tuning down a whole step: common?

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

  1. jimash

    jimash Friend of Leo's

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    It is VERY common these days. I see tons of people playing with a capo at the second fret .
     
  2. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    sure it's tuned down, though?

    I know a lot of old country tunes, baritone singers mostly, and there's capo, but they didn't drop the whole shebang

    just curious
     
  3. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Meister

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  4. lammie200

    lammie200 Tele-Afflicted

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    I have most of my guitars tuned down either a full or half step with strings on the heavy side. I prefer the tension and stronger bass feel.
     
  5. Chip

    Chip Tele-Afflicted

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    and.....
     
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  6. bricksnbeatles

    bricksnbeatles Tele-Afflicted

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    Kevin Parker of Tame Impala does, as do many other modern psych rock/dream pop acts.
    I tune down either two full steps or a step and a half on acoustic for a bit of an unintentional Kottke vibe
     
  7. ScubaGeek

    ScubaGeek Tele-Meister

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    Try from the late 60's onward. Hendrix, as well as most of the 70's hard rock bands tuned a half step. Nowadays, they say it's because "I like the way the guitar sounds tuned down a half step", and yes there is a difference in tone, but I think the real reason was so the singers could sing in lower keys that they were more comfortable with.

    I've forgotten the details, but I know a lot of the Black Sabbath stuff is tuned down, which you often times hear was to accommodate Tony Iommi's disability (in case you never heard the story, he lost the tips of the two middle fingers on his right hand in an accident at the factory he worked at, and wears prosthetic extensions to be able to play). I know I've heard that he doesn't actually tune as low as most people seem to think, only down to Eb or D, most of the time.

    And when thrash metal and all those other supposedly "extreme" (and in my opinion, mostly redundant) metal genres came on from the 80's onwards, a lot of guys were tuning down to C, sometimes even B or A. I remember the guitarist in one band saying in Guitar Player that he tuned down to A because "it makes everything sound evil". That made me laugh, because I always reckoned if you really wanted to make "evil sounding" music, you'd be playing smooth jazz or backing some teen idol act.

    And for the record, I remember reading that Leo Kottke used to tune his 12 string down to C, as well.
     
  8. jimash

    jimash Friend of Leo's

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    I am pretty sure. Sometimes I plunk a couple of notes on the guitar to see if I am right about this , and I am. I think some people have some tune down songs so they tune down. But I think some just do it for the perceived tension reduction to try to make it easier to play, and then the capo is almost like a zero fret. ( to keep the action low)

    Edit : I just tried a google
    https://www.acousticguitarforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=268515
     
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  9. Andy Summers

    Andy Summers Friend of Leo's

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    MASTODON!!! :D
     
  10. Deereman82

    Deereman82 TDPRI Member

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    I'd say most if not all of the Drive-By Truckers songs are down tuned to D-Standard.

    I know it helps me sing in some keys to be down tuned, for sure.
     
  11. jimash

    jimash Friend of Leo's

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    I've been keeping my Martin tuned down a step, just because it turned 47 .
     
  12. drlucky

    drlucky Tele-Holic

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    Johnny Marr of The Smiths used to tune UP a step to F# on a few of their early songs...I remember him saying that he had a Gretsch that sounded better tuned up a whole step. This Charming Man and Hand in Glove are a couple of examples.
     
  13. rcole_sooner

    rcole_sooner Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Lots of D Std song in Rocksmith.

    Motley Crue songs are D Std.

    Some CCR songs are D Std IRRC.

    Quite a few Drop C# tunings too.

    White Zombie - More Human than Human is C# std.

    Five Finger Death Punch uses B std tuning.
     
  14. Miguel-martinez

    Miguel-martinez TDPRI Member

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    Very common keep in mind that if you plan to do the same it is better if you use 0.10 strings, and you have to calibrate your guitar properly, this means bridge and truss rod
     
  15. rcole_sooner

    rcole_sooner Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    In Rocksmith they tracked the song as ...

    Drop Db (low E dropped 1/2 step in Eb Std tuning), for lead and bass.

    The rhythm guitar plays Eb std tuning.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
  16. WetBandit

    WetBandit Friend of Leo's

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    Seems like we have similar philosophy...

    Except I'd add that I keep one in Open D for slide playing.
     
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  17. ndcaster

    ndcaster Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    good thread

    I think I'll try tuning down a whole step on my P90 guitar and putting the capo at 2, because I remember someone saying that P90's sound best with Gibson-scale guitars

    more growly
     
  18. albatros

    albatros TDPRI Member

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    I tune half step down my electric guitars with 9-11-W18-28-38-50. I have tried tuning down one whole step: too much for me & for my amp.
     
  19. richiek65

    richiek65 Friend of Leo's

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    As stated above, DriveBy Truckers and Jason Isbell (solo) are heavy whole step down users..I read years ago how they say it gets their overall sound "down in the mud"..
    One of my guitars (Hamer with 2xP90s) is tuned this way to allow our singers an easier ride while still allowing all the riffs to be played in original form, esp anything that incorporates open strings (Mr Brightside e.g.).
     
  20. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Not exactly tuning down, but I love Pat Metheny's One Quiet Night album -- solo acoustic baritone guitar.

     
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