guitarists and non-standard tuning

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Matthew Bryson, Oct 12, 2001.

  1. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I finally got a chance to jam with a guitarist for the first time - he was really good and it was a lot of fun - we got along and had a great time, we played at his place so we both plugged into his amp...all the fun and good stuff aside, hearing my bass played through all that crappy distortion and detuned a half step nearly made me want to vomit (he plays that way, obviously we had to tune the same)...what is the alleged advantage to this type if behavior? (the detuning - D# G# C# F#) The strings felt a little different being looser than I am used to (I'd never tuned like this before, I have a five string - why would I ?) It seemed to me that I was hitting more poorly fretted notes than I usually do, and I'm blaming the unfamiliar feel of the tuning...and then when I tried to show him a song that I thought I had figured out by ear pretty well (it starts on the open E) he says, good - you're really close, but actually it's played like this and plays starting on the first fret - didn't hit me untill the next day: No S&*T! - because we're tuned down a half step:mad: :rolleyes: Sorry for the rant, can anybody explain the advantage of playing detuned like that or tuned down or whatever it is we were doing?:confused:
  2. god not this again it's the "slapping techinque: ways" thread all over again. the advantage of playing like that for the guitarist is that it's easier to play and slide power chords around and just to make it sound muddier.
  3. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    Detuning can give the strings a deep haunting timbre, one of early Black Sabbath's calling cards. For the most part, though, people detune to make vocals easier.
  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    How 'bout Pete Cosey(Miles' MONSTER guitarist from the Agartha/Panagea daze).
    Cosey was an experimental kinda guy...he would try various tunings & also re-arrange the strings!
    From what I've read, guys in the audience would looked puzzled as they watched Cosey's hands not "match" what their ears were telling them. Now that's something 'different'! ;)
  5. when i recently posted an add for a guitarist for my new band, i clearly stated on the
    add " Drop B ! " i've already had to dissapoint 7 guitarists who wanted to join in, but didn't want to play in B.
    But the 3 of us : Noor ( female singer / grunter [​IMG] ), Tijs ( drummer ) and me ( bass ) decided that we want to play in drop-B, as it sounds wicked..

    guitarists are usually very stubborn, egocentric people.. and that goes double if you have 2 guitarists.. prepare for ego-battle :(
  6. I am the stubborn one and don't like to change from standard tuning. If I need to go lower I will pickup my five string, otherwise I normally dont tune down.

  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I play a 5(primarily) and every time that I have played with a guitarist who tuned down, I didn't.

    Just because the guitarist tunes down is no reason for the bass to, IMHO.
  8. lo-end


    Jun 15, 2001
    guitarists tune a half step down to make it easier for the singer. He doesnt have to sing as high, so its easier.
  9. John Davis

    John Davis Guest

    Mar 27, 2001
    Houston, Texas
    Drop-B? Isn't that Coal Chamber's tuning? :D

    Anyway, like mentioned earlier, Drop-D is(I'm assuming) easier for the singer.
  10. Lazy


    May 30, 2001
    Vancouver BC
    The tuning he's talking about isn't Dropped D because all the strings are tuned down. Drop D is when the E string is tuned down to make it easier to fret power chords. Tuning down IMO just makes the sound a whole lot heavier and aggressive because you're getting more low end. But if I was gonna play in B or lower, I'd get a 7 String guitar!
  11. Drop-B is standard for metalcore / death-metal.. ;)

    soulfly, sepultura, coal chamber, fear factory, skinlab, slipknot, etc.. all drop-B :)

    we tried doing drop-D with the fender ( when i still had it ), but it sounded like poo, because our female vocalist's grunt is pretty low.

    Her normal singing voice is medium-low, so we decided to do drop-B.. sounds better