tuning down1/2 step-pros and cons?

I've been tuning down a half step for many years now, mainly
because the players I liked were doing it, and it made it a bit
easier to sing along when playing songs. I haven't played in a
band or in front of an audience in ten years, but I'm considering
going to jam at an open mic blues thing at my favorite bar that
started recently. I'm not very good, but thought it might be fun.
Should I retune my guitar so it's more like what the band there
probably uses? I tried playing in standard tuning last night but
wasn't really happy with the feel of it, so I'm looking for some
pros and cons here, especially since I don't want to make a fool of
myself.

You can tune down, then use a capo when playing with others..

Pros:

YOU like it.

CONS: Everyone else you jam with will also have to tune down unless you can figure out which key to play in to match their A440 tuning..

What fret would you capo on if you play in "Eb" to get back in standard tuning. I started tuning down about a year ago and now I much rather play there than in "E". Since I can't sing in either tuning when I tune back up to "E" its that much worse OUCH! :-)

Hillbilly:
I don't play on the open strings when I play my solidbody electric
for blues. Can I just play a half step higher to match them? I
bought a capo once but it just doesn't feel great to me.

FiteSeeker--Put it on the first fret.

BRG--Yes.

No real problem tuning down a half step. Just make sure you still have relief in your neck after downtuning.

Did Stevie Ray Vaughn tune down a half step?

Yes he did, BRG.

Thanks doctorbrodsky :)

Can we make a big list here of all that tune down a half step?
Slash is certainly one.

Van Halen is rumored to have tuned down for vocal reasons, but Eddie says the reason the first album for example is almost down to Eb is that he tuned his guitar up til it FELT right rather than tuning to any reference, thus the "nearly" Eb, but not quite.

After the black album Metallica tuned down quite frequently on both "Load" albums and "Garage Inc." Slash is one of my favorite's. And I think that Tony Iommi was the pioneer in lower tunings because of the loss of his finger as a teenager. does anyone else have any favorites?

Tuning down definately makes it easy to bend the strings. I also find that it is easier to play faster too (keep in mind that I play bass).

Leadbelly Tuned down..

Many do, rustypenny. Half step down is pretty common these days. I have a few customers tuning down to a Drop C G C F A# D Which can be a real pain in the ass If they have a floating trem or shorter scale (Les Paul and most other Gibsons.

Bigger strings are better to a point.