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Drop D Mandatory???

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Jazz Hands, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. Jazz Hands

    Jazz Hands

    Dec 16, 2007
    Recently I went to an audition after learning a few songs on myspace by the group who told me they were standard tuned, but upon arrival stated that actually a few of the songs were in Drop D. Although I was still playing the correct notes I was doubting myself that it sounded good when playing the E string (obviously the other strings were fine). In the past I'd always just match tunings but it got me wondering if anyone plays standard while the guitarist plays in Drop D (and if they think the E string sounds good). This isn't the end of the world cuz I can easily make the change, but out of curiousity I'd like feedback.
  2. My band has 2 songs where the guitars tune to drop D. I stay in standard tuning on my 4 string bass. Sounds fine.
  3. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Generally, I'd say you and the guitarist(s) should be using the same tuning. There's something about the tone and response of a downtuned string that a normally tuned string can't capture - even if you play the same notes.

    Maybe it's just me, but I really like that extra "something" that the tone gains from matching the tuning. :)

    The big problem usually comes with those low, open D notes - there's only one other place on the fretboard where you can play a low D note like that (10th fret on the E string, in standard E tuning), and it doesn't sound quite the same, to my ears.
  4. nasaldischarges


    Jun 11, 2005
    a dropped d has a certain boom to it
  5. Yea, my band plays alot of songs in drop d and only one of them do i do it also, I dont think it sounds any better or worse, but its something that has always gotten on my nerves, they will listen to lamb of god and want to play drop d on everything lol when I ask why the guitarist plays everysong in drop D in the key of D I get the following responce:" Its easier" I dont even bother to persuade them to try new things anymore lol
  6. BNiedz13


    Mar 6, 2008
    Cumberland, RI
    I would say try it both ways, then whatever you personally like better is the right way. Stay true to yourself and your own style.
  7. Bassenstien


    Jun 13, 2006
    IMO i like the added omph of dropping.
  8. Illbay


    Jan 15, 2008
    Houston, Texas
    Okay, I don't get this.

    You are not a guitar, you are a bass. Why would you "need" to drop your E-string to D just because the gui**** does?

    The ONLY reason he does that, btw, is so that he can get that low "D". If you really need that Low D as well, as a result, then I guess go ahead and drop (although I prefer to use a 5-string).

    I play a lot of acoustic guitar, and we use altered tunings to obtain CHORDS of a unique voicing, including being able to pick adjacent strings that will sound in unison or withing a half-tone or so, as an "enrichment" effect.

    Basses don't worry about chords much, and if they do they're usually chord "stubs" that are easily gotten with standard tuning.

    Don't worry about what the gui**** is doing. Worry about the chord changes, and what you're laying down within those changes in terms of the bass line.

  9. if you really dont need to play that lowD then stay on standard tuning jazz hands
    personally i see no point re working a lot scales and riffs because your one string is tuned differently
  10. detracti


    May 5, 2006
    I think Drop D is cool! I use it when we cover that Gary Glitter song - Rock and Roll pt2. Used it in a metal song in my previous band too.

    I'm getting hipshot ultralite extender keys, probably, for the two basses I use most. At least one of them for sure.
  11. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Hipshot Xtenders are awesome, to say the least. :)

    Two of the songs on our setlist (soon to be 3) are played in standard E tuning; the rest are in drop-D. Nothing drives a guitarist batty quite like watching you tune up and down effortlessly, in under a second. :D
  12. Thor

    Thor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I have the Hipshot detuners on my jazzes. Pull the lever and
    you have a low D.

    Plus, guitar players hate you because they can't fake off your
    fingering, which is the ONLY reason some get annoying and insist different instruments tune to them.
  13. Busker


    Jan 22, 2007
    Yeah, I agree. I play several songs in Drop D, where the guitarist stays in standard tuning. And there's a couple of songs where the reverse is true.

    Whatever works.
  14. chroma601


    Feb 16, 2007
    Sylva, NC
    The only song my band plays that I'd even think about dropping to D would be ELP's "From The Beginning". But I stay in standard anyway and it works out just fine.
  15. sir juice

    sir juice

    Sep 11, 2006
    London, England
    Fact is, when you don't drop the D (unless you have a low B) your D, on the E, A or D string is going to be in the same octave as the guitars, so essentially, their low-end will match yours which in my opinion, at least in a hard rock setting, the bass player is useless
  16. lowendgenerator


    Mar 26, 2006
    +1 to Hipshots! My guitar player is jealous, I just know it haha.

    I actually stay in drop tuning more than the guitar player. I love having that low D, or in my case low C handy.
  17. Liko


    Mar 30, 2007
    As long as you don't need the D, you don't need to detune. If you need the D, either detune or get a fiver. Very simple.
  18. nsmar4211


    Nov 11, 2007
    +1 to the fiver.
    Band is detuned anyway ( Eb Ab Db Gb), so songs with Drop D.....need fiver.
    Fiver makes it more fun anyhow......messes with guitarists mind if they ever try to pick up your bass to show you a line :ninja::ninja::ninja:
  19. dreadheadbass


    Dec 17, 2007
    my band is currently playing in drop C with every string de-tuned but some of our songs are written in D (or is it Db i cant remember)
    anyways i never bother tuning up all the notes are still there you just need to move your hand to get to em a bit more so rather than faff about i just stick with the tuning i'm in
  20. Get a Five String.... I don"t have to drop.

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