Drop D Tuning

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by Marcap, Jun 1, 2002.

  1. Im looking at several songs that require drop D tuning or tuning 1 or .5 steps down. How do you accomplish this with youre basic $15 tuner.
  2. Even the cheapest tuners can "hear" EADG... just tune your E string to D then either tune the rest to the fifth fret or the harmonic of the low D string.

    Or use no tuner at all... just drop your E string to match your D (just an octive lower)... then tune the rest to it.

    Or am I missing something in your question? :confused:
  3. I've got a basic 15 dollar tuner and it picks up dropped D tuning just fine...it even picks up the drop C (drop D a step down)
  4. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    My new fodera has a switch that flips the bass into drop-d.
  5. Canoman


    May 22, 2002
    Dallas, Texas
    Some of those $15 tuners have a button on them labelled "FLAT". If you hit it once, it will tune you down a half step, and if you hit it twice it will tune you down one whole step. So you can tune normally and then hit the flat button twice to get you down to D on the E string.

    That's the way mine works, at least. When I want drop D, then I usually just tune my E string down until it matches my D string. I can usually get it pretty close that way.

    Hope this helps. :)
  6. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Cool! How do I get one of those? You just hit the button and it tunes your bass down a whole step? How do I attach it to my bass? Does it replace the bridge?


  7. severed_1


    Jun 4, 2002
    If it helps,the Drop D tunings are

    "Drop C"- CGCF(A)

    "Drop B"- BF#BE,this is my personal favourite,i'm not sure for a five string

    "Drop A"- AEAD

    My tuner cost around 35 candian,no idea what that is american,but it works fine for Drop tuning,i just use the Manual setting
  8. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    Actually Severed, drop D is "DADG". Simple as that.

    Tuning one step down: DGCF
    Tuning half step down: EbAbDbGb, or D#G#C#F#

    For Drop D, hit the 12th fret harmonics on the E and D strings and tune down the E until you no longer hear any beating. Make sure to hit the harmonics every couple of seconds or every turn or so to make sure its perfectly in tune.

    For one step down, repeat the first step, then tune using the 7th fret harmonic on the A and the 5th on the E (now D), 7th fret harmonic on D and 5th on the A (now G), etc etc etc, just 7th harmonic on the top string and 5th on the higher string (in this case) and tune the lower until you hear no beating.

    For one half step, there aren't really any good harmonics you can use that are very easy aside from using false or fretted harmonics (to my knowledge, anyway). Plug it into your tuner, hit the "flat/sharp" button so it makes the symbol for 1 "b" (flat) on the screen, and tune one string (E or G, most easily) and then use harmonics to continue tuning like we did above. Only tune 1 string like this, then, if it was E, use harmonics to tune (the higher string as you go), or if G, the lower string each time.

    Make sure to check the with a tuner after you do it, if you really need to be perfectly in tune. However, never tune all the strings with a tuner. One string, then harmonics. You'll be much better in tune that way. Hope it helps.
  9. severed_1


    Jun 4, 2002
    I realize Drop D is DADG,but the other tunings is what i was talking about
  10. Armand Karlsen

    Armand Karlsen

    Mar 30, 2002
    London UK
    Is Shavo Odadjian's bass tuned drop-D, and then down one step?

  11. yes, shavo is tuned to CGCF
  12. Why not just install a Hipshot Drop-D tuner?
    I have used them before and love them.
    It is great to be able to change tuning in mid song.
  13. notnuffsleep

    notnuffsleep Guest

    Jun 5, 2002
    San Dimas CA
    Invest in a Hipshot D-tuner key. A bit costly but saves time. If you have the money get another bass already tuned to drop D and swtich off...hahaha jk