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I don't get it...why de-tune?


EZ

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Why is everyone talking about A=440 being standard bass tuning and anything else therefore not being A=440.

 

Unless you're doing something really weird, all these strange tunings, be they Eb, drop D or any of the myriad of nu-metal tunings or Manringisms, are all with A=440. The fact that your instrument's tuning has changed is neither here nor there, every A that you're playing is 27.5, 55, 110, 220, 440, 880Hz etc.

 

Alex

 

P.S. And I don't have great absolute pitch but I'm still bothered by the change in position vs pitch when I play in another tuning. Which is why I don't do it, especially live, though it's a useful tool when recording.

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Originally posted by jeremy c:

Yes, SRV did. I said that in the fourth post in this thread.

whoops...caught me skimming :freak:

  • There is a difference between Belief and Truth.
  • Constantly searching for Truth makes your Beliefs seem believable.

 

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Originally posted by Big Daddy from Motown:

The whole detuning thing brings to mind one of the advantages of playing a 5 string. You don't need to retune.

+1 :thu: that's my answer to the situation.

Nothing is as it seems but everything is exactly what it is - B. Banzai

 

Life is what happens while you are busy playing in bands.

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Why is everyone talking about A=440 being standard bass tuning and anything else therefore not being A=440.

Spot on as usual Alex, except it's not 'everyone'! I only metioned A to describe my tuning fork.

Alex, join us in the uncomfortable detuners camp. Personally, I don't have a problem playing tunes in different keys either. Sometimes I'm never sure what key we're going to play the tune in until the guitar intro starts, but the detuning affecting the sound made from a position does bother me. Next gig, I'm going to try standard tuning (or maybe just next rehearsal) ;) .

basshappi, if that's your response - what is your response to my point

Yeah, I thought about that. But in some ways it doesn't solve the problem. It's actually the sound/feel of open strings that some tunes require

Maybe the audience cares a lot less about open strings versus fretted than we do ;) I don't think I'll be able to use your argument to persuade my wife I should buy a five-string though.

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Guitar players detune it so that they can keep using the open string licks and fingerings they are used to without barring with a finger. That's not as much an issue for bass players, but when you are hold a couple of strings down with one or two fingers while simultaneously doing some sort of ascending or descending line, being able to involve some open strings in the equation is very helpful.

Always remember that you are unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

 

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I played with an industrial/goth band for a while, and that band's standard tuning was tuned down a whole step with the bottom string tuned down two whole steps, which meant the band was in "Drop C."

 

The funny thing was that they didn't do this for heaviness, although it most certainly made the band sound heavy... nope. They did it because the singer--a woman with the voice of an angel--preferred it for her writing style.

 

Plus, she wrote a lot of the synth stuff for the band in C... I have to say they sounded amazing.

\m/

Erik

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists of breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

--Sun Tzu

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If I'm playing with guitarists in odd tunings, unless I absolutely have to double a riff which requires open strings, I'd rather go an octave up and have room to maneouvre both up and down, and thus be able to take a less predictable approach.

 

Sometimes it seems like everyone's got so worried about holding down the bottom, that they've forgotten that there's a whole lot of bottom available way up the neck.

 

Alex

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PhilW,

 

Sorry, my "Aaarrgghh" was because I double posted, I just got my computer upgraded here at work and it's been happening alot.

 

As to what to do about the desire for the tonality of open strings, all you can do is de-tune.

 

I bought my 5-string because I was curious about them and thought that maybe I ought to "get with it" as it were. However it just sat in it's case for over a year.

 

Then I started playing in a jazz standards band and I noticed that there were a lot of E flats. I wanted to have the option to play them low as well. So that motivated me to pickup my 5 and really start to work with it.

 

In the band I play in now, we are playing a few songs that are de-tuned, playing the 5 I don't have to change anything. Intresting enough, we also play some SRV tunes but we play them in standard tuning.

 

So, having said all that, I agree with your last statement.We musicians tend to get caught up in gazing at our own navels, the audience doesn't know or care. And after all, there really is no right or wrong when it comes to this stuff. Do what works for you and makes the music happen.

 

Cheers!

Nothing is as it seems but everything is exactly what it is - B. Banzai

 

Life is what happens while you are busy playing in bands.

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Not exactly related but not worth starting a new thread! (Sorry EZ)

As you know, I tune all my strings down a semitone at my cover band gigs. We had a gig on Saturday in a pub in Essex, no time for a soundcheck (arrived a little late due to traffic - should have got the train!). I set up my rig, found a convenient ledge for my tuner, muted my amp and checked my tuning (I'd retuned to Eb the night before to practise).

It seemed strange that all the strings were about a quarter note out according to the display as my bass normally stays in tune even across the Atlantic but I figured it must have taken a knock in the van. (I should have known).

Anyway, we burst into our first tune - a cover of Hendrix's cover of 'All Along the Watchtower' to find that instruments were way out of tune with each other. Stupidly and vainly, as I looked at my tuner display saying that I was hitting the notes in tune I presumed that the guitar and keys were both out and that I was the one in tune (typical bass player attitude ;) )

Only at the end of the tune did I look at the display and see that the tuner read A=470 or something! :eek: Someone (myslef I presumed) had hit the 'calibrate' button repeatedly. I'd compensated the whole tune by trying to play flat (no chance of any open strings, Jeremy ;) )

Cue endless band jokes about quarter tones the whole night :bor: including Middle-Eastern style singing on some of the covers. No doubt I'll have to face this for months. Why do tuners have those #***^%% calibration buttons anyway? :mad: And they're so easy to press!

As I type this I am beginning to suspect sabotage :rolleyes: When I went to the bar to get the pre-gig drinks in and the Gents (Restroom (US))to change into my outfit, it would only have taken seconds for them to recalibrate my tuner.

 

Beware! :mad:

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Phil - sabotage !! Could it be? Your own band? I would suspect a vicious member of a rival band. Or maybe it just bounced around in the case and got "knocked up" to 470.

 

Sorry for your trouble, but it's a great reminder for all of us. It's happened in my band when my keyboardist changes his patches and by accident alters his tuning - about like what happened to you.

 

Stay vigilant!

Tom

www.stoneflyrocks.com

Acoustic Color

 

Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars and keep your feet on the ground. - Theodore Roosevelt

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Random I don't get don tunig a half step (thats a semitone right) the only reason i've heard of people doing that was for lose strings weird. I like five strings they are better than down tuning and downtuning a 5 is uber sexy!

I knew a girl that was into biamping,I sure do miss

her.-ButcherNburn

 

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i don't think it's odd to be alternately tuned. for most of my original work, i tune the guitars around Eb -- i use a lot of alternate tunings, but they're all detuned a half step to start. i do it because i prefer the sound to standard tuning.

 

i started that way because the band i was playing covers in played a lot of songs recorded in Eb. so we reset the tuning of the keyboard into Eb and went on playing everything that way. it was a lot easier to learn by the record and then rehearse. and it was also easier for the singers.

 

so then i'd go home and all my instruments are already tuned to Eb, so the songs i wrote in that tuning didn't sound right tuned to E. so whenever possible, i tune to Eb.

 

i really don't see why it's so monumental to detune. it's just another technique that can be used at the musician's discretion.

 

robb.

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