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What is Drop D tuning?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by brewer9, Nov 14, 2000.

  1. brewer9


    Jul 5, 2000
    Is Drop-D tuning the same as BEADG or is it something else? If it IS the same why isnt it called drop-B tuning?
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    It's something else. D-A-D-G. It's used a lot for grunge and heavy metal. You can hear it on Soundgarden's, "Spoonman," "Black Hole Sun," and Corrosion of Conformity's, "Pearls Before Swine," among others.
    Here's a little trick - Fret the E at the 7th fret and tune it to the A string. Now you're in Drop-D.
  3. Jennifer


    Jul 31, 2000
    Erie, Illinois
    I'm glad to see this thread. We decided to play in drop D last weekend. But we tuned differently than you say to, rickbass1. I wonder if we were off a bit now. We fretted the E at the 3rd fret and tuned that to E. Sounds like we were 1 fret off?? Tell you what though, we sounded like a whole different band!
  4. brewer9


    Jul 5, 2000
    Do you play normally or do you have to alter your style? It seems like you'd have to change a lot cuz you dont have that octave thing going with the E string and the middle fret on the A string. Any comments about that....please?

    My band is gonna be switching to that tuning, but after 20 years of playing with standard tuning its totally new to me.
  5. Dave Siff

    Dave Siff Supporting Member

    Brewer.. the times I have played in drop D I found it pretty cool, because you have two open D strings, so you have an octave thing going all the way up the neck. But of course you have to change the way you play a bit.
    I don't know if this is an option, but if you can get ahold of a Kubicki Ex-Factor, it has that headstock-flip thing to drop to open D, and two extra frets below the nut.. so you wouldn't have to adjust that much, all the fretted notes on the E string above the nut stay the same. It's a very cool system.
  6. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

  7. Jennifer


    Jul 31, 2000
    Erie, Illinois
    Ha! Tell you what I think we did. :oops: I think we tuned the E to D flat. And A to G flat, D to B, and G to E. No wonder we sounded so different! It was actually pretty cool, but the covers did not work at all!! Came up with some pretty neat original sounds, though.

    We're going to try your suggestion for the fun of it. We've never really experimented with any different tunings before.
  8. Wes I AM

    Wes I AM

    May 27, 2000
    Tampa, FL
    I love lower tuning! I always keep my 5 tuned to ADGCF and it sounds pretty fat!
  9. pink floyd's the wall is a great example of drop D tuning
  10. backtoschool


    Oct 24, 2000
    I also enjoy C tuning a great deal. It's got a dark edge to it. Sometimes the strings are a little too loose for my liking so I just go up half a step and it still gives you that sound.
  11. I wonder why heavy metal bands always use lower tuning. I guess it sounds more evil. I sometimes use drop D, or even C. Now I dont have to go up a whole octave, and it sounds better.
  12. MJB


    Mar 17, 2000
  13. So... how do you call the ADADGC tuning I use? Drop AD? Chaos AD maybe? Oh, and I also play BEADGC in another band.

    Nothing confusing about that in my opinion. If you have everything in your head for both tunings, it's as easy as just fretting. I started playing DADG, back when I had my first bass, and then I learned the EADG tuning, but I needed only a few weeks to get used to that. If I can get used to two different tunings, how hard can it be?

  14. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Drop D tuning comes in handy for Santana's "Oye Como Va" and Alanis Morisette's "Uninvited."
  15. drop tuning makes it easier on singers

    i think
  16. What would tuning down to C be called? Drop C? Every time I see it in tab books, they say "Drop D your bass then tune it one step down." But D gets its own little name! Drop D! All the C's, Db's, and E'bs probably feel very left out!
  17. i used to tune down, got to lazy, now i just use the third fret of my low b string for a d, ah sweeet lazyneesss