Half Down, Drop D, etc. How do you do it?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by OlRedNeckHippy, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. OlRedNeckHippy

    OlRedNeckHippy Friend of Leo's

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    I've got a few songs that would be better for my voice Half Down (like Dwight Yokam) and another that's Half Down with a Drop D (Randy Houser 'Winstlin Dixie').
    Drop D is easy on the fly with a good Stomp Box tuner, but half down is another story. Then there is the issue of the Bass Player, and to a lesser extent, the Keyboardist.
    Dwight Yokam does everything Half Down.
    So...
    How do you guys handel this? Tune on the fly or Multiple Guitars?
    Does the Bass player need another Bass? Does the keyboard player handel this easily? Does every guitar player in the band need another guitar, or can they capo up and deal with it?

    I've recently amassed 4 guitars, but it's not enough (see avitar). I need all 4 in standard tuning. I'm concidering a 5th (got a Strat on the line but havn't set the hook yet) to keep in Half Down tuning. I bring one more guitar home and my wife's gonna ****. And, that's a lot of guitars to have on stage, especially when the drummer takes up 75% of the stage and each guitar player gets 3 and a half square feet.
    Watta ya do?

    Advice please.
    Thanks,
    Jeff
     
  2. soul-o

    soul-o Tele-Afflicted

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    I think a lot of times when you see bands playing a 1/2 step down, the bass player is tuned down as well. You could always tune 1/2 down and then use a capo on 1 for songs you want to do in concert tuning.
     
  3. Syclone879

    Syclone879 Tele-Meister

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    Ideally it would be best to have a designated guitar that is tuned 1/2 step down. The rest of the band should be able to follow along. Maybe the bass player could tune down or have a designated bass but it wouldn't be necessary.
     
  4. ifallalot

    ifallalot Tele-Afflicted

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    My old band just decided that all songs would be half step down in order to make it easy on all of us when we played live. For recording we'd do standard tuning for some songs.

    My old bass player couldn't quickly drop to D for drop D tuning and only had one bass so we didn't play those few songs live. Its a good thing though because grunge is over
     
  5. bigmuff113

    bigmuff113 Friend of Leo's

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    I use two guitars, but if you keep one half step and use a capo to change from half to standard, that works too
     
  6. 4514

    4514 Tele-Holic

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    I play Whistlin' Dixie in B and slightly alter the main riff to work in standard tuning. And if you can sing Whistlin' Dixie in Db then you should have NO range issues on ANY Dwight Yoakam song in standard. During a show it's more important to have fluid transitions and play in the groove, rather than play everything like the record. Especially in a bar.

    -Jim
     
  7. OlRedNeckHippy

    OlRedNeckHippy Friend of Leo's

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    You got a real good point there AC. I've only tuned down a few times at home I gotta say I liked it.
    I'm thinking we get 5 or so songs in half down, do em all at once.
    There are a bunch of tunes I don't do anymore cause as I got old I just couldn't reach the high notes any more. Even a bunch we do, Banditos comes to mind, are tough and that half step makes a huge difference.

    Our bass player wants to get a five string. What note is the fifth string? There's been some debate as to a B or not. He thinks it'll work for half down.
     
  8. TeleTim911

    TeleTim911 Friend of Leo's

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    Why not just down-tune the whole band? We used to do it all the time. Makes things easier, especially when you're singing all night.
     
  9. jmiles

    jmiles Friend of Leo's

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    Keyboard player will probably love it!
     
  10. howlin

    howlin Tele-Afflicted

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    +1 Don't make too complicated.
     
  11. OlRedNeckHippy

    OlRedNeckHippy Friend of Leo's

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    "Why not just down-tune the whole band?"

    Yea, thats what I'm saying. Dosen't anyone keep multiple guitars on stage and play some tunes standard and some tuned down? That's what I'm hoping to do some day. Bass player has more than one bass. Why not? I have 6 or so tunes I want to do half down. do em all at once and it's done. Or 3 and 3 later. It's just fun, swaping guitars and playin in a funkey tuning.
     
  12. jazzkat

    jazzkat TDPRI Member

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    I have three guitars on stage one in standard tuning, but half step down. One is in drop Db (drop D half step down) and one is in Drop C. I can manage the first set on one guitar, just tune the low Db up to Eb halfway through the set, but second half is two guitar changes once after two songs then half way through the set.
    Bas player has two basses a really cheap p.o.s for the drop C songs and has everything else tuned to Eb unless he needs a low Db and then he just tweaks that string. Can be a pain, but is done pretty quickly during the set.
     
  13. OlRedNeckHippy

    OlRedNeckHippy Friend of Leo's

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    Yea! That's what I'm talking about Jazzkat. Cool!
     
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