Has anyone ever tried getting rid of the pesky major third near the top of the guitar? I decided to play around a little with it last night (tuning BEADGCF), just for the hell of it.
Immediately, I noticed that scale playing became practically effortless. It just felt more natural without the one fret up shift on the second string, which sped things up considerably. After about five minutes, it started feeling completely natural, since I always felt like I had to fight to make my fingers not go into the wrong places on the first and second strings. The arpeggios would require some work, since I'd have to relearn all the forms, but at least I would be learning patterns that would apply to any string grouping on the fretboard. This is the sort of uniformity that the violin family enjoys.
The drawback? Bar chords and open position chords become absolutely impossible. This tuning just does not lend itself to "orchestral" parts. Triads are nice, since there is no longer E, A, and D forms (they're all E form), but it simply makes more expanded voicings a nightmare. You can also forget solo or duet acoustic performances, where the primary role is to back up vocals.
So, it is a neat experiment that I might pursue further one day, but I'm not sure I could ever use it in the bands I am currently in. Maybe in metal, if I thought things out, but there is at least one song I can think of with a clean, arpeggiated intro that would be impossible to duplicate.