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'Tuning Down To D'

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mustBmtd, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. mustBmtd


    Sep 28, 2012
    Can somebody help me with this issue, of not understanding. Andrew Gouche' States he tunes down to D'. And of course he plays an MTD 6 string his very own signature. So I need help in understanding the over all tuning of the strings, If it's not standard tuning of B' E' A' D' G' C'. What formation of tuning would take place in the way he's tuning. Thanks. To all bass players no matter what style of music keep holding down the bottom end. Be Blessed.:help::help::help:
  2. I love drop tuning. D to C to G to F is such a good progression... A heavy progression. It's fun. I also love how it sounds to hold a note on F and then hit that low D. Also works in D standard w/ a drop C. It just feels right for the music I write and play.
  3. Teacher


    May 3, 2012
    His sixth string would be A, his fifth D (the original lowest string on a bass, hence the reference point), and so forth.
  4. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    Here is a Bass Player article where he discusses his tuning. The relevant paragraph says:

    What led you to tune your basses down a whole-step?
    I knew Joel was tuning down to Eb, which made sense because a lot of gospel tunes are in flat keys. So in 1982 I started tuning my bass down to D, just so I would be lower than Joel [laughs]. I got my first 5- string, a Yamaha BB5000, right when it came out in 1985, and I tuned it down a step, like my 4-string. Not long after, I was doing a live recording at an Edwin Hawkins seminar and there was a ballad by Thomas Whitfield that had a break on it. I hit the low open A, and Thomas tripped out. When he got back to Detroit he had all of his local bass players tune their B strings down a step.

    So what Teacher says above is correct and to expand on it a little he tunes his four strings (if he still uses them) DGCF and his six string ADGCFBb. I tune my basses in fifths so the four strings are tuned CGDA. I have a Reggie Hamilton Standard Jazz which comes standard with a Hipshot tuning key on the E string which is a C string for me. Not knowing what else to do with it I set it up to tune down to an A. I found out later that Reggie Hamilton does that on the B string of his five string basses and now I find out that Andrew Gouche does too. I guess I am in excellent company but truth be told I have never flipped the lever on that Hipshot to perform a song....

  5. unclejane

    unclejane Guest

    Jul 23, 2008
    I tried tuning down a whole step for a little while with my Rickenbackers back in the gigging days, mostly a desperate attempt to get some, any, meat in the sound (I tried absolutely everything to try and get those things to sound good including detuning).
    The Rick still sounded awful, but on some of my other basses, I found it gave a really meaty solid tone, as long as I used a very light touch.

    The only real problem with doing this is you have to transpose any of your band's songs that originally require EADG tuning. And of course it throws off all the notes on the fingerboard and so on.

    But it is an interesting experiment, mainly for the tone. It can be a lot of fun....

  6. Wallace320

    Wallace320 Commercial User

    Mar 19, 2012
    Milan, Italy
    ... of how an old school tunin' (I mean some classical instruments, not necessarily in our same key) should go like...

    flat E means E, A, D, G
    drop D means D, A, D, G (also reachable with a Hipshot bass extender engaged)
    flat D means D, G, C, F
    drop C means C, G, C, F (also reachable with a Hipshot bass extender engaged)

    with 5ers
    flat B means B, E, A, D, G
    flat A (think about the Korn) means A, D, G, C, F

    with 6ers
    flat B means B, E, A, D, G, C
    flat A means A, D, G, C, F, Bb


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