Page 1 of 2
JimDawson
I heard you like lasers?
Join date: Feb 2011
744 IQ
#1
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!
Quote by Jesus
Gaza Strip- home. At least it was before I fucked ereythang up...
Hail
i'm a mean bully
Join date: Jan 2010
431 IQ
#2
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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nB3qheZOeUM
Quote by theogonia777
Hail killed MT

Quote by jongtr
I want to be Hail when I grow up.
6-String_Madman
...
Join date: Jan 2012
1,652 IQ
#3
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.
Spaztikko
*
Join date: Apr 2011
2,246 IQ
#4
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.
JimDawson
I heard you like lasers?
Join date: Feb 2011
744 IQ
#5
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.
Quote by Jesus
Gaza Strip- home. At least it was before I fucked ereythang up...
Sleepy__Head
A cornucopia of trivia
Join date: Jul 2011
54 IQ
#6
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;

???

PROFIT.
Quote by Hail
oh shut up with that /mu/ bullshit. fidget house shouldn't even be a genre, why in the world would it deserve its own subgenres you twat
sonny bb
UG's New-ish Guy
Join date: Apr 2007
2,041 IQ
#7
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.
:
"Stop shooting me!!!GAHHHH!!!"
<(0_0<(>0_0)> FU
^(0_0)^^(0_0)^ Sion
(>0_0)><(0_0< HA!!!
<(*~*)>
Sleepy__Head
A cornucopia of trivia
Join date: Jul 2011
54 IQ
#8
Has anyone ever gone the full octave, or do you just use an octaver at that point?
Quote by Hail
oh shut up with that /mu/ bullshit. fidget house shouldn't even be a genre, why in the world would it deserve its own subgenres you twat
sonny bb
UG's New-ish Guy
Join date: Apr 2007
2,041 IQ
#9
Quote 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
:
"Stop shooting me!!!GAHHHH!!!"
<(0_0<(>0_0)> FU
^(0_0)^^(0_0)^ Sion
(>0_0)><(0_0< HA!!!
<(*~*)>
Sleepy__Head
A cornucopia of trivia
Join date: Jul 2011
54 IQ
#11
Quote 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.
Quote by Hail
oh shut up with that /mu/ bullshit. fidget house shouldn't even be a genre, why in the world would it deserve its own subgenres you twat
Jehannum
Bant
Join date: Feb 2011
2,440 IQ
#12
Quote by Sleepy__Head
Yeah I meant down. (Tuning up an octave? Is that even possible?)


Anyone brave enough to try it?
Sleepy__Head
A cornucopia of trivia
Join date: Jul 2011
54 IQ
#13
*snap*

AAARGH!! MY EYES!!!
Quote by Hail
oh shut up with that /mu/ bullshit. fidget house shouldn't even be a genre, why in the world would it deserve its own subgenres you twat
Sethis
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2011
171 IQ
#14
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.
Muffinz
Registered User
Join date: Aug 2009
784 IQ
#15
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.
You'll Never Walk Alone!
xxdarrenxx
UG Fanatic
Join date: Jan 2006
1,654 IQ
#16
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.

The "Re-incarnation of Plato" Award 2009
(most intelligent)
The "Good Samaritan" Award 2009 (most helpful)

[font="Palatino Linotype
Who's Andy Timmons??
AlanHB
Godin's Resident Groupie
Join date: Aug 2008
1,703 IQ
#17
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.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
Soundcloud
J-Dawg158
UG's Resident Dhampyr
Join date: Nov 2008
154 IQ
#18
Quote 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.
HotspurJr
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2011
191 IQ
#19
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.
adamgur96
Not caring no more
Join date: Apr 2011
865 IQ
#20
Quote by AlanHB
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
I Have An Avant Garde Fetish....
Quote by Gantz92
Im in no way an amateur. I masturbate in public all the time.
Quote by Nelsean
I can get an erection just by looking at a plastic cup, or a river.
Quote by Obsceneairwaves
Don't worry, rape will always find a back way in
deathbycontrol
*insert awesome here*
Join date: Jul 2008
600 IQ
#21
I don't really like dropped tunings. Mostly because I can't seem to do anything but hold powerchords and chug, and maybe play D shape bar chords up and down the neck.

I've been experimenting a little with open tunings recently, though. I feel like I've learned guitar the wrong way, learning from tabs and not focusing on learning the instrument itself. So, I tuned to open Am so I can pretty much re-learn how to play guitar.

That and I'd like to figure out how the Hell I'm supposed to use this slide .__.

I do like to use lowered tunings, though. I usually tune down either a 1/2 step, or 1 1/2 steps, depending on what I'm playing. I've had a guitar in standard for a while though, since I'm trying to learn songs by ear.
---------------------------
Here have a waffle!
(>^_^)>#
jimihendrix6699
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2008
688 IQ
#22
for dropped tuning most of my original songs are in and i love them both.
B
A
D
G
B
E

or

A
A
D
G
B
E
Quote by Nelsean
Lil B, the young based god, has the ability to create music so profound, that others around him cannot even comprehend his magnificent verbal progressive nature.

Quote by The_Blode
^ oh hey y'all females...welcome !
Quintex
Still Learning
Join date: Feb 2009
140 IQ
#23
This may be outside of the intent of this thread, but during live shows I will sometimes use the GR-55 Guitar Synth to digitally change my tunings and get the synth to model a guitar/amp/speaker set up for a song or a solo.

Basically when you get a request for certain songs, the tuning change and tone are just a couple switch clicks away. Also, changing tuning for a slide guitar solo on the fly is easy, then back to your rhythm tuning and sound.

I also use the GR-55 features to set some strings to have a second instrument to follow or harmonize what I am playing such as adding a bass (or other bass clef instrument) patch to follow an octave down on the E or A string.

Edit: I guess what I am trying to say is yes, I switch turnings all the time, sometimes mid song. So I guess I like alternate tunings. Some are dropped, some are an octave or more away from standard, some are just an ease of play thing.
If I miss one day of practice, I notice it.
If I miss two days, the critics notice it.
If I miss three days, the audience notices it.

Ingacy Jan Paderewski (1860 - 1941)
Last edited by Quintex at Aug 23, 2012,
JimDawson
I heard you like lasers?
Join date: Feb 2011
744 IQ
#24
^ I should pick up one of those synths some day. Sounds like you can do some pretty interesting things with it; especially the slide guitar/chord tuning possibilities. I'd be curious as to how it recognizes each string individually and how accurately it does so. I've also wanted to try out a harmonizer for awhile as well; I'll look that up.

Yeah, the thread specifies dropped tunings but it can't hurt to discuss other tunings as well; it's interesting to see the diversity of the tunings you guys use.
Quote by Jesus
Gaza Strip- home. At least it was before I fucked ereythang up...
Azhark
Registered User
Join date: Feb 2009
749 IQ
#25
I like to use drop D to easily be able to play octave "boom-chick" bass when playing fingerstyle. I otherwise prefer standard.
Dayn
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2006
536 IQ
#27
I do drop E on my eight-string. It's a combination of six-string standard, seven-string standard, eight-string drop tuning, all with the range of a bass. It's extremely intuitive and blends well with the rest of my strings.

Other than that, on my eight I've sometimes done what Animals As Leaders has done and lower the two lowest strings to A and C#. You get that fifth interval between the low A and E for a drop tuning, but then the C# and A are actually a minor sixth. It's a different type of drop tuning with notes below a standard bass, but I've come up with a lot of cool ideas with that wide interval. Frets 0-2-4 on the low A string is a nice b6-b7-1, so you can play them and then end it by thundering that open low C#.

Since I have six- and seven-string standard on my eight, I have no reason to keep any other guitar in standard. I've toyed with drop C on a six-string I used to own, and it sounded great. It also filled the phrasing gap for those notes that would be awkward on my eight.

Standard is indeed standard. You can come up with really interesting things in alternate tunings that would simply be impossible in standard.
Ibanez RG2228 w/ EMG808Xs | Line 6 POD HD500 | Mackie HD1221
Quintex
Still Learning
Join date: Feb 2009
140 IQ
#28
Quote by JimDawson


Holy ****, that GR-55 synth is expensive! $800 is a lot, but it does seem to do lots of things.

If anyone's interested, here is a link with some info: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/roland-gr-55-guitar-synthesizer

Add in the amp rack and flat response speakers and pretty soon you are talking real money. Then you will want a synth access guitar with the bridge piezos like some of the Godins ....

The synth is more of its own instrument with a built in DSP and definitely not for the faint of wallet but it is sure fun to play with.
If I miss one day of practice, I notice it.
If I miss two days, the critics notice it.
If I miss three days, the audience notices it.

Ingacy Jan Paderewski (1860 - 1941)
Hail
i'm a mean bully
Join date: Jan 2010
431 IQ
#29
Quote by Quintex
Add in the amp rack and flat response speakers and pretty soon you are talking real money. Then you will want a synth access guitar with the bridge piezos like some of the Godins ....

The synth is more of its own instrument with a built in DSP and definitely not for the faint of wallet but it is sure fun to play with.


carvin's doing some pretty nifty synth stuff, worth looking into if you want some dangerous levels of affordable GAS

but yeah, it does add up - it's like playing keys and guitar in the same gear package. but imagine getting a solid guitar and setting up for bi-amping with all the bells and whistles, and the price tag seems pretty fair.
Quote by theogonia777
Hail killed MT

Quote by jongtr
I want to be Hail when I grow up.
20Tigers
1
Join date: Jun 2008
640 IQ
#30
Quote by JimDawson
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!

Sometimes when I'm playing in the key of D it's nice to have that option of the low drop D.
Si
91RG350
At least Microsoft cared
Join date: May 2011
281 IQ
#31
Meh..... I play in standard.... I like the sound of drop tunings.... but sometimes it feels like noobs tune to drop Z before they've even mastered the "cowboy chords" just to make other people think they are"A Serious Musician"...
Quote by AlanHB
It's the same as all other harmony. Surround yourself with skulls and candles if it helps.
Sleepy__Head
A cornucopia of trivia
Join date: Jul 2011
54 IQ
#32
Quote by Quintex
This may be outside of the intent of this thread, but during live shows I will sometimes use the GR-55 Guitar Synth to digitally change my tunings and get the synth to model a guitar/amp/speaker set up for a song or a solo.


Yeah I've got the VG-99 and you can do really silly things. Strings tuned 1 semitone apart, an entire guitar tuned just to E, two guitars playing together - one tuned to G and the other to D (or Ab if you really dislike your audience).
Quote by Hail
oh shut up with that /mu/ bullshit. fidget house shouldn't even be a genre, why in the world would it deserve its own subgenres you twat
20Tigers
1
Join date: Jun 2008
640 IQ
#33
Quote by 91RG350
Meh..... I play in standard.... I like the sound of drop tunings.... but sometimes it feels like noobs tune to drop Z before they've even mastered the "cowboy chords" just to make other people think they are"A Serious Musician"...

Me too. Standard99% of the time.

But drop D has it's use. My favourite songs to play in drop D are Goodbye Blue Sky, Norweigen Wood, and a song I think is called In Time off the movie The Punisher (cool song)

Bob Dylan does a couple of blues numbers on his first album in drop D as well.

Also my voice suits the key of D so drop D can be useful for me in that respect.

But mostly Standard Tuning.
Si
sonny bb
UG's New-ish Guy
Join date: Apr 2007
2,041 IQ
#34
Quote by AlanHB
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.


I've never liked 7 strings. It feels weird. Depending on the song, buying a 7 instead of tuning down doesn't make much sense. If you play a Killswitch Engage song in drop C, you might as well drop the 6 string instead of trying to learn a much more complicated version on a seven string in standard. Playing an Unearth song on a 6 string is harder than on a 7 string and playing a Protest the Hero song accurately in anything but Eb is going to be much more difficult for no reason.
If you know how to play, you shouldn't need that extra string. Tunings are just another tool and knocking them is like like saying you don't see the point in using a hammer to put nails in.
:
"Stop shooting me!!!GAHHHH!!!"
<(0_0<(>0_0)> FU
^(0_0)^^(0_0)^ Sion
(>0_0)><(0_0< HA!!!
<(*~*)>
poisonousmetal
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2010
1,559 IQ
#36
I'm not really a guy that drops the strings much. For my own I use Open tunings more, but to drop I only go to Eb. I like that Eb. But I mostly write in Standard, that's how it was to be done. Most of my pals Drop to C or B, but I never got the "love" for it. Since most people who drop just want to be heavy and don't see it from a fair point, they don't realize that being "heavy" is all about timing and selection, not about the tuning. That's my opinion though.

Edit: To add about 7 & 8 strings, I don't see the point. A lot of guys who own them don't drift apart from just chuggin on those while they could do something more creative, like Charlie Hunter maybe...
Last edited by poisonousmetal at Aug 26, 2012,
Akherousia
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2010
68 IQ
#37
If we're talking standard tunings dropped a step or so, I generally play in D so a full-step down from standard. I just enjoy working in D more than I do E, and find the tonality of the tuning very interesting. I can't deny that at one point I went to it because I thought it was 'heavier' (which I still, to an extent, stand by - but would argue that this is subjective and is more based on writing than tuning) but I've really just come to love it.

If we're talking drop tunings as in dropping the E string only, I sometimes play in Drop C but that's just to expand things a bit and exercise different areas of creativity. I generally don't like it because people use it as a crutch for generic rhythms and simple power chords, but I've seen it utilized in an interesting manner and try to do so myself so I do believe it has its merits.

Don't knock the tuning, knock the players.
When done right, drop tunings can yield some very interesting results.

But at the end of the day, it all boils down to preference.
So long as you're not doing it solely to make things easier or 'as heavy as possible' then I see no problem with them.
Mayday69
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2012
99 IQ
#38
When I 1st started playing I exclusively played in standard and always thought it was a pain to go down to dropped D. Now-a-days I play in everything. Literally, every kind of "dropped" from dropped F to dropped Eb (which is technically tuned higher than standard). I guess I like all of them for different reasons, but my favorite is C# b/c it's not too high and not to low, open 5ths sound decent with them. But I can say this; the more covers you do and the more you mess around with the lower tunings the more you grow to like it.
ChamsRock
UG Fanatic
Join date: Oct 2009
305 IQ
#39
I use dropped tunings fairly often. I wrote a nice, chordy acoustic song in drop c. In drop d, it doesn't sound nearly as good.
I'm a big fan of Breaking Benjamin, so sometimes when I want to play their stuff, or I try to write some stuff similar to them, I'll have to tune down. They go to drop a# sometimes.
Writing in Drop D can be fun, too. Even if you're not using the open D at all, there are riffs that you might not think of in standard, because of the patterns.
vampirelazarus
the one with four strings
Join date: Oct 2010
88 IQ
#40
I always disliked dropped tunings, because only one or two of the bands I was in used them, and it was a hassle tuning in and out of them before/after practice because I liked standard more for my own stuff.

It got to the point where I bought a five string, just so I didnt have to tune to drop C for one band.

Two weeks later, the band stopped calling me. Which is fine, we had a difference in creativity anyways.

Still glad I bought the five string, I use it all the time now.
Understand nothing, in order to learn everything.

Quote by liampje
I can write a coherent tune ... But 3/4? I play rock, not polka.