||This article needs additional citations for verification. (March 2009)|
E♭ (E‐flat) tuning or D♯ (D‐sharp) tuning is an alternative form of guitar tuning. It is based on the standard guitar tuning, except that all of the strings are lowered by one half‐step. The result looks like this: E♭‐A♭‐D♭‐G♭‐B♭‐E♭. The guitar is usually played identically to standard tuning, resulting in a heavier tone without requiring the guitarist to learn different chords or fingering.
The tuning has a number of other features attractive to artists. It allows the use of heavier strings without decreasing playability. The tuning is also easier to play with a saxophone accompaniment (saxophones are usually tuned to B♭ or E♭). It can also be matched with the E♭ pentatonic minor scale formed by the black keys of a keyboard.
Blues legend Robert Johnson was one of the first to experiment with alternate guitar tunings such as E♭. Jimi Hendrix was also famous for tuning down a half-step, and Stevie Ray Vaughan used it almost exclusively in his electric guitar playing, as well as Slash of Guns N' Roses fame. The tuning remains very popular in rock and blues music, although some (like Pantera) tune up a quarter of a step. Former Stratovarius guitarist Timo Tolkki has used the tuning throughout his tenure, as evidenced by his guitarwork in the band. Aaron Lewis uses this tuning or drop D♭ while solo or with Staind, whose guitarist Mike Mushok uses baritone guitars, although they both use E♭ on The Illusion of Progress.
Other artists known to use E♭
- AC/DC - on "Night Prowler", "Ruff Stuff", "Love Hungry Man" and live performances since 2008.
- AFI - since "Sing The Sorrow".
- Alice Cooper - The guitars in Alice Cooper's have been tuned a half step down on select live songs since circa 1998.
- Alice in Chains (most songs, dubbed 'Standard Alice tuning' by Jerry Cantrell).
- Alkaline Trio (on recent live performances to suit Skiba's weakening voice).
- Anthrax (on live performances and some songs on Persistence of Time, "Black Lodge" from Sound of White Noise and most songs on all studio albums since Volume 8: The Threat Is Real).
- Beach House
- Black Sabbath during live performances, to ease the stress on guitarist Tony Iommi's fingers, which had been amputated by an accident at a sheet metal factory. This tuning is predominant on studio and live recordings featuring Ronnie James Dio as lead vocalist.
- Black Stone Cherry (also on live performances of E-tuned songs).
- Blaze Bayley (some live performances).
- Blind Guardian
- Bon Jovi - on live performances since 1988.
- Brand New - all/nearly all songs on "Your Favorite Weapon" and "Déjà Entendu" albums.
- Buckethead – used on many compositions and live performances.
- Cannibal Corpse (Chris Barnes era).
- Cattle Decapitation
- Circa Survive- frequently used throughout their discography
- Coheed and Cambria - many songs e.g. "Welcome Home".
- The Connells - on the song "'74-'75".
- The Cult - Used on "Ceremony", "Born Into This", and all live performances since 1989.
- Danzig - on all albums since Danzig III: How the Gods Kill, and on all songs on Danzig and Danzig II: Lucifuge since 1990.
- Def Leppard - on the song Photograph and during live performances.
- Die Ärzte - since their album Geräusch onwards.
- Disturbed - on songs The Game, Perfect Insanity, Asylum, The Animal
- DragonForce (live performances from 2006 to 2010). Also the primary cause for their controversy from Graspop 2006.
- Dream Theater - only a few songs, e.g. - "The Root of All Evil".
- Enslaved (this tuning and drop D♭ on most albums except "Isa").
- Evanescence- some songs such as Sweet Sacrifice
- Funeral for a Friend (with the E♭ dropped to D♭).
- Green Day (used for the entity of their Dookie album and Insomniac album and used for some of the songs off Kerplunk and for the songs "21st Century Breakdown" and "Before the Lobotomy").
- Guns N' Roses (most songs).
- GWAR (with the exception of Hell-O).
- Iced Earth - on most songs.
- Jimi Hendrix Experience - most of their songs. Some examples: "Red House", "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)", "Spanish Castle Magic", "All Along the Watchtower".
- Judas Priest - on "Reckless", "Burn in Hell", "Bullet Train", "Hellrider", "Eulogy", "Lochness", and live performances since Rob Halford's return.
- Kamelot - dropping the lowest string a whole step on some songs.
- The La's
- Live - on several songs, including "Selling the Drama".
- Matchbox Twenty - on some songs, including "Push", as well as "Long Day".
- Manchester Orchestra
- McFly - on Star Girl.
- Megadeth - on Youthanasia and songs "Angry Again", "Diadems" and "Problems".
- The Menzingers - used on most songs off of their first record and second record and the entirety of On The Impossible Past.
- Metallica - on "The God That Failed", and "Killing Time", the albums Load, ReLoad and Garage Inc., and on all E-tuned songs in live performances since 1995.
- Morbid Angel - exclusively until Domination, where they used B♭ tuning, a variation of E♭, although Covenant featured E♭ as well.
- Motörhead - on most albums since their second album Overkill and on some E-tuned songs in live performances since 1978.
- Muse - On songs such as "Animals", "Fury", recent live performances of "Starlight", and "United States of Eurasia"
- Nirvana - Some songs on Bleach and most songs on In Utero.
- Nevermore (until Dead Heart in a Dead World when, from then onwards, seven strings were mostly used and tuned to B♭).
- Neverest during live performances and acoustic renderings of most songs.
- The Offspring tune to E♭ during live performances.
- Oasis-For the song Put Yer Money Where Yer Mouth Is.
- Our Lady Peace
- Ozzy Osbourne (On the albums Diary Of A Madman, The Ultimate and all material with Zakk Wylde, with the exception of Black Rain).
- Protest the Hero (Most songs on Fortress and Kezia, all songs on Scurrilous).
- Revocation (Most songs)
- Rise Against (since Revolutions per Minute).
- Scorpions (live performances on some songs and many songs with Uli Jon Roth).
- Simple Plan -used during live performances and for the entity of their "No Pads, No Helmets...Just Balls" album and "Still Not Getting Any..." album.
- Slayer - on most albums since Haunting the Chapel and on all E-tuned songs in live performances since 1984.
- The Smashing Pumpkins - Used on "Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness". Billy Corgan stated the tuning was used to give the album a darker sound.
- Staind - Aaron Lewis uses E♭and Drop D♭on his guitars while Mike Mushok uses lower, often obscure tunings on baritone guitars.
- Stone Sour (mostly used on their softer songs, or "songs for the ladies" as said by Jim Root).
- Sum 41 - On some songs on the album "Does This Look Infected?", most of the album "Chuck" and most songs when played live
- System of a Down (on "Lost in Hollywood" and "Lonely Day")
- Thin Lizzy - Fighting, Jailbreak, Johnny the Fox, Bad Reputation and Black Rose: A Rock Legend are mostly in E♭ tuning, and all live performances since 1975 have been in E♭.
- Trivium - on some songs and for In Flames album
- U2 - on Boy, War and many live versions of songs originally written in standard tuning.
- Warrant - on albums "Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich" (though some songs are 1/4 step down), "Cherry Pie", and "Rockaholic"
- Weezer - Most songs written in the "Blue album" and Pinkerton periods were in E♭ tuning.
- Van Halen - on most songs and during recent live performances.
- X Japan (most songs).
- Yngwie Malmsteen (most songs).