Is this really as deranged as I think it is?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by metdistortion, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. metdistortion


    Aug 13, 2008
    My band is going to try out a new singer tomorrow. One of the guitarists in the band is convinced that the singer's voice is so low that we are going to have to tune half a step down as "a lower tuning means he won't have to sing in a as high key".

    To me, this seems like complete bulls**t. There's loads of singers with low voices that have no problems singing with a band in standard tuning, like Lemmy of Motorhead for example. Is there really any logic in what this guitarist is saying?


    Dec 27, 2007
    Your gui**** is a douche, fire him...but seriously, downtuning music that you are used to play in it´s original key SUCKS!

    Edit: Downtuning or transposing that is...
  3. metdistortion


    Aug 13, 2008
    That's what I said to him lol.

    Can't fire the guy though, he's the band's main founder/songwriter and 'band leader'
  4. Ewo

    Ewo a/k/a Steve Cooper Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Huntington WV
    Tell the guitarist that instead of downtuning, you ought to just transpose the tunes a half step (or whole step) lower.

    Wha-wha-wha-what? He has a problem with playing in Eb?

  5. John Webb

    John Webb Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    tuning down a half is ridiculously simple......I don't like it either but it ain't a big deal........really.
  6. metdistortion


    Aug 13, 2008
    I don't have an issue with tuning down, it's just I was wondering if there was any musical sense behind this guys theory. I do have an issue with it if it doesn't sound as good.
  7. I played with a band like that for a few days. I was like this isnt going to work for me and left. The guitarist was playing down tuned drop D and drop C. It was awful I know where your coming from.
  8. NKUSigEp


    Jun 6, 2006
    Bright, IN
    Really who cares? Most bands tune according to what their singer can handle. If he's straining his voice to sing higher then do him a favor and tune down. If it's not a problem, then it's not a problem.

    Smart-ass comment edited :D yeah, there is some logic to tuning down. Most singers can only handle a certain range, if they have to strain to reach notes, they'll kill their voice. I found this out the hard way...I can't sing more than 3 songs anymore without pain unless I have surgery.

    I think the Avenged Sevenfold guy and Chino from the Deftones had the same problem.
  9. We detune most songs a 1/2 step in our cover band. It makes it easier / less fatiguing for our singers (of which I am one). To facilitate this, we tune to Eb. No big deal. Some songs we lower further. Changing keys is fine.
  10. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    Back when I used to play more aggressive stuff in the late 80's and 90's we'd very often play in normal 440 tuning in the studio, but downtune 1/2 step or more live just save the pipes on us vocalists, but in those days singers tended to sing 'higher' with power rather than sounding like they were emptying their bowels.

    Either way, it's not a big deal and NO ONE would notice at all live.
  11. metdistortion


    Aug 13, 2008
    Can I just make this clear:

    I don't have any problem with tuning down, it's just I was wondering if there was any musical sense behind this guys theory. I do have an issue with it if it doesn't sound as good.
  12. No one has ever asked us live if we are playing the songs in the original key, ever. Not even Hazy Shade of Winter (which is down considerably from the Bangles version, but up from Simon and Garfunkel). So I'd say it sounds fine.
  13. 73jbass

    73jbass Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2004
    The original tunes were written in a particular key. seems like the singers had no problem singing them.If you can't play it in the original key,don't play it at all.They don't sound right tuned down from the original key.
  14. lexxmexx


    Apr 7, 2008
    Even professional bands do that. GNR literally downtuned on all their songs, I don't see them doing it for Scott Weiland in VR. I personally dislike downtuning my bass.
  15. metdistortion


    Aug 13, 2008
    This isn't the only moment when I've doubted the band. The songs are mostly really weak, yet the two guitarists are really disillusioned, thinking they are definately going to make it huge, relying on this band for their futures. For me it's just a bit of fun, but these guys take it way too seriously. acting as if they are already rock stars. They even fell out with the only venue in town that gives us gigs just because they thought it was a crappy little venue that was treating them like the tiny band they are.

    I'm sure most of you guys would have left the band by now. But for me, the band's just a little hobby I'm spending my time on until I get any better oppurtunities.
  16. scottbass

    scottbass Bass lines like a big, funky giant

    Jul 13, 2004
    Southern MN
    It's up to the singer. If he/she tells you he/she is straining his/her voice, then by all means downtune. I disagree with the opinions some have expressed. IMHO it is NOT a big deal and the songs DO sound perfectly OK in a bar/club setting when they are downtuned.
  17. Yeah... I've been seeing this alot the last few years also... Its trendy... it differant... its "dark" . .:rollno: . . and therefore really novel and "edgy" too... To each his own I guess.


    Dec 27, 2007
    The music is going to suffer man...


    Yeah, professional bands do that and when they do it, it SUCKS, take Genesis for example, one of my favourite bands in the world, i bought their last DVD with so much excitement, and when i listened to the songs, my faves were transposed as much as a whole step...stay at home i say...or search for another singer....tell Neal Schon of Journey to transpose their material :oops:
  19. ChrisB2

    ChrisB2 Bass... in your fass

    Feb 27, 2008
    TalkBass > Off Topic
    ...because they were played in a key the singer was comfortable with.

    We alter keys all the time, depending on the song and the singer's range. No one ever complained.
  20. The answer is a simple yes. What will make or break a band is the singer. If he is pitchy because he can't nail the parts in the stardard key of the song, but sounds "right" when the pitch of the tune is lowered a 1/2 step to a step...then it seems like a no brainer, no?