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Drop-D; wrong all these years?

30 Mar 03 - 04:43 PM (#921984)
Subject: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: ddw

For years I've been using what I always heard referred to as drop-D tuning -- i.e., standard tuning with the bass E lowered two frets. I always used it in the keys of A or D and it gives a wonderful, full bass line.

Today I was watching a video on slide guitar with Keith Wyatt and he was demonstrating what he called drop-D, but he lowered the treble E. I realize it is effectively the same tones, just in different register, but I had never heard of doing it that way.

Is this news to anybody else, or has my troglodyte existance just caught up with me?

cheers,

david


30 Mar 03 - 04:47 PM (#921986)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: kendall

If I understand you, that would give you a Dobro sound, and, the first 4 strings on a 5 string banjo. I find it easier to find tunes with the guitar tuned that way.


30 Mar 03 - 04:50 PM (#921989)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: Clinton Hammond

To my knowledge, dropped D is either bass dropped or treble...

DOUBLE dropped D is both...

:-)


30 Mar 03 - 04:58 PM (#921999)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: Don Firth

I've always heard that "Dropped D" meant tuning the 6th string down to D, unless specifically stated otherwise.

Don Firth


30 Mar 03 - 05:54 PM (#922020)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: JedMarum

I am not sure Keith has both oars in the water.

;-)


30 Mar 03 - 06:07 PM (#922033)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: Rick Fielding

Dropped D......Bass down to D

Double D.......bass and treble down to D

DADGAD......self-explanitory

Dropped GUITAR....big trouble!

Cheers

Rick


30 Mar 03 - 07:20 PM (#922093)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: Amos

Rick:

I have always used a variant which has the same pattern as an E chord a whole tone lower -- in other words, drop the low E to low D, the G down a half to F#, and the B and high E to A and D respectively, which makes an open D chord that sounds dobro-ish.

You ever seen that anywhere else?

A


30 Mar 03 - 07:51 PM (#922116)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: Homeless

Amos-
I've seen that tuning specified in a tab for "Tangled up in Blue" and in lessons for playing slide.


30 Mar 03 - 09:04 PM (#922160)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: Guy Wolff

Amos that tuning is sometime called "Vestable". The great thing about it for a banjo player is that the intervels between the strings is the same as G tuning ( Also known as "SPANISH" tuning ) but just one string over . What you did on the first string in G tuneing works on the Second string in D Vestable.The same with chords. All thoughs banjo chords work one string in .. Cool realy . Also DADGAD has the same intervel as "Saw Mill" tuning or G SUS 4 of banjo fame in the same way .
DDW that double D tuning is great for "Crazy Man Michiel" "Angle From Mongomery" and "Peacefull Easy feeling "... All the best to all here, Guy


30 Mar 03 - 09:05 PM (#922163)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: ddw

Thanks all. The concensus seems to be what I thought. I guess you could call KW's tuning name a technically correct description, but in standard parlance it should be called something else. Maybe a "high drop-D" or something like that.

Amos -- that's an open D, very common for slide guitar players particularly electric players. It wasElmore James's favorite a great tuning.

cheers

david


30 Mar 03 - 09:12 PM (#922165)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: catspaw49

If you're playing like, uh, really bad, you go with the Dropped Pants Tuning.....No one pays any attention to how bad you're pickin' if your pants are around your ankles.

Spaw


30 Mar 03 - 09:17 PM (#922168)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: ddw

Maybe that's your experience 'Spaw, but if I tried it probably nobody would notice....

david


30 Mar 03 - 10:59 PM (#922220)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: Rick Fielding

Amos, regular 'open D' or "Vestapol" as Guy mentioned is probably THE most common open tuning. I learned it from one of the most generous of the travellin' folkies...Tom Rush.

Dobro tuning is GBDGBD.

Cheers

Rick


30 Mar 03 - 11:22 PM (#922228)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: Phil Cooper

I saw another guitar player in a Chicago area group called Mississippi Flanagan (group name, not guitarist's name). He also dropped his high E to D to play some slide. I thought it was an easy way to get some open G tuning riffs without messing with the lower strings.


30 Mar 03 - 11:29 PM (#922230)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: katlaughing

Dropped guitar, huh....very phunny, Rick!

Dropped pants, indeed, Spaw!


31 Mar 03 - 12:44 AM (#922248)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: Benjamin

Open D and G tunings (Vestapol and Spanish) are very common for bottle neck guitar.
Just dropping the G string down to F# is the lute tuning.
Then there is dropped D which as far as I know is the bass string.
Tuning the low E to D and the A to G is dropped G.
The lute tuning and dropped D are the only two tunings other than standard that I spend any kind of considerable time working with now.


31 Mar 03 - 09:44 AM (#922466)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: JedMarum

I use that open D major tuning Amos - Vestapol, as I see it is called. I use it on my normal 6 string string mostly for fooling around at home ... but I use that tuning on a high strung guitar (Nashille Tuning) and I use it quite a bit. I set up my Martin Backpacker with that tuning ... it has two distinct qualities; 1) strumming chords for accompaniment it has an almost ukelele sound (or maybe mando when it's capoed up high) 2) I finger pick and play a melody on the fourth, thrid and second strings - that effect is cool because the 4, 3 strings being an octave higher then they ought to be give a pretty, music box sort of tone, then the high notes of the melody hit the 2 string which is an octave lower but still in the pretty music box sound range -- kinda turns your head a bit.

I like the fact that my limited banjo playing left hand fits neatly inside the 2 - 5 strings, that is my G tuning banjo chords and scales are all laid out in the inside four strings - BUT i get the added advantage of having that lower part of the scale when I use the 6th string. As a guitar player, I've always wished for a 6 string banjo - and I don't mean a guitar laid out on a banjo body - I mean a 5 string banjo, with a sixth string added to the bottom to give you the lower notes ....


31 Mar 03 - 02:24 PM (#922768)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: JedMarum

I believe I actually came across such a banjo at the 12th Fret in Toronto. I mentioned to Rick when we were there about a year ago, but I'm not sure he was convinced.

The instrument was an antique, I believe German made (but I could be wrong about that). It had a 5th string in the normal location - but it had 5 strings at the head and nut. It was not in playable condition, and no one in the store at that time knew much about it ... but I was convinced that the purpose was to add the lower string - giving you the instrument I described in my post above.

I tried to tune the instrument that way, but it was missing a string, and it was a bit too out of whack to actually play (action too low, strings buzzing on neck).


31 Mar 03 - 03:07 PM (#922802)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: Rick Fielding

Jed, Sonny Osborne recorded many songs with a six string banjo (as you describe)

Some of the songs were:

Up this Hill and Down. You Aint the Kinda Woman I Wanted (but yer the kinda woman I got!)

The Osbornes were already getting a lot of flack because of their use of electric bass. (this was in the early seventies) When Sonny started playing his six string, many traditionalists stopped being fans. A few years later, when he had his first "Gitjo" made, they practically passed out!

Cheers

Rick


31 Mar 03 - 04:37 PM (#922871)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: JedMarum

Rick, you're a banjo player; what do you think? Don't you sometimes wish you had that lower string? Or am I just a damn guitar player stuck in the banjo's first position!


31 Mar 03 - 07:25 PM (#923015)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: Guy Wolff

Rick thanks for the proper spelling of Vestipol,
          Jed I would love a banjo set up like that for work in D . My son just got a Novax electric that has 5 regulr guitar trings and 3 bass strings . Now tuning THAT open could be alot of fun. If it wasnt such an expensive ax and he wasnt worried about the neck I would be fooling with it ..All the best , Guy


31 Mar 03 - 08:01 PM (#923028)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: Night Owl

thinking I've been "wrong all these years" as well here

Is DGDGBD "open G" and if not what is it??

(neat thread ddw...thanks all for the info above there)


31 Mar 03 - 09:41 PM (#923063)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: JedMarum

By the way, I use Drop-D pretty regularly. It is easy enough to adjust that one string, even on the fly - and the bas line options are really exciting. Besides, my big ol' Larrivee really has the voice for that low D! I only use it when I'm playing in D, I don;t suppose it would offer much advantage otherwise ...

But switching to a Vestipol tuning on-stage is not for the faint of heart! In fact, that's a downright problem if you're going to swith back too. When I've done it on-stage, I've planned it carefully, and always made it the last song of the set. If I did it regularly, I'd have a secnd guitar handy for that purpose - but then you just get into too damn many instruments. 1 Banjo and 1 guitar are already as much as I care to mess with, add in harminca/holder, flatpicks, water, capos, electronic tuners, SH*T! That's a lotta gear for folk music!!


31 Mar 03 - 09:53 PM (#923071)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: Bobert

Well danged. I thought that dropping both the 1st and 6th strings down to a D was a "D model". Am I wrong? I thought that dropped D was just droppin' the 1st to D.

Either way, I play "Rollin' and Tumblin'" in what I have thought was a D model (1st and 6th down to D). I love this tuning, especially since ya bring the 5th down and you're in G and can do some bottleneck. Then capo up to the 2nd and bottle neck in A...

If this ain't D model, someone please tell me and tell me how to tune to get D model. But don't get too technical.

Bobert


31 Mar 03 - 09:54 PM (#923072)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: MarkS

Somewhere along the line I thought that dropping the treble E to a D was known as a "D modal" tuning.
Any thoughts?
Mark


31 Mar 03 - 10:08 PM (#923085)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: Benjamin

NightOwl, the tuning you mentioned is an open G tuning. It's also sometimes refered to as the spanish tuning. I'm not sure why, I've never come across any spanish music that uses this tuning.
Benjamin


31 Mar 03 - 10:45 PM (#923109)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: Bobert

Mark S;

I'm with you and asked the same question...

Benjamin:

Well, remember that lots of Calipso players were playing open tunings on their "Hawian" giutars (National Steels with the Hiwaain palm tress) during the 30's. Open G wwas considered by the old blues guys "Spainish" tuning. When Neal Lomax asked Muddy Waters about his tuning in the "Plantation Recordings" Muddy said "Span-ich". He probably was just repeating what Son House had told him and didn't have a clue how it might relate to Spain....

Bobert


01 Apr 03 - 10:31 AM (#923553)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: Anglo

"Spanish" tuning is open G, DGDGBD, so called because it was the tuning required for the published music of the popular parlor tune Spanish Fandango, from the mid-late 19th cent. It went into tradition, sometimes as "Spanish Flangdang" or the like.

"Vestapol" is a corruption of "Sebastopol" which I believe was a piece of published music which required the Open D tuning.


01 Apr 03 - 05:48 PM (#923929)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: Night Owl

thanks for the info Benjamin and Anglo....sorry to "thread creep" from Drop D.    bg


01 Apr 03 - 05:58 PM (#923936)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: Anglo

Well, to come back to the topic, Drop D or Dropped D is taking _only_ the bass string down. That seems to have been established above, and is certainly the case. Years ago Joe Hickerson came up with this (as close as I recall):

Folksingers, proud and young, when you run your E string down,
Don't go down to funky D, it'll make you sing off key.

To the tune of Gordon Bok's Bay of Fundy, of course singing the last note flat.


02 Apr 03 - 09:39 AM (#924439)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: JedMarum

... and where would Steven Still's "4 & 20" be without Drop-D? I've also been playing with Tim Hardin's "Reason to Believe" with Drop-D. I play Kim C's song "Stonewall of the West" with Drop-D and I wrote a few with Drop-D.

... just to name a few.


02 Apr 03 - 11:02 AM (#924514)
Subject: RE: Drop-D; wrong all these years?
From: GUEST,Raggytash

Saddam's favourite tuning ..........



.....................



B. A. G. D. A. D.