First Down Tuning You Know Of ?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Vince Klortho, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. As the title asks, what is the first instance of a band down tuning on a recording that you know of ?

    For me it is Kiss from 1974. I was just learning then and I saw them live for my first real rock concert. They were tuned down a half step. I learned to play the bass by playing along with records from Kiss and other bands of the time and I remember being very annoyed when I had to re-tune to play with Kiss' records because I didn't have a tuner back then. I listened to a lot of other music before then but Kiss were the first ones that I noticed down tuned on their records. Actually, they were the only band I can think of from the 1970s that down tuned. None of the other bands I was into at the time did. For me, "into" meant I bought their records and played along with them.

    Again, what was the earliest down-tuned recordings you know of ?
  2. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
  3. Which Sabbath album(s) ? I played along with several of them and I don't remember any being down-tuned. I know "Paranoid" is not.

    Same with Hendrix - which ones ? I know "The Band of Gypsies" is not but it's the only one I played along with.
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  5. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    Iommi plays in drop C as a rule, so every album. I don't think Geezer matched him, which is why the songs are usually in E.
  6. Didnt black sabbath down tune because iommi lost some tips of his fingers in a machining accident. If you look at his left hand in any video of him you can see the thimbles he made.
  7. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Robert Johnson's Terraplane Blues was recorded in 1936.
    It is in open G, so the low E was tuned to D.
    Anyone to top that? :D
  8. From this page :

    Interesting !
  9. the earliest bass that was down tuned on a recording I can personally recall is Herbie Flowers on the David Essex tune "Rock On", which was '73-'74.

    Edit: I don't know if you can count his detuning at the end of "Jump Into The Fire" on "Nilsson Schmilsson" in '71 as playing "detuned" since that was just on the outro
  10. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    There are some earlier than that. Zep's Moby Dick is in drop D. When was it, 1969?
  11. Stick_Player

    Stick_Player Banned

    Nov 13, 2009
    Somewhere on the Alaska Panhandle (Juneau)
    Endorser: Plants vs. Zombies Pea Shooters
    Pre-dating audio recording. Composers from the Classical Period sometimes asked bass players to play down to Low-C.

    Very common by the Romantic Period (19th Century).

    Sorry, WAY before Black Sabbath or Led Zeppelin - by about 150 years.

  12. Chromer


    Nov 28, 2012
    Baroque pitch, A=415Hz... 400-ish years old?
  13. Trus3683


    Feb 14, 2013
    Connecticut, USA
    In early metal, and VERY modern music, Sabbath did one and a half steps down (C#/Db standard) on Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973?). As far as I know, everything they did before that was E standard. Geezer was also one of the first bassists to tune down with the guitar, but I may be mistaken.
    Downtuning dates back hundreds of years, maybe to Paganini.

    EDIT: Now thinking, As said above me,
    Baroque: A=415
    Classical: A=430
    These date back 400(?) years or so. Baroque does at least. Classical is newer.
    A:440 was not recognized as standard until the 1920's. Before then, Austria recommended A:435. (1880's?)
    Lower pitches have been used for centuries.
  14. two fingers

    two fingers You tahkin 'uh me? Yeah, you. You tahkin 'uh me? Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    circa 45 gagillion BC

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