Tuning down to Eb... setup changes?

Discussion in 'The Bottom End' started by cvogue, Feb 10, 2018.

    Feb 10, 2018
  1. cvogue Yes, that's Oolong. :)

    So we've got a new singer and he wants us to tune down to Eb. Bassist was complaining that he'll have to relearn all the songs (he has a 5 string bass) since tuning down will cause him to re setup his bass, adjust the truss rod etc...

    Is it really that big a deal? I tuned my PRS CE24 guitar today and no issues at all, intonation is great, it's a bit slinkier but that's it. Slight buzzing now but doesn't come through the amp.

  2. Feb 10, 2018
  3. Chad Poop Knife Aficionado

    I played bass in 2 bands at once. One band played in standard tuning and the other was Eb. I went back and forth with no issues at all.
    telecaster911 and cvogue like this.
  4. Feb 11, 2018
  5. yabba Weird Pick Butt Person

    1/2 step difference is unlikely to need a trussrod adjustment. Intonation might be a little off, but close enough. But even if he was a perfectionist and tweaked the neck relief and intonation, why would he have to relearn anything?
  6. Feb 11, 2018
  7. 12Pack Dyslexic b00n

    I cant speak on behalf of bass.

    My Gretsch is tuned down to Eb and I have no issues with it.

    I also don't understand why he would have to "relearn" everything. Wouldn't it be the same finger positions?
  8. Feb 11, 2018
  9. jelloman couch'd tater...

    I think your bass player is thinking he will need to relearn everything because he doesn't want to tune down...he is not too bright...

    He also sounds ignorant about how things work...yes, it is very possible that his instrument may need to be readjusted when he tunes down, there is some pretty heavy tension on a 5 string...but every instrument needs occasional adjustment any way, regardless of tuning changes, that is why they make the damned things adjustable in the first place...

    He needs to suck it up...
    telecaster911 and Scott Powell like this.
  10. Feb 11, 2018
  11. Grant Gross Kick Henry Jackassowski

    In most cases, tuning down a half step shouldn't require any major adjustments to the instrument.
  12. Feb 11, 2018
  13. jelloman couch'd tater...

    All of this reminds of a joke Pete Thorn told on one of his livecasts...

    There was a band playing a showcase gig for some recording execs...the singer was up there singing his was off, having the show of his life and he was thinking to himself "this is fucking awesome, I'm gonna be a ROCK STAR, buy a big house, have lots of women! This is a dream come true!"...the guitar player was tearing it up, having the show of his life and thinking to himself "this is fucking awesome, I'm gonna be a ROCK STAR, buy a Les Paul and a Marshall stack, have all kinds of women and parties! This is a dream come true!"...the bass player was thinking to himself "3...3...3...3...5...5...5...5...3...3...3...3...5...5...5...5..."
    OGG, jp_nyc, cvogue and 2 others like this.
  14. Feb 11, 2018
  15. micwalt Hell Bound, F*g-Enabling Whore

  16. Feb 12, 2018
  17. cvogue Yes, that's Oolong. :)

    He's a smart guy, I'm thinking he just doesn't want to tune down.
  18. Feb 12, 2018
  19. jelloman couch'd tater...

    I don't see the issue with it myself...if it's in the service of the best performance possible it shouldn't be an issue...:idk:
    cvogue likes this.
  20. Feb 12, 2018
  21. bsman b00b

    I alternately keep my 12-string Tak tuned to standard and Eb, and have never had to adjust the action. I know the bass has bigger strings, but I can’t imagine five bass strings exert that much more force than 12 guitar strings...
  22. Feb 12, 2018
  23. jp_nyc Kick Henry Jackassowski

    In general the only setup required for going down to Eb is rotating the machine heads.
    Chad likes this.
  24. Feb 12, 2018
  25. OGG Master of the Meh

    Depends on the guitar, and most importantly... The bridge. It's ALL about string tension. A hard tail Guitar won't really be much affected, but a floating bridge certainly will. If you're tuning the SAME guitar back and forth between E and Eb, and it has a floating bridge, the Dynamics will be very different and possibly untenable depending on string height etc. If the instrument is properly set up for E, tuning down will lift the back of the bridge beyond neutral. At the same time, it will move the saddles slightly forward (there goes the intonation), and lower the overall string height (fret buzz, party of six your table is ready).

    It's best (if you are able) to have individual guitars set up for the various tunings.


    For a Bass Guitar, it won't matter much other than making the strings feel sloppy when tuned down. You can mitigate that somewhat by switching to a heavier guage string for the bass that gets tuned up and down.
  26. Feb 12, 2018
  27. cvogue Yes, that's Oolong. :)

    Sometimes musicians just get into cranky moods! :madpoke:
  28. Feb 13, 2018 at 9:59 AM
  29. Denverdave Resident Ragamuffin

    In my last band we played everything down to Eb. Absolutely no issues at all. None. Not from anyone. And the bass player has a 5 string bass. And the downtuning was initially his idea.
  30. Feb 13, 2018 at 10:06 AM
  31. Help!I'maRock! Quaalude Moonlight Graham

    Thanks to this thread, I spent part of my day off tuning my Ibanez to Eb and wanking on Guns n Roses. :lol:

Share This Page