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Anyone here tune to Eb Ab Db Gb ?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by lo-end, Dec 13, 2001.

  1. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    I was thinking about starting to tune down all my strings a half step to make it easier for me to sing. I have kind of a low voice. When you tune down, should you use slightly heavier strings, or are regular strings suitable? I use 50-105 with standard tuning right now, by the way.

    So can anyone tell me anything about tuning down a half step?
  2. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    Sure, I've had to do it many times to accomodate guitarists who prefer to tune down a half-step. Lotsa guitar players who are into the Hendrix/SRV kinda thing prefers that because it makes a big difference in their sound.

    No big mystery...just tune down. If you play with a really low action to begin with, you may need get a little more fret buzz than normal and in that case you'd want to either adjust your truss rod or raise your bridge saddles (or both) depending on where you're getting the buzz. You may also find it necessary to play with a lighter touch due to the lowered tension. Then again, you may not have to do anything at all...depends on your axe and your playing style.
  3. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    I think Mike hit it right on the head. You should be OK with the strings you are using. You may want to consider heavier strings if you use a drop D tuning though.

  4. rsautrey

    rsautrey Banned

    Jul 27, 2000
    I've been tuning down 1/2 step for years. On the bass, I personally would use at least a .105-.045 set. I go down to Low Db occassionally and the E string can get a little wobbly then. Sounds like you should be fine. I actually prefer Eb tuning.
  5. Brendan

    Brendan Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    I had it that way for about three months. Really, I like it becuase it just gives that little bit of extra low without having to change into D...though I know my guitarist at the time hated it...
  6. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    In one of my bands we always detune half a step, just because the guitarist wants to I guess. In my other band we see no reason to not use standard tuning, so we do.

    I just tune my bass, and play. Can't say I notice any difference in playability between the two tunings.
  7. hyperlitem

    hyperlitem Guest

    Jul 25, 2001
    Indianapolis, IN
    i started doing it in a band cuz we covered alot of weezer tunes and they do it alot. i ended up really likeing it. I noticed a huge difference. It gave the strings a lot of "play". It also kinda makes u seperate your sound from the guitarist and play sum phatter basslines underneath him. I reccomend trying it at a band practice or sumthing to see how you like it, but i keep one bass in half step down all the time, its great.
  8. I had it that way for a long time, and it's cool, but pretty soon I just said "screw this" and changed to standard.
  9. downstairs


    May 13, 2001
    Pasadena, MD
    tuning down a half step wont change anything drastically, i tune like that all the time then back to normal, then to D standard, then back lol.
  10. Oysterman and Downstairs (and mayby others),
    I'm also tuning my bass half a step down, using thinner strings (40-60-75-95-125). I play in 3 bands and only one of the tunes down, but I dont retune the bass to standard-tuning because I thought it was bad for the bass tuning up and down all the time, so I allways keep it half-step down. But it sounds like you guys don't get any problems tuning up and down all the time. Isn't it bad for the neck? And how about the strings? (I'm playing a StingRay5)

    I would prefer to tune up and down, because it's really confusing when C is 3rd fret in one band, and 4th in another. Now I can't remember where anything is!

  11. Samie


    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
    It might be easier to tune to D because some of the dots on the board are still usefull.

    I usually down-tune to D when my strings no longer keep in tune. It gives them 2 extra weeks of life :) !! I have low action and the D tuning is no real problem. I do have a 35". It shoul not be a problem on a 34" either
  12. downstairs


    May 13, 2001
    Pasadena, MD
    i've been tuning like that for about a year, it hasn't done anything to my neck on my aria pro yet.
  13. lemonadeisgood


    Aug 22, 2001
    Thats my main tuning. Actually it's my ONLY tuning.
  14. idealtracks


    Dec 18, 2001
    I've been tuning down 1/2 step for about 7 years... I use very light strings and I've had to learn to play with a lot lighter touch... I think this has helped my control and overall tonality a heckuva lot... plus I used to break strings pretty often, but it's been quite a long time now!
  15. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    We tune down a half step in my band because the guitarist likes the sound and it helps his vocals. I tune back and forth between E and E flat all the time with no problems.

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