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problems playing in drop D

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kyo, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. kyo


    Jul 6, 2004
    ok. well i have a hartke 2000 head, crate 115 cab and a crap johnson starter bass. anyway, here's the problem:

    when i play in standard, it sounds just fine. i mean, the bass sounds bad, but what i would expect. but, when i tune to drop D, the D string sounds BAD when i play fast....when i play with smooth, soft plucking (as in, a slower song) it sounds fine. but when i try to play something like black dhalia murder or slayer, or any fast heavy metal, it sounds terrible. its this weird occasional popping sound along with the regular tone. i cant stand it.

    i tried twisting the bass's tone and volume knobs, different combinations with the amp...still the same very annoying sound. even with the compressor on.

    the noise sounds the same on the little guitar amp i used to play through (only i expected that, since its a tiny guitar amp). will this sound be cured if i get a better bass, even if its just an SX?
  2. christoph h.

    christoph h.

    Mar 26, 2001
    this is just a guess, but could it be that the string is hitting the pick-up pole pieces? that could happen because of the reduced tension of the de-tuned string combined with you probably digging in much more when playing faster.
  3. kyo


    Jul 6, 2004
    maybeee, i really dont know. how would i adjust it to find out?
  4. gyellow


    Dec 16, 2003
    Whenever I put my bass in drop D and play fast the string clanks on the last fret. That may be the noise your hearing. Try raising your strings a bit and it should get rid of it.
  5. bozo


    May 18, 2004
    You mention a popping sound so it could be that you attack the string to hard and it hits the frets.

    Likely to be the case as you don't have the issue when you play smooth parts.

    It may come from a low tension, or you may play too hard (if you attack to much on any bass with low action, then you'll get flea sound [finger with fret pops]).
  6. adjust your pickups, adjust your plucking, and move to a heavier guage string to compensate for the lower tension.

  7. Big String

    Big String Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2000
    Northwest Indiana
    Also employ some muting tecnique. use the palm or side or your hand. I drop D tune a lot and it works perfect but can runaway if you're not ready to mute it.
  8. Go to a heavier gauge string. Back when I used to play metal, I used a set of GHS strings that had a .120 E string and they held up well.

    I would say that the popping is probably the strings on the pickups. Don't lower your pickups too much or you will lose signal strength.
  9. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    Get a five string and fret the D on the B string. :p
  10. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    .120 E?! Jeeeeeeez. That's crazy...my E string is .089 :D. I'd reccomend going into a heavier gauge for playing detuned (maybe not as far as .120, since that's "light" for a B string), and you should be ok.
  11. get a kubicki :p ...could just be the bass.....or your technique...are you playing with a pick or are you pizzicato? (fingerstyle)...try playing fast, but with soft attack...it takes a while but i got it down and you are rewared with more finger control, more rounder tone, more speed
    and even volume.....if you're playing with yor fingers that it...im assuming you play with a pick considering the 'metal'..i used to play metal, but i used my fingers, i was a rebel according to my band mates..lol..but then again i was also the best bassist they had seen, hower i got dump because i didnt jump around as if i had a thumb shoved up my ass :p
  12. kyo


    Jul 6, 2004
    someone told me that if i get these heavier gauge strings (ones suitable for tuning to C) but then tune it back to standard, the strings might break. is this true? is there a problem playing standard with heavy gauge strings?

    and yeah i play with a pick, i cant handle fingers :oops:
  13. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    get a new bass. problem solved.
  14. kyo


    Jul 6, 2004
    i hardly have enough money for new strings, bro.
  15. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    sell the one u have now, once you have enough for strings. then u will have enough for a real bass.
  16. kyo


    Jul 6, 2004
    the one i have now is worth like $50 at the most :oops:
  17. Edwcdc

    Edwcdc I call shotgun!

    Jul 21, 2003
    Columbia MD USA
    Don't worry man, make the best of what you have. Go for the heavier strings and work on playing a little cleaner and you should be OK.
  18. PasdaBeer


    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    bump up to lower guage...110 is my prefered type, you may need to adjust the action/bow in the neck, drop the pup height, and if you wanna get a tighter sound, pick closer to the bridge.
  19. roark


    Jun 19, 2004
    I play in c and i string my five string with a six string set (B thru C) the B tuned up to c and i dont use the E string i just tune A thru C down and it works pretty well for me i still have a little tweaking to do but it works much better than trying to tune up a standard five string set (B thru G)
  20. Keentwist


    Mar 22, 2004
    Heavier strings or string it BEAD. I did the BEAD on my OLP MM copy because I got sick of drop D limitations