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Against Such Things
Metalhead

Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 8:16 pm
Posts: 450
Location: Southern Maryland
PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 3:49 pm 
 

I've been wondering for a while, how do bands who use multiple tunings make that work live? Do you have to have multiple instruments on stage? Do you just play all the songs in one tuning? Would an act like Children of Bodom have to do anything different to accomodate both standard and drop tunings?

I could imagine using an extended range instrument might work in some cases, but that wouldn't really work for a lot of songs.
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ShaolinLambKiller
King Asshole

Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:26 pm 
 

any larger band that tours on a large scale has multiple instruments. usually 2 for each tuning.

on a smaller scale bands usually have multiple instruments, at least one per tuning. Very rarely do I see a band or have played with a band that has to stop and tune for the next song. it's just easier to plug in a different guitar and go with it. Usually the poorest of the poor bands use only the one guitar.
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Deadly_Slaughter
Metal newbie

Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 7:12 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 6:41 pm 
 

First hand experience, tuning one guitar multiple times in one set is a major pain in the ass. You are really REALLY better off getting multiple instruments
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Zodijackyl
Lazy Wizard

Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:39 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:21 am 
 

Other than dropping the bottom string, I've never seen a band change tunings on stage, not even the most amateur. It is interesting to see how bands plan out a set with regard to tuning though, since they tend to group a few similarly tuned songs together, switch guitars, and have a tech/friend tune that guitar while they play the others.

SLK pretty much covered it, bands generally have two guitars for each tuning, since a backup is very useful. Nothing is worse than watching a band with two guitarists who don't have a single backup between them when something goes wrong - I saw a band with two seven-stringers and it was painful to watch them ask around if anyone had a seven string they could borrow...

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Twisted_Psychology
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Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 8:22 pm
Posts: 2986
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:17 am 
 

Yeah, definitely multiple instruments. Even my band played songs in Drop D and E Flat, the guitarist and I would both have two guitars and two basses to switch to for certain songs. I don't really do anything like that these days since all the material for both of my bands is in Drop C these days and old songs that I had just got moved to different keys.
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XcKyle93
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:04 pm
Posts: 295
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:19 pm 
 

When I saw Baroness last year, the guitarists may have switched guitars once, but besides that they would tune their guitars accordingly in between songs. Didn't really seem to bother anyone; they were pretty quick about it.
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ShaolinLambKiller
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Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:10 pm
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:10 pm 
 

odd cause I saw them some years ago and they switched guitars but also they really don't switch between tunings. they probably were making sure they were still in tune.
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XcKyle93
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:04 pm
Posts: 295
Location: United States
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:40 am 
 

ShaolinLambKiller wrote:
odd cause I saw them some years ago and they switched guitars but also they really don't switch between tunings. they probably were making sure they were still in tune.

It's definitely a possibility; I'm not really familiar with their tunes. I just remembered that, at the time, I thought that it was very odd that they were tuning their guitars after every single song. It was more than just once or twice, and though they were quick, it still took enough time to make it noticeable.
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Sonofabitch Thirdgeneration
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:02 pm
Posts: 274
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:55 pm 
 

some bands do indeed play everything in one tuning, examples include Pestilence, Six Feet Under and Obituary. Children of Bodom switch guitars between drop tuned and standard tuned songs but when they play songs from Something Wild album they just use the same tuning as with all their other standard tuned songs.

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Lightsbane
Metal newbie

Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:17 am
Posts: 233
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 12:39 am 
 

If your band doesn't have clean vocals or crazy synth parts you really don't have to switch guitars unless something is dropped, if you had songs that used guitars with extra strings or if your dead set on it sounding like the record. Hell even Cannibal Corpse plays their old material in A#. For a death metal bands I can't see anyone being pissed about a band sticking with their lowest tuning for live shows.

If you do switch guitars or take the time to tune back and forth the hardest part about that from an audience perspective is trying to fill that 10-30 second space up between instruments. It's not a huge deal but little things like that for me anyway add up over the course of a show.

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Sonofabitch Thirdgeneration
Metal newbie

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:02 pm
Posts: 274
PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:51 am 
 

Lightsbane wrote:
Hell even Cannibal Corpse plays their old material in A#.

they do no such thing

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RabbitOfDoom
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 4:36 pm
Posts: 58
Location: Chicago, Illinois
PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:50 pm 
 

Lightsbane wrote:
If you do switch guitars or take the time to tune back and forth the hardest part about that from an audience perspective is trying to fill that 10-30 second space up between instruments. It's not a huge deal but little things like that for me anyway add up over the course of a show.


We play the first half of our set in C Standard, then the second half in Drop A#. We generally walk on and just start playing, so while the other guitarist, bassist, and I tune our low strings down, the drummer does the "Hey we're Gnarhval, thanks for coming out to see us" etc. It fills the time quite nicely, so all you need is a bit of planning.
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Chainsaw Omega
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:43 pm
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2013 3:43 am 
 

I've done a few tours now where the bands I'm playing in change tuning without changing guitars. Granted, we only drop-tune though. The other thing is doing it in a way that isn't obvious. If youy have multiple songs in that tuning, play them together instead of going up and down multiple times.

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