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tuning your base into Drop D

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by happy_knappy, Jan 30, 2002.

  1. happy_knappy


    Jan 30, 2002
    Hey i am a beginner and i was wondering how to tune your base into drop d. i have no clue how. And another question. WHat are the best strings for bass?
  2. A bass in standard tuning has the strings pitched to EADG, with E being the thickest and lowest string, and looks like this:

    Drop D tuning would be DADG, so turn the tuning peg on the E string counterclockwise so that the E string sounds like the D string. Drop D would therefore look like this:


    Someone else would probably be more knowledgable than I when it comes to strings. Hope that helped.
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Welcome to Talkbass, happy_knappy.:)

    This is in the wrong Forum, but never fear, a Moderator will be along to move it soon enough.

    We have an entire Forum devoted to strings and while the term best is highly subjective, you will find lots of opinions on great strings in that Forum.

    Here is a link to Strings: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=16
  4. I don't know how to drop D, but I can tell ya how to drop E!:D

    Corney Joke of the day

    Just like Wang Chung said. And I'd suggest using a tuner seeing as your are a beginner, but as your ear matures and you can tell when two strings played together are in tune (it makes a very distince wah wah wah sound) you can try comparing the D string (2nd smallest) to the E string while dowtuning until you get thim in tune with each other. Make any sense?

    Try a search over in the Stings forums for the best strings.
  5. alx564


    Jul 31, 2000
    Emmaus, PA
    If you are having trouble downtuning to the D by playing both D's what you can do is play the 7th fret on you E string (thickest one) and also play an open A (the next string up) at the same time.

    You can then tune by finetuning your strings untill the sound fluxuation stops and it sounds like one solid note. That is the best way I can describe tuning by ear.
  6. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    DONT tune with frets as ALX suggests. It won't get you precisely in tune.

    For drop D, hit the harmonic over the 12th fret of the D string (the second highest) and the 12th fret of the E string (the lowest), and adjust the E's tuning key down until they sound like the same note (ie, you won't hear any beating or wave like noises).

    Tuning with frets BAD.
  7. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    It's BASS not base!

    Sorry, pet peave. :p
  8. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

  9. Bassmouse3


    Nov 12, 2001
    Valby, Denmark
    Ahem, sorry about that... Actually, tuning with harmonics is just as bad as tuning with frets, since the guitar and bass both are tempered instruments, this meaning that since a harmonic is a pure note, they cannot be used to properly tune a bass. The only exception would be a Buzz Feiten equipped bass. I know that I'm not very good at describing this, but Dan Erlewine goes into detail on this subject in his book about guitar repair.
    Best Regards,
  10. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    That's why it is best to play a fretless.
  11. Bassmouse3


    Nov 12, 2001
    Valby, Denmark
    :D Exactly! And guitars are just plain bad medicine!;)
  12. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    If you switch between regular and drop D tuning a lot, I would highly recommend the Hipshot D tuner. When you want drop D you just flip a lever, and it drops the E string to D. Works very well, of course you have to set it up to drop to the right note, but that is fairly easy.
  13. and if you do it in the middle of a song, you'll look hardcore ... ;)
  14. cap


    Aug 8, 2001
    Hickam Hawaii
    not to say im smarter than Angus cause im sure he is at least 1000 times more bass educated than me but if he is having to ask this question then he probably cant tell when it is precisely in tune.

    to put it in laymens terms
    im assuming that you know how to tune the bass by ear

    you tune the E string down to where if you hold the 7th fret you get the Sound of the A string...this was how it was explained to me and it works for me:rolleyes:
  15. HeavyDuty

    HeavyDuty Supporting Curmudgeon Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 26, 2000
    Suburban Chicago, IL
    It's PEEVE, not peave.

  16. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    After I posted that I knew it was coming.....but it wasn't worth editing. I must have been thinking of Peavey.

  17. ebozzz

    ebozzz Supporting Member

    May 17, 2001
    A Bass is a fish! :D
  18. Steve S

    Steve S

    Jul 26, 2000
    I've never used this kind of tuning...I guess I could try it. What is the purpose?
  19. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
    Check my signature. ;)

    Steve S, It's for when you have an annoying guitarist that insists on tuning down, it gives you a low Eb and D.
  20. JimM


    Jan 13, 2000
    Northern California
    I've got a song coming up which requires holding a low D for about 20 measures.I've decided the easiest way for me to do it without a fiver is to tune D-G-C-F,then,since the chart is almost all chords and very little actual written notes,I've crossed out the chords and written them in a whole step higher.I think the biggest challenge will be having to switch basses quickly before and after this song.
    Hey,ya do what ya gotta do.