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How do I retune my guitar to a Drop C?


(@antman1490)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 4
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I keep hearing people tell me to retune my guitar to drop C to play certain songs...but i dont know how. please help!


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(@bennett)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 297
 

Detune your low E string to C. Voila! :)

From little things big things grow - Paul Kelly


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(@antman1490)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 4
Topic starter  

i cant seem to even figure that out...i just started awhile ago


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(@bennett)
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Joined: 17 years ago
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Check out this lesson here at Guitar Noise from David Hodge - Harvest Moon.

David talks about Drop D in this lesson. Drop C is just one full tone lower.

If you have an electronic chromatic tuner then simply loosen the low E string (ie. the sixth or thickest string) until the tuner shows "C".

Another way is to fret the A string (5th string) at the 3rd fret then pluck the low E string until their pitches match.

From little things big things grow - Paul Kelly


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(@razzlemacher)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 15
 

If you have good bandwidth then this is worth watching:

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/features/steal_this_video_alternate_tunings.html

He explains alternate tunings in the video (downloadable from the link above).

Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself - George Bernard Shaw


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(@antman1490)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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Topic starter  

so wait does this mean that my guitar isnt capable of a drop c?


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(@duffmaster)
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https://www.guitarnoise.com/lessons/drop-c-tuning/

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(@bennett)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 297
 

Oops, forgot about lowering the other strings a full tone. Sorry 'bout that.

Only ever used it once and that was for Neil Young's "Pocahontas".

Btw, is it correct that Drop C is also known as Slack D tuning? :?

From little things big things grow - Paul Kelly


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(@antman1490)
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Joined: 16 years ago
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Topic starter  

when i lower the E string that much (to a C) it becomes too loose to actually play.


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(@ricochet)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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Btw, is it correct that Drop C is also known as Slack D tuning? :?No, that would be incorrect. But it is Drop D tuned down a whole step, if it's as described above. That's an amiguous name, though, as most would take it to simply be standard tuning with the bass string detuned to C. It's best to spell out a tuning completely, like DADGAD.

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(@wes-inman)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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Drop C means you have to drop your bass E string two whole steps (the same as 4 frets) down to C. Then, you drop the other 5 strings down one whole step (two frets). So you will have

C, G, C, F, A, D. This is what most mean by dropped C tuning. Get a chromatic tuner, this will tell you any note you are playing to tune down.

Yes, when you tune down the strings become very slack and this presents a lot of problems. First, put a very heavy gauge string on your guitar, this will help a lot. Also, you will have to raise the action a little high or you will get lots of buzz. You will have to adust the intonation as well, if you don't know how to do this, have your music store set it up to this tuning.

You have to play with a very light feel when you play with these super low tunings. If you strike your strings with a hard attack they will wobble and boom like crazy, you'll get fret buzz too. So you have to very gently pick and strum the strings. Takes a little practice getting used to this.

There are guitars made for down tunings, you might look into those.

7 string and Baritone guitars

This is actually the best way to go for super low tunings.

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(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
 

Another way to do this might be, if your strings are too slack in drop C, is to tune to drop D (DADGBE) and play the chords you're given two semitones lower.....for example, if you're in drop C tuning and the chords you're using are A D and E, in drop D tuning you'd play G C and D respectively....

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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(@embrace_the_darkness)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 540
 

My 2 cents for what they're worth; a couple of times I've tried to just loosen the strings to down-tune to CGCFAD, and had a real hard time keeping them intune for anything longer than a minute.

In the end, the best way I found was to get new thick-gauge strings, and restring the guitar, setting up for CGCFAD from the offset. This way worked much better than tuning down, at least for me anyway.

Obviously if you only have the one guitar that might not be ideal for you, but you can always just tune the C up to D and put a capo on to get standard tuning.

Vic said:
Another way to do this might be, if your strings are too slack in drop C, is to tune to drop D (DADGBE) and play the chords you're given two semitones lower

As long as you're not wanting to play

-x-- -x--
-x-- -x--
-x-- -x--
-0-- -1--
-0-- -1--
-0-- -1--

then that might be ok, but personally I would tune to Drop C if that's what the song requires.

Pete

ETD - Formerly "10141748 - Reincarnate"


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