Point to drop tuning?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by my name is mud, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. my name is mud

    my name is mud

    Jul 2, 2004
    whats the point to drop D, A, B etc tuning a bass? dosn't it just make 2 strings sound the same?
  2. it's a lot easier to tune to Eb when the guitars are tuned to Eb than it is to buy a 5 string and relearn how to play everything. plus, it won't sound like a 5 string, which is a good thing for me.

  3. I-Love-Ratm


    Feb 24, 2003
    what tunings are you talking about?
  4. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    The strings dont sound the same. You tune one to LOW D, A B, etc. You dont tune your E to the D above it, its the one below it.
  5. Rumzini


    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI
    My name is mud....isn't Le Claypool tuned to drop D for some of his songs...To Many Puppies??????
  6. No for "my name is mud" he uses his fretless six string (AKA the rainbow bass) he just plays on the B string...and for too many puppies he probably uses his fretted sixer
  7. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Ok, I checked you profile for equipment, and noticed the
    Brice 4.

    The low D popular in songs in D like Sweet Home Alabama [choke]
    for example, a drop to D on only the E string will allow you to hit the root note for the song.

    The draw back is that then the 'E' string is now tuned to a 5th,
    not a 4th and you have to adjust your fingering on the E string to
    reflect that. Another option is to tune all strings down 2 whole steps, but I don't recommend this as it can make the strings sound
    'muddy' as they are under less tension.

    There is also a device known as a 'hipshot tuner' that has a lever at the tuning machine head that when pulled, flats the E to a D when needed.

    Many bassplayers that are pros move to a 5 string to get the low extended range, or to a 6 or seven string to get both the low and high extended ranges.

    I have played bass for 30 years and the 4 has always met my needs,
    but styles and needs change.

    Try some of these techniques, and if they work for you, fine.
    If not, save for a 5 and an equipment upgrade. Based on your profile, I would upgrade the amp first, the Brice is a good axe, and I have friends [ member 'NJL' ] that play serious jazz, that are perfectly happy with it.

    hope that helps


  8. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    I dont believe he was refering to the song my name is mud, but instead, the TBer^^ i believe he was only refering to Too many puppies.
  9. I've seen a line performance video for Too Many Puppies. He uses his Carl Thompson 4-string with the whammy bar.
  10. bigcatJC


    Jul 9, 2004
    Another reason for drop tunings, especially ones where you drop all strings, is so guitar players can do their tricks in a lower key and still use open strings.

    You know one of us had to say it :)
  11. knuckle_head

    knuckle_head Commercial User

    Jul 30, 2002
    Owner; Knuckle Guitar Works & Circle K Strings
    I use an alternate tuning where my lowest fundamental is an A with straight 4th relationships. I chose to do this to support my baritone which is tuned to A.

    .....not quite the same, huh. :oops:
  12. Rumzini


    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI
    Yeah I was referring to the TBr's name....but the question was answered. Anyways some guy at the local shop was playing some Primus stuff and I noticed and he told me he dropped the E to D.
    I play with the E tuned to D...why? When I used to try to learn how to play guitar my brother in law who plays guitar was playing that way...so I did. Then when I switched to bass and played with him I tuned that way. Now when I got into the band I'm in now the guitarr player plays in "Drop D"...however I want to talk him into trying the CGCF tuning. Or I may go BEAD to get a lil extended low range...since I hardly ever touch my G string....Blah blah blah....I ramble
  13. Marcus Miller tunes drop D when he plays So What.....
  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    I used to detune my E string to reach lower notes. Since switching to BEADG fiver, I don't have to deal with that anymore.

    One of my bands tunes down to Eb because of the lead vocalist's limited range. Yes, I tune down my fiver as well.
  15. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    For guitarist:

    To make certain chords easier.

    For bassist:

    To match the guitarists playing without buying a 5 string.
  16. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Extended bottom range without losing your G string or playing a fiver. It's very common, especially getting that rumbling low D. I know it's one of my favorite tricks, especially in hard rock playing. Hipshots are IMO the way to go for the low D tuning.
  17. Anti_Wish


    May 14, 2004
    Boston, Ma

    go the the "ask michael manring" thread. he drop tunes so much it is insane. i think in like the song "glass window" or SOMETHING like that he detunes like 100 times (or so, it was on a website about his tunings). i do love that zon hyperbass!
  18. Adam Barkley

    Adam Barkley Mayday!

    Aug 26, 2003
    Jackson, MS
    Keep in mind that he is creating new tunings by raising and lowering, not just detuning lower throughout the song.

    The reason some guitarists detune their E to D is to allow to play power chords with one finger; and they say it's hard to start on guitar. :D
  19. Anti_Wish


    May 14, 2004
    Boston, Ma
    thats what i meant...