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Old 10-08-2013, 10:06 AM   #1
"Not" Bin-Laden
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Question Can't decide what tuning to write in...

Alright guys, Been using UG since I was nine (2005) and finally decided to get my shit in to gear and start an account. So next year I'm possibly going to be able to record an album for one of my classes at school, and i'm still deciding how I'm going to write and what direction I'll take it in. My main issue to start with is that I don't know yet which tuning I'm going to use. It's going to be something dropped reasonably low, it's just how low I'm going. The music i'm intending to write is going to be something that's inspired by Animals As Leaders, Parkway Drive, In Hearts Wake, Love & Death, and Iwrestledabearonce. So it's probably going to be something in either Drop B, Or some form of Drop A. The other problem is that I'm desperately trying to get a seven string to use for it by next year, but I don't find it highly likely. So I need to rework these tunings to work on a six string. Setting up the guitar for these won't be an issue, I'm more than capable of working with my gear. So to anyone who has been in this situation before, I'm hoping you can help me out and give me some sort of guidance. lets see if we can get some decent discussion up in this. Cheers guys,

And if any mods see this and decide it's in the wrong place (It probably is) and you can move it, that'd be waaaaay appreciated.
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:07 AM   #2
Banjocal
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Drop A. You're looking to play a seven, which can be tuned to Drop A most conveniently.
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:11 AM   #3
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Awesome, sounds great. Would I be risking it by going all the way down to G or G#? I dig the industrial kind of sound it has but I think I'd be compromising being able to play with much technicality in that tuning, if that doesn't sound too bratty.
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:13 AM   #4
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You should be able to play technically in both tunings.

However, you could put your guitar in G#, but as a 6 string you'll need .13s or .14s depending on how heavy your strings are now. Drop A works well because the low B on a 7 can be tuned to A to make it drop A. This is efficient because it makes transcription between a 6 and a 7 as simple as making sections involving the 1st string get moved up a string and down a few frets.
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:21 AM   #5
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Yeah, string gauges aren't an issue. I'll put the right ones to it without much of an issue. Alright, thanks for the input mate.
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:22 AM   #6
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sounds like a weird question to me. do you immediately know and care what tuning a guitarist is in when you listen to a record? i can understand caring about how low your tuning is if you're trying to jam along with a record, or if you have to accommodate a singer's range.
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:36 PM   #7
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Also keep in mind, the lower the tuning is, more messy the sound will be during gigs.
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:41 AM   #8
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For me the tuning is important when I write. I like to have that certain amount of chug and the rawness of the powerchords, like you get in drop B, but I also like having it high enough to comfortably play solos and melodies and stuff. Good advice about the gigs though, thanks.
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:32 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by "Not" Bin-Laden
Good advice about the gigs though, thanks.


Actually it isn't, it's just flat out not true. With a half-decent set up you won't get a worse sound out of an 8 string tuned to F than you would out of a standard tuned 6 string.
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Old 10-11-2013, 09:10 PM   #10
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To be honest, you can get a fairly heavy tone with a guitar in drop C tuning. With drop B on a 6 string, you might run into problems with intonation, but it's possible (As is A#). I bought a set of strings that were optimized for C standard tuning (.13 to .62 I think). I had to adjust the intonation a little on all but one of the strings, so it's really a hit or miss. What type of guitar do you have? If it has a Floyd style bridge, you will have to heavily adjust it. With the strings I bought, drop A# sounds pretty good and the strings still have a lot of tension. Good luck man.
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Old 10-12-2013, 04:11 AM   #11
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It actually has a non locking tremolo. It's an Ibanez, and the way i have it set up lets me move between string gauges and tunings without having to adjust the truss, intonation, anything. The Ibanez actually holds it really really well. Thanks man.
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Old 10-12-2013, 05:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Actually it isn't, it's just flat out not true. With a half-decent set up you won't get a worse sound out of an 8 string tuned to F than you would out of a standard tuned 6 string.


With lower tuning there is less useful harmonics that human ear can hear. When you are playing alone in your practise there is no difference, but when you play in gigs there is just too much noise everywhere and you need a really good sound guy that knows what he is doing, and besides that that room that you play in must be suitable for gigs, not some random bar/club where all of play unless you are metallica.
Almost always the band with lower tuning will sound worse during the gig.
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Old 10-12-2013, 07:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reages
With lower tuning there is less useful harmonics that human ear can hear. When you are playing alone in your practise there is no difference, but when you play in gigs there is just too much noise everywhere and you need a really good sound guy that knows what he is doing, and besides that that room that you play in must be suitable for gigs, not some random bar/club where all of play unless you are metallica.
Almost always the band with lower tuning will sound worse during the gig.


Huh, I guess all those gigs I've been to where the bands sounded fine were some kind of hallucination, thanks for letting me know.
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Old 10-12-2013, 07:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaphod_Beeblebr
Huh, I guess all those gigs I've been to where the bands sounded fine were some kind of hallucination, thanks for letting me know.


Man, do a research on this topic before speaking anything, right know its one of those "something is wrong on the internet" arguments.

You can start here and here.
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Old 10-12-2013, 12:26 PM   #15
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Depending on the scale length of the guitar you're using, you might not be able to intonate your guitar(s) properly for drop A tuning. IanSammiches seems to have done this, and I'd be interested in what scale length he used and how well he managed to set his intonation.

I set up a 24" scale guitar with a Floyd Rose to use C Standard with 12-60 strings. I managed to set it up properly with the exception of the low C string; it's ~5 cents too sharp around the 12th fret, and it gets to >20 cents too sharp at the 22nd fret. That's as far back as I can set that string, and I set it up to be most accurate when played open. It really isn't a noticeable difference around the 12th, and I generally don't use that string higher than that anyway.

Actually, I have my 3rd string (unwound, so it's going to be further back than a wound string) set as far back as it can go too. However, at the 22nd fret it's still only ~5 cents sharp so to me it isn't a problem.

With my setup, I have a good balance between the heavy, stereotypical modern metal rhythm as well as a good range for lead playing and harmonies (whatever that means lol). My guitar setup was inspired by Michael Amott of Arch Enemy, who also uses a 22 fret 24" scale guitar in C Standard. Lots of melodic death metal tends to use C Standard. It's definitely not Meshuggah, but you can get some nice chugga-chugga out of this tuning.

-------------------------------------

If you want the range of a 7-string, you could probably nail it down better with two guitars set up differently. I don't know if you have more than one guitar, but if you do, maybe you should consider tuning them differently. Maybe tune one to Drop A and the other to E Standard, Drop D or something like that. That way, you can set up each guitar for its own specialty. Like if one has some single coils and the other has humbuckers you might use the SC one for the higher tuning for example.

For recording I don't see a problem with this at all, because you can still do multitracking and all that good stuff. If you intended to play this live at some point, you may run into problems. From what I understand, lots of times in metal you want at least 2 guitars playing the low notes to get the best punchy, aggressive chugging sound. Also, if you intend to do guitar harmonies you might find the lack of high notes in Drop A to be a tad inconvenient.

I hope you find this post useful!
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Last edited by JimDawson : 10-12-2013 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 10-14-2013, 07:26 AM   #16
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@JimDawson Cheers for all of that man, really great stuff
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Old 10-14-2013, 11:21 PM   #17
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You're welcome!

But there's a really small correction I should make. Every time I say 24" scale guitar, I actually meant 24.75" scale guitar.
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Old 10-15-2013, 12:22 AM   #18
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In response to Reages and Zaphod, you're both right. Yes, tuning down that low can cause a bad sound at a gig, but that isn't always the case. A friend of mine was playing in a local cover band a while ago and at one gig they were covering a song by Korn. I forget exactly which song it was now, but it was in drop A tuning. At that time, my friend didn't have a 7-string so he instead tuned a 6-string down to that and it still sounded great.
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Old 10-15-2013, 11:51 AM   #19
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Tune down lower, because thats more metal. By the way, I know where you can get an amp that goes up to 11.
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