Drop D# - is that a thing?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Aceman, Dec 8, 2022.

  1. Aceman

    Aceman

    May 1, 2020
    Tampa Bay
    So I am playing some bass in the charity work band.

    A couple of tunes were in Eb, so I tuned down the E string a half step. What I noticed is it was pretty easy to play in "Eb" tuning with only that string tuned down.

    I can't be the person who discovered this, but I have never really heard of it.

    Is Drop D# a thing? Obviously drop D is, and all strings down a half step is.
     
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  2. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    You can tune any string the way you want. I tune my E string to Eb sometimes. Is it a thing? It is when you use it. :)
     
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  3. IamGroot

    IamGroot

    Jan 18, 2018
    Drop D is a thing. Its a fifth below A and it is an octave below the D string. Lots of bass players retune or use a hipshot for D. And the ladies love it.
     
  4. LiptonJigglers

    LiptonJigglers

    Oct 21, 2022
    Tuning toD# is the norm for most Bon Scott/ACDC bass.
     
  5. MrLenny1

    MrLenny1

    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    SRV played 1/2 step down IIRC.
    I worked with 2 bands that played 1/2 step down
    to help the singers voices. Way less strain for them.
     
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  6. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Tuning to drop Eb is easy. Tuning to drop D# is impossible.
     
  7. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    That’s not the same as tuning only the E string to Eb. That’s what the OP is referring to.
     
  8. higain617

    higain617

    Sep 12, 2013
    WA
    To achieve this, I believe you would have to tune up to F. I think that's referred to as "Nashville tuning."
     
  9. GregT

    GregT

    Jan 29, 2012
    Southwest Missouri
    Although it's not quite the same thing, I frequently fill in on bass for a guy who always tunes to D#/Eb. I just retune my bass and play. Sometimes I forget to retune my bass for a few days after I get it home.
     
  10. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Columbia, MD Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    It depends on the song. I'd prefer Drop D or just use a 5 string, maybe an instrument tuned down a half step
     
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  11. FullumMusic

    FullumMusic Commercial User

    Oct 13, 2022
    Queens, NYC
    Audio/Music software developer, contracted with a company you've heard of and deving my own stuff.
    Drop tuning is when you just tune the lowest string down and leave the others standard. So Drop D# (which if we want to get pedantic should probably be called Drop Eb) would be D#(Eb)-A-D-G.

    Is it a thing? Anything is a thing if you do it. There's no official Bass Tuning Advisory Board defining official tunings that are allowed to be things. Do a thing, and then describe it, and it's a thing.

    Is it a useful thing? If having the Eb and A strings a tritone apart helps play what you want to play... but how often is that a useful thing to have across the nut/finger-bar?

    So you drop the E to D#(Eb) and then tune the other 3 strings to different notes at more useful intervals. Then we can have fun getting bogged down debating the semantics of if it's Drop Eb with a shift tuning, or just an alternate tuning that's not technically a Drop tuning, or and Open tuning, or some other thing, which is less useful than just picking notes for your strings, tuning, and playing.
     
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  12. FRoss6788

    FRoss6788 Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2012
    Olympic Peninsula
    I'd rather (and have) tune all the strings down a half step. If you were playing a cover tune, that's probably how it was recorded anyway.
     
  13. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead! Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Tejas
    Psshh whatever....at least 5 of my basses are tuned to Fb Standard at all times. :smug:
     
  14. waveman

    waveman

    Sep 25, 2008
    :roflmao::roflmao::roflmao:
     
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  15. 80jazz

    80jazz

    Jun 28, 2008
    Kansas
    D## is way better.
     
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  16. bassinflorida

    bassinflorida turn that dang thing down

    Jan 27, 2014
    Tampa, FL
     
  17. edot3021

    edot3021

    Jan 29, 2010
    TEXAS
    Tuning down a half step seems pretty popular in the late 90s. No real idea why.
     
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  18. Telefonica

    Telefonica

    Dec 4, 2022
    Used to do it when I played heavy strings on guitar.
     
  19. ryco

    ryco

    Apr 24, 2005
    97465
    If you want to learn Hendrix or SRV songs off of the records it is.
    A lot of blues guys tune down a half step to "slack E" = a little easier to sing lead and releases some string tension for easier note bending.
    I keep my Ric tuned to Eb/D# for just such purposes.
     
  20. dbsfgyd1

    dbsfgyd1

    Jun 11, 2012
    Mascoutah, IL
    If it works, I'm all for it. Not so sure it would work for me ( and I played with a drop D E string for about 10 years in horn bands where keys of Bb and Eb were common) as I found having that half step below the Eb tonic very useful. Less brain work as well when playing in other keys.
     
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