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metal tuning concerns

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by (hed)-less, Jun 2, 2002.

  1. hey everyone...now, i know the whole down-tuning questions have been done to death but theres some stuff im still unclear on. i even ran a search on the topic but sadly im still a little overwhelmed. my main question is how important is down-tuning...really? i want to play in a metal band; and i know alot of metal bands do it but some times i get the impression they do it for the sake of it. its like there all in a pissing contest to see who can detune there instruments the furthest...for christ sake slipknot go one and a half steps down then drop D! ...will you ever need that much low end? anyways...what im asking is, is it at all possible to play the style of music i want to play (death metal/thrash metal. mixture of godflesh, morbid angel, cannibal corpse, slayer, hatebreed and otep) by using standard tuning without it sounding crap and too high pitched? or is it futile and i need to down tune to get a good metal sound? i tried downtuning once...in a whole step down i found it sounded too "floppy" and i didnt like the string tension and i found half a step down to whiny. i play a five string in standard so for heavyness i hug the low B but this takes alot of options away rather than a whole instrument dropped...so is it futile or can it be done: metal in standard tuning? is there any other ways other than de-tuning to make the instruments sound "heavier" such as maybe messin with effects or the amp or sumthin??

    anyway, any help you give ill be grateful. later

  2. imo detuning is for kiddies who don't know their instrument like they ought to.

    I mean.. some guitar-kiddies detune to drop-D or C.. why ? they never heard of Mosh ?

    just stick to the BEADG tuning dude.. plenty of tones :)

    besides.. are the extra 2 notes required to make metal ? do 2 extra possible tones make the difference between a kick-@$$ or suck-@$$ tune ?

    if so, ye gods..what crappy musicians exist... :eek:
  3. I'm in a death metal band that is similiar to cannibal corpse (we don't think we are but its the closest i guess just for your image). We are all in standard. And its pretty damn "phat".

    I guess the best way to prove that standard can be pretty heavy is listen to Children of Bodom or Primus' "Too Many Puppies".

    Sure the deep tuning gives a more subsonic feel, but with a bit of decent EQ'ing you can get a rumble but it is more defined if you're in standard.


  4. it's funny how most people are going with longer scale lengths to increase tension on the strings and make them sound 'clearer'. then there are those who want looser strings.....what the motivation is, i have no idea. i was in a metallica cover band briefly and the guitarist tuned his guitar to....uh... can't remember. A438, i think. just a couple of Hz difference, but i guess to him it made all the difference.
  5. Yeah but thats probably because he was deaf as a post... :rolleyes:


  6. Mathias_TfG


    Apr 28, 2002
    New York
    You don't have to tune way down to play metal, man. Opeth usually use standard tuning. Slayer usually only go down a half step.
    Be a trend setter - try tuning your instrument up, instead of down :D :D
  7. kirbywrx

    kirbywrx formerly James Hetfield

    Jul 27, 2000
    Melbourne, Australia.
    The lowest i have gone to: A
    The lowest i will go to: Standard 5er.

    I quite like basses tuned to a flat, i havent really had my play with a D-tuned bass however. Slipknot go down 69453764397 steps but i like their music, but THATS ME and a different subject. :D
  8. FalsehoodBass


    Jul 22, 2001
    Denver, CO
    unless your guitarists play detuned 7 strings, their detuning shouldn't be much of a problem to you if you own a 5 string.

    I'm in a band where the guitarists play in drop D-flat... it's like drop D, but then all the strings are dropped another half step.... anyway, i can play everything they can with a standard 5 string. I detune 1/2 step so that some of my open strings are the same, but if standard were more important to me, i could do that too.

    IMO, dropping 1/2 step or even a whole step across the entire range isn't that bad on technique, but when you start messing with intervals, you're excluding a lot of possibilities.... i'm sure you're adding more, but i spent the last so many years learning to play a standard bass, and i don't feel like starting over with new string intervals.
  9. * ahem *

    but jaco didn't detune... ;)

  10. I shotgun that for my signature update! ;)


  11. PICK


    Jan 27, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    Most of Cannibal Corpses old material was in Eb tuning. Deicide hover Between Eb and D.
    No you dont need to down tune but it does make crappy riffs sound heavier.
  12. Thats why my band doesn't downtune.. woo that was a bigheaded statement. heeheehee

    I dunno i still like the sound of a standard tuned bass.


  13. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I agree that it makes crappy riffs sound better, but it also serves to make it easier.....

    for guitarist!

    Have you ever seen how they play... If I were a guitarist (ok I play some guitar, but Im a bassist, not a guitarist!) Id be ashamed to say that I play the same thing as those people playing with one finger placed across 3 strings strumming like mad with crazy amounts of distortion to hide their terible tecnique.

    I admit that sometimes it makes sense, like in the Deftones song "My Own Summer".

    It would be hard to play that in standard tunning.

    Bottom line, with a 5er, you should be fine as long as none of the songs are tuned below B. Even in that case you could just play in a higher register.


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