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Drop D

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by letsgotothemaul, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. letsgotothemaul


    Mar 14, 2008
    Thoughts upon playing in drop D?
  2. Deluge Of Sound

    Deluge Of Sound Banned

    Nov 8, 2007
    It's silly. E-Standard or D-standard, for me.

    Unless you're playing a song that just needs the low D and Eb, then it's easier to use drop tunings.

    But the popularity behind drop-D tuning (correct me if I'm wrong) was to make one-fingered powerchords on guitar.
  3. works for some bands like Tool, Lamb of God, and Filter with fast open string riffs, but otherwise I just play the 3rd fret of a 5 string.
  4. It's the same as playing in standard, except the E string is tuned down a step :D
  5. Deacon_Blues


    Feb 11, 2007
    On guitar it's cool because you get the D chord really powerful. On bass, it's mostly just annoying. I rather tune down all strings one step instead.

    I once had a period when I played everything with my bass tuned DGCF and I feel it's coming back again. Songs in D sound more powerful, and songs in Eb get easier to play and sound better too IMO. There's a lot of songs in Eb and it always annoys me to transpose them upwards to get the low E. "Superstition" by Stevie Wonder is one example of a song that I wouldn't like to play in the original key if my bass is in standard tuning. We always use to play it in E though.

    Btw, I'm not a fan of 5-stringers...
  6. mothmonsterman


    Feb 8, 2006
    My band plays everything in drop D
    pretty standard for your generic metal.
    Problem is now that i'm starting to get into learning theory i hate going back into drop D when i go to practice....
    All good though, i'm looking forward to actually relearning all the songs, and actually getting more use out of my B string other than resting my thumb on it :D
  7. elpelotero


    Jun 16, 2006
    THere's some websites that have interactive programs where you can select the tuning of each string and then have it show you the scale for that tuning.
  8. PocketGroove82


    Oct 18, 2006
    My band just had me play in drop D for the first time in my 12 years of player electric bass. We did Slither by Velvet Revolver and Boom by POD, and I noticed that with the floppy tension I had to be careful about how hard I dug into the string, because the noise/buzz could be intense. Granted, I dug in hard...but was careful it wasn't too hard.

    Personally, I think it's fun..and I like hearing all the dumb $#!^ my singer has to make up on the spot while I tune down.
  9. ireidt


    Mar 6, 2005
    I use drop D for I like how it sounds, but I also use E standard since I play more than just my songs.

    Its just a preference. If you like it use it, if you don't, then don't.
  10. crazyguy832


    Dec 17, 2007
    Winnipeg, MB
    I like drop D myself... hells, drop C is good, too. Really like the feel of downtuned strings. Most of the music I play makes use of a lot of open notes; quite a lot of my old band's riffs would have been impossible (well... I just would've had to of played them much differently) if I didn't tune to drop C (even with my 5er).
  11. my old band played everything in drop D i play a 5'er so i droped it down to ADADG and it's a pretty good tuning because you can muck around with chordal patterns that you cant in standard, but i agree with mothmonsterman, lessons are a pain in the A** when you learn everything in standard then have to try to use it in drop d.
  12. Big Hungry

    Big Hungry

    Jun 27, 2007
    Orem, Ut
    I like drop D cause I suck so it makes chords and octaves easier. Sometimes when I am feeling creative I tune down DADA and mess around. Give you some cool octave sounds for plucking or pop slap.
  13. I play in drop Db. Everything about my bass has been carefully adjusted to make this tuning sound good, if I wanted to play in standard E it would be too annoying to adjust everything back (trussrod, string height etc) I would just buy another bass instead and have 2 basses in different tunings.
  14. mutedeity


    Aug 27, 2007
    I don't think that is necessarily the case. You allude to this in your response, but what is the point if you are just adding a lower note of tuning everything down? This is why hipshots were invented.

    As for making certain chords easier to play, you can say that for any given tuning. For example the whole point of EADGBE tuning on guitar is so that it is easier to play certain chords. Capos were invented to make those voicings transposable too. Also note that violins, violas and cellos, for example are tuned in 5ths, not 4ths.

    The point is that tunings are relative and there could be any number of reasons for doing so, but basically, if you are playing a set and you have one or two songs with a low D in them, why bother retuning your whole bass down?
  15. Deacon_Blues


    Feb 11, 2007
    Because it's easier to follow standard fingering patterns, IMO. At least if you're playing something else than the root or a memorized bassline for drop D tuning. Improvising a bassline in drop D tuning always leads to a lot of mistakes, at least for me.

    On the subject, have anyone else ever noticed they easily play a note one step below the right note if the bass is tuned down a step? (i.e. you would have played the right note if the bass was in standard tuning). I have noticed this in my own playing sometimes. I think part of it is muscle memory, but there might also be a hidden perfect pitch behind it. What do you think?
  16. mutedeity


    Aug 27, 2007
    I personally don't find it that big a deal. You have to shift your "finger patterns" when you go from the G string to the B string on standard guitar tuning as well.
  17. Darkstrike

    Darkstrike Return Of The King!

    Sep 14, 2007
    I didn't like Drop-D till I git a Hipshot, now I'm using it all the time it is actually very handy when you just need that odd low D.
  18. Gasman

    Gasman Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2007
    South Carolina
    I play mostly in drop D for two reasons. One, as the chief songwriter in my band, I like the lazy man's way of one-finger power chording when writing the guitar parts. If you're playing riff-based songs, it is just easier. That's the obvious advantage for the guitarist (although it makes certain scales more difficult).

    The second reason is, again, playing the riff on bass. In drop D, you can play the same hammer-on and pull-off stuff in two octaves. This is particularly important when hammering way up the neck- you can't really do it the same in standard tuning.

    The obvious disadvantage is that many of our songs are in D, which requires some extra thought when writing so they don't all start sounding the same.
  19. fenderhutz

    fenderhutz Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2007
    Harpers Ferry WV
    Sevendust used to be a good example of a band playing all of their songs in the same key but kept the music interesting with changin up rhythms of parts to keep it interesting.

    Just an example, Creed is an example of the other side of that same fence. Boring.
  20. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I grow organic carrots and they are not for sale
    I never liked just detuning one string ... I used to play out with a Rickenbacker tuned EADG, and a p-bass tuned Eflat and a Jazz bass tuned DGCF ... then I needed a low Dflat so I switched to 5 string basses ...

    If I were to play 4 string basses I would use the DGCF tunning ... or BEAD ...


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