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EricHaven
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PostSubject: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:09 pm

So here I am, trying to produce the best sounds I can for my band Alien Probe. Much of what Andy and Doug writes involves playing tuned down....and I mean way down. A lot of our music is actually in B....well....OK....it's actually A flat, since we detune a half-step. Andy plays his custom 8-stringers a lot, and he gets these really sinister, low tunings in doing so. I have been struggling with this, since I am so much of an E-A-D-G guy.

I have flirted with the idea of going to a fiver, but I am so used to having only four strings on the neck that I am afraid it will only result in chaos. SO....I am now going to experiment with de-tuning down a fifth. I am going to re-string my bass to B-E-A-D, tuned down a half-step, of course.

Our local music store had only a single B string....but at a .135 gauge. YIKES! I can't even fit it into my Kahler claw! So now I am relegated to filing the claw to fit the string. I'm not really all that worried about it, since I do a lot of Frankenbass things anyways. And I am looking forward to hearing the results. My intent is to re-track our tunes using this configuration, and I am hopeful that it will produce some truly scary tones.

At any rate, it should be interesting. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Tue Feb 09, 2010 11:48 pm

If i were you i'd skip straight to a 6er, 5's can feel a bit like 4 stringers with a tacked on B but 6's feel totally different. i don't personally mind 5's. just make sure you get really tense strings for them. mine came with really loose one's, i could hardly play the bastard down on the b. give them a chance, get an sx beater 5. they really aren't that bad.
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Wed Feb 10, 2010 6:10 am

BEAD is an intense, funn tuning, for down the extra half step, on a 34" I would say you're far better off with that .135 B.

I spent a long time with my main bass in BEAD, with a Hipshot Drop Tuner, to pop the B down to A.

Let us know results. Twisted Evil
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:26 am

no rhyme to my reason ... i hate 5 string basses. i just always believed that if you cant do it on a 4 ... you shouldnt be doing it.

but i mean ... why not?

but this is an interesting situation eric. i could se where a 5 would be beneficial.

i dont like drop tuning too far ... strings arent "aldente" enuff and just seem to hang on the bass, lifeless and limp ala korn. thats now not a melody but exclusively a percussion instrument.

but with the tensions and response up, those ultra drop keys sound awesome!

then theres going with a super thick gague strings and detuning. curious; are the claws on a 5 string kahler a different size to accept the top string, or would such a setup be limited to a .110 down set of strings ... or filing out the claws?

Jauqo III-X uses super heavy gauges of strings to get his sound ... perhaps you could get some input from him.
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:13 am

I have no input Sad

out of the flock only a couple will tune to BEAD and work for recording only.

Live would be very hard since I would have to subconsciously remember not to pluck hard.

DGCF is a different story Smile
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:51 pm

Awww shoot, Mike! And here I was all thinking that I was delving into your area of expertise!

From what I can recall about the Kahler fiver MadMike, they are specifically carved out to handle the larger string sizes, but up to which gauge, I am not too certain. My intuitive guess is that they will handle something larger than a .110 since that would be a pretty puny low B string, although a .110 makes a perfectly good low D string.

Most B strings I see float around .125, so it was a bit of a shock to discover that the only single B string available was a bloody .135. scratch

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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:54 pm

I have a feeling a 125 would be way too wimpy for your playing...
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:22 pm

Laughing

Well....it's not like I take an axe to my bass! Rolling Eyes

cyclops

Saaayyyy....

(runs out to the garden shed)

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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:35 pm

EricHaven wrote:
Laughing

Well....it's not like I take an axe to my bass! Rolling Eyes

cyclops

Saaayyyy....

(runs out to the garden shed)

Well, tbqh, I have a very light touch, and I would avoid a 125 if possible, I know you play pretty agressivly, and factor in the trem, wet noodle time, which could affect tuning stability.
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:53 pm

Darkstrike wrote:
I have a feeling a 125 would be way too wimpy for your playing...

Ya, really. I've had .125s on my 5er, and its WAY to floppy. BTW, the standard B is 130 or 135, depending on the company

And if you're nervous about getting a 5er, don't be. It takes about a minute to get used to having another string
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:50 pm

Kugelspot wrote:
Darkstrike wrote:
I have a feeling a 125 would be way too wimpy for your playing...

Ya, really. I've had .125s on my 5er, and its WAY to floppy. BTW, the standard B is 130 or 135, depending on the company

And if you're nervous about getting a 5er, don't be. It takes about a minute to get used to having another string

I keep a 130 on mine, but of course, different brands have different tension, i know fender strings feel really tense, I just use ernie ball regulars.
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:21 pm

Cleartone makes a B tahts tapered and can fit on a kahler
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Thu Feb 11, 2010 4:05 pm

ah ... i didnt even think of the tapered ball end strings. curt mangan makes em too.
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Thu Feb 11, 2010 5:38 pm

I don't like to play 5 string basses. Maybe I haven't found the right one, but it's a different instrument.

I think that you have to have fat low strings especially. The larger the gauge, the more piano-like the sound gets. I got my friend a pack of 12s for his Telecaster and he hasn't looked back. When you use a thicker gauge, you have a lot more tension, but every note sounds like a bell--really clear and loud. I might try a heavier gauge of strings some time on one of my basses to see if it makes a difference for me.
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:57 pm

Chowderboots wrote:
I don't like to play 5 string basses. Maybe I haven't found the right one, but it's a different instrument.

I think that you have to have fat low strings especially. The larger the gauge, the more piano-like the sound gets. I got my friend a pack of 12s for his Telecaster and he hasn't looked back. When you use a thicker gauge, you have a lot more tension, but every note sounds like a bell--really clear and loud. I might try a heavier gauge of strings some time on one of my basses to see if it makes a difference for me.

my friend is a big fan of detuning, but he puts 9's on when he detunes all the way down to B standard sometimes. I keep trying to tell him fatter strings would sound better but i can't get through to him. scratch
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Thu Feb 11, 2010 10:04 pm

Fat strings--fat tone. When I play on those things, I understand how Pete Townshend gets those chords to hammer home the way he does. I don't know how else to describe it other than "bell-like" when you increase gauge, but not drop the tuning. It makes the guitar feel more like an acoustic. Now, normally, I like 9s or 10s on a guitar, but 12s can feel and sound really awesome on the right instrument.

That being said, I'd like to find out which one of my basses would like to have .110-.50 rounds on it...
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:09 am

Since I drop tuned my RD to low C. I put on 110 rounds on it and noticed the same thing. The tension feels fine (to me) since it is drop tuned. Notes really ring. I now would like to change some of my other long scales to Low C.
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:13 am

If I could get the same crashing chords on some bass with heavy rounds as I got on that Tele with 12s, it would be a really fun guitar to have around for the variation in sound.
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:34 pm

i gotta agree ... big fat strings / big fat sound. i've always liked 110 sets if the bass is set up right (strings so tight it pulls the action up) but usually settle for a standard of 105.

but not lately with the advent of my adventures here. a bass with a kahler stays in tune better with lighter strings. for how tight i like em and playing in drop d, i've found a happy medium in a 100 med / light set.

also, the lighter sets play lightening quick on the ss frets and ebony fretboard!

the big strings chew up the frets quicker too. roundwounds anyway ... i wouldnt play anything else.

this way / that way. tastes swaying back and forth; trying this and trying that. compromise. exploration. sacrifice one for another. its cool!
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:42 pm

Update!

I had to file the claw on my Kahler to fit the .135 B string. So, a few minutes in the shop with my fake Dremel, and I'm good to go. Back into the house, and I go about putting on the B string in place of the E. I tune it up, and I start messing around with it....hmmm....pretty easy....only the low string has changed....notes on the other three are still the same....plays well....love the low notes....easy to do....not getting lost....SAY!!!!

It occurs to me that there's no reason why I have to re-string the whole bass! Suddenly, I realize that all I've changed is the low string! The others are exactly the same! Why not leave it like this?

SOOO....my bass is now strung B-A-D-G. And to my pleasant surprise, my Kahler stabilized almost instantly! No tuning issues once I got the B string worn in!

So last night, we went to Doug's studio so I could re-track Up Yours. I had been wanting to do this anyways since Doug and I managed to dial in a great sound for both of my channels. And with the new, lower notes on my bass, I was even more anxious to do so. Andy was there as well, and it was thumbs up and smiles all the way around as I started playing along to the track with the new low notes roaring away. Doug kept swiveling around in his chair to smile at me, since we're all in the same room because I record my parts directly into the board. He said to me that his recording desk now shakes like an earthquake as I play! I'm totally hooked!

In fact, I love this tuning so much that I think I might leave it this way for always! cheers

I will be posting the new version of Up Yours sometime this week so you Guys can hear the added mayhem. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:06 pm

Next step.



don't act like you don't want that Very Happy

Anyway, i'm so glad you have discovered the fruits of the Extended range tree, and that it's working out for you!

What are dive bombs on the low B like? Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:33 am

affraid

That's one mighty bass! Shocked

Divebombs are absolutely incredible on the low B. The string bottoms out to where it sags off of the neck! Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:38 am

EricHaven wrote:
affraid

That's one mighty bass! Shocked

Divebombs are absolutely incredible on the low B. The string bottoms out to where it sags off of the neck! Laughing

Vid or it didn't happen Smile
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:10 pm

LOL! I need to afford a decent video recorder first, TK! Laughing

Hey, I have witnesses! Doug, Andy, and Linda all saw me drop my B! Does that count? scratch

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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:14 pm

now you guys are pissing me off.. time to re-tune a bass to DCCG/BECD/EDGE you know, ..... something REALLY WEIRD!!!!

I think I like to confuse myself on purpose every now and then....
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:17 pm

Hey now! I have enough to worry about just in dropping my E to a B! Laughing At least it's something! Give me at least some credit here! Razz

My Bro Andy is the king of alternate tunings. He plays his guitars in all sorts of wonky keys, and I cannot even begin to come close! Wink

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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:49 am

It really refreshing to drop tune, it opens up a lot of new things.
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:48 am

Barklessdog wrote:
It really refreshing to drop tune, it opens up a lot of new things.
I would only say that it changes what strings you can now play open, since the notes have changed just like a guitar with a capo...which DOES change the way it is played, and how the note now sounds. Honestly if I was not so into trying new things, I'd be stuck in EADG forever, and if all my songs in the past 10 years required the lower D,C,B I would have a flock of 5 stringers by now........

I won't lecture anyone on what they are comfortable with naturally, just because I can change tunings and a minute later I know where the notes should be...it is strange at first, like anything but once you get it, you don't want to go back. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:13 am

Yeah, last week, just for fun, I tuned my Epi in D natural and I did some jazz standards(real book). Man having that low D is so much easier since in most of them, they always shoot you an Eb or a D and you must take it at the octave.

I've pondered with the idea of playing all my songs in D natural. But, it's a lot of adaptation. But hey, I know what I'll do in spring break!
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:48 am

to me retuning is like using a lefty with the E on top, my hands are still coordinated, but it DOES take a lot of thought to remember to make the patterns "backwards" from what I am used to.
for you all changing tunings, say to DGCF, if you stayed playing that way for a long time, it would become "normal".

or, just wait 5-10 years of constant playing, and nothing matters anymore...lol
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:04 am

I think for me it was having that really low C and the heavy gauge strings, the strings almost overshadowing the tuning.
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Tue Feb 23, 2010 12:31 pm

amimbari wrote:
I won't lecture anyone on what they are comfortable with naturally, just because I can change tunings and a minute later I know where the notes should be...it is strange at first, like anything but once you get it, you don't want to go back. Smile

OK, OK....perhaps my swapping the E for a B isn't that big of a deal, Mike, but to me it is a big deal. For all of my whipping around the neck that I normally do, all of that doesn't come from a knowledge of note structures, but much more from patterns based upon the old E-A-D-G thing. This is why I acknowledged that you have a much better grasp on scales than I will ever have. For you, it's hardly anything to alter your tuning, since you yourself admit that it quickly makes sense to you. I do not, and will not ever, have that same ability. It simply isn't that easy for me. Believe me when I tell you that, for a player with the limited knowledge of music that I have, doing this took quite a leap for me.

Even you admit that to change up tunings requires that you think a little more about what you're doing. Thinking is not a luxury I normally have when I play. There's too much going on for me to do that. Every time I think, I screw up. My best playing comes from just allowing everything to flow and breathe.

This is why I don't play fivers. My hands simply get too tangled up in them. Sure, I could get one and work on it, but to be totally honest, I don't want to. This is also why I have never learned how to read music. I have started out with the basics, and within a half hour, I'm bored stupid, since I already know how to play by ear AND solo my arse off! Learning music takes a lot of energy, and I'm too old for that now.

I keep telling you Guys that I honestly have no clue what I'm doing! Laughing The only thing I can do is to make it seem that I do know what I'm doing. But at the end of the day, it's nothing but smoke and mirrors, baby. Smoke and mirrors.

I understand that the simple act of dropping my low string a fifth is but a tiny move, but from my perspective, it's re-learning the whole bass all over again.

And I love the results, and so does my band.

So there.

PFFFTTT!!! Razz

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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:07 pm

"smoke" w**d and use the "mirror" for c**e to get your brain in gear to play huh?



and yep, isn't it fun when you can take something you have had for 20 years and realize it is now somehow different...kinda puts all the fun BACK into it don't it???
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:33 pm

LOL! No, there's not any of that sort of smoke and mirrors going on! Laughing In fact, I have never had the evil white stuff, not even once. And the last time I did anything else was well over 25 years ago.

It's an old term coined from magicians who would use smoke and mirrors to create their illusions, and I adopted it myself to describe how I play.

It has made things a lot more fun. Definitely. But I think the biggest plus has been being able to create these really super-deep low notes that I didn't have before. I listen to Up Yours at full volume with the subwoofer on the 'pute going, and it blows me away how much of a difference it has made. The impact is like being slapped over the head with a tubesock filled with running chainsaws! Laughing

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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:00 pm

sounds like some bassplayer who only could afford a crate 2x10 combo, and now he is running thru a SVT and a 8x10 on top of a 2x15 Smile

the bass did not change, the playing did not change, but the sound sure did Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Tue Feb 23, 2010 2:42 pm

Actually, the playing did change a tiny bit.

Before I had the low B note at my disposal, I resorted to my old trick (again with the smoke and mirrors thing, see?) of using chords. Up Yours is in B (actually Bb, since we are tuned down a half-step), and so when I first recorded the tune, I did the opening drive on the regular note of B on the A string. Then for the punches, I used three-note chords to try and deepen the notes. It has always been close, but never perfect. But now that I have that low B, I am replacing the opening drive with the low B, and the punches I now play using the low B along with the original B note on the A string for a sort of two-note harmonized deal.

The same thing for the verses. I still do the little note-for-note run with Andy they way I have always on the higher strings, but then we both also punch D and C chords together, and again for me, these were three-note chords on the upper strings. But now as I play the chords, I play the low note on the B string chorded with the upper octave note on the A string for another two-string harmonized chord.

OK, I'm probably over-explaining things here, since it's hard to put into type what exactly is going on. But I think you can get the idea. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:54 pm

over explain? your slipping cause you missed that mark by 2 less sentences in your paragraph than normal Sad

eh, for years I listened to low E and liked it just the same Smile
then keyboard music came out and people started using the lower octave on them, and it just translated into stringed instruments.
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tekkentool

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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:20 am

amimbari wrote:
over explain? your slipping cause you missed that mark by 2 less sentences in your paragraph than normal Sad

eh, for years I listened to low E and liked it just the same Smile
then keyboard music came out and people started using the lower octave on them, and it just translated into stringed instruments.

Those confounded keyboard instruments Mad

however i think it was Black sabbath who were the first to detune their guitars, tomy iommi was involved in an industrial accident before joining sabbath, end of his finger got cut off, He detuned his guitar so it would be easier to play, but he ended out loving the heavier sound. He first detuned to C# for master of reality with sabbath.
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Wed Feb 24, 2010 1:51 pm

I really like to play in weid tunings but i always insist on havind the same intervals between every string. Thats actually why i tuned my acoustic guitar eadgcf (a guitar player in my band does the same thing). About string tension i can say this: the thicker the better in my book. I have a four string with a .115 E and i'm thinking of buying a .140 B for my six string bass! Only disadvantage, the tense strings make my fingers bleed Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Wed Feb 24, 2010 4:54 pm

tekkentool wrote:
Those confounded keyboard instruments Mad

however i think it was Black sabbath who were the first to detune their guitars, tomy iommi was involved in an industrial accident before joining sabbath, end of his finger got cut off, He detuned his guitar so it would be easier to play, but he ended out loving the heavier sound. He first detuned to C# for master of reality with sabbath.

Mhmm. I think it was the tips of two or three of his fingers. He bent bottle caps and melted stuff on there so they'd stay on after his supervisor turned him on to Django Reinhardt after his accident and that's what kept him playing.

Jim wrote:
I really like to play in weid tunings but i always insist on havind the same intervals between every string. Thats actually why i tuned my acoustic guitar eadgcf (a guitar player in my band does the same thing). About string tension i can say this: the thicker the better in my book. I have a four string with a .115 E and i'm thinking of buying a .140 B for my six string bass! Only disadvantage, the tense strings make my fingers bleed Shocked

Intense! I'm thinking of giving some heavier strings a try for standard tunings next time I can afford strings. I love the sound!
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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:48 pm

Jim wrote:
I really like to play in weid tunings i tuned my acoustic guitar eadgcf (a guitar player in my band does the same thing).
now thats funny cause before I knew what was what on the neck I did the same thing and it was simpler, but after a while I just tuned BE, and the CF went away as I forced myself to remember the difference Smile
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Jim



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PostSubject: Re: More tonal experiments (AMIMBARI TAKE NOTE)   Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:42 am

amimbari wrote:
Jim wrote:
I really like to play in weid tunings i tuned my acoustic guitar eadgcf (a guitar player in my band does the same thing).
now thats funny cause before I knew what was what on the neck I did the same thing and it was simpler, but after a while I just tuned BE, and the CF went away as I forced myself to remember the difference Smile

I talked about this a lot with the guitarist in my band, we both agree that it involves many advantaged to tune the two highest guitar strings cf. Still the reason why a lot of guitar players don't want to do this is because it changes the chord structure of 5 and 6 note chords (9th and 11th chords). This means that they'll have to relearn these chords and they sometimes end up to be harder to play. 3 and 4 note chords on the other hand are differend if their root is played on different strings in the eadgbe tuning while the chord shape stays the same in eadgcf. Since i never got lessons in chords the disadvantage of rewriting them does not exist for me and with my tuning i'll have much less chords to learn, just the main form and the invertions and thats all!
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