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FDP Forum / Sing, Sing, Sing! - Vocalist's Forum / Vocal Epiphany-Half Step Down

Contributing Member

The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Oct 2nd, 2011 03:01 PM   Edit   Profile  

I've never considered myself a very good singer, unfortunately. Played lead guitar in a R&R band for 3 years, had to content myself with the guitar and some background vocals, which was fine.

Then I retired from the band, and went back to acoustic guitar. Bought an acoustic amp that I could run a mic through. My vocals sounded like crap. So I tuned my guitar down a step, sounded a little better. Then one day I tried a song with a capo on the first fret, and I'll be damned if my singing was right on! Sounded pretty decent, if I say so myself, and I'm my own harshest critic. My voice was right there on key with the guitar.

So I tuned UP from one step down to 1/2 step down. I just got done with playing about every song I know (took a while!), and evey single song sounded okay! And, after singing for a couple hours, my throat feels fine.

I wish somebody would have told me to tune down half a step about 35 years ago.

Anybody else tune it down and keep it there? It works for me, got me fired up about music again.



Oct 11th, 2011 09:19 AM   Edit   Profile  

Been doing that for 6 years now! It works awesome. There's a bit of a heated debate on this topic over in the "Performer's" corner. I actually started the thread. I have quit checking it because many people "don't get it" and I and my bandmates have proven it works great over the years. Added plus- it keeps harmonica players off the stage cause none of their harps are a 1/2 step down! LOL

Contributing Member

The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Oct 13th, 2011 09:33 PM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks, j, that's a good thread over there.

Contributing Member


Jan 19th, 2012 01:09 PM   Edit   Profile  

2 things

1- tuning 1/2 step down for me is a big improvement for singing. I am a baritone and it puts many songs into my comfortable range.

2- the most important the harp players will just be out a 1/2 step but they will still try :P

BBQ Gord


Didn't chew kill my bruvah?
Feb 1st, 2012 02:44 PM   Edit   Profile  

You guys and your blasted alergy towards Harp players. Get hip and listen to some blues, why dontcha??? Some are bums and some rule, just like guitarists. Some sax players can't find the notes cos they don't know their scales. Thanks for the tip about tuning down a fret though! I hear the better bands in our town all do it. Time to give it a try for sure!


vero beach, fl

That was broke
Feb 21st, 2012 12:20 PM   Edit   Profile  

I tune down a whole step. I was amazed to see all the tunings out there. Even home made tunings. Ya think ya gut a handle on something and wham..."infinate possibilities"...poof.

Contributing Member

North of Philly

Solid state = solid sound+light weight
Apr 18th, 2012 07:49 AM   Edit   Profile  

Hey J,

You must have some poor (as in no money) harp players there. Most of the good ones around here carry the full range of harps, white keys, black keys, minor keys, and chromatics.

You can't loose them.

As for tuning down, I just learn to play in the new key. Have quite a bit of stuff in like Bflat minor.

FDP Forum / Sing, Sing, Sing! - Vocalist's Forum / Vocal Epiphany-Half Step Down

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