Megadeth Tune Down One Step to Compensate for Dave Mustaine's Voice

Mustaine's aging voice can't cope with the range that Megadeth songs are originaly written in - hear how they've started playing in D tuning here.

Ultimate Guitar

It has been revealed that Megadeth have started tuning down their guitars to compensate for frontman Dave Mustaine's ageing voice.

The band formerly used standard tuning on their guitars, but now tune to D-G-C-F-A-D so all the songs are a little lower - and so those notes are easier for 51-year-old Mustaine to sing.

As Metal Injection points out, other bands like Metallica have been doing this for years - but it's certainly a sign of the times that Mustaine has taken the literal step down lately.

The difference is evident when you compare two live Megadeth videos side-by-side. First, a performance from Rock in Rio at the original tuning:

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And another from this year in London, this time tuned down a step, where Mustaine finds it much easier to sing in tune:

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What do you think? Did you ever notice? Is it an offence to Megadeth purists, or worth doing int he name of putting on a good show? Let us know what you think of the change in the comments.

68 comments sorted by best / new / date

    It's normal he hasn't got the same voice as 20 years ago so why should it be a problem? I'm happy he's still going although he should tune down his mouth on political views.
    Clever, I like Still don't know where I stand on this one. I usually like knowing what artists think and where they stand, but when they turn out to be bigots or just generally ignorant it can be pretty rough. In the end I can enjoy pretty much every type of music regardless of who of people made it, but finding out your childhood heroes are in fact psychopaths can really take the fun out of it Dave has always been kind of a douche but most people -save for the occasional stuck up Metallica fans- agreed that there was something quite likeable about him as well. And yeah, for the past bunch of years things kinda got to the point where you could barely listen to the guy without wanting to punch him in the face, but it's not like he ruined a perfectly good reputation
    This is just a bad article. "It has been revealed"? anyone with a good ear notices, not like there is any revealing going on. And even so, I'd rather have them tune down, than have terrible singing... Stop trying to make a big deal out of nothing...
    Category: wtf? What, as in "wtf? People's voices change as they age? Well that's a concept I've NEEEVER heard of before!"
    Alot of bands do this :/ Metallica did this for the longest time when James couldn't keep up (although he's re-trained his voice since) Millencolin do it, Anthrax do it and I'm sure there's a bunch more who do it. It says nothing about their ability. You try singing the same angry songs for the better part of 30 years and then try and sound like you did on day 1
    I noticed this when watching their recent videos, Trust sounds AWESOME in D.
    The second one sounds more like his original tessatura. The first one sounds too thin and falsetto-ish.
    It's because of the strain, man. He's just much more comfortable there now.
    Dead Eye Dick
    I've found chris cornell to be doing this occasionally with Audioslave and soundgarden. Can't blame the guys, they're working hard
    Well,since voices change,so do the tunings.And in any case,D standard is a lovely tuning.Specially for metal!
    Its a shame they sound terrible live anyway, i was at that London gig and have to say its the worst sounding one Ive ever been too :/ The phones recording actually sounds better than being there.
    I noticed it on the new record, it fits nicely. Less Mickey Mustaine.
    no matter what tuning they use, Mustaine never been a great singer at all... still badass with an axe
    do i have a problem with it? no... i have a problem with dave mustaine forcing his voice. if this makes it better then im all for it.
    Some songs sound so much thicker in D. I like it even better than the original.
    I think the start of the song sounds tighter with standard tuning, but when he sings it does sound better with the lower tuning.
    black sabbath were the first
    that was for Tony's fingers not Ozzy's voice though, but they moved back to Eb when Dio joined since his voice is so high.
    Not the first, really, nobody could really claim to be 'the first'. I know of at least one Beatles track in Eb and one in Drop D.
    It's a shame tuning down couldn't compensate for the deteriorating mental faculties Dave .
    I see no problem at all with this. Back in the day, we used to tune down 1/2 a step all the time to play along with records (AC/DC, Led Zepplin, Jimi Hendrix, etc.) and now as an ageing singer, I could use 1/2 or a whole step lower to lessen the strain on my voice. As long as the song is still rockin', let it roll.
    I was afraid this would happen.... i prefer studio songs to be played in the same tuning as performed... but i'm glad i saw Megadeth before Super Collider was ever written. I could get used to this, this should be heavy. \m/
    Bands have been doing this for years? Had they written in a key that he wouldn't have to screech over, we wouldn't be the wiser.
    Nothing very new. Lots of bands do it. Mustaine may not have a great voice but I'm sure he wouldn't want to completely destroy it.
    I noticed that when I saw them last month. "Hangar 18" sounded a little odd with the new tuning.
    Listen To Tom Waits 30Yrs Ago... everybody's voice changes over the years unless you're Ann Wilson from heart
    with his horrible voice they need to you a flanger & autotune to compensate for his tone deafness.
    Ultimate Guitar is about a year late on this one. They've been doing it ever since the Countdown to Extinction 20th anniversary tour last year.
    How is this new news? They've been downtuning ever since they started the Countdown to Extinction tour last fall... Almost a year ago.
    im a big megadeth fan, but really daves voice is pretty bad recently. i know its age but he shouldn't try to sing high notes, if i was him if sing in a lower range, just bring the vocals lower.
    Is there any reason this would NOT be ok? The song sounds the same, just lower. And lower tunings usually sound heavier anyways.