... that is the question.
Whether 'tis Nobler in the mind to suffer
The Strings and Frets of outrageous E Standard Tuning,
Or to take a Capo against a Dsus chord
And then by tuning to Drop-D end them?
So I've been going back and forth with weird tunings (DADAD), my favorite tuning, which is Drop-D, and E "concert" or Standard Tuning. I keep trying to go back to E Standard, because sometimes I feel like Drop D is cheating (at least according to some of the guitar and musician forum pundits out there), but I really love using it.
Drop-D does make barre chords much easier for me, with my little "girlie-sized" hands that barely fit around a guitar neck as it is. And Position One barre chords have been just a bit more difficult since I had my wrist surgery back in 2009. Sliding Barre Chords and open-string pedal tone chords are also much thicker and heavier sounding in Drop-D, and just easier to play.
So is it cheating? Dunno. Don't really care. But, I do try to play some stuff in E Standard, and some things are much easier in E Standard.You can obviously play a full Position One Barre Chord across all six strings for nice full-sounding chords. You can't do that in Drop-D, where you are limited to a three-note Barre Chord in Position One. Open Chords also tend to sound better in E Standard. And quite honestly, I think my bass guitar likes the low string tuned to E, rather than D. The low E is less "floppy". Even with new strings, the low D tends to be a bit "saggy". It doesn't stay in tune as easily.
I've learned how to play several songs that are E Standard in Drop-D, and sometimes it's easier, sometimes it's harder. Thin Lizzy's "Boys are Back" is easy in either tuning. My former band, Deadside Manor played parts of Black Sabbath's "Fairies Wear Boots" when we played live, and we did it in Drop-D. It was a real workout, but do-able. Kiss' "Detroit Rock City" works better in Drop-D, since you can play the opening riff with one guitarist.
I think the last album I recorded in E Standard was "Gothambia Redux", which was back in 2009. Everything else since has been in Drop-D or other tunings (CGCGCD, CGDGBE, DADADE, DADAD, etc.). Yeah, I like to use weird tunings just to shake things up.
So I'm just not sure which way to go with my next musical project. I wanted to try "re-making" the whole Public Image Limited 2nd Edition album as a spacey instrumental jam session in standard tuning. I also wanted to try composing some original 12-tone row music in DADAD tuning (just 5 strings!). I was thinking of trying some very Zappa-esque originals complete with vibes, horns, etc., or maybe some more classical stuff?
Way too many ideas, not enough focus.