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Old 01-27-2013, 09:54 PM   #21
D..W..
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I think the guitar would look weird if the dots were on all the even frets, but it made sense to put one on 12 because it's the middle and the octave fret, thus it's a handy note to be able to find easily. Otherwise, the dots really don't mean crap.
If you tune down TOO low, the intonation can get screwed up (I'm not sure the exact science behind it, but that's why basses and baritone guitars have a longer scale length, the lower notes require a larger fret distance to make the right note. Kind of like the big frets at the low end of your guitar and teeny ones at the high end) and make you sound perpetually out-of-tune (unless you have a fanned-fret guitar, but most of us can't afford those), so that's something I'd be careful with. To answer the original question, scales will always work. Just figure out how to adjust where you play the bottom string to play the right notes if you use it at all. So it's not the exact same shape, but if you know the notes on the fretboard (Learn them, it's not that bad and it helps. A lot.) then it's easier to figure out what the shape should be.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:28 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by cdgraves
No techniques work if your strings sound like saggy mattress springs. You need a certain amount of tension for the string to "snap" past the edge of a pick or finger.

You have a guitar, right? Just tune it down to B and listen for yourself why you need really thick strings for tuning below Eb.

edit: Tune the high E string up and down -last-


So does that mean that every time I tune my guitar I should change the strings to a thicker gauge when I want to tune to drop C and the standard gauge when I want to tune to drop D?

That would be ridiculous to change the strings every time I tune my guitar, especially if one song I played was in drop C and the next song I wanted to play was in drop D (I only have one guitar, so don't tell me to buy another guitar, that's like when the car mechanic asks me if I have another car to drive while he is repairing my car).

Yes I did try to tune to drop b with my guitar and it was tuned to drop b but it didn't work. All of the notes sounded terrible, even though I thought I simply dropped the strings 5th-1st down 2 whole steps and the 6th string down 3 whole steps, it was perpetually out of tune when I try to play scale patterns. What is the reason for my guitar being perpetualy out of tune when I tune down to drop b and try to play scale patterns? Is it a sign that I should stop using scale patterns and should learn how to construct all notes of scales on any fret on any string from scratch using music theory? Is it because the strings are too saggy because they are too thin?

Last edited by dietermoreno : 01-28-2013 at 01:33 AM.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:44 AM   #23
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When you use a drop tuning, all you have to do is shift the notes on the sixth sting up two frets.

Your guitar is out of tune when you tune to drop B is because it's not meant to tune that low. It doesn't matter what you try to play, it will likely be out of tune. It has nothing to do with the scales you're playing. Thicker strings can help keep things in tune, but there's only so much they can do.

If you want to play in different tunings that can't be easily switched between, get another guitar for both tunings. That's the reality of the situation.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:49 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by rockingamer2
When you use a drop tuning, all you have to do is shift the notes on the sixth sting up two frets.

Your guitar is out of tune when you tune to drop B is because it's not meant to tune that low. It doesn't matter what you try to play, it will likely be out of tune. It has nothing to do with the scales you're playing. Thicker strings can help keep things in tune, but there's only so much they can do.

If you want to play in different tunings that can't be easily switched between, get another guitar for both tunings. That's the reality of the situation.


okay.

What tunings is a standard electric guitar meant to be switched between with out necesitating a change of string gauge?

Do drop D and drop C work with no change of string gauge?

Drop D and drop C have been working just fine with me for years with out using a different string gauge.

but when I tried to tune to drop b to play a Suicide Silence song then everything went to Hell.
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Old 01-28-2013, 01:53 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dietermoreno
What tunings is a standard electric guitar meant to be switched between with out necesitating a change of string gauge?

Ummm...
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Originally Posted by dietermoreno
but when I tried to tune to drop b to play a Suicide Silence song then everything went to Hell.


I don't know the specifics, but I think you have your answer.

If you want more info, the Electric Guitar forum is the better place for your question. This is about guitar, not music theory.
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:11 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by rockingamer2
Ummm...


I don't know the specifics, but I think you have your answer.

If you want more info, the Electric Guitar forum is the better place for your question. This is about guitar, not music theory.


Well this is the Ultimate Guitar forums, but okay, I think I answered my own question what tunings work with out a change of strings: standard E, drop D, and drop C.

Okay I will ask in the electric guitar forum for more info if I need it now that the music theory part of it is understood. The music theory part was about the intervals when tuning down.

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Old 01-28-2013, 02:43 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by dietermoreno
Well this is the Ultimate Guitar forums, but okay, I think I answered my own question what tunings work with out a change of strings: standard E, drop D, and drop C.

Okay I will ask in the electric guitar forum for more info if I need it now that the music theory part of it is understood. The music theory part was about the intervals when tuning down.

It's great that you can read the title of this website, so I'm sure that you can read the words under the title of this sub-forum:

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Grab your axe, come on in and discuss Music Theory, Writing & Composition, Improvising, Sight reading and more!
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:00 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by dietermoreno
(I only have one guitar, so don't tell me to buy another guitar, that's like when the car mechanic asks me if I have another car to drive while he is repairing my car).

Is it a sign that I should stop using scale patterns and should learn how to construct all notes of scales on any fret on any string from scratch using music theory? Is it because the strings are too saggy because they are too thin?


Well you are expecting a bit much of one little guitar and one set of strings. No string gauge can accommodate a tuning difference of a 4th (B to E). A set of .10 gauge strings is really only good for standard tuning and maybe tuning up to open E. For Eb and D, you should probably get at least .11s. If you want drop D, you can get a set of "Heavy Bottom" strings that have a thicker low E string.

Your strings sound saggy because they are too thin to played at low tension. Think back to high school physics: Pitch is related to both string thickness and tension. If you want to reduce tension, you have to increase the diameter to maintain the pitch (and timbre).

Look at the thickness pattern on your strings already - the E is way thicker than A, which is way thicker than the D, etc. Imagine how thick a B string would have to be, then.

You may have better luck buying a 7 string set and omitting the high E. 7 string guitars are tuned B E A D G B E, so the lowest string is already designed to play a B and still sound good. Watch out, though, because your nut slot may not be wide enough for a B string.

edit: what gauge strings are you using now? They're only $5, go to the store and get some thicker strings to see how they sound. This is something you can totally investigate for yourself with a little thought and effort.

Last edited by cdgraves : 01-28-2013 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:05 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dietermoreno
So does that mean that every time I tune my guitar I should change the strings to a thicker gauge when I want to tune to drop C and the standard gauge when I want to tune to drop D?

That would be ridiculous to change the strings every time I tune my guitar, especially if one song I played was in drop C and the next song I wanted to play was in drop D (I only have one guitar, so don't tell me to buy another guitar, that's like when the car mechanic asks me if I have another car to drive while he is repairing my car).

Yes I did try to tune to drop b with my guitar and it was tuned to drop b but it didn't work. All of the notes sounded terrible, even though I thought I simply dropped the strings 5th-1st down 2 whole steps and the 6th string down 3 whole steps, it was perpetually out of tune when I try to play scale patterns. What is the reason for my guitar being perpetualy out of tune when I tune down to drop b and try to play scale patterns? Is it a sign that I should stop using scale patterns and should learn how to construct all notes of scales on any fret on any string from scratch using music theory? Is it because the strings are too saggy because they are too thin?

I have played in C standard tuning with 09-42 set on my Les Paul. But why you sound out of tune is because the strings become so easy to bend that you automatically bend them a bit when you play. That's why you sound out of tune. But if you want to use drop D and drop C tunings, I would advise to use a bit heavier strings (if you are currently using 09 set, maybe try 10 or 11 set). You can still tune them up (my friend uses 12 set in standard tuning) but they will be harder to bend. Learning to construct scales and stuff by yourself is of course good but it isn't the solution for this problem. It has nothing to do with what notes you are playing, it has to do with your strings having too little tension so you automatically bend them a bit and it sounds out of tune. If you are playing in drop D, drop C or drop B tunings, maybe buy a set with heavier bottom strings. Maybe try 11 set.

But really, is it necessary to change tunings all the time? Are you using backing tracks? If not, it won't sound that much different if you just play all the songs in the same tuning. The pitch will be different but does it matter? I wouldn't change my tuning all the time.

If you need to change tuning all the time, you need another guitar.

EDIT: ^ I have always used 09 set. I use them if I play in Eb or E, sometimes even D but I rarely change my tuning from standard.
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Last edited by MaggaraMarine : 01-28-2013 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:15 AM   #30
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depends on technique and playing situation. Everything I practice is intended for the stage, and it's definitely not heavy music, so I can't have anything sound less-than-great. A lot of drop tuning music is played with lots of distortion, chunky staccato power chords, and palm muting, which all compensate or hide sagginess.

Playing something Michael Jackson's "Beat It", on the other hand, I really have to rely on the ensemble to cover up the pitchy sag on the Eb. It just sounds like ass by itself.
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:54 AM   #31
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Okay, well I pretty much never play in standard E tuning, so I guess I could go with a thicker gauge that is acceptable for drop D and drop C.

As for drop b, then I guess I will ignore songs in drop b until I can afford a new guitar.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:53 PM   #32
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I think a 7 string may be what you really need. It'll have a low B string.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:39 PM   #33
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Drop B =/= seven string tuning. B standard is pretty much the same as 7 string tuning. If you prefer drop tuning and don't go lower than drop B, you don't want a 7 string guitar. And if you went lower than drop B, you might still prefer a 6 string.

It's not only about having the low B string, it's also about fingerings. Drop B is way different to B standard. It's more close to C# standard.
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:33 PM   #34
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For some reason I assumed it was C and B standard. I didn't realize actual drop B was so common

edit: now I see what he did - taking Drop D down a third.

If you think about it, though, tuning a 7 string up to Drop B would obviate the tone issues you get dropping strings. You could bash them without muting and there'd be no sag. Plus it preserves your range

Last edited by cdgraves : 01-28-2013 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:53 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by cdgraves
For some reason I assumed it was C and B standard. I didn't realize actual drop B was so common

edit: now I see what he did - taking Drop D down a third.

If you think about it, though, tuning a 7 string up to Drop B would obviate the tone issues you get dropping strings. You could bash them without muting and there'd be no sag. Plus it preserves your range

True. But 7 string feels different in your hands. And if you just buy heavy enough strings for a 6 string guitar, you won't have any issues. Many bands use 6 string guitars in pretty low tunings. There's also a thing called baritone guitar that has longer neck that allows you to use lighter strings hence tune lower without tension issues.

But I think Tony Iommi used 09 set in C# standard (but that was due to his fingers). Not completely sure, though. But standard tuning with 09 set had a bit too much string tension for his fingers, that's why their later stuff is in C# standard. Tony Iommi was also one of the first (if not the first) guitarists who used 09 string set (they weren't sold in the late 60s/early 70s and he used banjo strings, all the other strings were too heavy for him so he basically developed the 09 set for guitar). Just a BTW. I said this because some people think light strings can't be used for lower tunings than E standard.
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Old 02-02-2013, 06:47 AM   #36
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Just get a baritone 6-string guitar then if you don't want to adjust to 7-string.
They are specifically being made for B and lower tunings and will sound clearer than a typical 6-string (which is called tenor guitar for a reason) ever will.
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Old 02-02-2013, 07:53 AM   #37
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Old 02-02-2013, 10:03 AM   #38
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a 7 string is completely different from a 6 string. realistically, if you were to do drop B on a 7, it'd make more sense to tune the 7th string down to f# because of the way you use the strings.

just string your instrument .10-.60 like everybody on the planet. how am i the only one on this forum who knows metal guitar? wtf happened to griff ffs, i don't even play guitar
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Old 02-04-2013, 02:47 AM   #39
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Scales will still work if you have no strings on the guitar.

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