downtuning: tips, advice, and why?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by fuzzbomb, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. fuzzbomb

    fuzzbomb Member

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    Just thought some other folks who tune below standard might have some tips and advice they've discovered.

    The other question is, why do you tune down, and why the particular tuning you use?

    I started tuning down at first because I wanted to emulate the sound of the really heavy metal bands I was into when I first started playing. Bands like Entombed, Crowbar, and Cathedral. I settled on C# because one of my old singers liked it.

    I use Les Pauls and an SG tuned to C#.

    (lo -> hi)
    C# F# B E G# C#

    Having a good tech set the guitar up properly was the first helpful thing I learned. Should be a no-brainer right? But its funny how easy it is to overlook some of the most obvious things. Discovering Snake Oil strings was another plus. I use Dean's L-Jazz Rock sets, and get him to switch out the wound 3rd with a plain .022.
     
  2. Julia343

    Julia343 Member

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    I, too, down tune one of my axes: my Les Paul Studio. I tune it to Std D or Drop C because of my vocal range. Age and too many cigarettes killed that. I use Markley Blue Steels in .012 - .054 and swap the .026w that comes with them with a .020p. Seems to work fine. If I were to go to C# I'd go to the .022p and maybe the .013 set.

    My SG Standard I keep in Std E and I'm thinking about changing the .017p G to a .016p G.

    When I run through this batch of strings I got I'll be going to SOBstrings. My Hellraiser will be back and I've got a special blend I like for use with actives. Leo mentioned something about not going larger than .022 on the G string due to intonation issues.
     
  3. Fatso Forgottso

    Fatso Forgottso Member

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    Why? because its heavy as a ****in' ballsack.
     
  4. fuzzbomb

    fuzzbomb Member

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    amen.

     
  5. shredtrash

    shredtrash Supporting Member

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    I play in a few tunings. I fill in for one band that uses standard tuning, drop D and drop C for some heavier things. I also have a funk band and a 50's rock n' roll band that are in standard and classic rock band that is 1/2 step down. I use 10's in standard tuning and move up a gauge for every 1/2 step I tune down. Nothing special but that seems to be the formula so the guitar doesn't go wacky with all the different tensions.
     
  6. MesieBooga

    MesieBooga Member

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    I notice w/ bigger strings there is more BOOM factor which I hate. My cover band does Down a 1/2 step tuning(also Drop D down a 1/2) and 11-48 Eb set works great.
    I changed my SG today to Drop C and acoustically it works great with a Hodge Podge set 12-68. The 68 is great so I don't get that high low effect when I hit the string. (must be a name for this effect).
    I'm getting some extended boom now on my tone I don't like. Maybe I need a different pickup.
    :confused:
     
  7. mike80

    mike80 Member

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    I typically tune to Drop C, because I like it. It sounds good to me. I use regular guage strings on it, and they work good.

    I also have one guitar that's tuned in standard for those covers that won't sound dropped down a whole step. I'm using Dean Markley 10-52s on that guitar.

    I have my other guitar tuned to Drop A. This one has a ZW set of GHS Boomers on it. Like a 13 to 70.
     
  8. big brekfest

    big brekfest Guest

    Best quote all day. Thanks for that!
     
  9. jaywalker

    jaywalker Member

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    For a TV session I have about 20 guitars all down and uptuned + standard.
    The biggest problem (apart from setting the guitars up differently every bloody week) seems to be the lighting. I dropped my Tele down a full tone last night, tuned it at 8pm, and by 8:15 the strings were almost a full tone out! (the guitar was on a stand with TV lights on it). Certain guitars react differently to dropped tuning, some like it, some don't. I don't think there is a universal formula, especially when it comes to using them live, if there is - then somebody let me know!
     

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