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Old 01-26-2013, 07:22 AM   #1
War3nsembl3
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Need tuning help!

Hello. I just have a quick question. I was wondering if anyone could explain to me, step by step, getting C F A# D# G C. I need this tuning for In the name of god and a nightmare to remember by dream theater =)
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:59 AM   #2
Sleepy__Head
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I'm guessing you don't have an electronic tuner, or if you do you just have one that does EADGBE?

Well the easiest way to explain it is that it's standard tuning, just down 4 semitones.

Mechanics-wise ...

Tune the 6th string down to C. Octave-reference it against other 'C's on other strings;
Tune the 5th string down to F. Reference as before.
Tune the 4th string down to Bb. Reference as before.
Tune the 3rd string down to Eb. Reference as before.
Tune the 2nd string down to G. Reference as before.
Tune the 1st string down to C. Reference against the bottom string.
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:56 AM   #3
War3nsembl3
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I only have a tuner that does EADGBE tuning so thats why i need to know, so i how do i tune it out of what you wrote there about the mechanics?
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:12 AM   #4
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You know how to find C on your fretboard, right? (Hint: It's the 3rd fret of A string.)

Now play the C note on A string and tune your E string down. The note on A string will sound an octave higher as your low E string that you have tuned to C. Then you could start tuning your guitar in the standard way (5th fret of the low E string is the same as open A string, etc).

Do you know how to tune your guitar without a tuner or do you always use a tuner? If not, it's about time learning it! It should be one of the first thing to learn to do on guitar.

I mean, if you can't even tune your guitar, how can you play Dream Theater?
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:29 AM   #5
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I have always used a tuner yes, and almost never ventured down alternate tunings =( so i just have to practice fret names and go from there?
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:47 AM   #6
MaggaraMarine
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OK. You know the standard way to tune your guitar?

What I mean by "standard way" is this:

E string 5th fret = open A string (They should be the same note. If they sound different, then you are out of tune.)
A string 5th fret = open D string
D string 5th fret = open G string
G string 4th fret = open B string
B string 5th fret = open E string

Listen, they should be the same note. Open low and high E strings are the same note. High E string is just two octaves higher than low E string. You can also tune the high E string by listening if it sounds in tune with the low E string.

There are different ways to tune your guitar. I use chords and intervals (fifths, fourths and octaves) but that's a bit more "advanced" way to tune the guitar but I think you get better results. Some people use harmonics (sometimes I use them too):

E string 5th fret harmonic = A string 7th fret harmonic
A 5th fret harmonic = D 7th fret harmonic
D 5th fret harmonic = G 7th fret harmonic
Low E 7th fret harmonic = open B string
Low E 5th fret harmonic = open high E string
B 5th fret harmonic = high E 7th fret harmonic

Do you know how to find C on your fretboard? Do you know any note names? Can you play basic chords? If you can't, then it's not time to play Dream Theater, it's time to learn the basics.

Knowing how to tune without tuner is important because it will train you to hear if you are slightly out of tune. I'm very picky about tuning. You need to be in tune or it sounds terrible to my ear. And I tune my guitar all the time. If a chord doesn't sound right, I stop playing and tune my guitar.

You also need to listen to how your playing sounds like, not just play. If you can't hear what sounds wrong, you won't improve. I would also suggest you to learn songs by ear and only use tabs if you can't figure it out. If you can't instantly get how it goes, don't give up and look at tabs. Spend some time learning songs by ear.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine : 01-26-2013 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:16 AM   #7
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Tune every string down a whole step except the low E string, detune that one 2 whole steps. It's called drop C.

How you could do this:

Standard tuning is sometimes called E standard.
Tune to drop D.
Now tune the rest of the guitar to D standard.
Now tune the lowest string (D) a whole step down (C), the same way you would tune to drop D.

Last edited by liampje : 01-26-2013 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:38 AM   #8
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My guess is you haven't done enough ear training to be able to tell if a string is in tune with its own octave. Consider this an opportunity to work on that. In fact, I suggest tuning the 6th string down to match the song and then going from there, so you can actually hear what you're doing rather than just following what a tuner says.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by War3nsembl3
I only have a tuner that does EADGBE tuning so thats why i need to know, so i how do i tune it out of what you wrote there about the mechanics?


I shouldn't be this snarky, but I can't help but wonder that if you don't even understand how to find notes on your guitar, if you should be mucking around with alternate tunings.

I'm probably wrong here. But honestly, spending two hours learning the bare fundamentals of the fretboard would probably be a really good idea.
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Old 01-26-2013, 05:30 PM   #10
MaggaraMarine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liampje
Tune every string down a whole step except the low E string, detune that one 2 whole steps. It's called drop C.

How you could do this:

Standard tuning is sometimes called E standard.
Tune to drop D.
Now tune the rest of the guitar to D standard.
Now tune the lowest string (D) a whole step down (C), the same way you would tune to drop D.

No.

Drop C is C G C F A D. The tuning TS wants is C standard - C F Bb Eb G C. That's every string two steps down.

But as I said, I would first learn the basics (some notes on fretboard, learning to tune by ear, basic chords) before starting to play Dream Theater which is pretty advanced stuff.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine : 01-26-2013 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:49 PM   #11
War3nsembl3
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Quote: "But as I said, I would first learn the basics (some notes on fretboard, learning to tune by ear, basic chords) before starting to play Dream Theater which is pretty advanced stuff."

I can tune decently by ear but only standard tuning and i know basic chords and stuff i just have played after tabs so its not skill thats the big problem really, its the theory, for example i can play songs like Pull me under and things like that pretty flawlessy (not the solo).
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Old 01-26-2013, 11:38 PM   #12
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Try learning by ear. And learn the notes on the fretboard. If I recall correctly Nightmare to Remember gets pretty tricky (from the sound of it anyways, been a while since I really listened to it, hard to fit 16 mins of one song into my day). C Standard is one of the common baritone guitar tunings, so I'd guess that's how JP played it. As for tuning down to it, I would say either invest in a chromatic tuner (specifically chromatic, you can tune anything with them) or better yet work on training your ear. The others have given plenty of ideas for that.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by War3nsembl3
Quote: "But as I said, I would first learn the basics (some notes on fretboard, learning to tune by ear, basic chords) before starting to play Dream Theater which is pretty advanced stuff."

I can tune decently by ear but only standard tuning and i know basic chords and stuff i just have played after tabs so its not skill thats the big problem really, its the theory, for example i can play songs like Pull me under and things like that pretty flawlessy (not the solo).

If you can tune to standard by ear (are you using the standard way = 5th fret E string - open A string?) it's the same what the tuning is. You just need to tune the E string down to C and then tune it similarly as you would do it normally. The notes are lower but what does that matter? The "distance" (interval) between the notes stays the same.

Now, first play C note (3rd fret) on your A string. Then tune your E string so that it's the same note (it's just an octave lower but the same note). Then play the 5th fret of your E string that is tuned down to C and tune your A string so that it's the same pitch. Just like you would do in standard tuning. Easy.

And why do you need to tune to C? Are you using a backing track? If not, you could as well play it in standard tuning. It would be different pitch but who cares? I usually don't change my tuning if I'm playing songs that are in Eb or D tuning. I play them in standard. (I don't use backing tracks.) I don't really care what tuning I'm in. Sometimes I'm in Eb and play standard tuning songs, sometimes I'm in standard and play D tuning songs. Unless you have a perfect pitch (that I doubt), it shouldn't matter at all.
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Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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Last edited by MaggaraMarine : 01-27-2013 at 05:50 AM.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:44 AM   #14
War3nsembl3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaggaraMarine
If you can tune to standard by ear (are you using the standard way = 5th fret E string - open A string?) it's the same what the tuning is. You just need to tune the E string down to C and then tune it similarly as you would do it normally. The notes are lower but what does that matter? The "distance" (interval) between the notes stays the same.

Now, first play C note (3rd fret) on your A string. Then tune your E string so that it's the same note (it's just an octave lower but the same note). Then play the 5th fret of your E string that is tuned down to C and tune your A string so that it's the same pitch. Just like you would do in standard tuning. Easy.

And why do you need to tune to C? Are you using a backing track? If not, you could as well play it in standard tuning. It would be different pitch but who cares? I usually don't change my tuning if I'm playing songs that are in Eb or D tuning. I play them in standard. (I don't use backing tracks.) I don't really care what tuning I'm in. Sometimes I'm in Eb and play standard tuning songs, sometimes I'm in standard and play D tuning songs. Unless you have a perfect pitch (that I doubt), it shouldn't matter at all.


What i usually do is have the song playing to get the rhythm and stuff you know and just play along with it. Actually in my opinion i think it would sound kinda wrong to play it in a different pitch, but i agree Eb songs you dont really need to change the tuning but C Standard is pretty far off from normal tuning ... i guess ill look up the fret names, learn them and then tune the strings out of that =)
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