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whole step down is my "standard"


tw2_usa

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I play to accompany my voice and tune my starter guitar down a whole step (DGCFAD) and use medium strings. Anyone else do this? Please share any words of wisdom about the pros and cons experienced and advice as to which Gibson - J45 or SJ200 - would adapt better to this, given the different scale lengths?

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TW-- conventional wisdom would has it that longer scale guitars are better for lowered tunings--less slack, due to the extra string tension. Medium strings on a short scale guitar can comensate for the lack of tension --here's a J185 tuned down to C on the bottom 4 strings: CGCFCD (

). So the cw would give the nod to the J200 (or an Adv. Jumbo)but Id say pick he one the sounds and plays right to you.

 

Ive tuned my AJ to DGCFAD on occassion. No tuning problems and a more pleasant tone, to this ear. Old John Fogarty of CCR used that tuning (Bad Mom Rising) on his Les Paul. Martin Carthy tunes his 00018 to an open C tuning, uses heavy strings. Cheers.

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I tune my SJ200 WC down 1/2 step and use light (.012) and medium (.013) strings as the mood strikes me. I have tried the guitar down a full step and it's okay.......better with mediums.......but I seem to prefer the 1/2 step tuning. The 200 is long scale and the lowered tunings don't seem to alter the volume and/or projection enough to notice. It feels good, sounds good and it works for me.

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I am sometimes tempted to try this. There is a particular Stereophonics song I do sometimes "I Wouldn't Believe Your Radio" which in the proper key Gmaj is too high for me to sing in the chorus. So I cheat by using a capo at 5th fret but then that makes my voice too low and the guitar sound not quite right for the song.

 

"Try different inversions of the chords" I hear you say, but the song really demands the open chords.

 

Never tried it but don't really want the fuss of changing guitars or retuning between songs.

 

Possible solution = buy another Gibson and leave it tuned down a step.

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I always have one guitar tuned down to DGCFAD because I play a number of songs in that tuning. The Seagull is tuned down 2 full steps all the time (CFBbEbGC) as I play a number of songs in that tuning. Plus, if I want a guitar tuned down 3 half-steps I can capo the Seagull at 1 and I've got it in an instant.

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I think Mc Cartney plays "Blackbird" tuned down one full step. And with my vocal range' date=' I may have to do that also to play that song.....lol....but haven't tried it yet? Anyone tune down to play that song???[/quote']

 

I think you're right. I play it in standard tuning in Gmaj and struggle with the "night". And so have not inflicted this upon a bemused public.

 

Gilliangirl's solution is clearly the best one - short of having someone kick me just in side the left upper thigh......and just inside the right upper thigh too.

 

Or just take one guitar to the open mics, tuned down a step and use that fab Kyser capo I have..........there...........it's about time it got a mention again.

 

Yet another thread inspiring us to try something different. Nice one Tomwood2u. This is why this Forum is so great!

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I think Mc Cartney plays "Blackbird" tuned down one full step. And with my vocal range' date=' I may have to do that also to play that song.....lol....but haven't tried it yet? Anyone tune down to play that song???[/quote']

 

I don't know about "Blackbird" (I'd have to check but I think it's in standard tuning), but I believe he does tune down for many of his tunes. IIRC, in "Yesterday," which is in F, he tunes down a whole step and plays in G, as you can see in the video below. I believe that for "Bluebird" and his more recent "Jenny Wren" (which is like both "Blackbird" and "Yesterday" in some passages) he also tunes down a whole step, too:

 

[YOUTUBE]

[/YOUTUBE]

 

[YOUTUBE]

[/YOUTUBE]

 

[YOUTUBE]

[/YOUTUBE]
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I would just play in a lower key.. but that's just me.

 

Do what works for you.

But Tommy, there's advantages to tuning down:

- you change the sound of the guitar. Peter Mulvey plays some songs tuned down a full step and capos 2. I know what you're thinking.... you're thinking that's standard tuning. Well, it is, but you get a muddier, sloppy string sound and sometimes that contributes to the type of song you want to play. Personally, I love that sloppy string sound.

- also, if you want to stick to certain chords for certain parts in the song, tuning down allows you to do that. For instance, maybe I want the end of the verse of a song to end on a D so that I can throw in a fancy Dsus2/Dsus4 frill. If you're willing to drop the tuning, you immediately add more options for yourself.

- Last but not least, you can justify having more guitars. Do I hear any arguments here? :D/

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Exactly right' date=' GillianGirl -- tuning down (and using capo) allows for "looser" strings which then can be bent and manipulated to get different sounds. Peter Mulvey is a great example of this.[/quote']

Hi Kebob! How have you been? I think it was you who turned me onto Peter Mulvey in the first place! LOL

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Hi Kebob! How have you been? I think it was you who turned me onto Peter Mulvey in the first place! LOL

 

That's right Gilliangirl, I remember introducing you to Mr. Mulvey -- glad you have enjoyed his music. I've been very well, thank you. I have not been on this forum in a long time. Good to see some familiar names still here.

 

I'm still playing my guitars, of course. In fact, I hooked up with another gentlemen and we are in the process of getting together an acoustic setlist and plan to play some local gigs -- that'll be a first for me after 20-some years of just playing for my dog. My main guitar on stage will be my Gibson J45. I love that guitar.

 

Hope you are doing good as well, GG.

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