tuning down a whole step: common?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by ndcaster, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    where I been...

    got to learn some Tim McGraw tunes like "How I'll Always Be" and "Diamond Rings and Old Barstools", and I never noticed on the radio but huh, the rhythm guitars are both tuned down a whole step

    then I turned to "Neon Church," and it's the same thing

    is this a common thing, and I just haven't noticed it?

    I know Buck Owens tuned down a half step and played a ton of stuff in Ab, but tuning down a whole step all the sudden makes my long-scale acoustics play like electrics

    hmm
     
  2. Bluego1

    Bluego1 Tele-Holic

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    Here’s a step and a half down. Db tuning. I’ve got one of my guitars set this way because I play these guys a lot.
     
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  3. TheMindful

    TheMindful Tele-Meister

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    Other "standard relation" tunings are common, especially in rock and metal. I'm actually a bit surprised to hear that with McGraw, but I'm guessing he had a producer who thought that would sound cool. Country doesn't come to mind first when I think of lower tunings.

    I know Ted Greene at one point preferred D Standard, but then again he usually played solo so the extended low range makes sense.
     
  4. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    welp, guess I need another guitar
     
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  5. bftfender

    bftfender Friend of Leo's

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    i keep guitars at all time in these tunings for grab & go,,so much opens up tonal wise for writing songs..D standard..love it..dark
    E (drop D quickly)
    D Standard
    Drop C
     
  6. geobookman

    geobookman TDPRI Member

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    Haven’t seen that step down much, but open G and open D can sound very twangy. Something like Keith Richards honky tonk woman in open G or all the rag time and early Americana In open D (like sitting on top of the world or vastapol) sound awesome. There’s tons of twangy licks in American primitive guitar which is almost always in a tuning other than E— Open D, G, C (like jack rose, glen jones, Daniel Bachman, Marisa Anderson, chuck Johnson). I really only think of rock and roll and pop music being preoccupied with typical E standard!
     
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  7. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Fairly.
    Fairly common.
    A coupla songwriter friends of mine do it a bunch.
    It helps some singers.
     
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  8. Bluego1

    Bluego1 Tele-Holic

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    Good point.
     
  9. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    thanks bill

    surprised me with mcgraw because he's a tenor

    i think pop guys are after that bass and extended eq
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2019
  10. Les H

    Les H Tele-Holic

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    Toby Keith's lead guitar player was always a step down also. Toby would tune to standard and play different chords than Rich but all the riffs were a step down, at least the songs we played of his.

    Dale Watson is always a step down also.

    When I was our lead singer for a while I went a step down to better accommodate the 2 keys of flat and off I normally sing in....

    Several bands in rock from the late 80s and up tuned down as well.

    When I was tuned down I went to the next heavier gauge of strings to try to get some tension back on my guitar.
     
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  11. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Robin trower tunes down a full step when playing live.
     
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  12. soul-o

    soul-o Friend of Leo's

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    Not an electric reply, but obviously drop tunings are very common in the acoustic world. I saw Peter Case last week, the songwriter who used to lead the Plimsouls back in the 80s. He plays his 12 string tuned down two whole steps in standard tuning. He uses a .70 from a baritone set for the low string. It sounds absolutely massive. And he fingerpicks on 12 string, which seems quite daunting to me.
     
  13. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    Having one guitar in standard and another a full step down... playing at the same time with no capos... has the potential to sound HUGE.

    I love doing that, and always try to tune different than another guitar player in the band... or go capo-less if he’s using a capo. It can sound really rich and full.
     
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  14. trahx

    trahx Tele-Meister

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    Our classic rock band tunes down a half step and on a few songs we use pedals (Digitech Drop) to go down a full step further to accommodate the singer.
     
  15. Andy Summers

    Andy Summers Friend of Leo's

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    Time for a Digitech Drop. I recommend these to everyone. They are transparent in a band situation and track perfectly. You can get them with the Whammy or just stand alone. My favorite and most useful pedal.

    EDIT - I see trahx already mentioned the Drop...well, I second that :)
     
  16. bullfrogblues

    bullfrogblues Friend of Leo's

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    Just get a Line 6 Variax Standard. All those tunings available at the touch of a knob. And different guitar models.
     
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  17. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    CCR would record some songs with a regular tuned guitar and a down tuned guitar. Proud Mary was recorded that way.
     
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  18. Octorfunk

    Octorfunk Tele-Meister

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    I actually really like D-standard tuning. It's not crazy low like a lot of rock/metal bands do, but low enough to really darken things up. It also sounds killer on acoustic guitar.
     
  19. WireLine

    WireLine Tele-Afflicted

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    John Fogerty did this a lot in Creedence. Makes for a HUGE rhythm sound alone, gets even bigger when coupled with a standard tuned guitar in different voices.
     
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  20. Mr Ridesglide

    Mr Ridesglide Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Neil Young does it for several songs - Off the top of my head I can think of:
    1. Tell Me Why
    2. The Great Divide
    3. Hey Hey My My

    and If IRC, i think a lot more times live than recorded...
     
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