Author Topic: Whole step down  (Read 4081 times)

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Offline eggybaby

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Whole step down
« on: October 03, 2014, 04:15:08 am »
I'm new at doing open-mics and cover tunes.
I find I struggle with some of the high notes on vocals.
I try to alter the melody but most times drift back to the original song and all goes bad.
I've tried 1/2 step down tuning (Eb) but still struggle on some of the vocals.
My question:
How common is it to go a whole step down? Would the average listener even know?
Of course, I would only tune down for the handful of songs I do with the higher vocal parts.

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Offline mike42

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Re: Whole step down
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2014, 05:09:31 am »
I think a lot of alternative/grunge bands would often tune a full step down. Listeners probably wouldn't notice, because you are really just switching the key of the song when you tune 1/2 step or a full step down.

Another idea that may be easier for those songs: use a capo and switch the key to something you are more comfortable with.

Offline LievenDV

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Re: Whole step down
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2014, 09:26:27 am »
tuning down a half step is very common but it change the "feel of play" a bit.
tuning down a whole step will change htat feel quite drastically but it is possible.
The risk: a flabbering low E string, dity low buzzes...
You could try it but a whole step down is quite a step, certainly on acoustics

I reckon that you memorized the chord changes quite extensively and that it might be somewhat late to actually transpose your chords down a not or two notes? if it isn't it's worth a shot. It's a good practice but there are some tools to help you: example: http://www.all-guitar-chords.com/transposer.php

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Offline Tim Mason

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Re: Whole step down
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2014, 11:06:56 am »
If you keep your songs in SongBook, an automatic transposer is available. Probably cheating ... I try to do it myself first, and then use the transposer to see if I've got it right.

Offline shadowscott007

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Re: Whole step down
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2014, 12:38:15 pm »
Whole step down, you might want to consider going up a string gauge or two.  That would improve the flabby string issue.

Have you the funding you might look into a baritone guitar.

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Offline LievenDV

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Re: Whole step down
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2014, 02:37:49 pm »
if it's an acoustic, "going up a gauge or two" is quite a deal, no?
- is the guitar construction up to it?
- has the player tested this gauge on another guitar (in the store perhaps) and felt that it was playable?
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Offline shadowscott007

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Re: Whole step down
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2014, 03:02:18 pm »
I was assuming the whole step down would be a permanent thing.  What I said would be somewhat problematic if you wanted to go back and forth although one string gauge up might work.  In my experience going up to the next gauge doesn't have a horrible impact on intonation.  Two gauges up might and require some saddle work.

Reasoning - tuning down means less tension with the current strings, so increasing the string gauge at the lower tuning would tend to bring the tension back up.  I haven't done the math, and since the string gauge selections are finite and discrete, you probably can't get back to the exact equilibrium point.

That was my train of thought anyway. 

Shadow

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