#1
I'm the bassist in a band at the moment which plays in drop C tuning, but my guitarists are saying we need some songs in different tunings and I don't understand why.

Can anyone explain to me why it is is necessary for bands to do this?
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#2
It's not. it's just being awkward IMO


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#5
I dunno. If the singer is a baritone or something, may be necessary for it to sound good. I use different tunings 'cause it gives me a different tone. I personally like C# Standard, 'cause it sounds so rich and satisfying. Reasons will vary of course, but those are my thoughts.


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#6
Quote by LiamBamBam
the lower the tunıng the darker and more metal ıt sounds?


They don't want to tune down, they want to tune up. And we're kinda death metal, so it doesn't make sense to tune up to me. :/
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#7
Agreed ^. Different tunings will change your tone most often for the better, though I don't experiment much with it. The only alternate tuning I ever change into is drop D.
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#8
^^
Deicide uses Eb tuning.

Most black metal bands use E standard.

Different tunings are good for variety. Unless you have a Floyd Rose. Then different tunings would be a bitch.
#9
take zeppelin, page made up hid own tunings quite often just to be original.
but take GnR, live they down tuned to help axl rose out
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#10
Quote by gothicneo
They don't want to tune down, they want to tune up. And we're kinda death metal, so it doesn't make sense to tune up to me. :/


wtf? ur guıtarıst ıs a retard
#11
Quote by gothicneo
They don't want to tune down, they want to tune up. And we're kinda death metal, so it doesn't make sense to tune up to me. :/


Back to D or E standard? Just to have a different texture to it, makes the album or live more fun to listen to.
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#12
Generally for one of two reasons, both having been mentioned already:

1. To fit the vocalist's range better; I keep my acoustic tuned to D standard because I can't sing much while playing in E standard.

2. For a darker tone; usually, lower tunings will warrant thicker strings, which will hold tone and stability at lower tunings. You can get a great tone depending on the tuning.

However, no tuning is "more metal" or "heavier" than another. With the right musical ideas, you can sound far heavier in E standard than you possibly could with the wrong musical ideas in drop Bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb.
#13
Bands use different tunings to help singer and to sound less/more darker. Also dropped tunings help guitarists to do power chords easily.
#14
Quote by LiamBamBam
wtf? ur guıtarıst ıs a retard


I think he ment up from C# to D or E stan.
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#16
metal music tends to sound better when the guitars are tuned low. alternative tunings are also useful for slide guitar, acoustic pieces and getting different sounds. they can also help you in coming up with ideas.
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#17
I think alternate tunings are useful for experimenting with different sounds. Now, while I wouldn't want a band that constantly changes their tuning, experimenting and switching between a few tunings can be beneficial to your band's style. Personally, I enjoy using many tunings, but for playing with a band, I generally keep either standard tuning or Drop Db, unless the band wants to experiment with, say, Drop C. In the end, it all comes down to preference.
#18
i like to use different tunings to give my songs some variety, i like to think they all sound different to begin with, but then if i downtune by a half step or full step they definitely sound different then.
#19
I do want to have a variety of songs, because we do use open C A LOT (And the whole tremolo/floyd rose thing isn't important because we would have dedicated guitars for different tunings) but I just think it would be a hassle to keep changing guitars in between songs.

It would also mean that it would constrict our set list, so say we have a song that is in Drop C, to save time we'd play it next to another song in Drop C, then play a song in F Standard etc.

It just means certain songs would have to go next to other certain songs, when we could easily mix it up with songs all in the same tuning.

EDIT: Also, I understand about the singer darker, etc. and the singer is fine in Drop D, E standard etc. So it must be to have a variety of songs. But I just.. don't understand how much of a difference it will make to anyone who doesn't have absolute pitch.
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Last edited by gothicneo at Aug 8, 2008,
#20
well, changing tune is basically to fit singers voice, like fear factory's singer, who is baritone and has to sing over 7 string guitars... and detuning is done also for old singers that gradually can't reach higher notes (like james hetfield from metallica, axl rose, phil collins)

but in the other hand, it's good if the guitar tune matches the scale you are using
for example, you will never get an Em chord as beautiful as it sounds on standard tuning
So, if you plan to do an album in which all songs are in Cminor scale (virgin black) the right tuning would be Drop C or Cstandard or open C minor etc, a tuning where the scale note is the lowest on your guitar
obviously, you can play it in the tune that you want and still sounds awesome, it's just for better compositions

besides of that, In my opinion, changing tuning all the time is very troublesome, attatching to just one tuning is the best thing to do, or at least change it from cd to cd, but not between the songs of the cd

good luck!
#22
it depends on what kind of music you play and your vocalist's range. for example, if you play in a metal band, you would typically want to tune down at least a half step to get a darker and heavier sound. also you may want to detune your guitar to better fit a vocalist's range
#23
Quote by LiamBamBam
the lower the tunıng the darker and more metal ıt sounds?

yes, but if you or your band has true talent you wont need to use drop tunings to sound metal, or "dark".
and no, im not dissing you, im just stating my point.
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#24
Quote by imdwalrus
The only alternate tuning I ever change into is drop D.

same here dude
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#25
Quote by CowboyUp
Changing tunings just for the sake of changing tunings seems pointless.
Took the words right out of my mouth. I really don't see why your guitarist says you "need" songs in different tunings, and judging by your sig and use of drop C, I'd say you're in a metal-ish band with harsh vocals in which case the singer's range is irrelevant.
#26
Why do people use standard tuning?
That's why.
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#27
Quote by gothicneo
They don't want to tune down, they want to tune up. And we're kinda death metal, so it doesn't make sense to tune up to me. :/


Capos are your friend.
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#28
it doesnt seem essential to me. I usually tune E, Eb, or D standard. Personally, ill just tune down because it allows for stronger bends and kind of more slack in the strings. Sometimes it'll just sound sloppier but bringing it down for funk keeps me tight and makes it fun.

bands who mess around with the whole C# blah blah tunings that are waaay low are just too extreme. the only others i would consider are zeppelins tunings, and an open E or A for slide


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#29
If you wanna play the blues, then open d and open g are very useful, and to change key from there, you can either drop every string or capo it Great for slide
#30
Sometimes you can reach a point where the riffs you're writing are limited by the tuning your in, changing it around can help you look at it from a different perspective. If you hitting a writers block then by all means see if you can come up with something if you tune from a drop tuning to a standard for example.
#31
I've never understood why Coheed and Cambria recorded Good Apollo entirely in Eb.

I can almost see using drop D especially if you use a lot of power chords.
#32
I've never understood why Coheed and Cambria recorded Good Apollo entirely in Eb.

Playing in Eb gives several advantages;

Easier for the singer to sing

Better for bending

Slightly heavier sound due to lower notes.
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#33
Quote by :-D
Generally for one of two reasons, both having been mentioned already:

1. To fit the vocalist's range better; I keep my acoustic tuned to D standard because I can't sing much while playing in E standard.

2. For a darker tone; usually, lower tunings will warrant thicker strings, which will hold tone and stability at lower tunings. You can get a great tone depending on the tuning.

However, no tuning is "more metal" or "heavier" than another. With the right musical ideas, you can sound far heavier in E standard than you possibly could with the wrong musical ideas in drop Bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb.


+1.

But don't mess with tunings just to change the song, if it ain't broke don't fix it.
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#34
i don't get it either man, i akmost never go out of standard, drop d or open G(for slide)
but then again iPlay blues and classic rock....
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#35
Quote by SweetsForLife
Capos are your friend.


I really like that idea. It might be a little hard to adjust to but it would mean we could change tunings in between songs in seconds.

I still don't really understand how changing a tuning varies the songs, can someone explain that bit?

I understand it'd sound different because it's higher, obviously, but that seems like the only change to me, and it would hardly affect the song at all. I always think it's what's in the song, not what tuning it's in, that makes it.

I hardly think it does anything. If Disturbed, for example (using these guys because they use a lot of different tunings), decided to play a certain song in a different tuning I wouldn't notice. I honestly wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
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#36
1. A lower feel.
2. Sometimes I switch to drop D so I can play my power chords quicker, just bar 3 strings quicker.
3. This one's probably the weirdest one but, at my old school there was a guy in the music room who wouldn't want to lower the notes he had tabbed out so he messed with his tuning to make it lower/higher.
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#37
Quote by sam_brault

but take GnR, live they down tuned to help axl rose out


Quote by LiamBamBam
wtf? ur guıtarıst ıs a retard


AGREED!!!!!!!
#38
Quote by Nemo306

3. This one's probably the weirdest one but, at my old school there was a guy in the music room who wouldn't want to lower the notes he had tabbed out so he messed with his tuning to make it lower/higher.

I understand this, I've had people say this, I think it's because to a better trained ear than mine when you change the notes less than an octave, say a fifth, then it changes what the music sounds like. Your average listener wouldn't notice, but some people will.
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#39
Although everything said so far is pretty legit, I have a feeling your guitarists are just like "OmGZ If we want a rekkerd deal we ned 2 play in more toonings than just 1"
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#40
Quote by ShredtoBed
Although everything said so far is pretty legit, I have a feeling your guitarists are just like "OmGZ If we want a rekkerd deal we ned 2 play in more toonings than just 1"


I think I have to agree with that, a lot of what they're saying seems to be just changing tuning for it's own sake.

I'm trying to work them round to playing in Drop C and D standard.
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