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Drop tuning riffs in standard

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by scullionj, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. Wow, been a while since I've come here, but I'm getting back into playing again, so here we are.

    This is regarding a style of drop-tuned riff that you see a lot in metal. There are certain blisteringly fast lines based around tuning to either D, C#, or C and alternating between the root (open string) and a couple of other notes, usually the 5 and b6 (7th and 8th frets). Example, (kindalamebut) B.Y.O.B.//System of a Down

    Has anyone here ever had success transposing this kind of a line to a closed fingering? So, instead of using an open string for the root, using a fretted note? So, an example with B.Y.O.B. would be to play it on a 5 string using the C# on the B and the G# and A on the E. Is this just too difficult and weird or...?
  2. Usually such basslines become so much harder in closed fingering and considering already fast speed they become unplayable. It's just impractical. And even if you manage to play the part, it will put unnecessary strain on your hands (possible wide stretches in high speed) and will limit your stage movement possibilities (that is sad when you play rock/metal :))

    I personally use capo on my 5-string when we need to cover such songs (for example, capo on 2nd fret for BYOB). It's really convenient, though I need a little relearning, such as "play 9th fret instead of 7th".
  3. Yeahhhh...it is kind of silly to make stuff unplayable like that for myself...I GUESS I'll just tune down :rolleyes:

    Although the capo idea is a good one...I haven't got one, and I have no idea if a standard guitar one would work or what...but something I'll look into.
  4. I use standard guitar capo (this one). Works just fine. It has tension adjustment so it's easy to adjust it for any neck. And it covers all five strings on my bass up to 4h fret (higher than that neck becomes too wide but I still can capo any consecutive four strings).

    I'd suggest downtuning if you need some alternative tuning all the time. But if you just need to cover a few songs that's not in your usual tuning, capo is the easiest way.

    I haven't thought about bass capo before, but my wife gave me one for my guitar as a new year present, and I thought "what if i put it on my bass?" and suddenly I've realized that now I can play in any bass tuning and it's awesome.
  5. Anaughtybear

    Anaughtybear Guest

    Apr 3, 2012
    Fargo, ND
    Other than being a little harder on your fretting hand, it's probably a good exercise for your brain, to figure out alternate ways to play things. It reminds me of something I read about Phish years ago. One of the things they would do to practice was pick a key, and then they would all just start playing something in that key, octaves, arpeggios, whatever. That way they would get a feel for what the other guys were thinking and such. I usually try to suggest a more creative way to start playing than just "Let's do song X".
  6. jarrydee


    Oct 22, 2011

    are you nuts...lol....BYOB is STILL an awesome song and I hate metal

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