-Db-Gb-Bb-Eb
This tuning, also known as Eb standard or simply 'half step', mirrors standard tuning except that all 6 strings are tuned down one half step. Since alot of guitar tuners do not show flats, this tuning is also notated as D#, G#, C#, F#, A#, D#. Often used by blues and classic rock musicians, 'half step' has had a long reign as (debatably) the 2nd most common 6 string guitar tuning, and will likely remain popular for decades to come.
Drop D is common on heavy metal guitars like this ESP E-II MIINT , available on zZounds.com
#3 - Drop D / D-A-D-G-B-E

As standard tuning's rebellious little brother, drop D features the same tuning as standard, but with the 6th string dropped a whole step to D from E. This not only allows for a couple more notes on the lower end, but also makes the fretting of power chords rooted on the 6th string much easier. Instead of a G power chord being 3-5-5 on the lowest 3 strings, that same chord in drop D is 5-5-5, which allows for faster and more precise shredding of riffs on the low range of the guitar. Although most commonly used in heavy metal and rock music, Drop-D has been featured by a wide array of musicians from numerous genres. The popularity of Drop D continues to grow as more and more young players prefer the crunchier sound.
#4 - D-Standard / D-G-C-F-A-D
‘One-step lower,’ ‘whole-step down,’ ‘full-step,’ ‘D-standard,’ ‘step-down,’ or simply ‘D-
tuning’ are all terms that refer to this common tuning. However, ‘D-standard’ is probably it's most common handle, and it has long been a favorite of blues masters. The reasons for tuning to D-standard tend to vary from one axe-man to the next, ranging from heavier tones, to looser strings that help bend notes further than ever.

#5 - Drop B / B-F#-B-E-G#-C# &    Drop C / C-G-C-F-A-D  

Because these two tunings are in the same ‘I regularly shred brutal metal riffs’ niche, we have decided to group them together. Drop-B and Drop-C tunings mirror Drop-D, but have all 6 strings lowered even further. This creates some of the darkest, crunchiest, heaviest tones out there. These are not tunings for the faint of heart, nor are they likely to be found on an acoustic guitar. Heck, even an electric guitar without humbucker pickups would be unusual. Typically, these tunings are seen on electric guitars with high output active humbucker pickups. While there are tunings even lower than Drop-B and Drop-C, they are not used frequently enough to make our list.
While plenty common on 6 string instruments, Drop B and C are also common on 7 and 8 string guitars like these     Schecter 7 strings   , many of which are available on zZounds.com for an affordable price with fast, reliable shipping. Check them out!
Honorable Mentions
In addition to the 5 tunings on our list, there were a few write-in candidates deemed worthy of honorable mention. These include: Open-G, C-standard, C#-standard, and Drop-A. Additionally, A-standard is used on smaller scale guitars while Drop-G, Drop-F, and Drop-E are all common on 7 and 8 string instruments. We hope you’ll check out some of these alternate tunings as you just might find a new love. We encourage experimenting with these tunings and if you have an extra guitar, you just might find yourself keeping one of them in an alternate tuning full time!

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