So, my guitar has always been tuned for standard play (EADG). The problem is, there are songs that require notes lower than I am currently able to go, and I’d love to be able to play them properly. Do any of you guys do drop D, and do you like it better than standard tuning? And what is the proper way to tune for drop D?
You could always get another bass and set it up for BEAD.
I play songs in Drop-D from time to time, mainly stuff from Tool (they always play Drop-D), some of the 50 song challenges are in Drop D.
Can’t say I like it better, I just use it on songs that require it. It messes up the otherwise beautifully symmetrical tuning on bass.
But it can make some bass lines much easier to play.
As far as tuning goes, I just tune the E string to D, nothing more. Yeah, you could then start setting up the intonation, as it might be off a little. Most people won’t even notice. I don’t.
It’s easy to tune from EADG to DADG , it takes 5 seconds.
Or you can get a Hipshot drop tuner (a.k.a. “bass xtender”), and then you can switch between standard and drop D with the flip of a lever
I use a left-handed bass. Is there a special one for that?
My idea was better because it justified him getting another bass…which is always a good thing
Doesn’t that mess up the scale though by only tuning down one string? It would seem to me that that would mess up the scale doing that.
They come in bass side and treble side version. I assume you’d need a treble side for your left handed bass.
Yep that’s exactly how I ended up with 3 basses. It all started with this comment by @Gio when I asked the same question about detuning two years and EUR 3000 ago.
It takes longer to tune the drop D extender by Hipshot than just retuning. The extender is good if you are performing and have to switch fast.
Otherwise, it’s just GAS
Yep; tuning down takes seconds. The extender is not needed.
Well, not really “mess up”, but you need to adjust that string by two frets up, if that’s what you mean.
I’ve “had” to play several songs using Drop D because one of the vocalist’s in one band I played in wanted the key of some songs changed to match his voice. Granted, I could have tuned down to flat which I did on several songs, but there were a few songs that just didn’t sound (or play) right so using Drop D allowed me to play all notes in a different area if the fretboard yet still provide that great low tone we all love to hear…
As far as “liking it better than standard”…. No…. I like it when I need to use it in order to allow me to play a song better/easier. I’ve had to use several different tunings - even tuned way down to C-G-C-F (didn’t like it at all, but it worked)…. My preference has and always will be a standard E-A-D-G tuning although there are times when my B-E-A-D bass comes into play…… Bass Diversity!! Don’t ya just LOVE it!!
Keep On Thumpin’!
So i have a drop tuner on my bass, but i almost never use it. Having a 2nd (or 5th ) bass around for alternate tuning is a really good answer. I have an Ibanez es300 that i keep in drop d all the time.
If financial constraints are an issue, drop tuning is fast and very easy. Does it eat up the nut? Maybe? I just powdered a little graphite from a pencil and lubricated the string slot.
I change from Std to Drop-D all the time, since the 90’s, and I’ve never ever had any nut issue because of this. I’m sure it’s not a problem at all.
So that’s actually really good to know. Me and my whole 18 months of tying to learn this, that’s actually been a question.
Fact is, i got a whole bunch of weirdo questions i never asked. Guess i should have.
I can tune my hipshot to d or d#,and if i actually do a full speed flip on it, it knocks it out of tune. If i actually roll it down slowly, it will hold. Meaning drop tuning mid-stream like Victor ain’t gonna happen. Then Again, he IS Victor wooten.
Great idea, but if I bought another one I’d probably end up sleeping in the garage, and it’s really cold out there I do have my Ibanez 4 string in reserve, so I could go ahead and just re-tune that one
When you tune it do you go back and forth and retune 2-3 times? Need to do at least 2x to get it to stick.
I’m a veritable well of advice… so long as it connects directly with heinous mistakes that I have made myself.
Which, as it turns out, covers most everything to do with playing the bass.