Tuning down to low D

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kirolak
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Tuning down to low D

Post by kirolak » Sat May 18, 2019 3:15 pm

I have a bit of a phobia about tuning the low e to low d, as required in many Bach pieces. . .I practice with the wrong low note :oops: until I feel I can play to a decent level, then only do I tune down. Sounds so much better :) I also avoid using a capo for as long as I can in other pieces. . . am I alone in these peculiar habits?

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Matt
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Re: Tuning down to low D

Post by Matt » Sat May 18, 2019 10:01 pm

May I ask if it is an issue of feeling like you can't tune to the correct note? If so; you can always train your ear to get better at tuning, matching, and finding different pitches!

I have some suggestions about ear training and playing with a capo if you are interested!

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Yisrael van Handel
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Re: Tuning down to low D

Post by Yisrael van Handel » Sun May 19, 2019 11:17 am

kirolak wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 3:15 pm
I have a bit of a phobia about tuning the low e to low d. am I alone in these peculiar habits?
Kirolak, I did not suspect that you were the type to have such a hangup. I also have something about retuning, and I start learning a piece by simply transposing the low D up an octave. But I think it is silly in a way. I have three guitars, and there is no reason not to tune one of them with drop D. It is worth spending $300 on a good-sounding mass-produced guitar to avoid retuning. Bonus: modern computerized numerical control used in manufacturing is so accurate that the workmanship on factory-made guitars is enormously better than in the past. Of course, the materials used is a different story. Select carefully.
By the way, I have been actively avoiding a Sor study with the E string tuned up to F. This tuning was common before 1810 or so. However, when I get to that study, I will be forced to overcome the phobia and tune one guitar for that study.
Yisrael van Handel
Modi'in Ilit, Israel

Jason
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Re: Tuning down to low D

Post by Jason » Sun May 19, 2019 11:27 am

The question I have is "why?" If you could explain that, it would be helpful in terms of others giving you advice.
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Cloth Ears
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Re: Tuning down to low D

Post by Cloth Ears » Sun May 19, 2019 11:32 am

Yes, I am also curious why you don't wish to tune down? I do it as required without a problem.

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Matt
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Re: Tuning down to low D

Post by Matt » Sun May 19, 2019 2:19 pm

Could it be detrimental to one's understanding of a piece as well as one's sense of pitch to practice a piece with incorrect notes?

I know it would mess with my reading to be reading one note and hearing another!

kirolak
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Re: Tuning down to low D

Post by kirolak » Sun May 19, 2019 2:22 pm

I actually don't know why I have this hangup - my heart races & I have a ridiculous sense of dread when I do it, quite ridiculous! There is no problem in setting the correct pitch, I have a fairly reliable tuner, & I enjoy the richness of tone once I manage to force myself to actually do it. Perhaps it is because of having been trained years ago on a 10-string guitar, though that makes no sense even as I write the words.

Lovemyguitar
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Re: Tuning down to low D

Post by Lovemyguitar » Sun May 19, 2019 3:54 pm

kirolak wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 2:22 pm
I actually don't know why I have this hangup - my heart races & I have a ridiculous sense of dread when I do it, quite ridiculous! ...
Yes, totally ridiculous -- people tune down to D and then back up to E all the time. Get over it, and just do it! :roll:

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Matt
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Re: Tuning down to low D

Post by Matt » Sun May 19, 2019 4:04 pm

kirolak wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 2:22 pm
I actually don't know why I have this hangup - my heart races & I have a ridiculous sense of dread when I do it, quite ridiculous! There is no problem in setting the correct pitch, I have a fairly reliable tuner, & I enjoy the richness of tone once I manage to force myself to actually do it. Perhaps it is because of having been trained years ago on a 10-string guitar, though that makes no sense even as I write the words.
The human brain can be so mysterious!

Maybe you had an experience in childhood where you spilled your milk while reaching for your sixth string tuner! :lol:

(I joke of course I mean no disrespect)

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MartinCogg
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Re: Tuning down to low D

Post by MartinCogg » Sun May 19, 2019 6:25 pm

Yisrael van Handel wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 11:17 am

By the way, I have been actively avoiding a Sor study with the E string tuned up to F. This tuning was common before 1810 or so. However, when I get to that study, I will be forced to overcome the phobia and tune one guitar for that study.
Me too, I don't like tuning 6th to F. If such 6=F pieces have only open string use for the 6th (i.e. only F) then it
amuses me stick some sort of notched wedge device under 6th string at the first fret, raising the tuning to F.
Quickly returnable to normal tuning.

Regarding low D, I keep one guitar reserved for that tuning (+ the occasional dalliance with Emaj tuning, but actually going
Dmaj., so then retuning 1st = D, 2nd = A, and 3rd = F# - I like this way of doing it for that the 6th, 5th, and 4th are left
unchanged, D, A, D - if you go for E, B, E, G#, B, E, from normal tuning, you're re-tuning 3 strings anyway, but I don't like
the idea of increased tension for the 5th, 4th and 3rd strings. If I became seriously addicted to playing Emaj. tuning pieces
then I'd have a guitar reserved for it strung with more carefully selected string gauges)...

then another guitar reserved for renaissance lute tuning (3rd = F#),
and another guitar hiding away (strung with 2 '5th' gauge strings, one as 6th) for the even less usual 6th = G tuning...

and one for normal tuning.

I never tried any of those 6=D, 5=G pieces yet (nevermind 6=C) - too much other repertoire a-plenty to occupy me forever.

I don't think it's at all odd to dislike re-tuning the guitar in hand... shifting back and forth if going from one
piece to another is highly tedious... besides, it's all extra wear'n'tear on yer instrument.

funkywaltz
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Re: Tuning down to low D

Post by funkywaltz » Sun May 19, 2019 11:29 pm

I avoid pieces that require the Low D too, just to practice without it.

Sometimes I don't like the timbre of the string itself once it's tuned down.

For future reference, you can get different size strings and string the low 3, with fatter/thinner strings to your desire.

I do this on a jazz guitar. Low 4 are one set of strings, top 2 are another.

daldal64
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Re: Tuning down to low D

Post by daldal64 » Mon May 20, 2019 2:18 am

I tend to avoid those pieces as well. I do like the sound of them but I need to take out my tuner which sometimes I can't be bothered. I sometimes try to do it by ear then test my results with the electronic tuner. I'm gradually getting closer so once I'm confident with doing it by ear I'll continue to avoid them, for now.

Cheers, Dave

Conall
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Re: Tuning down to low D

Post by Conall » Mon May 20, 2019 9:48 am

kirolak wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 2:22 pm
I actually don't know why I have this hangup - my heart races & I have a ridiculous sense of dread when I do it, quite ridiculous! There is no problem in setting the correct pitch, I have a fairly reliable tuner, & I enjoy the richness of tone once I manage to force myself to actually do it. Perhaps it is because of having been trained years ago on a 10-string guitar, though that makes no sense even as I write the words.
What?! You have a 10 string and are yusing 6 string dropped D?

I have an 11 string (low D included) so don't worry about tuning down to D! The only problem I used to have with dropped D on 6 strings was the fact that in performance it doesn't always stay in tune if switching between E & D.

OK I'll admit it is sometimes easier to play dropped D on the 11 string (eg Capricho Arabe) because your thumb keeps hitting the 6th since you expect D to be immediately above the 5th string but I think it's worth persisting if you have an extended range guitar.

And yes, dropped D on 6 string sounds nice for pieces in D, Dm etc - more resonance.

dan5001
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Re: Tuning down to low D

Post by dan5001 » Mon May 20, 2019 10:09 am

Ok just In case I'm not the only person dumb enough not to have realised this....
I used to dislike the faff of tuning down. Then my guitar teacher said, hey it's just 2.5 turns of the peg (900 degrees) so now I do that and it's close enough I don't bother tuning it.
I guess different pegs may require a different number.

kirolak
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Re: Tuning down to low D

Post by kirolak » Mon May 20, 2019 10:15 am

Conall wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 9:48 am
kirolak wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 2:22 pm
I actually don't know why I have this hangup - my heart races & I have a ridiculous sense of dread when I do it, quite ridiculous! There is no problem in setting the correct pitch, I have a fairly reliable tuner, & I enjoy the richness of tone once I manage to force myself to actually do it. Perhaps it is because of having been trained years ago on a 10-string guitar, though that makes no sense even as I write the words.
What?! You have a 10 string and are yusing 6 string dropped D?

I have an 11 string (low D included) so don't worry about tuning down to D! The only problem I used to have with dropped D on 6 strings was the fact that in performance it doesn't always stay in tune if switching between E & D.

OK I'll admit it is sometimes easier to play dropped D on the 11 string (eg Capricho Arabe) because your thumb keeps hitting the 6th since you expect D to be immediately above the 5th string but I think it's worth persisting if you have an extended range guitar.

And yes, dropped D on 6 string sounds nice for pieces in D, Dm etc - more resonance.
No, I don't have the 10-string any more. . . it was stolen years ago'which " broke my heart", & I stopped playing for many years. :(

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