#1
im good with tuning, so this isnt about that. i know how to work a tuner. i am not a retard like some kind folks...

i just wanna know if you should tune the bass the same as guitar. (i'll bet you do, but i dont know how to break it to my bass player, cause i didnt fill him in on this choice)

im tuned down to C# (1 and a half steps)
high to low: C# G# E B F# C#
... but i wanna know why everyone is in drop C?

am i the only one who considers that to be cheating? its a cheap way out, in my opinion... power chords... im guilty, but i dont need to make it that easy. im sure it has a greater purpose, but i think drop tunings are being abused by these damn kids...

and standard is boring, what do you fellas use?
#2
...standard whats wrong with it?
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#3
I use standard, I think dropped D tuning is a bit like cheating...but in some simplistic songs it is nessisary I guess. I dont normally use any alternate tunings. So thats that.
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#4
I use standard, and drop D if I wanna do something with a certain sound. Other than that, I don't retune much, just doesn't seem to have a point
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#5
standard is boring, tell me whats so great... its been done to death... move on, but thats just me... i like to sound low, personally
#6
There are reasons to tune to drop D, but usually you need to tune your whole guitar to D like in open D to not consider it cheating.

That open D chord can be very persuasive though.

I still think it's kinda cheating to just drop 1 string down lower. You should learn totally different tunings altogether and learn what kinds of cool sounds you can get from them.
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#7
I only use alternate tunings on acoustic guitars, because that's what sounds good. I use drop D occasionally on electric though. I have an acoustic that's totally dedicated to alternate tunings: It's a crappy Abilene (Some side brand of Silvertone I think), but I put locking tuners on it, put in a pickup, and use electric strings for the first, second and third strings (cause they handle the stress of tuning up better). Anyways, my favorite alternate tuning is called Slow Motion tuning. I've written two songs in it. It's like this:

D G D F C D

It's very 'dreamy' sounding...
#8
ok, so you want the nu-metal, "get so low that you cant even tell im playing a guitar, more like raping a small boar" sound. Personally I like the versatility of standard, most songs are written in standard, and the whole way a guitar is meant to be played in the 1st place is in standard, and I can get any low sound i want with it, any lower you might as well play bass or a 7 string. but thats my opinion.

(this was directed to the thread starter to avoid confusion)
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#9
i disagree i think you are a retard like some kind folks.......
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#10
hmmm where do I begin?

I got into a debate about this before... but first of all, drop C would be
C A D G B E (standard with the low E dropped to a C)

So I think what you mean to say is Drop D, then a whole step down.
D A D G B E => C G C F A D

Before anyone disagrees with me, that's just my opinion and you can define drop C however you want.

I happen to love standard tuning because I believe it's the most versatile, but if you think it's boring.... alright, fine. but tuning down a bunch of steps or dropping the low string a step isn't that much of a departure, really. There are so many other tunings you could use.

Start with dropping both the low E and the high E strings to D. When you get bored with that, try some open tunings. When you get bored with that, try... I dunno... D A D G A D? If you don't already have ADD, develop it. It'll help your guitar playing immensely.

But in response to your question:
i just wanna know if you should tune the bass the same as guitar. (i'll bet you do, but i dont know how to break it to my bass player, cause i didnt fill him in on this choice)


You guys don't have to be in the same tuning as long as you're playing the right stuff. Although in your case, it would probably make life easier if you guys were a little bit closer. maybe talk your bassist into raising his tuning by a half step?
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#11
Hrm, I disagree on a few points. First, I use some strange tunings for some stuff, where only one or two strings will be retuned a half step, and in some cases a quarter step.

Drop D is pretty common, even in classical music. It's pretty natural for a guitar, actually. Some things can't be played without dropping the E string, some things can't be played if you do.

I'm not completely sure that standard tuning is the "most versatile." It's probably one of the most common, followed by drop d, open D, open C, and open G tunings. BTW, there are plenty of others, don't be afraid to experiment and play around with things a bit.

Finally, I'm not sure I like the idea of having the bass and a really low strung guitar 'closer together.' Yeah, low E on a bass is pretty ****ing low, only about a 5th above the low end of what you can hear. Yeah, much lower and it gets real hard to distinguish pitch. But drop C (or drop d down a whole step, it doesn't matter) is still a 6th above that, and the entire point of your bass player is to give a floor to the rest of the music, and fill everything in with overtones.

In this guy's case, he's down at C#; tuning the bass up a half step from standard would put it on F. I'm really not sure how effective a bass set to ring a augmented 5th seperate from the guitars is, but I'm thinking not very much. Here's why: When you play a low string, it sounds a bunch of notes above it, but much more weakly... overtones. When you hit a note that has a strong resonance with a higher open (or fingered, but to a lesser degree) string, it sounds thicker and richer than hitting a note that doesn't ring on other strings. Interestingly, this also works on a high note. Because the lower strings will resonate at the same fundamental, if the fundamental is a strong note in the lower string's natural overtone series, it'll start ringing at the fundamental, and then take the introduced energy and ring out undertones. That gives your notes that ring strongly with your current tuning a much richer sound.

The augmented fifth seperation, especially in an equal tempermant (which your guitar is) has no resonance. Having the guitars in such a relative tuning, or having the bass in such a relative tuning, will make the instruments sound weak to each other, even when they're playing the same pitch. It will also make one instrument sound weaker than the other because it's got a weaker fingering system for whatever it is you're playing.

Tune your guitars, and your bass, either similar, or for extreme drops where you don't want to take the bass down, a 5th apart.
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#12
Maybe they prefer it?

Sometimes, drop tuning is easier because you can play one finger powerchords, which means you could increase your speed by 50%! (Joking)

Nah, if your playing stuff which requires alot or powerchord changing quickly and with large 'intervals' it can be very helpful (specially if you have small hands lol)
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#13
As Corwinoid said, drop-D is pretty common in classical music. It's certainly not cheating.
#14
yea really...that's like saying its cheating to use certain notes on a piano
#15
Quote by Corwinoid
Hrm, I disagree on a few points. First, I use some strange tunings for some stuff, where only one or two strings will be retuned a half step, and in some cases a quarter step


Hm. I'm curious, what were you playing that you had a string tuned off a quarter step and made it sound musical.

#16
I don't do drop d much but like other people said, it's kind of cheating if you're just going to play powerchords, but it does give a different sound so if that's your thing then hey. Other than that it's perfctly fine to use because it's mostly for classical and acoustic stuff.

I play in standard like 90% of the time but I have no problem tuning to Eb or D. It's the same thing just beefier on the low end.
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#17
I sometimes play in drop d, but with my guitar I tend to stick with standerd.

With my bass I tune it all down half a step.
I don't know why, I just think it sounds better.
#18
my band play in Eb standard - half a step down...and in a couple of songs we tune to drop Db, which is Drop D half a step down....

it just makes it easier for the singer

and when im not playin in the band im usually in standard, as recently ive bin playing along to Master of Puppets a hell of alot, trying to build up the stamina in my hand
#19
Quote by Slurgi
Hm. I'm curious, what were you playing that you had a string tuned off a quarter step and made it sound musical.


Just throwing this out there, but perhaps for an Eastern sound?

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#20
Personally, I play everything dropped a full tone (two half steps) and then play with a capo on second whenever Im playing with people. This way, I can go down a full step if need be, or stay in standard.

Though if you're playing with someone and you want be in tune...I'd say that you should either both have the same tuning. Or he could play higher up instead. (Instead of playing an open E, he could play E on the 7th fret of A).
#21
Quote by Slurgi
Hm. I'm curious, what were you playing that you had a string tuned off a quarter step and made it sound musical.


A lot of 20th century stuff calls for it, anything microtonal, some atonal stuff; you can get away with it in pandiatonicism/polytonal music, if you're willing to experiment. Quarter steps aren't amusical, they're just foriegn to what you expect to hear; it creates an odd effect.

Personally... I do it for three reasons. Some lute music calls for it; there's quite a bit of lute music you can't play in standard, so you take G down to F#. For some true modal systems, F# up a quarter step is truer to the modality, and has a stronger effect.

The second reason is for tuning out of equal temper. For some music I'll play, I'll trick my guitar into playing in a mean tone system in the ranges I'll usually be playing in. TBH, this isn't really a 'quarter step', but it's a microtonal change to some of the strings, in either direction.

Finally, for some interesting effects, I'll take the strings where I'll be playing 7ths, or aug 4ths, and put them on their true harmonics. Generally, not for most audiences... if you're not expecting it, it's very... different.
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#22
Quote by Corwinoid
A lot of 20th century stuff calls for it, anything microtonal, some atonal stuff; you can get away with it in pandiatonicism/polytonal music, if you're willing to experiment. Quarter steps aren't amusical, they're just foriegn to what you expect to hear; it creates an odd effect.

Personally... I do it for three reasons. Some lute music calls for it; there's quite a bit of lute music you can't play in standard, so you take G down to F#. For some true modal systems, F# up a quarter step is truer to the modality, and has a stronger effect.

The second reason is for tuning out of equal temper. For some music I'll play, I'll trick my guitar into playing in a mean tone system in the ranges I'll usually be playing in. TBH, this isn't really a 'quarter step', but it's a microtonal change to some of the strings, in either direction.

Finally, for some interesting effects, I'll take the strings where I'll be playing 7ths, or aug 4ths, and put them on their true harmonics. Generally, not for most audiences... if you're not expecting it, it's very... different.


That's really interesting. So, if you were playing a song where you stuck exclusively to barre chords of the E major or minor shape (such that the third was only played on the G string, ever), would you tune your G string a hair flat? I could see where in the context of whatever chord you're playing it would sound great, but might certain chord changes sound a bit off?

And do you actually play a lute, or lute music arranged for a classical guitar? Either way, pretty cool.

#23
I've played a lute, but not in 6 or 7 years; I wasn't ever very good at it, or really interested in period instruments when I had the opportunity to be (I probably wouldn't put much time into it today either, if I got it again, for that matter).

If I were stuck to an E maj barre, here's what I'd do. I'd tune C on the A string to as dead on C256 as possible (which is slightly different from standard), tune E to the B just below it, removing the beating to as high of an overtone as I can hear, tune the E on the D string to low E the same way, tune the B string based on the C on the A string, C-C; the high E string to the low E string, and I'd check it against the E on the D string, and finally I would tune the G to either the C, by fifth, and remove by fifth, /or/ I would tune it by third based off the low E and just nail the major third to remove beating (equal tempered thirds beat pretty badly, true tone major thirds, and even mean-tone thirds don't).

Depending on the music, the arrangement, and the period, there's another way to tune that third, but you've got to have a great ear: You can tune it by major second; and for parallistic music you should tune the third(s) by second. Tune the other strings as per above, and then whereever you'll be placing the third, play a major second above it, and a major second above it, and center the note exactly between the two, thus giving you a mean-tone second on the string where the third will be playing. Its a bit different effect, but it's what would have been expected from 18something->1900 or so.

I expect the next question is "Why C256?" Short answer: It sounds better.
Long answer: There's some complicated math involved, and I trust people smarter than me in these areas when they try to explain it. A432 is also better than standard. And for those not sure what standard is, it's A440.
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#24
Quote by Corwinoid
Depending on the music, the arrangement, and the period, there's another way to tune that third, but you've got to have a great ear: You can tune it by major second; and for parallistic music you should tune the third(s) by second. Tune the other strings as per above, and then whereever you'll be placing the third, play a major second above it, and a major second above it, and center the note exactly between the two, thus giving you a mean-tone second on the string where the third will be playing. Its a bit different effect, but it's what would have been expected from 18something->1900 or so.


Could you elaborate on tuning by major second? I guess I don't understand what you're saying.

There's some good info on wikipedia about this stuff too - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_tempered. Even a 'perfect' fifth in equal temper isn't quite a perfect division of frequency (I sure as hell can't tell though... only .11%)

#25
I've read something about Eddie Van Halen tuning is B string differently but I've never managed to understand it. Anyone know about it and is able to explain it?
#27
Quote by Slurgi
Could you elaborate on tuning by major second? I guess I don't understand what you're saying.

There's some good info on wikipedia about this stuff too - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_tempered. Even a 'perfect' fifth in equal temper isn't quite a perfect division of frequency (I sure as hell can't tell though... only .11%)

Yeah you can, use a tuner to tune your E and A strings, don't tune relative, and play. It'll sound off.

Regarding the tuning I should have said a major second above and a major second below. Say I'll be putting the thirds on the G string, I'll dune the D & B strings as accuratly as possible, then tune from open D -> A, then Check F -> A and correct the tuning, then adjust it so that G is exactly between the two points I just tuned
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#28
About the overtone series, Corwinoid--every note has an overtone of each other note, even those that are not as strong, such as the fifth. here's how you can observe this: fret 2 strings (any two notes are fine) and mute the rest. play one string briefly and then lift your finger to silence it. the other fretted string will still be ringing with it sympathetically. this sympathetic ringing of course is strongest on octaves and fifths, but exists on all intervals. therefore, any harmony can be justified--just listen to the dissonances of jazz and experimental music. they may be dissonant, but they still work.
#29
^ First: That's neither true, nor why dissonance (nor jazz) works. Second: If you read my very first post, I already know about sympathetic tones, and exactly how they work. BTW, the fifth is actually a very very strong overtone (strong enough, that when omitted from a chord, it's still audible).

First, the overtone series is 1-1-5-1-3-G-(b7)-1*-2-3-(#4)**- 5-6-(b7)-(7)***-1****
* This is generally accepted to be the last audible overtone, in fact, it's not really audible, it's considered the last overtone that even contributes to timbre (though, there's some debate on that).
** This isn't a #4 as we hear it, it's actually about a quarter tone flatter than an ET tritone; it is, however, exactly Pythagoreas' wolf-fourth. This is the 'dreaded' overtone by instrument makers, and the interval is incredibly dissonant. The above is argued because recent studies show that this overtone contributes quite strongly to the 'clang tone' of a string, and directly affects guitar manufacturing.
*** The last stable overtone, it's flat from an ET 7th, by a little less than a quarter tone (the b7's before it are flat from the b7s in the ET series also).
**** Every overtone past the 16th is flat to every note in any tuning system, owing to tonal decay.

To make a long explaination short... If you build the circle of fifths from the overtone series, when you re-arrive at the original pitch you'll be short a number of hertz, about 52 (.47, if I remember correctly). This is called the pythagorean comma, and various tuning systems try to handle it in different ways. In about the 1600's musicians developed the major/minor system, alleviating the stresses of modality, and introduced the equal temper system, which handles the problem of the pythagorean comma by placing it equally between all twelve notes in the chromatic scale. This is the tuning system used to place the frets on most guitars.

The major/minor system deviates from the modal system by adding two artificial tones to the scale -- namely the perfect fourth 4th and the major 7th (this is also where the word diatonic derives from, meaning literally 'two-tone' for two artificial notes). If you'll look at the overtone series, you'll see that these notes do not occur naturally, and if they do, it's well past your ability to hear them.

Even a brief explaination of the original ecclesiastical system is too long to just type up (I started...), especially as it pertains to tuning systems... so I cut it. What it boils down to is that the 4th and the 7th didn't appear naturally in the modal system either, and as modulation was being developed, those tones and the full chromatic scale needed to be applied to instruments (namely the organ). If the modal system were adapted to various fundamentals, these relative tones as we use them today would not appear anywhere in the natural tonal series.

Finally, regargind jazz: There are two major jazz theories. The first is triadic extension, expanding on Wagner's ideas of harmony and chromaticism, with strong consideration to dissonance and resolution. The second is the lydian chromatic theory, which is truer to the overtone series, and attempts to explain jazz in terms of tonal gravity, and reorganized tonal strengths (interestingly, the lydian scale/mode is monotonic, and the theory treats it as such). Either way you approach it, jazz is based heavily off of various treatments of the tritone, and it's resolution. Jazz is also heavily dependant on the equal temper scale, including its derivations from the overtone series (oddly, the real #4 would probably work best in jazz, but makes it difficult, and sometimes impossible, for some modulations to work... not to mention being neigh impossible to work into an instrument in a playable manner).

Jazz dissonances simply have nothing to do with harmonic tones appearing in the overtone series or not; it's simply continued dissonance, and its appropriate resolutions.
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