Drop Tuning

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by crazybassist420, Nov 30, 2001.

  1. crazybassist420


    Nov 30, 2001
    Nuevo, Ca
    I am trying to to play some songs but it says to tune it 3-steps down. please can someone help me with this by telling me how to do it.
  2. Normally a bass is tuned EADG, three steps down would be Bb Eb Ab Db (I think!) my reasoning on the fingerboard has given me many different answers.. but if each fret is 1/2 step, and you drop 3 steps, thats like dropping 6 frets, 6 frets down (flat) of E would be Bb. If you use an electonic tuner, just tune your E string until it reads Bb... of course.. I'm sure at this point you're E string will just be flopping around and useless.. not sure though..

    How far off am I? My music theory is.. limited, but I'm trying!!! Its been a while since lessons :(
  3. You're right, HWK2. 3 steps down would be Eb Bb Ab Db.

    crazybasist, what song are you learning that requires such a ludicrous drop in tuning? Lemme guess, it's something originally played by the ever popular FiElDy, isn't it? ;)
  4. nope, cafe. fIeLdy tunes to A. He might as well not even care what the hell he tunes to, though.

    Moving on...
  5. John Davis

    John Davis Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    Does it matter?
  6. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX

    Hey...I play in open A...:(
  7. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    If it's THAT low, you'd be better off re-stringing with a low B string. That low on an E would be purt'nere impossible to play.
  8. not to mention the intonation once you move up the neck. and I bet you wouldn't stay in tune for more than a minute or so with those strings floppin around.

    he ment that you cant make out what notes feLdY is playing, he's not bashing tuning down to A. tuning down one whole step is fairly common, 3 steps down is just dumb.
  9. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Austin, TX
    BEAD- 130-65

    Wait...BEAD down one step (open tuning) is ADGC correct? If not, then I take back that statement, and put forth whatever the actuall tuning is. If I'm right (and I think I am) then yeah, I'm heavy. Before that I was DGCF. And to jive with my Guitar player, everything needs to be down one step.
  10. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    Use some 65-130 gauge strings and tune Bb Eb Ab Db. Yes, 65-130 is the proper gauge. But you wont be able to find a 65-130 set, so get a 45-130 (5 string bass) set and ditch the high G.
  11. OK, I could be totally off here, but I believe 3 steps down would only be 3 frets down. I base this on the fact that on piano a 'step' is a semitone, and on the bass a semitone is one fret. So the strings should be tuned to C sharp, F sharp, B and E.
    If you were told to drop the tuning from a tab, it might be an idea to email the tabber and ask them to clarify what they mean.
  12. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification

    No, on a piano a step is two semitones, a 'half step' is one semitone.
  13. Hey Brendan, I wasn't making fun of tuning to A, or you, i was merely making fun of Fieldy.

    Moving on again..
  14. red-hot-bassist


    Sep 18, 2001
    will the bloke who has now tuned his bass down 3 steps please tell us what he was playing and how it sounded when i played it and if he could play it!!
    could you get any notes from your strings if they are as floppy as that?????