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Drop.. C?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by eveilleu, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. eveilleu

    eveilleu Supporting Member

    Oct 30, 2013
    Montreal, Qc
    I started playing we got it going on from bonjovi in my music school. I was playing it with a standard tuning. Then this weekend I got together for the first time with the other guys who will be playing the song with me for our little show. The first thing the dude in charge of the arrangements did was to get all the guitars to change their tuning. Essentially E string is tuned to C, everything else is standard.

    Then he made me also change my E to a C (the rest stayed as is). It took me completely off guard.

    Was it necessary? Is there another way to get that super low C without having a lame string?


    Edit: Yes, I have a 4 string!

    Edit 2: This is the song I need help with:
  2. Journey55

    Journey55 Supporting Member

    Jun 10, 2011
    Orlando, Florida
    That seems off, even Drop C would have dropping the other string to C G C F, you could get an octave pedal though
  3. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    Put a thicker string on for the E and you'll get your tension back.
  4. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Use an octave divider/splitter. Set it an octave or two octaves down and play either an octave or two octaves higher on the fretboard.
    Just ensure the low note you want can be reached within your settings. :)
  5. eveilleu

    eveilleu Supporting Member

    Oct 30, 2013
    Montreal, Qc
    Thanks guys! I have an OC-3, I'll see what I can do with the little poly button.

    Anyone else plays that song with a 4 string? (we got it going on from Bonjovi) What do you do?
  6. To clarify, drop tuning refers to tuning down one string, typically the E. So drop C, as the OP says, would be CADG. (Drop D is quite common. I've never played drop C myself.)

    C tuning, conversely, would be C F Bb Eb.

    Drop tuning usually facilitates a guitar riff. I'm not familiar with the Bon Jovi tune, but a great example of drop D is Slither, by Velvet Revolver. The whole riff plays off the open D string.

    All that said, it's not always necessary to tune the bass to drop. In one of my bands, we do a couple of songs in which the guitarist tune down their E string, but I don't, because I can manage the riff in regular tuning.
  7. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    Use a lighter gauge "B" string from a 5 string set and tune it to "C".
  8. Crazy_Climer


    Jan 15, 2012
    Central WA
    I like the link to the conversation specifically about drop-tuning. It opened my eyes to what that term really means. I understood drop-D, as it was simply taking the typical E and going a step lower. Where I got confused, previously, was when going to drop-C. Prior to reading this, I would have simply thought that the only string changing was still the lowest "E" string, but such is not the case. Then, the others have to drop one step, as they then maintain their separation of one-fourth from the lowest string. That all makes sense.

    After reading all of this, while it now makes more sense than what I previously thought, I still don't understand (for myself, mind you) the benefit of doing this. I like my strings separated by fourths-going-up as patterns are easy, and don't change. Many people mention "following the guitarists 'pattern'", though I can't think of any reason why this is desirable. When I play bass... I play it like a bass. When I play guitar, I play it like a guitar. They look alike, and both have strings, but to my way of thinking they are used in different ways-- more than just the fact that the "bass" is tuned lower.

    Either way-- whether I find "drop" tunings useful or not-- this was informative, and good for general discussion.
  9. Schmorgy


    Jul 2, 2012
    The whole following the guitarist thing comes from uncreative or minimalistic (to the point of laziness) or guitarists-turned-bassist and they just want to do the same thing they did on the guitar.

    I've personally always used the lowest standard tuning relevant to the drop tuning my guitarists used (If they played Drop C, I played C standard and transposed. Drop B, I played B Standard, etc). In my head it makes transposition a lot easier on the fly and you don't have to stretch yourself out of shape to make the same interval changes you did in standard tuning.
    Guitarists just use drop tuning for more convenient power chords and perhaps faster riffing on one string, which helps explain why Drop tunings became more prevalent as metal got heavier and faster.
  10. Ugh... can't stand crazy drops. Can you reason with them? As mentioned, a heavier string and attention to tension is key. Otherwise it'll be loose and all sloppy; crap to play. I've talked to band prospects, and I won't go lower than Eb standard. Draw a line in the sand if you can. I just say thanks but no thanks. Your life. Your music. If you're happy go for it buddy!
  11. eveilleu

    eveilleu Supporting Member

    Oct 30, 2013
    Montreal, Qc
    I don't like that drop at all, but I have a hard time making a case for it aside from the bass feels all sloppy, sounds bad and my "boxes" are all broke.

    The guy making the arrangements is a guitar teacher there and his take is fairly simple, if you drop the first string you can reach the C, then muffin the other 2-3 notes on that string is easy. All the rest stays the same. He took a bass, dropped the E, did the riff and said see, no problem!!

    I have a class with my bass teacher tomorrow, I'll see what we can do.

    Thanks guys!
  12. bkbirge


    Jun 25, 2000
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Steak n Shake
    I play drop D a lot of the time. Can't really give you a reason except it works for me. I find myself often wanting that low D but almost never do I need anything lower. I've had a hipshot drop D tuner on a couple of my basses for 20 years so I'm probably just used to going back and forth.
  13. No... That's not what drop tuning is. Well, close.
    Drop tuning is taking the E string and tuning it down a step while keeping the rest in the original tuning. To elaborate...
    If you start in standard, and drop, then you get Drop D -> DADG
    If you start in D standard, and drop, then you get Drop C -> CGCF
    If you start in C standard, and drop, then you get Drop A# -> A# F A# D#

    Dropping the E string way lower, like 2 steps lower from the standard tuning you start from is different. Entirely different. And extremely unusual. In fact, pretty much never used.
  14. KwinS

    KwinS Supporting Member

    Oct 30, 2006
    Dallas/Ft. Worth

    Pretty much this. I have a theory which postulates that most of the anti-drop tuner arguments revolve around misunderstanding of said tunings, and their uses.

    Edit: I posted without reading the rest of the thread...new muscle relaxers...what can I say...
  15. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    I must admit that drop tuning as i, and just about everyone i know, has viewed a dropped tuning as dropping the E String only.

    Common ones are drop D, that's why hipshot made a drop D Tuner, not tuning to the Key of D to play a song.....because we already have access to those notes. I have always viewd any drop tuning as tuning my E string to the lowest required note, which so far has been a B on a standard bass.
    So my tuning would be B-A-D-G which is standard tuning in 4ths but with a dropped B, as opposed to B-E-A-D which is just a variation on tuning in 4ths.
    It is common to see many dropped tunings in bands to expand the sonics of the bass, i use a octave divider myself, especially on rock songs like, Run to you, Bryan Adams, or, Another Brick in the Wall, Pink Floyd for the correct effect.
    Any other tunings are just that....different tunings and called so by the keys they relate to IME. :)
  16. Does the song actually call for "giant steps"? And if so, is it only on the one chord? This would be very unusual. I understand drop D, but not drop C, in most cases.

    Otherwise, this makes no sense. True drop C is dropping the E down to C, and leaving the A,D, and G alone. I can't think of anyone that has done this with any success.

    C standard (or D standard, or anything between E standard and C standard) absolutely makes sense for songs requiring lower tunings, but usually, the case is that you tune lower, just to have to shift up, to achieve the key that (dare I say, the less adept) are actually playing in?

    If you really need to go lower (in standard tuning), then go for it.

    That is, unless, you happen to be playing a double truss rod bass... in which case, you could also be damaging your instrument... and I would suggest you voice opposition to this, strongly...

    And, by the way, I've asked to be compensated for this potential damage, and won this argument (my main bass is a Rickenbacker, although Tobias is another example... these, and similar basses, are often designed with a specific tension requirement). We ended up with me playing in the correct key, as the song called for, when all was said and done, and it sounded great.

    Then again, there is always the BS factor... you could tell em you've got two truss rods, or that you retuned, when you didn't... most of it's just voodoo, anyway...
  17. Thomas Kievit

    Thomas Kievit Guest

    May 19, 2012
    Just buy a 5 string pack and use the B E A D strings and tune them up :)
  18. Thrash3r


    Aug 5, 2013
    Except that's not drop C, it's CGCF which is used by loads of bands.
  19. This.