The great thing about the guitar is that you can alter almost anything: You can change parts, strings, fret your strings with a Capo on a particular position of the neck or detune (some) of your strings. For this article a short outline about detuning. For those in the know it is no secret that the guitar can give you very different sounds by simply detuning a few strings. For those of you who are new to this concept let us have a look what is in store for you:
The easiest thing to do is to detune one string: Take your low E and tune it down to a D. Notice how only one string can give you such a different sound!
If you like it, why not detune you high E string as well? Tune it also down to a D, now both E strings are tuned to E, now you are ready for songs in the key of D.
A common thing guitar players in the past used to do is detune all their strings one step down. It will give you (from low to high) Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, Bb and Eb. This tuning will still enable you to play all your regular open chords but their sound will be a little bit lower, also notice the feel of the strings: They will feel a little less tight since they are tuned lower and have less tension.
String Gauge is the term which is used for the thickness of your strings. Some of you may play with very slinky strings, your high E may be an 0.08. You may like to go up a few gauges with the set of your strings, or maybe change a few strings to a thicker gauge. Thicker strings will give you more power and less twang. Try it to find out what you like.
Hope to see you soon again for more ideas about detuning and other guitar techniques.