#1
I normally use Eb Standard or Drop Db when playing and writing music, but sometimes I want that really low down-tuned sound when writing music. In short, I'm considering two tunings to experiment with: Drop B, or Bb-Eb-Ab-Db-Gb-Bb. Which should I use, and do you use either of them?

Bb-Eb-Ab-Db-Gb-Bb is good as it's basically the bottom six strings of a seven-string guitar, so I could migrate to a seven-string guitar if I felt like it. I could also easily tune the lowest string down a step to emulate a 7-string guitar's Drop Ab tuning, although I think that may be too low for my tastes.

Drop B is good as it would share no open pitches with Eb Std or Drop Db, which is good as I like palm-muted chugging and thus tend to overuse keys in Db, Eb, or Ab. I would be forced to at least write songs in B or Gb. It would also share the same fingerings as Drop Db.

Finally, I could just do BEADGB, no sharps or flats. I would have no identical open pitches with Eb Std/Drop Db, and I can use a standard-tuned 7-string.

I cannot afford a 7-string guitar, and I don't know if I would even want one. I am also fully aware of the tension issues thicker strings would cause.
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Last edited by Dakatsu at May 28, 2013,
#2
Quote by Dakatsu
Bb-Eb-Ab-Db-Gb-Bb is good as it's basically the bottom six strings of a seven-string guitar, so I could migrate to a seven-string guitar if I felt like it. I could also easily tune the lowest string down a step to emulate a 7-string guitar's Drop Ab tuning, although I think that may be too low for my tastes.

Drop B is good as it would share no open pitches with Eb Std or Drop Db, which is good as I like palm-muted chugging and thus tend to overuse keys in Db, Eb, or Ab. I would be forced to at least write songs in B or Gb. It would also share the same fingerings as Drop Db.

Finally, I could just do BEADGB, no sharps or flats. I would have no identical open pitches with Eb Std/Drop Db

I wouldn't do any of this on a 6-string guitar, as most of them don't have a long enough scale to support a tuning this low. I've never seen a (non-custom) 6-string that had greater than a 24.75 inch scale. That presents an issue.

Most 7-strings have a scale length around 25.5 or 27 inches, which is why you can tune them to tuning like B standard or Drop A or A standard. I personally wouldn't tune any lower than C standard on a 6-string, and (imho) even that's pushing it, unless you scale length absolutely is 24.75 inches.

I cannot afford a 7-string guitar, and I don't know if I would even want one. I am also fully aware of the tension issues thicker strings would cause.

Ok, but you seem unaware of the issue of scale length. Unless you either bought a baritone guitar or a 7-string guitar, you wouldn't have a long enough scale to tune that low and make it sound good. You also might have issue with your guitar staying in tune. Have you tried seeing if you could find a used baritone guitar or used 7-string in your price range?
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at May 28, 2013,
#3
Scale length determines how much tension your strings will have when tuned to pitch. Scale length itself doesn't present any sort of physical problems, outside of user preference (frets are closer together on shorter scale lengths.

A shorter scale length means that you have to use thicker strings to achieve the same amount of tension as thinner strings would have on a longer scale length.

When you understand that, you understand that the argument for needing longer scale lengths for low tunings is a big load of BS. Now, it may be preferable, a lot of people seem to not like using thick strings, for feel reasons or whatever, but on a physical level, it doesn't matter what your scale length is. Just balance your tension and you'll be good to go.

Case in point, In Flames tunes to Drop A# on a regular basis, and they use Les Pauls with 24.75" scales.

I tune to C Std and Drop C regularly. I've used everything from a 52 to a 60 for the low C. I haven't found the "perfect feeling" gauge yet, but I pretty much stick with a 56 now, on 25.5" scale lengths. For a B, which is only half a step lower, a 60 will certainly be fine, if you want something tighter a 62 or 64 would be great. You can order single strings, but it's kind of a pain in the ass, and D'Addario makes a 12-60 set that you should try out to start with. It will work reasonably well for Drop B or B Std.


crazysam23_Atax, if you haven't seen a 6 string guitar with greater than a 24.75" scale length, you should take a look at the offerings of... just about any guitar company in existence.
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Last edited by Offworld92 at May 28, 2013,
#4
Quote by Offworld92
crazysam23_Atax, if you haven't seen a 6 string guitar with greater than a 24.75" scale length, you should take a look at the offerings of... just about any guitar company in existence.

Most standard 24 fret guitars are 24.75 or 25.5. I was being slightly tongue-in-cheek by saying "I've never seen a (non-custom) 6-string that had greater than a 24.75 inch scale". In other words, it was a joke, but the main point was that most guitars are probably a 24.75 scale length.

Nonetheless, it doesn't disprove my point about scale length. With a shorter scale length, you still end up having to get strings thick enough to tune to Drop B that you might as well not bother. Furthermore, you may have issues with keeping the guitar in tune.

You can say all you like about my scale length points, but go ask a few professional guitar techs. They'll tell you.

Edit:
Also, you're acting like In Flames doesn't have custom guitars that are specifically set up to allow them to tune in Drop A#. Bands like that frequently have guitars that are designed for that kind of thing.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at May 28, 2013,
#5
i would say, decide what you like more Eb standart or Drop Db (in terms of note placement and chord fingering) and then choose either Drop Bb or Bb standart


dont worry about scale lenght since most of guitars have 25,5 scale and even 24,75 will handle them well
#6
Well yeah you have to use thicker strings. That's basic physics. You're acting like that's some kind of issue though. It's not. Go to a tech, get a new nut cut. It's not a big deal. A 60 is not a huge string. It will fit through tuners, it will fit into regular stock nuts. I've used them many times.

They might have customs, but I'm quite positive they use normal LPs most of the time. I don't know why you're acting like we're talking about insanely low, unfeasible tunings here. I agree with your points in that necrobumped Drop F thread, because Drop F is a tuning that would require strings so thick on a normal scale it might start interfering with string spacing and possibly nut stability, not to mention tuning machine hole size, but as far as this thread is concerned, you're just wrong.
Spin 'round carousel when your horse isn't screwed in.

My band:
Fractured Instinct
(For fans of Death/Groove/Prog Metal)

Ibanez RGA42E
Ibanez S420
LTD H-301
Ibanez RG520
Peavey Predator USA
Douglas Grendel 725
Line 6 Pod HD500X
#7
Quote by Jim #4
i would say, decide what you like more Eb standart or Drop Db (in terms of note placement and chord fingering) and then choose either Drop Bb or Bb standart

If I chose standard, would you recommend actual B(b) standard, or tuning the 2nd string up a semitone to emulate a 7-string (BEADGB-[flat])? The latter means that most of my chord shapes would be shifted up a string, but I could later get a 7-string and not have to worry about "downtuning" it.

------

I'm not worried about the impact of these tunings on my guitar, really! I normally use 10-52 for Eb Standard or Drop Db. I posted this thread after taking one of my guitars and tuning it to Drop B, then BEADGB-flat. The strings were floppy, yet playable enough. I've ordered an 11-56 set to reduce the floppiness a bit. This thread is solely about which tuning I should try to focus on.
My Musical Gear:
Instruments:
Dean Deceiver 1000 Series
Gibson L6S
Ibanez SR400QM
Ibanez M510edvs


Amps:
Blackstar HT-100
Fender Bassman 100

Last edited by Dakatsu at May 28, 2013,