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Tuning arguments in your band, post your storys.

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Veldar, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. This has been going on for a while now, my guitar player and my dummer want to write music in drop D, which I hate, drop tuneings throw off all my theory that I know and the strings go all floppy when I use it.

    I'm in a metal band that I started and they keep telling me how E sounds to happy and you can't write heavy music in it. :rollno:

    Anyway he's getting a 7 string soon with the low B soon, so that should shut him up, anyone else had tunings issues with a band?
  2. lowfreq33


    Jan 27, 2010
    Endorsing Artist: Genz Benz Amplification
    If you have to tune down to make it heavy, then it's not heavy.
  3. esa372


    Aug 7, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have no such tuning issues, but that right there is truly funny.
  4. +1

    Only tuning issues I had was in one group they were playing in standard tuning or Eb and I was playing in Drop D only. They kept complaining my fingerings looked different and encouraged me to tune up.

    Funny thing was on a few songs I would play the low D note instead of the standard D note, or double stop it, and they thought it sounded great. Go figure...
  5. I know right, there the kind of guys that only listen to Metal and Deathcore, which I don't really care for, they learned the Spanish Gypsy scale which they call the "Deathcore scale".....
  6. Tony In Philly

    Tony In Philly Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Filthydelphia, USA
    Any well EQ'ed bass playing a D note on either the E or A string should be good enough. Anybody who who thinks otherwise is either a drop tuning or 5 string chauvinist.
  7. BenWhoPlaysBass


    Jun 7, 2013
    If they think standard tuning can't be heavy, then they've never heard of Megadeth, Metallica, Slayer, Black Sabbath, etc. I remember playing with a buncha morons that only wanted to do stuff in Drop C# or lower. Needless to say, those jam sessions didn't last long.
  8. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    Get heavier strings and tune to D standard? I can understand the appeal of drop D, and occasionally use it with my band (well, Drop C# as we play a half step down anyway), but saying you E is "too happy" is a slap in the face of probably over half the metal bands out there, certainly many of the legendary ones.
  9. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Can I get an AMEN????

    Too many people play stuff that's awful, and then inform me that it's "heavy."

    I'm always like, "if it were HEAVY, you wouldn't have to TELL ME it's heavy."

    That's when the pride gets wounded, right there.
  10. My view is if it sounds heavy in E the it's a good riff.
  11. IPYF


    Mar 31, 2011
    I disagree. The term 'heavy' is subjective. Just like your 'loud' might not be my 'loud' or my definition of funky might be more what you might refer to as groovy.

    My attitude is that if you're going to be in a metal band (and I've been in lots) that you have to have a really large repertoire of tunings and your brain and your instruments need to be able to cope with all of them. All alternate and low tunings have a purpose and exist for a reason, and rather than being put out by them you should experiment with them often and encourage musicians around you to do the same.

    I've heard many people (kids mostly) wail on Drop-D, insinuating it's for poor guitar players who can't play power chords correctly. Wrong. It's a functional tuning for many genres and has more applications that you could quantify.

    I've been told on here that anything below B is just flapping strings. I could show you mind-blowing records that feature a standard tuning of E below E on the guitar (So, effectively a Bass E standard on guitar). The chaotic, dark, borderline psychopathic effect that this tuning creates can't be replicated in standard tuning.

    So, saying something like "If it doesn't stand up in standard E tuning, then it doesn't stand up" is preposterous and an attack on the subjective nature of music itself. It is perfectly applicable for you to feel that the same part is subjectively 'heavier' to you in Drop C than in Eb Standard and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is just sniffing cork.

    People often tend to see alternate tunings and low tunings (especially from guitarists) as an attack on the bass player's territory, which is also inherently bollocks. Attacks on low tunings also tend to come from people who don't play in the metal genre who just snipe at the concept because it's not to their taste.

    Executive summary: You want to play in a metal band? Arm yourself and be prepared to take yourself and your bass where the music is going.
  12. eddododo

    eddododo Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2010
    I dont know.. you can write heavy music in whatever tuning, but lower IS lower, and thats worth being said. Using a word like heavy allows for semantics to deflect the point, but there is really SOMETHING in some fatass low notes. I am not such a fan of dropped tuning, but mainly because im more interesting in tuning to less than fourths if anything...

    I play a 5-er, and even then I sometimes wish i could play a little lower... I am not primarily a metal or even rock player-- i play alot of styles across the board, however.. many of them do NOT need the uber lows-- when i play anything in the ballpark of 'standard' jazz, even up to some modern stuff i do not usually need those lows, but if we get DIRTY on it.. man.. those lows babeh

    Just saying, never ONCE in my tuba career have I cut off the Maestro to say "No, I dont think i need to go that low, the octave up will do fine, or lets just do it in a slightly higher key"
    there are three points i mean here
    -Lower IS lower, check out some badass orchestral music and tell me that fat spreads of notes on a deep bottom doesnt register as 'heavy'
    -If youre the one who is probably the most 'learned' in music, then use it! If the dropped tuning is awkward, use it as a chance to expand your approach, or tune to 'd-standard'. Why would you let the one-scale guitarist be more complete than you in being competent in lower tunings. If they sound crappy at it, then do it better and make them better
    -If 3/4 of a band says 'i'd love this down on D' then kinda sounds like your job is to.. well.. play low D, or convince them otherwise

    Frankly, if I had the bass and the gear and the physics-breaking to produce a B BELOW low B, I would find a [limited and well chosen] place and time for it, believe you me.

    Embrace the boom- I am a guy that HATES being too boomy, and I cut bass more often than not- I hate my bass in the subs and I hate being asked to boom up the room on the root of each chord, but learning how to hold it down, and developing a relationship with the entirety of your range, of the low, insanely powerful gift that has been bestowed upon you, is quintessential in becoming a complete bassist and low-end specialist. I like to shred too, but sometimes you just have to use your unique power for the greater good.

    Grain of salt and all- In reality i probably feel alot like you, alot of the time regarding this situation. But i figured I would share my own experience in growth, on that journey from just-a-bassist-->badass-tappy-slappy-noodly-dude-->soulful-introspective-sexy-chops-bassist-->gigless-bassist-->learning-to-be-the-total-package-in-a-sound-first-finger-ego-second-well-paid-happy-gigging-guy

    happy trails, and dont rag on the guitarists too bad.. they cant help how they are
  13. I know what you mean man, I guess I'm being a bit of a douche but when I write riff's he won't really add anything to the song, except for super generic breakdowns :rollno:
  14. QweziRider

    QweziRider Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2008
    Northern Nevada, U.S.
    I just cannot wrap my head around that. Who cares what the fingers look like???
  15. puddin tame

    puddin tame

    Aug 14, 2010
    I just tune d standard in my metal band. Try playing "watch this" by slash in E and see if has half the attitude
  16. IPYF


    Mar 31, 2011
    Now we're getting closer to the truth of the matter. This is personal, and probably doesn't have much to do with the tuning after all.

    You started the band, you feel like you're losing creative control. You're flipping about the tuning thing because you're being outvoted and it's making you nervous about who's really running the show.
  17. ****, you just hit the nail on the head.

    EDIT: So what do I do?
  18. The BL/guitarist would often play with his eyes closed and head back smiling, then look at me and see I'm "down a step", then look down at his own instrument in a panic and move fingerings ...only to then hear dissonance, stop the song, and ask whose wrong :D
  19. JakeF


    Apr 3, 2012
    Being that self-aware you may not be cut out for heavy metal ;)

    Read the 48 laws of power 3 times over and get plenty of ideas on what to do.
  20. IPYF


    Mar 31, 2011
    You can go with it and adapt to what the majority of the band is doing. If you don't like the direction the band is going you could try and put your foot down but you should probably be prepared to lose. Unless you're the voice of the majority or the paymaster you have no real bargaining power.

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