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Recording acoustic guitar tuned down one full step

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by Mockit, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. Mockit

    Mockit Guest

    I find that my vocal range tends to work better when I tune my guitar down one full step from standard and start writing songs from here.

    Obvioulsy, I'm worried about tuning issues and lack of string tension when I go to record.

    Is there a possible way of making a guitar tuned down a full step have the same tension as strings tuned to standard pitch?

    Would cutting say, an inch off of each string allow me to do this?

    Hopefully I'm making sense. Thanks for any replies.
     
  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    "Cutting off 1" of each string"? Where? Tuning down the guitar will affect its intonation, depending on the guitar. A shorter-scaled instrument (i.e, classical guitar) will be affected more so. More importantly, do you HEAR any issues with it tuned down? Things like bracing rattles and/or fret buzzing might be aggravated by the change, but if you don't hear these,
    you should be good to go. You might want to post this question over on the "Guitar & Bass" section. The moderator there, Tommy P. is very experienced with acoustic guitars and might have something to suggest (like a heavier string gauge).
     
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    Don't worry about it - go with what sounds right with your voice. A good-quality guitar should be accurately-fretted enough to cope without the instrument being noticeably out of tune with itself.

    In any case, going down a tone is small beer compared with some of the other tunings that guitarists employ. A frequently used 12-string tuning is 4 semitones flatter than normal (CFBbEbGC), and that's a lot of tension loss over 12 strings! Pioneering guitarists like Nick Drake devised tunings such as BEBEBE for some of his most poignant songs, and Davy Graham's DADGAD has become a folk accompaniment standard.
     
  4. TVPostSound

    TVPostSound Guest

    This might sound too obvious, but cant you just transpose you music down to match you vocal range???
     
  5. dementedchord

    dementedchord Well-Known Member


    and equally obvious requires actually learning how to play....

    at the risk of throwing another monkey wrench.... learn to extend your vocal range... it's not unusuall to get as much as a min3rd increase when just learning to breathe properlly...
     
  6. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Sorry, I'm not trying to be an ass. I just find it so easy when I read stuff like this. The string that counts is between the nut and the bridge. If you cut an inch off that.....no sound. :p

    At any rate get some thick strings. I couldn't tell you what gauge as I'm pretty stuck on the gauge I use now. In my mind there is no other guage. It should work fine. You won't be the first person to do it.
     
  7. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    Plenty of people tune down to 420Hz. No problem. BTW, If you ever come across a Washburn D9, this is a guitar that actually sounds like a dream tuned to A=420Hz. Plays like a dream at that tension as well. Use whatever gauge string you're used to playing with and you'll find the ease on tension is actually a very welcome change. Push record and do your thang.
     
  8. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    Plenty of people tune down to 420Hz. No problem. BTW, If you ever come across a Washburn D9, this is a guitar that actually sounds like a dream tuned to A=420Hz. Plays like a dream at that tension as well. Use whatever gauge string you're used to playing with and you'll find the ease on tension is actually a very welcome change. Push record and do your thang.
     
  9. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    WHy not look into a baritone guitar? (low string is a B below low E, the rest is the same above.... you have to learn a little different fingering, buy they sound fantastic when mic'd up properly.)
     

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