Drop D Tuning for playing Jazz

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Lichtaffen, Apr 8, 2014.


  1. Lichtaffen

    Lichtaffen

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,498
    Media:
    1
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    The Eb is such a common chord in Jazz that I'm thinking of tuning down the E string to a D for some songs that use Eb a lot.

    A good example of someone who didn't tune down and played the Eb on the D string was James Jamerson. He made it sound interesting.

    Am I just overthinking things? By the way, please don't tell me to get a 5 string. It's a very viable option, but I love my 4 string too much.

    What are your thoughts? Just a healthy discussion, not trying to change minds or offend.
     
  2. lz4005

    lz4005

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Messages:
    857
  3. remainthesame

    remainthesame

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2008
    Messages:
    818
    why not just tune a half step down?
     
  4. Lownote38

    Lownote38

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2013
    Messages:
    1,256
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    That's the answer, man!
     
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. Jay Q

    Jay Q Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2013
    Messages:
    407
    Back when I was playing lots of jazz, I never tuned down. It would've been problematic (for me, anyway) because of the relatively greater complexity of harmony and more notes that I played (walking), having to tweak my brain to switch notes/positions just for the E string would've been more trouble than it's worth. And, FWIW, no one -- and I mean no one -- ever complained to me about the Eb being played on the D string.
     
  7. eddododo

    eddododo Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,908
    Nothing about jazz is that you don't necessarily need the lowest most thunderous notes. Ithe lowest notes are really uncharacteristic if not just plain bad sounding. This is of course talking about more classic or straight ahead jazz. On a personal note I find that the first normal Eb is a perfect amount of low end vs usabilIty, especially on a double bass
     
  8. elgecko

    elgecko

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2007
    Messages:
    4,206
    Location:
    Anasleim, CA
    Yes.
     
  9. Clef_de_fa

    Clef_de_fa

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Messages:
    2,696
    Location:
    Canada
    If you're going to play Real Book stuff no need to detune countless of DB player never downtuned and it was great, it will force you to look for the root somewhere else than the lowest note you can produce.

    If you are playing fusion or whatever then yeah you can pretty much tune lik you wish.
     
  10. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,304
    Location:
    Deep East Texas Piney Woods
    If the guys detune or capo I just ask what key they want the song in. Normally have to direct this question to the keys as the guitards have no idea.

    I stay in standard tuning.
     

Share This Page