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Old 08-23-2012, 04:23 AM   #1
JimDawson
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What do you guys think of dropped tunings?

I'm bored, so I decided to make this thread.

The title says it all pretty much; what do you guys think of dropped tunings? I have only used Drop D a few times and personally I find it to be a bit of a cop-out to doing power chords. Of course, you could argue that drop tunings make chords other than 5th chords easier (or actually possible) but I tend to prefer standard tunings.

It's probably just my own preference based on what I practice with, but I find that standard tunings just work better for me and my limited experience.

I posted this in the Musician Talk board because I am more familiar with the people here and also to promote more of a music-based discussion rather than a technical one.

Discuss!
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:30 AM   #2
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bass i prefer to keep in standard because most of my chords are limited to sus's and 7s anyway

but guitar i got pretty into dropped/open tunings

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Old 08-23-2012, 04:39 AM   #3
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I use both standard and dropped tunings depending on which song/piece to play or write... It all boils down to what feels right for a particular piece.
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:57 AM   #4
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I like E Standard, Eb Standard for the whole eighties shit, and then drop d for my brootz metal when I actually need to go to d.

Ideally I'd have two guitars with floyds and the EVH d-tuna mechanism on both.
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:05 AM   #5
JimDawson
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Would you say it's all about the chords, or a convenient way to get a whole tone of lower range with your instrument? This isn't directed at anyone in particular.
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:19 AM   #6
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Same here - I use drop tunings for some things, standard for others.

I tend to use drop tunings to lower the range of my guitar, or so I can do um-ching bass-lines in keys other than E/A. And sometimes I just do it for the hell of it or because I like the sound. I don't think I've ever used dropped tuning to make playing a chord easier

If, sorry - *dons pedantry hat* - if you'd have said altered tunings *doffs pedantry hat* I would say I use those for all sorts of reasons;

To break out of a musical rut - I can use the same patterns as normal and obtain entirely different melodies. This might spark something. I suppose you could argue that I should stop playing what I usually do and just be more inventive with what I play. But if you were to say that I would have to walk away in a huff;

To make impossible chords / passages possible;

To make difficult chords / passages easier;

To use open strings in places where open strings usually wouldn't be possible (oo-er, missus);

To lower / raise the range of the guitar. Yes, I could just use a capo to raise the range but that overlooks a vital point that, er, well, um, I'll think of one in a minute;

Because I like the sound;

To see what happens when I tune the guitar one way or another;

For the hell of it;

???

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Old 08-23-2012, 05:20 AM   #7
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I think that it's more for ease of chord use. Some chords would be darn near impossible without changing the tuning. It irks me that some kids play in drop d before they learn to play in standard .Personally, I prefer the tuning that SikTh and the Safety Fire use- AADGBE. It lets me get that added bass range for some neat chords and riffs (i'm not a seven string guy at all). My band plays in drop B, though the other guitarist says the audience can't tell the difference....we told him too bad
Slighty OT but It's fun to jam in any tuning really. Sometimes it's like learning a new instrument.
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:37 AM   #8
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Has anyone ever gone the full octave, or do you just use an octaver at that point?
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepy__Head
Has anyone ever gone the full octave, or do you just use an octaver at that point?

if I've read correctly, Misha Mansoor used to use a guitar tuned down a whole octave to do bass tracks because of the interesting overtones he got, but I don't know about a full octave up. That seems to be where an octaver really comes in handy. I don't know of any strings that could take that for any prolonged period of time
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:37 AM   #10
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Drop B and E Standard are the ones I use the most. But If I were forced to choose 1 tuning for the rest of my life it would probably be Drop B.
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Old 08-23-2012, 06:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonny bb
if I've read correctly, Misha Mansoor used to use a guitar tuned down a whole octave to do bass tracks because of the interesting overtones he got, but I don't know about a full octave up. That seems to be where an octaver really comes in handy. I don't know of any strings that could take that for any prolonged period of time


Yeah I meant down. (Tuning up an octave? Is that even possible?)

I've tried down an octave before but my guitar became unplayable. Any slight variation in finger pressure and it all started to sound like I'd stuck the thing through a tremelo arm controlled by a powerful and very pissed-off poltergeist.
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:08 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleepy__Head
Yeah I meant down. (Tuning up an octave? Is that even possible?)


Anyone brave enough to try it?
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:01 AM   #13
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*snap*

AAARGH!! MY EYES!!!
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:09 AM   #14
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They're very popular nowadays and I use them alot. Actually most modern metal bands have used them in some point of their career. Progressive/power bands are usually an exception.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:23 AM   #15
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Well, drop D can be quite fun to do some funky powerchord jamming with, but it feels weird doing anything else (mostly because I'm so used to be in standard). Also I totally despise tuning (especially if there's background noise so it's hard to get it exactly right) so I just leave it in standard most of the time.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:23 AM   #16
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I use any tuning that gets me notes that I want.

I have an "own tuning" which is kinda neat goes like:

e
B
G
C
G
C

I use it for mostly rhythm to get a nice broad sound when recording + some other fancy chords, which would be impossibru.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:25 AM   #17
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I stay almost exclusively in E standard, go to drop D if a cover song calls for it.

I don't really see the point of Eb standard, it's really an extra half tone you're talking about, which isn't that much. If I really needed lower notes I'd get a 7 string guitar.
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Old 08-23-2012, 08:52 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanHB
I stay almost exclusively in E standard, go to drop D if a cover song calls for it.


That's pretty much me too. Except I do have a 7-string.
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:08 AM   #19
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It depends what you do with it.

eg, if you're using dropped D as a way to sound "heavy" or to just jam out on powerchords, there's a 90% chance I'm bored with what you're doing.

But dropped D is also a very popular choice among fingerstyle guitarists because you want that low D note (which octaves nicely with your fourth string) for alternative bass stuff. And I find some of that stuff fascinating, and unlike power-chord-chugging, you can't get the same thing a whole step up with a simple transposition.
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:40 AM   #20
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Quote:
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I stay almost exclusively in E standard, go to drop D if a cover song calls for it.


Same here. Can't wait to get a 7 string though
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