What is the tuning of your primary band?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Jarrett, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. My primary band plays in standard tuning

    121 vote(s)
  2. My primary band plays tuned a half step down

    37 vote(s)
  1. Jarrett


    Jan 19, 2004
    Waxahachie, Tx
    I'm trying to determine how prevalent this is.

    Note: This question/poll is not directed at drop tuned metal bands, but rather bands playing music that was originally written/performed in standard tuning.
  2. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    My last band played in standard, but would often play songs in a different key to accommodate the singer (cover band)
  3. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2011
    We can sing, so Standard. :)
    ImNotJoel likes this.
  4. Jarrett


    Jan 19, 2004
    Waxahachie, Tx
    Absolutely. Playing in different keys to accommodate the singer is a must. Different from that, I'm curious how many tune down a half step.

    If standard is A440, does anyone know what tuned down a half step represents?
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  6. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
  7. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    I always tune standard.

    In the Pink Floyd tribute, the lead guitarist tunes down a whole step, and when the keyboardist switches to guitar he tunes down a half step. :meh:

    In another band, the guitarist has a standard tuned guitar and another one in Fripp tuning (low B, tuned in 5ths).
  8. Poll unfortunately leaves out bands who use more than one tuning through the course of a gig. I have played in two local bands within the last few years that did part of the playlist in standard, part in Eb tuning. I've even been in a band that required me to use standard, Eb, drop D for a couple of songs, and a 5-string for low C ("Forget You"). Sometimes I'd use 5-strings, but if you wanted to access open strings for ease of playability and faithful reproduction, it still necessitated some guitar changes. I just chalk it up to the burden of being in a variety mainstream pop rock dance cover band.
  9. We tunde down half a step and for some songs we do drop D, drop C# actually. Not really sure why, but it seems to be mostly because of the guitars sounding "cooler". Singer could probably sing all songs in standard pitch with no issue.
  10. esa372

    esa372 Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Ab415.30 - perhaps?
  11. kikstand454

    kikstand454 Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2012
    I believe a half step is A435?

    Meanwhile..... my band plays both in standard and a whole step down. This actually came about when we decided to learn a bunch of modern country, and found they were all tuned down. Then the Bl was like....well if were going to have a guitar tuned down anyway- now I can sing more songs! - and so we ran with it.
    I just use two different 5 strings. Some songs I play in standard tuning and transpose....others I swap basses.
    A few times I have forgotten to swap and just made it up on the fly- I'm very pattern oriented and there's very few open string parts.
  12. Joebarnes


    Oct 4, 2011
    Surrey, BC
    We play 1/2 step down. Singer can easily sing in standard, but the guitarist feels tuning down makes his guitar sound "heavier". We have a few tunes where we drop the Eb to a Db. I have played both Standard and half step down and really, I am indifferent between them. Neither is better nor worse in my mind
  13. D# G# C# F# for one of my bands

    Drop B for another
  14. Whole step down, DGCF
  15. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    Whole step down and Drop C. DGCF and CGCF. We used to tune a half-step down, but the guitarist and I both like the feel of the strings a full step down. He can do more bends, I can deal with looser strings.

    With my six-string I'm just going to stay ADGCFBb, no drops.
  16. tink9975

    tink9975 Supporting Member

    Aug 10, 2006
    MoCo, MD
    we play down half a step for all but two songs played in standard. I was able to fairly easily transpose one, but for the other I'm lazy and use a capo.
  17. bass4peace


    Jan 27, 2013
    like I<34080 said...

    we tune whole step down to get that heavy (but not too loose) tone:bassist:
  18. Jarrett


    Jan 19, 2004
    Waxahachie, Tx
    I probably should have prefaced this by excluding the drop tuning metal bands. I meant bands that are playing songs that were originally written/recording in standard tuning.

    By that I mean, there is a trend in cover and some original music groups to tune a half step down instead of standard tuning. I'm interested how prevalent that is these days.
  19. negativefx

    negativefx complete hack

    Feb 18, 2013
    Fort Collins
    We play in Eb tuning (Eb Ab Db Gb or as some people say, D# G# C# F#) but we do drop to drop Db tuning for Db Ab Db Gb for some songs. All of our new material is Eb. If we cover a E standard song, we play it in Eb, if we cover a drop D song, we play it in drop Db. Just fits our singers voice better than standard E.
  20. Jarrett


    Jan 19, 2004
    Waxahachie, Tx
    I probably need to throw this out as well:

    Munjibunga likes this.
  21. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    Ohhhhhhhhh, okay, that makes sense. Sorry.