Recommend me some metal bands that don't down tune!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by electricdemon3, Jul 13, 2003.

  1. electricdemon3


    Jul 28, 2000
    Ok, here's the deal. Recently my band broke up, and I am thinking about auditioning for some other bands. Being a band that played all original material, we never learned any covers. Actually, I have never had the patience to learn any song by another band all the way through in the 8 years of my bass playing experience! I would like to teach myself some songs that I can use as audition material. I would like to play metal.

    Here's the catch--I am a lazy bastard and I don't want to put new strings on my bass and down tune it. Therefore, that limits my song selection to metal bands who play in standard tuning(my bass is a 4 string by the way).

    To give an idea as to what kinda music I like, I like Deftones, Metallica(up to and including the Black album), Megadeth, Meshuggah, Dillinger Escape plan, Dream Theater, Morbid Angel, Cradle of Filth...

    The list goes on, but those are my favorites I can think of at the moment. Can you guys recommend some other metal bands that play in standard tuning that I might check out besides ones I mentioned already that use standard tuning?

    Drop D tuning is fine too; I am not THAT lazy! ;)
  2. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Portland, OR
    ... You're too lazy to retune?

    That's pretty freaking lazy. Besides, what does it matter?

    Besides, if you're auditioning for a band to join, why not just tune to whatever they tune to? What's the use of listening to all the standard tuned bands if the bands you audition for detune? I mean, I'm not saying they will, but would you not join a band because they detune, or get kicked from a band because you won't detune?

    I have several basses, detuned and tuned standard, but I tune to whatever the band's music dictates. On my own time, I'll tune to whatever I feel like...

    So, what does it matter if you learn songs to audition, if it stands a good chance that you might not even be playing in standard?
  3. electricdemon3


    Jul 28, 2000
    Well, I am not too lazy to retune my bass forever, I do plan to tune to whatever tuning the band plays in that I audition for.

    My problem is that in the meantime, I would like to have a few songs to practice on and build up my chops. Many different metal bands play in many different tunings. If I want to learn different songs from different bands, I don't want to have to put new strings on every time and adjust my truss rod and everything that goes with down tuning(I only have 1 bass).

    For example, say I want to play a Morbid Angel song, I would have to tune all the way down to B! Then if I want to learn a Deftones song, I would have to change the tuning depending on what album it is from considering they drop a half step lower for each album. Minor tuning changes like drop D and Eb are no problem. It is when you go down to crazy tunings like C# and below that you need to worry about fatter strings.
  4. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Portland, OR
    ...Hu? I detuned/retuned for years on the same bass, with the same strings. You don't have to change strings, or even adjust the action to detune, nor intonate.

    All it takes is detuning the string. It's not expensive, or time consuming.

    C# is only 3 flats away from E. The tension isn't significantly that much different than E. You can also do this nutty thing called transposing, but, really, who does that?

    If you're doing metal, and are worried about tuning on one bass, I'd buy a set of 5 string strings, and re-string it BEAD. You get standard tunings, plus, two steps down from EADG (CFBE) is actually highger than BEAD by a hair. I'd switch between the two in less than 15 seconds.

    Standard, Drop D, Drop A, CFBbEb, Drop C, all rather quickly available. You lose the G string, but (IMHO), that treble range is really taken care of by the guitars.

    But that's my experience. I had my bass strung standard (EADG) for years, and never really saw the hassle of detuning one to two full steps.

    I also have my action set high, so the detuning didn't cause the same rattle it would on a bass with low action.
  5. Old Metallica(Cliff 'em All days) Used standard EADG,and it's got some good stuff in there,check it out!

  6. 'my friend of misery' on the black album has a cool bass intro/interlude which doesn't take long to learn and just repeats. that one tends to impress some people anyway! and it is in standard tuning

    i cant believe you have never learnt any song by any other band? thats 100% how i practice!!!!
    if i listed the songs i could play....we'd be here allll day, but thats because alot of songs only take about 10 minutes (2 or 3 run throughs)to learn on bass, the guitarists have a harder job getting everything down exactly right, while us bassists can just make stuff up/wing it.

    so yeah, just get a five string like me and you wont have to worry about detuning, and dont say you have to be rich to get one, you just have to work and save for a few months, you can do it, i got an ESP which are very metal orientated basses:bassist:
  7. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Portland, OR
    So they would have you believe.

    This is just my opinion, but most of the reason people like them, is that ESP used EMG pickups, which would sound good for metal/rock if you stapled them to a 2x4.

    I find them utterly average and less, and think that you can do much better for the money than any ESP.

    But, that's the me. You might be of mind that they are great basses.
  8. electricdemon3


    Jul 28, 2000
    As you stated at the end of your post, you use high action. I, on the other hand, prefer to play with extremely low action. Therefore, I can barely get away with tuning from standard down to D. Anything past that and it is buzz hell for me. Also, due to the laws of physics, the lower a string is tuned, the looser it becomes. Therefore, the action no longer feels the same unless you put fatter strings on the bass to compensate.

    I am aware of the difference between C# and E. Down tuning not a new concept to me, I have done it before in previous bands. In my experience the tension becomes extremely different, and you can really tell if you have your bass set up with low action. And about transposing, I would love to, but I also plan on playing along with the CDs for practice. I can’t very well be in a different key for that!

    That would make it hard to play in songs in E that require the G string.
  9. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Portland, OR
    Well, most of my information is my experience. So, take it as you may; your results may vary.
  10. electricdemon3


    Jul 28, 2000
    Well, before I got into rock and metal, I learned to play bass by playing jazz and funk in the high school band. So, technically I guess I did learn some songs by other bands, but I learned that through sight reading charts. I also always put my own spin on those songs anyway. Since then, the bands I have been in have played all originals, so I have really only either played their songs or songs I have written. I have never just sat down with a CD and taken the time to learn a song off it.

    I actually plan on getting a 5 string one day, when I have the money, but being a full time college student with no job, that probably won't happen for a while!
  11. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Iron Maiden
  12. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Portland, OR
    Then why not get a heavier gauge? They'll still tune to E just as well as a lighter gauge.
  13. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    How about playing along with the songs from your former band?

    Alongside that, build in a program of listening to a wide range of other music that you wouldn't mind playing and see how you get on with figuring it out.

    When an audition comes up, you can then ask for a few songs they'd like to try you out on, and you'll have the listening 'chops' needed to get them down quite quickly.

  14. Brendan


    Jun 18, 2000
    Portland, OR
    Actually, I still do that! About once a week, I take a break from regular practice and play along with the entire CD.

    It's a nice way to keep sharp(er).

  15. DING DING!

    S.H is the man.....

  16. Razor


    Sep 22, 2002
    THE call.......

    My opinion on this:
    I have 8 basses....
    7 four strings and 1 five. I recently got the five after playing nothing but four's for 16 or so odd years. The only reason I got it is to play this "Nu-Metal" radio stuff the guys in one group want to play. That being said I have started taking a liking to it but I still have a couple of the four stings tuned to dropped D, one to dropped D flat, one in D tuning, one that is strung on and so forth. Basically a bass for every occasion. I do this, like many other players I suppose, because it's easier (if you have the extra basses) to just pick up a dedicated bass for the tuning as opposed to retuning for every different song. It's not that hard to de-tune and then go back but it takes a few seconds to make sure you're in tune. Hopefully my soon to be aquisition of a Hipshot De-tune thing-a-ma-jiggy will solve that. All of this could/would have been solved if I had started out on a five string. IMHO people who start out/like playing five's have much less of a need for all these different basses because they already have what they need, on one instrument. I'm lazy when it comes to learning one song a certain way, if I learn it in dropped D then that's what I have to have to play it...I can't pick up a standard tuned five string and do it very easily. Muscle memory is what it's called??
    As for never playing other people's tunes...well you're missing out. That's where 99.9% of my creativity comes from. It's the absolute best and only practice for me to pop a CD in the computer, pick up a bass, and just learn learn learn. Ok, I've wasted too much of you fine people's time here so I'm off the box.:D

    Sabbath RULZ...... (couldn't help myself)
  17. dragonbass

    dragonbass Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2003
    ........................................EX-Sadowsky Guitars Builder..........................................................
    Metal Church
    Iron Maiden
    Ac/Dc (i know you said heavy metal..but had to include them)
    Judas Priest

    I can go on for days................:cool:
  18. electricdemon3


    Jul 28, 2000
    You got some pretty good ones in there I didn't think of... keep 'em coming, people!
  19. Caeros


    Jul 24, 2002
    Branford, CT
    Fates Warning
    Dream Theater
    King's X (first 5 albums, Drop D and whole step down)
  20. Fliptrique


    Jul 22, 2002
    Szczecin, Poland
    Endorsing Artist: Mayones Guitars&Basses
    Consider buying a used MIJ Ibanez Soundgear - they`re preety cheap now (bought mine 8x5 for like 400$, but it already had emg`s in it), are extremely comfortable if you can get past a 14m string spacing. The stock pickups aren`t that bad, but after equiping them with pickups like emg`s you`ll have a damn killing machine capable of dialing out quite a few usefull tones.