Picking and D standard tuning

I have three guitars that I mainly play:

  1. 25.5 scale length - Tuned to D standard
  2. 24.75 scale length) - Tuned to E flat standard
  3. 25.5 scale length (7 string) - Tuned to E standard (B 7th string)

Inspired by Troy’s video about practicing at faster speeds, I recently started practicing at faster BPMs, which I never used to do. I always tried to play ultra clean at moderate speeds and never really sped up to fast speeds. Anyway, I’ve noticed that licks that I have trouble playing fast and clean on the D standard guitar are much easier to play on the E flat or E standard guitars. I’m practicing a lot of Symphony X licks and I’m wondering, is it normal that it’s harder to play with the loss of string tension when tuning down to D standard? How does Michael Romeo do it (aside from being an elite player)? I believe he uses 10-46 strings, which I also use. It is commonly understood that E standard is ideal for shredding?

Certainly less tension may mean you have to dial down the amount of force / pick attack to match, for sure. I play 12s on 22.5" gauge, which for reference feels like maybe 10-11 on 25.5". 9s on 25.5" feel like spaghetti for the first few minutes, but after that point I don’t notice the difference as being that strange, and certainly the amount of force required to get through the strings makes playing easier in some sense, not harder.

When you say you’re having trouble, do you mean the same phrases are sloppier? In what way? Are you hitting strings you’re not supposed to be hitting? If so, what’s going on when you film it? Can you see something different happening?

The same phrases are sloppier. Maybe I should try filming it to see what’s really going on. Do you have a thread with tips on how to film?

Taking a closer look can’t hurt! May turn out not to be a specific mechanical thing, or may turn out to be something simple and fixable. Here are some camera tips, let us know if any of this is unclear:

Happy to take a look at whatever you come up with.

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Use thicker strings on the guitar in E standard. 10-46 might be good. The second string (B) is more balanced than the B string from a set of 9’s. This is because nines are 0.009, 0.011 <— 0.002 in difference; where as tens are 0.01, 0.013 <— 0.003 in difference.

Tens in D standard seems to have more dynamic range.