Drop D tuning

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Trist6075, Mar 20, 2002.

  1. Trist6075

    Trist6075 Guest

    Mar 6, 2001
    Could someone tell me how to do that? DO u tune the E string to a D and leave the other 3 strings as is? Also what are the circumstances for a Drop D tuning in a song. Thanks.
  2. MatW


    May 10, 2000
    UK, Swindon
    In my experience only the 'E' is dropped to a 'D', the other strings stay as they are. I guess you might want to do this if you play a 4 stringer and your bass line really, really needs a low 'Db' or 'D'. I have done this before but I would try my best to work around it. It's too much hassle retuning, although 'D-Tuners' make this a no brainer.
  3. Yea man, Drop D means tune the E to D and leave the rest the same - usually the guitarists tune down the same way.

    My band plays in Drop A - I play a 5 string and my guitarists play 7 strings, so we drop the B's down to A - exactly the same kind of thing.

    The circumstances? Well, it sounds heavy as **** :p

    Hope that helps

  4. Mellem


    Feb 1, 2002
    Greenville, MI
    Our band plays in Drop D in a few of our songs, and I think that it adds a darker quality to the song, because everything on the higher D string sounds so damn bright.
  5. bassandlax


    Dec 31, 2001
    Raleigh, NC
    the only reason i would ever drop d is if my guitarist was playing in dropped-d and the song required the low d. i would only drop it though if the song needed the low d and a d an ovtave higher wouldnt suffice...

    but yes, tune the 7th fret on the 4th string to the open 3rd... aka... E -> D

  6. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Yes just tune the E string down to D and leave the others as is.

    There is no set circumstances regarding when you use it. You can use it whenever you feel like it. If you think the higher D isnt quite enough, then you can drop tune to give the tune more bottom. IMO the lower registers also help to propel the groove a bit better than the higher ones do. Although this is just personal preference. Play around with drop tuning and find out when and where it works best for you.
  7. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    I use it quite a bit. It doesn't take long at all. To drop down, just pluck an open D (second string), then 12th fret harmonic on the E, and zoom it on down. It might take one more pluck to do the fine tuning. To go back up, I just use the 5th/7th fret harmonics on the 3rd and 4th strings. Either one takes me all of about 5 seconds.

    If the tuners are good and the nut smooth, you shouldn't have any problems with the stability of the tuning doing this.
  8. My band uses tunings that are exclusively in the drop-D voice. To complicate matters, our lead guitarist tunes to drop-D all the time, and our rhythm guitarist switches between a drop-D guitar and a 7-string tuned a full step down. I tune my 5-string a full step down and just transpose my patterns. We're a hard rock band with a modern sound, so they prefer the heavier "lowness." lol.

    Apart from a heavier sound, the most obvious reason for tuning drop-D is to learn cover songs in which that tuning is used. For guitarists there's an added advantage in that they can play power chords with one finger and move them around rapidly. A note of caution here... if you're going to tune your bass differently than standard tuning you may need to have a setup job done to adjust your intonation (if the bass is in tune at the nut but out of tune further up the fretboard), although this is often more of an issue for guitarists than bassists.