B♭ tuning, or A♯ tuning, is a method of guitar tuning (and stringed instruments per se) in which all strings on a six-stringed instrument, most often guitar, are tuned down by 3 steps. For example, standard guitar tuning is E A D G B E. B♭ tuning starts by tuning the lowest string on a guitar E, to B♭ and then tuning all strings down in the same interval of 3 steps down.
Strings on a guitar tuned to B♭ are B♭ E♭ A♭ D♭ F B♭
Seven-string guitars achieve B and B♭ tuning because they have a lower B string below the E string, which is the lowest string on a conventional guitar.
One example of this tuning is progressive metal band Nevermore who uses this tuning to achieve a slightly heavier sound than the standard tuned seven string. Meshuggah also used this tuning on their earlier material when they were exclusively using 7 string guitars. Two other examples are the songs "Panic Attack" and "Wither" by Dream Theater, from the albums Octavarium and Black Clouds and Silver Linings.} Cannibal Corpse almost exclusively uses this tuning on the album Vile and on, which is when guitarist Jack Owen started using seven string guitars. Cannibal Corpse's current guitar players Pat O'Brien and Rob Barrett still use the tuning, but both down tune six string guitars. Pat O'Brien used to use a seven string guitar (BC Rich), but has recently switched to six string guitars (Ran). The tuning is easily used on all seven string guitars, six string guitars can use it, but the sound can be very muddy without thicker gauge strings and active, or special passive pickups. Buckethead uses this tuning on some of his heavier metal albums, such as Inbred Mountain, The Elephant Man's Alarm Clock, The Cuckoo Clocks of Hell, and Island of Lost Minds. Brian "Head" Welch used this tuning on his debut solo album Save Me from Myself, as well as with Korn on their demo "Neidermeyer's Mind". Adema used this tuning in some songs from their eponymous album and Unstable, like "The Way You Like It" and "Promises". Also, the band Mushroomhead extensively uses this tuning on a seven-string, except on some songs. Mike Mushok of Staind uses this tuning on most of Staind's songs that require a baritone guitar, as well as using 20 other different tunings on both baritone and regular guitars. This tuning is also frequently used by the band American Head Charge in much of their material, as well as Nickelback on their song "This Means War".
- The lowercase letters followed by an apostrophe are two octaves above their upper case counterparts.
- "Rig Rundown - Nickelback's Chad Kroeger & Ryan Peake". Premier Guitar. Retrieved 21 June 2012.