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Unread 09-01-2005, 08:48 AM   #1
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Tuning Down a Half-Step

Ok, so the guy I'm playing with now likes to tune down a half step. What I want to know is, do I need to set up my guitar for this, or can I just tune down? I don't wanna mess up my neck. Any help would be appreciated.

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Unread 09-01-2005, 08:56 AM   #2
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You won't mess up your neck. Just tune it down and play it. If you get buzzing, you may need some adjustments. If everything's fine, play on!

I routinely keep my three acoustics tuned down half a step, and I've never had to deal with any set-up issues.
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Unread 09-01-2005, 09:12 AM   #3
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How do you tune down half a step? What is half a step? I'm not really new to guitar but I'm never around guitarists and I have never taken a lesson. Is it like going from E A D G B E to Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb? And if so, how on earth do I know I'm there?
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Unread 09-01-2005, 09:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aero!
How do you tune down half a step? What is half a step? I'm not really new to guitar but I'm never around guitarists and I have never taken a lesson. Is it like going from E A D G B E to Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb? And if so, how on earth do I know I'm there?
That is exactly it. To do the half step right, you really need a chromatic tuner.
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Unread 09-01-2005, 09:23 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eriol
That is exactly it. To do the half step right, you really need a chromatic tuner.
Oh really? I didn't know such thing existed. Well, thank you for telling me that!

*Heads off to local music store*
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Unread 09-01-2005, 10:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aero!
Oh really? I didn't know such thing existed. Well, thank you for telling me that!

*Heads off to local music store*
Yup, it's just tuning a half-step below standard concert pitch.

It's done for several reasons; people may prefer a deeper tone, the singer has no range, they like slack strings, Cookie Monster may be their lead singer...
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Unread 09-01-2005, 02:44 PM   #7
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"No range" is a little harsh - maybe the singer can't QUITE get there. Maybe the song is in a key the guitarist is not familiar with, maybe guitarist wants to use open chords instead of bar chords way up the neck somewhere, or maybe guitarist want's to accomodate his singers by playing a song in Eb even though he's the only instrument on the stage.
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Unread 09-01-2005, 03:09 PM   #8
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I am usually tuned half a step down. I like tuning down a lot.
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Unread 09-01-2005, 03:15 PM   #9
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You don't need a Chromatic Tuner. As long as you know that you are in tune in regular tuning just tune the A string to the E string, 4th fret, then tune all the other strings by the A string that you just tuned.
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Unread 09-01-2005, 04:57 PM   #10
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I tune a half step down.You don't need a chromatic tuner. What I do is tune down where I think it needs to be,put my finger on the low E string,hit string and read tuning,repeat till you get it right,and with every string. It's real simple.
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Unread 09-01-2005, 07:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KATMAN
What I do is tune down where I think it needs to be,put my finger on the low E string,hit string and read tuning,repeat till you get it right,and with every string. It's real simple.
I'm sure what you're saying makes perfect sense, but for some reason I'm not quite grasping it. Put your finger on the string, hit string and read tuning? What does that mean?
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Unread 09-01-2005, 07:46 PM   #12
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Chromatic tuners are a gift from the Lord.

We should treat them as such and use them.

And my comment earlier about the singer having "no range" was a joke...A JOKE!!!

BUT I do singers that have restricted range and request that the musicians all play in lower-then-'normal' keys. And I had one buddy out in Cali that kept three guitars on stage; 1 tuned standard, 1 tuned to Eb and 1 to D...because of the singer's range.

Hey, it's all good (as they say).
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Unread 09-01-2005, 08:32 PM   #13
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I usually either stay standard or go over a step down. All or nothin.
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Unread 09-01-2005, 10:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainer.
I usually either stay standard or go over a step down. All or nothin.
Indeed. That's just how the Rainman rolls.
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Unread 09-01-2005, 11:16 PM   #15
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I have my guitar tuned down a half a step. I love it. I like how deep and full it sounds. My freind who plays on the worship team with me wouldn't go for it. I kept on tellin him, but he wouldn't budge. Finally he tuned down. Now he's trying to get another guy at his school who plays on the worship team there with him to tune down a half a step, lol.
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