Tuning down. Not as exciting as it used to be for me?

JiveTurkey

Goatlord
TGF Recording Artist
Messages
14,089
This isn't an old man rant. Really at all. Used to be I loved being tuned down. Played in C# standard on and off for years. I've done Eb for a small stretch or two as well. For the past decade-ish; 440 has been it for gigging band purposes. At home I will still futz with digital downtuning solutions or just do drop D (which happens A LOT). Whenever I do venture beyond that threshold; I find I am nowhere near as excited about the prospect. You can certainly be "heavy" in drop A. You can also be heavy in A440 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I have found that trying to sculpt lower tunings into something ear pleasing is just not as fun anymore for me. There's a weird attack to it and almost like a bass wah'd tonality to it and my ears just don't gravitate towards it. I will say that if I am wanting that vibe; I pretty much go right to something like Acacia Strain or Emmure where it's so low tuned it's basically at the brown note level :rofl If you're going to do it; do it right :cop:rofl
 
I grew up playing a lot of downtuned and alternate tuned stuff, lots of drop D, drop C, etc. I’ve found that I prefer standard tuning these days as well.

That said, there is something about Eb tuning I love in 2 contexts. I keep a Les Paul in Eb - that goes into my Superlead when I want to channel my inner Slash. The slightly detuned LP through a cranked Marshall is a tried and true tone recipe that sounds so raw and vicious. The other is a Strat in Eb which gets used when I want to do the SRV thing.

IMO there is some magic in Eb, but I rarely go lower than that any more, and I’m mostly in E standard.

Maybe when I’m 60 I’ll get really into Pantera and White Zombie and start playing in drop C again. :satan
 
My home is drop-C, I’ve been playing in it for 20+ years at this point and I know I can pretty much open my mouth and it’ll work with my vocal range so it’s hard for me to step outside of that. Going lower than that, I have a 7-string in standard and a 6-string in drop A but I’m really not a fan of the tones I have to use in order to get those sounding the way they ‘need’ to sound in a mix. Overall I’m not a fan of the tone of thicker strings, they lose that snap that gives me the response I’m looking for.

Absolutely love Sevendust and the tones they get down at those tunings and I’ve been on a big Whitechapel kick lately, definitely no aversion to hearing those tunings in songs, I just end up fighting to make them work for me.

Hahaha and I can’t do flat tunings, I dig the way they sound but my lord, it takes me forever to adjust to singing over them.
 
I drop tuned most of my life. Drop C was my heart and soul for many years. When I was in my 7 string phase I'd go to drop G# and I was in Drop E in the 8 string band

I just like playing in standard these days though. Sometimes I drop down to drop D for funsies but I haven't gone lower than that in ages. I enjoy playing heavy shit in standard too. Rhythm/pick attack/and obviously amp and you can get brutal AF. I was talking to someone after a show recently and they were shocked we were tuned to standard because they just assumed I was downtuned on some of the heavier songs

That said, I've finally found myself in quite the guitar surplus so I'd love to revisit Drop C again at some point
 
I drop tuned most of my life. Drop C was my heart and soul for many years. When I was in my 7 string phase I'd go to drop G# and I was in Drop E in the 8 string band

I just like playing in standard these days though. Sometimes I drop down to drop D for funsies but I haven't gone lower than that in ages. I enjoy playing heavy s**t in standard too. Rhythm/pick attack/and obviously amp and you can get brutal AF. I was talking to someone after a show recently and they were shocked we were tuned to standard because they just assumed I was downtuned on some of the heavier songs

That said, I've finally found myself in quite the guitar surplus so I'd love to revisit Drop C again at some point

That’s what gets me the most about Cattle Decapitation, they’re in Eb but sound brutal AF.

 
I would actually love a guitar in Eb that could hit drop C# from time to time. That is about as low as I want to go anymore. @spawnofthesith on that rhythm and pick attack observation is spot on. There is something different (for obvious reasons) when you go too far. It changes how you riff certainly. @DrewJD82 C is great when other people use it (and makes total sense from your vocal comfort POV). I have tried it on and off and it never sat right for my ears in my situations. Like it's too low but not low enough? Works great for Devy obviously :chef :satan
 
I would actually love a guitar in Eb that could hit drop C# from time to time. That is about as low as I want to go anymore. @spawnofthesith on that rhythm and pick attack observation is spot on. There is something different (for obvious reasons) when you go too far. It changes how you riff certainly. @DrewJD82 C is great when other people use it (and makes total sense from your vocal comfort POV). I have tried it on and off and it never sat right for my ears in my situations. Like it's too low but not low enough? Works great for Devy obviously :chef :satan

I know what you’re saying about too low but not low enough. I’m not sure if it’s the result of hearing so much sh*t in the last 20 years in drop C or what, but yeah, that’s one of the things that crosses my mind when I write a riff and start figuring out which key I want to put it in.
 
I know what you’re saying about too low but not low enough. I’m not sure if it’s the result of hearing so much sh*t in the last 20 years in drop C or what, but yeah, that’s one of the things that crosses my mind when I write a riff and start figuring out which key I want to put it in.
You do great with it. Obviously. When I use it (and it could be I am always using it with digital down tuning vs. actually having a guitar in that tuning); the difference in tone is there to where I know I need to start sculpting. But it hasn't rolled down that hill fully so I am always kind of stuck in the middle with it in C ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :rofl
 
I go back and forth but mainly stay 440 or Eb but I've found that this works pretty much across the board even tuned down type stuff, lowering the gain helps a lot too as well as being able to us mics on real cabs for positional EQing, instead of IR dumpster diving. Still overall agree tuning down takes work to make it work in mixes. Man those lower/low mid frequencies build up.
 
I hate to be that guy, but A still = 440hz (and 220 and 840, etc. etc.) in any alternate tunings mentioned here :sofa


Likely the only time you wouldn't be in 440 is if you're an annoying hippie or conspiracy theorist that want's to tune to A=432hz because nazis or the vibration of the earth or whatever other motivation :rofl
 
200.gif
 
Back
Top