• OVERVIEW •
In keeping with heavy rock’s ‘ever lower’ trend, many Scandinavian death metal groups (‘ragnarok-ers’?) were tuning right down to B by the 90s, stringing heavier and often adding a 7th to accommodate. Still popular on the global metal scene today.
Also used on ‘baritone’ guitars, which have a 5-10% longer scale length than normal. Different bari designs take various downward transpositions – most are 4 to 9 frets below Standard – with B being the most common.
Pattern: 5-5-5-4-5 | Harmony: Bm7(11) | Intervals: 1-4-b7-b3-5-1
• TUNE UP •
• SOUNDS •
And for a few examples from outside metal: Stefano Mirandola (The Chicken), Tim Lerch (Grez Mendocino), Sungha Jung (Flaming), Axel Hagen (Blue Baritone), and Ariel Posen (Angeline, Tremolo, Funk Improv).
- Angeline Solo – Ariel Posen (2020):
• NUMBERS •
- See my Tunings Megatable for further such nerdery: more numbers, intervallic relations, comparative methods, etc. And to any genuine vibratory scientists reading: please critique my DIY analysis!
• RELATED •
—Associated tunings: proximities of shape, concept, context, etc…
- C Standard (this +1): everything a little further up
- Carnatic Drone: another loose, B-based layout
- Funky Avocado: like a ‘Drop B + DADGAD’ mashup
• MORE INFO •
—Further learnings: sources, readings, lessons, other onward links…
- Baritone guitars: read StringJoy’s overview, watch Guitar World’s Mike Mushok model demo, ProGuitarShop’s Bari Tele demo, Fender’s Bari Jazzmaster demo (actually -2 down again) – and also Chords of Orion’s intro to ambient electric baritone
- Going deeper: Ariel Posen on his standard-scale ‘Stratomule’ bari, and how he played that solo – and see Rob Scallon’s Down-Tuning Experiment for a pleasingly direct way to answer the question ‘does tuning lower make things heavier?’ (also features the mysteries of ‘drop-Q’ tuning)
Browse 100+ tunings: type in names, notes, artists, sequences, words, etc. Also see tags below & the Full Menu.
Everything you didn’t realise you wanted to know about guitar tuning – fresh perspectives from Ming Dynasty manuscripts to modern psychoacoustics via jazz, Joni Mitchell, Madagascar, & more. Ad-free, open-access multimedia resources, continually updated (‘tuned’) over time. Feedback encouraged!
• RĀGA JUNGLISM •
George Howlett is a London-based musician, writer, and teacher. I play guitar, tabla, and santoor, loosely focusing on jazz, rhythm, and other global improvised traditions. Above all I seek to enthuse fellow sonic searchers, interconnecting fresh vibrations with the human voices, cultures, and passions behind them. Site above, follow below, & hit me up for…
• ONLINE LESSONS •
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