A lot of the songs I like are in alternate tunings. Will I damage my guitar if I use different tunings? I've read that the intonation is compromised. I've also read that the neck and bridge will have problems from changing tunings a lot. What do you suggest?
Alternate tunings are ok if they require tuning lower. Intonation will usually be compromised a little. Tuning up too high though could hurt the guitar and also break strings. If you need to do a higher alternate tuning, you can lower all the tunings instead and use a capo say on the 2nd or 3rd fret to make it sound like a higher tuning when actually your highest tuned string is really tuned up to pitch. See my Tip 119 for an example of this.
Doing lower tunings won't hurt your guitar and will only wear out your string's life a little. The intonation won't be as good on those lowered strings because the scale length will change. That's why bass guitars have such long necks. I've found that if a guitar's intonation is set up really well for standard pitch and the action is high enough, lower tunings aren't a problem. Use my toothpick trick if the intonation is compromised.
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