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Half step

 
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DGNR8
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Joined: 30 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 4:53 pm    Post subject: Half step Reply with quote

I was watching this video of some 1990s hair farmer doing Jimi Hendrix guitar lessons. The dude looked like an ugly relative of Tom Petty with split ends. But he knew what he was doing and was getting the sound with a RI Strat through a 68 Marshall head, Crybaby, Muff, and a little chorus. My only complaint is that he didn't slow it down enough to walk me through, and the close-ups of his fingers were at an odd enough angle I couldn't always tell what was happening.

Here's my question--why did Jimi tune down a half step? What does that buy? Wouldn't it be easier to play a stock tuning if it's going to be that close? It's fascinating to see how he played certain things, and how relatively simple it is, not counting the speed. The real art was writing it in the first place, and doing things that hadn't been done before. I imagine many players have been as expansive over the long haul, but he was one of the very first pioneers. Same shit happens in the art world, or anything.
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cooter
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A lot of times it's easier for the vocals if you tune down a half step. I don't know if that's why Hendrix did it.
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Mages
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wow, an ugly relative of tom petty?? that's pretty ugly.
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analogsystem
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PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because when you tune down a half step everything sounds bigger and the guitar is easier to play as well. A lot of Neil Young acoustic songs are standard intervals but the whole guitar tuned down a whole step. It just sounds a lot fuller and bigger to hit that low d or d# than e. Try it sometime....I think a lot of blues guys do it too.
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Will
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PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2008 2:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, light gauge strings didn't come out until about '72 or so. Whole step bends on 11s suck.

Curt Mitchell is a laugh riot - he's so painfully misinformed, yet at the same time regrettably talented. I think those videos were shot in his mom's garage.
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DGNR8
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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You fucking know that dude for my description? That's awesome. Good description, too. His fingers know more than he does.

Has there ever been a guitar designed and sold at a non-standard tuning?
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NickS
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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 1:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Half step Reply with quote

DGNR8 wrote:
Here's my question--why did Jimi tune down a half step? What does that buy? Wouldn't it be easier to play a stock tuning if it's going to be that close? It's fascinating to see how he played certain things, and how relatively simple it is, not counting the speed. The real art was writing it in the first place, and doing things that hadn't been done before. I imagine many players have been as expansive over the long haul, but he was one of the very first pioneers. Same shit happens in the art world, or anything.
There's a whole list. SRV was another famous one...I think Led Zeppelin had to tune down at least a half step for the reunion concert to give Plant a chance with the vocals, but they had some special long-scale bass guitars made.
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Will
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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DGNR8 wrote:
You fucking know that dude for my description? That's awesome. Good description, too. His fingers know more than he does.


I was watching that video a couple weeks ago. I saw it on Bit Torrent and thought "God, I hope it isn't Curt Mitchell", but I downloaded it and it turned out to be. Still good for a laugh, though.
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