Drop D Tuning for playing Jazz

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Lichtaffen, Apr 8, 2014.

  1. Lichtaffen


    Sep 29, 2008
    Rhode Island
    The Eb is such a common chord in Jazz that I'm thinking of tuning down the E string to a D for some songs that use Eb a lot.

    A good example of someone who didn't tune down and played the Eb on the D string was James Jamerson. He made it sound interesting.

    Am I just overthinking things? By the way, please don't tell me to get a 5 string. It's a very viable option, but I love my 4 string too much.

    What are your thoughts? Just a healthy discussion, not trying to change minds or offend.
  2. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
  3. remainthesame


    Sep 24, 2008
    why not just tune a half step down?
  4. Lownote38


    Aug 8, 2013
    Nashville, TN
    That's the answer, man!
  5. squidtastic

    squidtastic Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2013
    Back when I was playing lots of jazz, I never tuned down. It would've been problematic (for me, anyway) because of the relatively greater complexity of harmony and more notes that I played (walking), having to tweak my brain to switch notes/positions just for the E string would've been more trouble than it's worth. And, FWIW, no one -- and I mean no one -- ever complained to me about the Eb being played on the D string.
  6. eddododo

    eddododo Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    Nothing about jazz is that you don't necessarily need the lowest most thunderous notes. Ithe lowest notes are really uncharacteristic if not just plain bad sounding. This is of course talking about more classic or straight ahead jazz. On a personal note I find that the first normal Eb is a perfect amount of low end vs usabilIty, especially on a double bass
  7. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
  8. Clef_de_fa


    Dec 25, 2011
    If you're going to play Real Book stuff no need to detune countless of DB player never downtuned and it was great, it will force you to look for the root somewhere else than the lowest note you can produce.

    If you are playing fusion or whatever then yeah you can pretty much tune lik you wish.
  9. MalcolmAmos

    MalcolmAmos Supporting Member

    If the guys detune or capo I just ask what key they want the song in. Normally have to direct this question to the keys as the gui****s have no idea.

    I stay in standard tuning.