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Dropped D tuning... some questions.

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by hvingsand, Apr 19, 2005.

  1. I just wonder:

    Do the guys who use dropped d tuning all the time (DADG) use regular strings or special ones? (perhaps the thickest from a 5-string setup?)

    I'm especially thinking of Rick Burch from Jimmy Eat World. They all use dropped D tuning. I always drop my E to a D when playing JEW, but the sound quality might be lowered. Is this really the way they do it?

    Also, I'd like to know about Chris Wolstenholme from muse. On some songs (especially "stockholm syndrome") I suspect he's downtuning. If that is wrong, could you please tell me what is the "trick"?
  2. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    First of all, I prefer when I'm playing all Drop D or only sometimes, I use the Billy Sheehan Rotosound set with a heavier E string and lighter G string to keep from flopping around. When recorded in the studio, bands often use gear they they normally don't (i.e. heavier strings for recording than live) so they don't flop around and sound like poo. But dropping to D doesn't change tension TOO much in most cases.

    The low B string would be overkill. At .125 or .130 it would be VERY HIGH TENSION when tuned up to a D.

    Christ Wolstenholme is a big Deep Impact user. He may be detuning, but I suspect he's using the octaver feature on the DI.
  3. get a thicker E string .105-.110 I keep my 4 string tuned DGCF and will accosionaly downtune to CGCF, i use Ernie Ball Power Slinkys which have all the strings thicker, I think hybrid slinkys wil have a lower E string only but im not sure
  4. power slinkies work great. i know you think playing in drop D is cool, but if your just starting to try it out, beware, it's confusing.
  5. read his post.. he has done it before
  6. For DGCF tuning, try the La Bella Hard Rockin' Steels "D-tuning" set, .54-.76.-.90-.111. They're specifically designed to be tuned DGCF, and they feel and sound great. I use Ernie Ball strings on my other basses and I'd tried tuning them down a whole step, but this La Bella set works way better.
  7. opivy3056

    opivy3056 stardust in a light beam

    Oct 14, 2004
    San Diego
    my band plays in dropped D and 1/2 step down

    GHS heavy boomers are awesome for rock tones.

    Not much room for bending (especially in standard)
    They sound pretty nice as they get older too.
  8. amused2KAOS


    Apr 22, 2005
    you should just use a heavier E string for down tuning but if you have buzzing problems or the string just rattles too much you might want to raise the string by tightening the brigde.
  9. Aettis


    Mar 16, 2005
    GHS boomers... :D I love those strings...play in drop D and then 1/2 down...c# tuning if you will. GHS boomers pack a good low end that I love to just boost throught my ampeg. ...ampeg...I love that company, too. Anyway GHS Boomers.

  10. +1 :bassist:
  11. Well, I don't need the other strings to be downtuned, just the E-string down to D.... quite simple.

    Are there any packs especially designed for tuning DADG?
    (as I don't need DGCF, or C#-tuning :cool: )
  12. Exactly. Using a .125 might be appropriate for C or C# tuning, but as other have said it's far too much to drop one step.

    My "general" rule as a standard .100 E user is to add .05 for every step if I'm going to stay at that pitch for an extended period of time (as opposed to dropping down for a song or two - in that case, I believe my regular gauges can handle the minimal usage) but if youÂ’re used to .100s, a jump to .110 might be a bit much on your fingers initially.

    My personal recommendations? As I'm strictly a D'addario player for stainless steels (which I personally feel have a "tighter" sound on notes lower than "E") either ProSteels EPS 165 (SL if you need Super Long Scale) Light Top Medium Bottom (.45-.65-.85-.105) or if you're a nickel player, XLs EXL 165 (same gauges). I discounted the EPS/XL 230's as they're Heavies and would most likely be overkill for just drop-D but nice for fully-dropped "D-strung" (D-G-C-F).

    Good luck finding "your" sound in drop-D! :D
  13. Actually, as the amateur I am.. I don't know the difference in sound between steel/nickel/titan strings... I just play ;)

    What would you reccomend to my kind of music? (rock, like Jimmy Eat World, Green Day, Oasis, Muse, Ozma, etc.) Does the material really affect the sound that much? Or is it just a detail only pro's care about?

    Anyway, like I said.. Aren't there any strings especially designed for DADG? (Where the three thinnest strings are normal, and the thickest is meant to be tuned in D? I'd like to keep all the strings on my bass from the same brand)
  14. Buy a set of regular strings, either 45-100 or 45-105 or whatever, and buy a single 110 string (D'addario offers them for sure, check your local music shop or online). I'd go for nickles for rock, they're bright enough for the Green Day and mellow enough for the Oasis, it really depends on your bass for sure though.

    Have a good one.
  15. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Not Mars
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups
    I use regular strings, with either a .100 or .105 E-string.

    I've used dropped-D tuning sporadically for 15 years.
  16. I detune ALL of my strings so they match up with the drop D. I also play a 4 string 35" scale which creates a little more tension for the looser strings. And actually in one band, I drop the E down to C.

    I play .44- .106 though.
  17. i use .45-.105

    work's just fine for me :)
  18. Afrokid


    Nov 24, 2006
    thicker E string.... ernie ball powers, thats what i use...they are kinda trebly at first but they last a LONG time, and dull down to a smoother tone.
  19. Ampeg SVT

    Ampeg SVT Son, I am disappoint.

    Sep 9, 2006
    the guy for JEW uses normal Hybrid Slinkies the .45-.105 gauge...though id get a .110 for the D...
  20. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I use to use drop-D tuning for Pink Floyd songs. The standard Chromes 50-105 had no problem with drop D.

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