Today in this post we will look at one of the popular guitar tunings known as ‘B Tuning’ or ‘B Standard Tuning’.
This guide will show you how to easily tune your 6 string guitar to Standard B tuning, the usage of Standard B tuning, and a list of band and songs that use this tuning.
What is B Standard Tuning?
‘Standard B’ tuning (aka Baritone tuning) is a type of alternate tuning where all 6 strings of the guitar are tuned down by a perfect fourth from the standard tuning. This means, to tune your guitar to Standard B, you have to lower each string by two and a half steps (a perfect fourth) from the standard tuning.
This tuning is considered as the one of the standard tunings for ‘Baritone Guitar’. This tuning is also recognized as the standard tuning for Seven String guitars, where the strings are tuned to B-E-A-D-G-B-E.
But for this lesson we will be focusing on the 6 string guitar.
For your reference, in Standard tuning the string are tuned to:
E-A-D-G-B-E ( lowest to highest )
In Standard B tuning, all the strings are tuned down a perfect 4th, so the strings would be tuned as follows:
B-E-A-D-F#-B ( lowest to highest )
How to tune to Standard B Tuning?
Tuning your guitar from Standard to Standard B Tuning is quite simple. All you need to do is, tune all the six strings down a perfect fourth from the standard tuning. Below is the step-by-step instruction:
Step-By-Step Tuning Guide for Standard B tuning (6 string):
- First tune your 6th (E) string down a perfect fourth to B
- Then tune the 5th (A) string down a 4th to E
- Tune the 4th (D) string down a 4th to A
- Tune the 3rd (G) string down a 4th to D
- Tune the 2nd (B) string down a 4th to F#
- Lastly, take the 1st (E) string and tune it down a fourth to B
Things to keep in mind when tuning to Standard B
- Make sure to keep a chromatic tuner handy, whenever you are changing the guitar tuning. This will ensure that the new tuning is as accurate as possible.
- Also make sure to use a heavier gauge string set ( minimum .012 -.056 ) when tuning to Standard B. This will provide sufficient tension and prevent the guitar strings to go out of tune.
Why Play in Standard B Tuning?
Standard B tuning is mostly used in Death Metal music, as this tuning provides a low end and extremely heavy sound that is required for this genre.
So, tuning your guitar to Standard B can be a good option if you want to produce those heavier, darker and low-endish sounds. This means, you have to use a lot of gain and distortion as you play around.
One more great thing is, the fingerings and the chord shapes in Standard B tuning will remain the same as in standard tuning but a perfect 4th lower.
Meaning, if you play an A open chord in standard b tuning, that will now become an E major chord ( a perfect fourth lower). Similarly, B will become F#, C will become G and so on.
List of Songs in Standard B Tuning
There are quite a lot of metal songs in Standard B tuning. Here are some of the popular ones:
- Slaughter of the Soul by At The Gates
- Reptilian by Benighted
- Deceiver of the Gods by Amon Amrth
- Biomech by Allegaeon
- Wings of Domain by Soilwork
- Fields of Desolation by Arch Enemy
- Detritus by Cryptopsy
- The Dark Eternal Night by Dream Theater
- Cerebral Hybridization by Fallujah
- The Essence of Silence by Epica
Also check out – Standard A tuning