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SoundGround >> Tuning Down Half a Step


1/31/09 12:35 PM
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wiley
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I tuned my Acoustic down Half a Step and I am finding it easier to sing along with. My singing is the worst on the planet and it helps me out having it tuned down half a step. A friend suggested I try tuning down half a step.

I am simply a strummer and not all that great, but I am liking the new sound.

Do others tune down for the same reason?

What are folks opinions on tuning down half a step?

Any, and all info or thoughts is appreciated.
1/31/09 5:26 PM
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whtblt4eva
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 i tune down a half step as well, and then drop tune the low string to C#.  it gets me a looser tension on the strings, a heavier tone, and yes it is easier to sing along to as well. i remember when i first started playing, in the late 80's, tons of metal bands were tuning down a 1/2 step, to make it easier on the vocalist.
2/1/09 4:13 PM
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DasBeaver
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Hendrix and later Stevie Ray Vaughn both did that, so you're in good company.
2/2/09 1:17 AM
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Ponyboy
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I tune acoustics to wherever they sound best.

Some thin sounding guitars really come to life tuned down and some don't respond a bit.

The lack of much adjustability of bridge position save for some offset bridge bone will determine whether you can tune down and not hate playing the guitar.
2/2/09 11:38 PM
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Fite
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all my guitars are tuned down half a step and if i jam with buddies who have theirs in standard i just capo the first fret.
2/4/09 5:41 PM
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The Noose
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I like to tune down, but it fucks up our keyboard player because he isnt that good and it completely changes how he has to play stuff on the keys.
2/15/09 11:37 PM
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Ponyboy
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I have one tuned way down and it just payed off when it was perfectly tuned for "Safety Dance".

Hit of the daytona 500 party.
2/18/09 3:26 AM
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Racer X
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 Just make sure if you are going to have a guitar set up that you tell the tech what the lowest tuning you are going to use is. That way it can be set up not to buzz at low tension.
6/1/09 12:08 PM
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The Hook
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I'm starting a anti-down tuning movement.

Everybody tunes down these days, a half step, a whole step, 2 steps.

Well, I'm going the other direction. I'm tuning all my guitars up 1.75 steps because 2 whole steps would just be silly.
8/26/09 9:25 AM
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The Kangaroo
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I tune all of my acoustics down as low as they will possible go while still staying in tune and providing enough tension. Couldnt tell you the exact tuning, because each are different but I'm sure the highest any of them are tuned is a full step down.

I play anything but cookie monster metal and rarely sing, but for me I tend to write more interesting riffs and ideas the lower I'm tuned. Once I've got something of note or a finished song I'll  move it back to standard to give it a go and work it down a half step until it works.
8/31/09 6:44 PM
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whaledog
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wiley - I tuned my Acoustic down Half a Step and I am finding it easier to sing along with. My singing is the worst on the planet and it helps me out having it tuned down half a step. A friend suggested I try tuning down half a step.

I am simply a strummer and not all that great, but I am liking the new sound.

Do others tune down for the same reason?

What are folks opinions on tuning down half a step?

Any, and all info or thoughts is appreciated.

 I did to play live it for the same reason you did - it was easier to sing.  But, most of the time I keep my guitars tuned to A-440.
9/1/09 5:00 PM
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Ponyboy
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I tune my guitar to movie or tv series music.

My acoustic is currently tuned to "battlestar galactica tuning".
9/3/09 11:21 PM
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Hillbilly
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I keep it tuned to a440, but I`ve also learned to play in horn keys like Eb, Bb, Ab, and good ol` F without a capo (chords).
9/6/09 5:47 PM
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alpo
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I keep my 6 string and 7 string (both electric) both tuned down a half step, but mostly because I am lazy. 

I pretty much only play metal right now and a lot of old bands usually played in either E, Eb or D standard.  Metallica, Pantera, Slayer and so on.  Eb is just a happy medium so I don't have to tune up and down all the time.  I don't like playing songs in E when it was made for D and vice versa, but Eb is close enough for both.

For the heavier stuff, most bands play in B, Bb, A or sometimes Ab on a 7 string, so I keep that one at Bb for the same reason. 

I actually want to get a 3rd guitar to keep in the C/C# region for playing some of that deeper groove metal.
9/7/09 11:45 AM
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Racer X
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 I've often thought that the long scale baritone guitars from Schecter or Fender would be the thing for low register playing.
9/7/09 2:54 PM
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alpo
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Yeah, I have always wanted to play one of those.  My 7 string ESP has a 27" scale, but it's currently set up for B tuning.  I can take it down to about G before it starts to buzz pretty bad.
9/8/09 10:15 PM
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Ponyboy
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Hmmmm.....that 27 scale 7 string sounds like the exact neck to make a slightly longer scale six string with a neck as wide as my classical.

Is the fret radius pretty flat or very curved?
9/8/09 11:43 PM
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alpo
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It's pretty curved.  I would guess 12", but I don't know for sure.  It is this one: http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/ESP-LTD-SC607B-7String-Baritone-Electric-Guitar?sku=516651
9/9/09 12:30 AM
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Racer X
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I gotta say, that's a whole lotta guitar for a grand. I'd like a pickup at the end of the neck, but I could deal with it.

For that to not be worth $1049.00 it would have to be pretty badly made, and I know that just doesn't happen with ESP. I have an LTD EC-1000 in the shop right now, another amazing sounding/feeling guitar for roughly a grand(less probably).
9/9/09 10:58 AM
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alpo
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Yeah, I really like it.  Active EMGs, through body neck, locking tuners, string through body, etc. I am not crazy about the lack of a neck pickup either, but oh well.  I use the bridge pickup most of the time anyway.  You can sometimes get them brand new or slightly used on Ebay for around $850-$950 with free shipping.  That's how I got mine. 

It's my first 7 string and I've only had it for a few months, so I'm still getting used to it.  However, I've had no problems with quality or anything like that.  The factory strings weren't great, but it was set up well out of the box. 

Oh, one other minor issue is that there aren't any fretboard marker inlays, only dots on the side of the neck.  Probably not an issue for most of you guys, but it was my first experience with a guitar like that, so it was a bit of an adjustment for me. 

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