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Drop B tuning - variations

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  • Drop B tuning - variations

    I was reading up on drop tunings and came across and interesting article that I thought I'd share. It's based on Adam Jones' drop B tuning, and goes into some theory. One tuning he uses is standard with the low E dropped to B, and another is standard but with the low E dropped to B and the A dropped to E. I hadn't heard of these before! Has anyone messed around with these tunings?

    https://flypaper.soundfly.com/tips/a...drop-b-tuning/
    Originally posted by crusty philtrum
    Anyone who *sings* at me through their teeth deserves to have a bus drive through their face
    http://www.youtube.com/alexiansounds

  • #2
    Interesting. I don't play enough to be able switch back and forth, but for those who can handle it mentally it's a great option.
    Just the standard drop-B (C#-standard with a step lower on the 6th) is really cool IMO. I should really do that on one of my two guitars in C#.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by alex1fly View Post
      I was reading up on drop tunings and came across and interesting article that I thought I'd share. It's based on Adam Jones' drop B tuning, and goes into some theory. One tuning he uses is standard with the low E dropped to B, and another is standard but with the low E dropped to B and the A dropped to E. I hadn't heard of these before! Has anyone messed around with these tunings?

      https://flypaper.soundfly.com/tips/a...drop-b-tuning/
      BE isn't "drop" tuning (as in transposition of DropD = DADGBE for one-finger power chords)

      BE is either "bottom 6 of a 7 string" tuning (BEADGB) or standard baritone (5 semitones down on all strings from EADGBE)
      "New stuff always sucks" -Me

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      • #4
        if you drop too much, id say below a whole step on the low e, you get weird things happening. either you use a very heavy string to keep the tension up, which leads to tone issues, or you have a super floppy string which either sounds like crap or you need to pay special attention when you hit it. if you are in std but drop the 6th really low, with an 11 set so your e is a 50, its so loose. if you put a 70 on there to keep the tension up, it sounds soo different. i fight this even with my baritone a little, a huge string sounds huge.

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        • #5
          For me these days a C#-standard setup is 10.5,14,20w,30,40,52.

          For drop-B I would probably swap the 52 for a 54 and deal with it being a bit looser rather than bigger/tighter which starts ruining the tone IMO.

          So glad I'm mostly an Eb or D-standard player nowadays. It makes everything from intonation and action all the way to amp settings much easier to dial-in.

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          • #6
            Zakk Wylde does his low tunings in Black Label Society the same way, leaving the top 5 in his normal tuning (down 1/2), and just lowering the 6th.

            I’ve seen the drop B you’re describing from Tool. Tom Morello did that in Audioslave occasionally, as well.
            "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JB_From_Hell View Post
              Zakk Wylde does his low tunings in Black Label Society the same way, leaving the top 5 in his normal tuning (down 1/2), and just lowering the 6th.

              I’ve seen the drop B you’re describing from Tool. Tom Morello did that in Audioslave occasionally, as well.
              Yes, I was going to mention them too! Three of my favorite players. It seems like a way to get that low B without sacrificing the high notes, keeping your “mental map” the same and not needing a 7 string. A long time ago I got the ZW set for my Epi Les Paul, I didn’t recut the nut so it was a less than satisfactory experience. I still GAS for a LP I can setup properly in true Drop C or Drop B.
              Oh no.....


              Oh Yeah!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by PFDarkside View Post

                Yes, I was going to mention them too! Three of my favorite players. It seems like a way to get that low B without sacrificing the high notes, keeping your “mental map” the same and not needing a 7 string. A long time ago I got the ZW set for my Epi Les Paul, I didn’t recut the nut so it was a less than satisfactory experience. I still GAS for a LP I can setup properly in true Drop C or Drop B.
                Get a headless guitar to dedicate to the low tunings. I have a couple inexpensive ones, EART W2 and Legator Ghost. Strings don’t tend to flop at low tunings, so you can use less absurdly heavy strings. I have them in drop C and drop B, with D’Addario’s 10-52 and 11-56 sets.

                If you like Les Pauls, definitely check out the $329 EART W2 on Amazon. Has a 5 piece chunky neck, and sounds really beefy. Has stainless frets, too, and better hardware than the Legator.
                "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

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                • #9
                  Back to the topic, I’m not really into the drop the low string only versions of those tunings. I like the typical drop interval for heavy riffs or playing swampy slide stuff.

                  If I need low notes and the normal guitar range, my 8 string covers that.
                  "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And itís the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

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                  • #10
                    I have a Jackson with C tuning but after trying a few different passive pickups I will probably go with active pickups soon. I also have a Charvel in C# with Livewire I actives and they work really well with low tuning. I was surprised that with 13's you can still get decent intonation at C and C#.

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                    • #11
                      I've been having some decent success with both of these on an SG. The strings get floppy, but sound huge and mean. I feel like you could get useable results by using one of the heavy-low-light-high sets, or even just a fat low E string. At least, close enough for fun experimentation.
                      Originally posted by crusty philtrum
                      Anyone who *sings* at me through their teeth deserves to have a bus drive through their face
                      http://www.youtube.com/alexiansounds

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