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Always tuned half a step down?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by bass_drum, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. bass_drum


    Feb 13, 2005
    Whats your opinion on always tuning half a step down on each string (a.k.a. tuning 435) ?

    My band has a friend who kind of manages our band. He gets us gigs and elts us practice through his pa system. He lends us equipment and gives us pointers aswell. When we first went there he told us we should all tune down to 435 to help with our vocals. A few months downt he road, I'm starting to question this. Yes it does help us sing (each note is half a step lower), but could this put us at a disadvantage in anyway? Should we tune back to standard tuning and learn to sing our songs half a step higher( im sure it wont be very hard, i tend to sing notes in relation to what notes im playing anyways).

    Now I jsut leave all of my absses tuned 435 and ive even started righting in 435. Who else does this? again I ask, should I change this because it could put me at a disadvantage or is it fine that im doing this?
  2. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    My band tunes down 1/2 step for exactly the reason you mention. Makes vocals a bit easier.
  3. Time Divider

    Time Divider Guest

    Apr 7, 2005
    Stevie Ray Vaughan did this as well.
  4. Blueszilla

    Blueszilla Bassist ordinaire

    Apr 2, 2003
    The Duke City
    Lots of blues bands around here do this, for varying reasons. A GP I know says its because its easier for him to play since he uses heavier strings (.013 E) and he has a heavy attack. I've heard the vocal thing too, seems to be more common than it used to. Maybe they just wanna be like Hendrix or SRV.

    I do a fair amount of pickup gigs and it hasn't bothered me, other than maybe a bit of a nuisance. Musically, not a problem, after all it's only a half step.
  5. lowphatbass

    lowphatbass ****

    Feb 25, 2005
    west coast
    I tune down a half step, here's why:
    Alot of the Gospel material I play is in Bb, Eb, Ab, etc.. It's not really to take advantage of open strings or positions, it's about the range. A low Bb is an effective tool in the context of the music I play, and if the music is effective than so is it's ability to Minister, it's just that simple.
    The other advantage is in the feel of the instrument, it allows me to create more feeling when the strings have more room to "breath". Playing a bass with a 37" B(Bb) string also makes this easier, but I tune all my BGs this way and have been for years.
  6. Keeaumoku


    Dec 29, 2004
    Don't worry about it... most bands do it, as well as mine. Why? Vocals... vocals... vocals.

    Also... our little guitar player likes tuning down, 'cuz, according to him, it allows him to put medium gauge strings on his Strat, and still be able to bend 'em... We copy a few Stevie Ray tunes, and guess what?!? His Strat is an SRV. :eek: I do have to admit: those mediums have a great sound! :bassist: