Tuning down a half-step is awesome!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by gustobassman, Dec 14, 2012.


  1. gustobassman

    gustobassman I'm only here for the Afterparty Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2011
    Location:
    San Diego
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    Endorsing Artist: Schroeder Cabinets
    So yes, many years of playing i have finally discovered how awesome my FENDER Jazz V sounds in Eb!! My new project is in this tuning and i have no idea why i never went there before. The vocalist can hit everything without straining, and my bass just seems to absolutely LOVE it! Playing just seems "easier", if that makes sense... I have done Drop-D, and some other odd tuning things, but i have never just flattened the whole thing a half-step.

    I get it now. Anyone else have this revelation?

    EDIT: Clearing up the fact that i'm not playing jazz. I play original rock/reggae. Jazz V is my Fender Am Std Jazz 5.
  2. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion Gold Supporting Member

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    Aug 25, 2010
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    I agree it's a very bass friendly tuning and I enjoy it but my first love is drop D.
  3. BassIsFun17

    BassIsFun17 Spector Owner Club #372 Supporting Member

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    Jan 16, 2006
    Location:
    Atlanta
    if you read my signature, you'll notice i love half step down
  4. ToadWarrior

    ToadWarrior

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Manitoba Canada
    I know it's not really proper, and that heavy gauges different set-up, etc should be used for down tuning, but I too love of tuning my EADG basses down half a step for the looser feel.
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  6. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN" Supporting Member

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    Oct 11, 2009
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    MEXICANADAMERICA
    i love it, also!:hyper:
    the bass loves it more!!:hyper::hyper:
    it's a double WIN.EXE!!!:hyper::hyper::hyper:

    :bassist:
  7. SactoBass

    SactoBass There are some who call me.......Sactobass Supporting Member

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    Sacramento California
    Gusto: I have never tried tuning down a half step, but after seeing your cool avatar, I can't help thinking of saying this:

    "You just listen to the words of the old Porkchop Express and take his advice on a dark and stormy night when the lightning is crashing, the thunder rolling and the rain falling in sheets as thick as lead. Just remember what Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, the poison arrows fall from the sky and the pillars of heaven shake. Yeah, Jack Burton looks that big old storm right in the eye and he says: 'Gimme your best shot pal, I can take it!."
  8. Catbuster

    Catbuster

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    Aug 25, 2010
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    Varied places around the world
    To be honest, if we're doing something in "A," and I can just bang on an open G# as a filler sometimes, it's nothing short of awesome. G#, for whatever reason, sounds so much meaner than A. Actually... I think everything sound better a half step down...
  9. gustobassman

    gustobassman I'm only here for the Afterparty Supporting Member

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    :D:D:D
  10. Tupac

    Tupac

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    May 5, 2011
    It feels easier to play because the strings are less taught. I can't do it for songs that I'm used to playing in standard, something feels... off, because I'm not used to the sound.
  11. hdracer

    hdracer Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Elk River, MN.
    If you are playing a five string why tune down to Eb?
    I am working on a song right now that will be played in Eb.
    I thought that's what the B string was for. :confused:
  12. Epitaph04

    Epitaph04 Supporting Member

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    Santa Barbara, CA
    Because some things are easier to play with a dropped open string.
  13. gustobassman

    gustobassman I'm only here for the Afterparty Supporting Member

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    Well, here's my approach...

    A) I'm matched to the guitarist/vocalist. He does this to help sing.

    B) I could easily play Eb on the B, but, having the open string hit that note changes the timbre and adds to feel of the lines we are playing. That, and you just play normally as you would any 5.

    For some reason it just seems right. I do get your point however.
  14. Makatak

    Makatak

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    New Zealand
    I beg to differ and think in a covers band it sounds lame , ive got perfect pitch so its my problem only I know, but im hearing tunes in my head in the original key and playing them half a step down just sounds wrong .
    I know its easier on the Guitar player and easier on the singer, so in my opinion in a covers band all the songs are written for you so unless its a case of just getting drunk and ogling all the pretties dancing in front of you, where`s the challenge ?
  15. gustobassman

    gustobassman I'm only here for the Afterparty Supporting Member

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    Fair enough. That makes sense. The music we are doing is all originals, so it fits what we do.
  16. BassIsFun17

    BassIsFun17 Spector Owner Club #372 Supporting Member

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    Atlanta
    including my band. we also tune in B, so its an interesting change in sound when switching tunings live.
  17. natw42

    natw42 Gold Supporting Member

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    Jul 20, 2009
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    South Jersey/Philly
    I find it very useful for jamming with instruments other than standard tuned guitars. Especially dug it with Chromes flats to lower the tensions a lil.
  18. Piggy8692

    Piggy8692

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    Oct 2, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    I like D standard. Kinda moving into metal territory, but it might sound cool with jazz..? Never been a big fan of dropped tunings, but I'm playin ADADG with my bandright now. It's pretty uhm.. Different.
  19. gustobassman

    gustobassman I'm only here for the Afterparty Supporting Member

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    Mar 31, 2011
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    My bass is an American Standard Fender Jazz 5'er. That was the "Jazz V" i'm referring to. I can improv like no one's business, but i have no real clue about playing "real " jazz, hahaha !! :p
  20. Luke19Boarder

    Luke19Boarder

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2001
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    The last band I played with tuned a half step down. Even after it disbanded, I rarely tune standard. Love how it slightly lowers the tension.
  21. JB36

    JB36 Supporting Member

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    Apr 22, 2010
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    I just started tuning down to Eb a couple of weeks ago and I'm digging it. I've seen other people state it easier on the vocals. I don't sing at all, but I'm wondering why this is?

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