I know there have been countless questions about how to detune your guitar and what's involved, but I'm more curious as to why bands use certain tunings than how. When I first started playing electric guitar I was in standard tuning, which I'm assuming is how everyone got started. But as I broadened my horizons and got into all different kinds of rock and metal I started running into alternate tunings and downtunings from my favorite bands. So naturally I wanted to try to play those songs in the right tuning. Obviously the lower you tune the guitar, the less string tension there is, making it necessary to get higher gauge strings and to make adjustments to the bridge/neck accordingly. The result is I have four guitars in four somewhat ordered tunings: Eb, C, B, & a 7-string in standard tuning dropped a whole step to A. When I pick up a guitar at a music store I have great difficulty adjusting to the comparatively tiny strings in standard tuning considering the heavy gauge strings I'm used to playing on... Yet I can never really decide what tuning to use. I put one of my guitars in C to play along with In Flames because they're one of my favorite bands (hence my name) and I know just about every note from every song. Then I wanted to play some Soilwork tunes, who tunes down to B. Now, it seems to me that the lower you tune, the more clarity you seem to lose in your sound. Especially if you don't have a guitar properly adjusted to deal with the low tuning. I like the sonic distortion a B tuned guitar puts out, and even in clean it sounds better to me partly because it sound so much different. You can run through the same chord progressions as you did on a standard tuned guitar and they sound darker and heavier than they ever did before. Even a palm muted power chord riff that would sound somewhat cheesy in standard can sound cool downtuned to give it that different chunky heaviness. But if you look at Children of Bodom, they tuned their guitars only a step down to D (C# on something wild, possibly C now on Hate Crew, not sure) and it should be undisputed that they play some powerful music. They seem to rely on the melodic impact of their chord progressions and scale runs than churning out low end chunk power chords. I read in an interview with Alex Laiho how he really bangs on his guitar, his pick attack is clear AND loud.. with sick sweeps that boggle my mind. So although you could play one guitar part for a song from them, it wouldn't really do the song justice as the added atmosphere from the dual guitars and keyboards/synths make CoB what they are. So.. inverse relationship between being really melodic and being really heavy? Obviously melo-death strives to be both, but it seems to me that if you got your guitar tuned down to A that your not going to be playing as much melody. Actually one song that's tuned that low that's still extremely melodic is Hypocrisy's "Reversed Reflections" I believe its called on their self titled album. Armed with a 7 string tune down another whole step to A, their tone seems perpetually heavy even on slower songs. It's just so low that when they thrash out some notes really fast its difficult to hear the transition.. which is probably one of the main problems of tuning down so low. What do you guys tune to? Any suggestions?