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Drop D jamming problem

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Insighted02, Aug 21, 2003.


  1. hi,

    I had a problem jamming with a guitarist friend of mine the other day. I'm a metal guy that usually goes the route of standard tuning with my plethora of five strings.

    My friend listens to the underground hardcore stuff. The thing is the majority of the people that play in that use a Drop D tuning.

    I never delt with it before, it's not how I practice. I've only taken everything in standard or completely tuned down configurations. This (needless to say) effected any bass fills/riffs that I tried to put out. That one detuned string messed with my scales and I ended up just playing his root notes (ironically enough, just like most of the bassists in the genre :D)

    Is there anything that I can do? He doesn't really like changing tuning and I'm having trouble with the genres clashing.

    Particullarly, I'd like any advice about what to do when someone hits me with a Drop D tuning. I could use it. Thanks...

    -Anthony
     
  2. you could just drop all strings, most riffs should still be playable and your scales wouldn't get messed up
     
  3. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Why detune??? I've played with drop D guys... just play the notes, not the pattern.
     
  4. Obsolex

    Obsolex Guest

    Nov 17, 2002
    I'd say that you just drop all strings... But, there are a lot of good bands that use CGCF (which is a de-tuned drop D), and come up with some good stuff (e.x. MuDvAyNe).
    Just try drop D, practice it at home a lot, and if you don't like it just tell your friends...
    g()0|) |_Ü¢|<
     
  5. Saetia

    Saetia

    Mar 27, 2003
    Wisconsin
    Obsolex the problem is hes not familiar with the interval of the D to A or C to G. The guitar player he playes with tune drop D, so full step C would be pointless, everything would just be 2 frets off of what hes playing, and the same intervals that hes running into with drop D. As well as he playes a 5 string, so why not just play 3rd fret D on the B when the guitar player plays opens, thats why the B string is their, for more range? That makes more sence to me then detuning, even though I've done it before.
    hope I helped some bit
    peace
    -Ben
     
  6. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Exactly!

    detune = floppy = incoherant mud anyway(unless you are buying strings to match the note you're tuning to).

    Plus if you play with low action the lack of tension will cause fret buzz. I play with a couple SRV wannabes that tune a 1/2 step down. I've stopped matching them, I keep at A-440 and listen instead of watch
     
  7. I actually resorted to the method that your talking about and just running to my B when he plays open Drop D chords. This messed with the fingering that I've been taught while doing my normal scales. There's a huge gap in-between the B and the E (a gap in the theory that I'm used to learning {i.e running scale notes in order and in the rythum that practicing them gives you}) I'm having trouble writing creative riffs and just following along is difficult. This is messing with the patterns that I'm accustomed to using when I write and practice; the medium isn't working very productively.

    How should I deal with this and how do I get around the awkward arrangment of notes?

    (Am I being understood? :) )

    (Note: I want to note that the tuning I'm talking about is BDADG; in this case. It's an E dropped a full step to D with all the rest of the strings kept standard. I'm using a five string bass.)

    -Anthony
     
  8. Saetia

    Saetia

    Mar 27, 2003
    Wisconsin
    I understand what your talking about, but then again tuning that E to D is going to throw you off more then the 3rd fret D on B. Your intervals are thrown off. I really think that you will either have to get comfortable with 3rd fret D or drop your E to D and get comfortable. To me it's much easyier to keep it standard, even though I've tryed it B,D or D,A. Either way your going to have to get used to it. If you choose standard just remember that 3rd fret is D and that 4th fret is D# (Eb) (the two low notes you gain in droped D)
     
  9. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Connecticut
    It sounds like you haven't incorporated your B string into your scale practices. The fingering for the scales you know would be exactly (unless it involves open strings) the same as the ones you know, just moved down onto a different note-the D on the low B string in this instance.
     
  10. Saetia

    Saetia

    Mar 27, 2003
    Wisconsin
    What he said, get the guitar player to notate it, and construct your lines around that, that way you don't have to deal with the pattern, you make the pattern. This will make you more versitile in your playing and you will know the patterns, but you will also know how to compensate when something like that is thrown at you.
    peace
    -Ben
     
  11. Obsolex

    Obsolex Guest

    Nov 17, 2002
    Yeah, that would work good... I didn't catch that before though.
    Oh, and when I said that HE should de-tune his strings, I mean the guitarist also.
    g()0|) |_Ü¢|< !!
     
  12. ole Jason

    ole Jason Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Louisville, KY
    Tuning down all the strings would mess up a lot of patterns and chord voicings in modern hardcore that the guitarist is probably used to. I played in a hardcore band (similar to dillinger escape plan, burnt by the sun, cephalic carnage, etc.) for awhile and always just tuned B D A D G C. If you've never played that kind of music I know how silly that tuning must look but it's truly the easiest way to get around on most songs, especially if the guitarist writes most of the riffs. Just practice and always be conscious of what notes you're playing and what notes you'll be playing in the next few bars. 90% of guitars are going to base the song around a Dm progression or Ddim too so just keep that in mind and you'll be fine.
     
  13. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    If you practice and stay aware of your own note choice... then their is no need to retune a standard 5 string. Only reason would be to play the same riff in the same fingering as the guitarist... which I make a point not to do.

    IMO / YMMV ... I just feel it's harder to learn a new tuning over learning a new fingering of a tune. AlsoI'd rather not deal with retuning on stage.
     
  14. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    I don't see the big deal here. If you find out what key the song is in, you should be able to play the right notes in standard tuning. The notes in a Dm scale are the same regardless of tuning. You can still mimic the guitar riffs on bass if necessary, but would use different fingerings and fret positions than the guitarist.
    Alternate tunings are usually used to make chord voicings easier for the guitarist. If you are doing chords on bass, it may make things easier to detune, but it's definitely not necessary if you can find the right fingerings.
    I guess if you look at the guitarist's hands to get an idea of what to play, detuning would help. Of course, learning the song is a much better option.
     
  15. Saetia

    Saetia

    Mar 27, 2003
    Wisconsin
    We haven't heard from you on this post in along time, how are things coming? And what have you decided to do? Keep us posted.
    peace
    -Ben
     
  16. Well, there's nothing really to update anyone about because I don't play with the person that I started this post on.

    I figured that the best thing to do in that situation (if it ever comes up again) is to get the guitarist to write out his stuff before hand. The problem is I won't be jamming off the fly in this situation though. I'm just not comfortable with the medium.

    On a simular note: Jive, the guitarist isn't detuning everything.....he's just detuning his top E to D. It's drop D tuning, not detuned to D.
    With just the top string detuned...it's messing up my scale structure...

    But getting back on topic; I'll just go off a page if he wants to stay in his favorite melody signature......thanks

    (to some of you)

    -Anthony
     
  17. jive1

    jive1 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 16, 2003
    Alexandria,VA
    Owner/Retailer: Jive Sound
    That's what I was thinking. So even if he detunes to the E to a D, you can still get the key of the song and use that to get the scale/notes to play. If the guitar player is playing a drop D tuning, more than likely he is playing a D power chord in the open position, and it's likely he is in the key of D. Well even if he is playing in the key of G, F# or whatever the key will determine the notes you play more so than his tuning. For example if the guitar player is playing in the key of D, you can play a D minor or D Pentatonic scale over it regardless of the way he tunes. A guitarist can tune his guitar to an open F, and you can still play a F scale over it in standard tuning on your bass. As long as I know what key the song is in, it doesn't matter how the guitar player tunes. I can stil play the song in standard tuning. That's one of the many advantages to learning a little theory.
     
  18. one3rd

    one3rd

    Jul 10, 2002
    Minnesota
    I'm suprised that no one has suggested that he could drop his E to D AND his B to A. Then you're tuned ADADG. Then the D is where you expect it on the lower string, plus you can play a lower A.
     
  19. ole Jason

    ole Jason Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Louisville, KY
    Eeek, most B strings hate tuning down even to Bb unless they're really well made or a longer scale. I think a lot of bass players in hardcore tune down the E on a 5 string so they can "get into it" more and hop around and junk. I know it sounds silly to those of you that aren't really familiar with that kind of music but dancing around is, in a lot of places, just as big a part of things as the actual music.
     
  20. stuie86

    stuie86

    May 9, 2003
    mckinney, tx

    i hate just quoting but he has said it all