INSTRUCTION STRINGS ACCESSORIES MUSIC LINKS
 Visit Our Catalog at SteelGuitarShopper.com for Steel Guitars, Strings, Instruction, Music and Accessories 
Forum Index
where steel players meet online
The Steel Guitar Forum

How do you like it now? (Details)



Post new topic Tuning Down To D
Reply to topic
Author Topic:  Tuning Down To D
b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 2 May 2017 9:56 am     Reply with quote

When I got my first real pedal steel, I tuned it to D69. My lowest note was a low G (pedaled down from the A string). I later learned that D9 was popular among some Cajun players. I like the beefier sound of D tunings.

Jimmy Day tuned to D9 for his legendary "Steel and Strings" LP.

Today I play a D6th tuning and I'm very happy with it. How many of us tune to D9, D6, or some other variation of a D root tuning?
_________________
-b0b- (SGF Admin) a.k.a. Bobby Lee ♪ CopedentsRice & BeanWine Country SwingStella
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Tim Russell


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 2 May 2017 10:40 am     Reply with quote

I like the lower sound too.

I created a thread on here, probably more than a year ago about this subject. I was experimenting with tuning way down, even an octave lower.

It sounded awesome, all that whiny pedal steel "twang" left. Laughing


Problem was, the strings were so slack, and fast picking was difficult on the loose string tension. I could easily tune to D, or even C, I would be happy staying there. Smile
_________________
Sierra Crown D-10
View user's profile Send private message
Bob Carlucci


From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post Posted 2 May 2017 10:45 am     Reply with quote

I have never done it, but I would think a standard E9 tuning, with all intervals the same except tuned a full tone lower would sound better than an E9 and have better sustain.. You could go a thousandth or two thicker on each string, and I would imagine the sound would be better... Never tried it but it would be an interesting experiment... bob
_________________
I'm over the hill and hittin'rocks on the way down!

no gear list for me.. you don't have the time......
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 2 May 2017 11:16 am     D Tuning Gauges Reply with quote

Here are the string gauges for D9th:
Tab:
E  .014
C# .017 or .018
F# .013
D  .015
A  .020p
F# .026w
E  .030
D  .034
C  .036 or .038
A  .042

As you can see, it's basically an E9th set without the .011, plus a .042 for the low string.

My D6th gauges are:
Tab:
E  .014
F# .013
D  .015
B  .018
A  .020p
F# .026w
D  .034
B  .038
G  .048
D  .060

_________________
-b0b- (SGF Admin) a.k.a. Bobby Lee ♪ CopedentsRice & BeanWine Country SwingStella
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Tim Russell


From:
Pennsylvania, USA
Post Posted 2 May 2017 11:51 am     Reply with quote

Bob,

My Sierra D-10 C6th will not accept a bigger string than "standard." I forget what gauge I have on there right now, but I know I tried to go thicker in the past, and the finger is too narrow to receive a thicker string.

Have you run into this issue on your Sierras?
_________________
Sierra Crown D-10
View user's profile Send private message
b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 2 May 2017 11:56 am     Reply with quote

I've never had a Sierra D-10, but I did have that problem with a .070 gauge string on my 1978 Sierra Olympic S-12. I crimped the string with a pair of pliers until it was small enough to fit in the gap.
_________________
-b0b- (SGF Admin) a.k.a. Bobby Lee ♪ CopedentsRice & BeanWine Country SwingStella
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Bob Carlucci


From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post Posted 2 May 2017 12:01 pm     Reply with quote

bob, using the string gauges you submitted, and tuning down a full tone, how is playabiliity affected?. Knee lever and pedal travel and tension comparable to a standard E9?... Any difference in sustain??... bob
_________________
I'm over the hill and hittin'rocks on the way down!

no gear list for me.. you don't have the time......
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 2 May 2017 12:41 pm     Reply with quote

I set up my S-8 guitar for D6th from the start, so pedal travel is normal. I'm not sure what would have to change if you just strung up an E9th with D9th gauges. I expect you'd have to do a few mechanical tweaks underneath, especially to the 6th string which changes from plain to wound.

I changed my Carter back neck from C6th to D6th just by changing strings and retuning the pedals - didn't even flip it over. Everything just worked.

As for sustain, here's a video of me playing Blue Jade on my Desert Rose tuned to D6th. It sustains pretty well, IMHO. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEamTQW4_mE
_________________
-b0b- (SGF Admin) a.k.a. Bobby Lee ♪ CopedentsRice & BeanWine Country SwingStella
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Brint Hannay


From:
Maryland, USA
Post Posted 2 May 2017 2:33 pm     Reply with quote

It'd be interesting to try D9, but I'd want to still use my E9 changes that I've used for 34 years, and I wonder if a .026w (or .024w?) tuned to F# as the 6th string could be lowered a whole tone?
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Stephen Williams


From:
from Wales now in Berkeley,Ca, USA
Post Posted 2 May 2017 3:45 pm     Reply with quote

I tune to Dsomething which I made up.
btw you can lower a 26w from F# to E


F#
E
D
D
A
G
F#
D
A
F#

Standard A and B pedals plus a split 5 chord on P3 and P4
It is a LOT easier to get going with this, you don't have to worry about picking the wrong string. Pretty much no wrong notes.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Herb Steiner


From:
Spicewood TX 78669
Post Posted 2 May 2017 5:05 pm     Reply with quote

I have a PA Reissue (pre-Clinesmith) that's a 10-10-8 with a 3-pedal D9 tuning because of its long scale. Very rich sounding tuning.
_________________
Herb's Steel Guitar Pages
Texas Steel Guitar Association
Allison String Instruments
My rig: Infinity and Telonics.

Son, we live in a world with walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with steel guitars. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg?
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Andy De Paule


From:
Saigon, Viet Nam & Eugene, Oregon
Post Posted 2 May 2017 5:58 pm     Hi b0b Reply with quote

Hi b0b,
When I and some friends came to hear you play last summer I never even noticed that your guitar was an 8 string. I did notice it was Desert Rose and you sounded very good.
I assumed you were in E9th because it sounded that way most of the night.

Also remember that when I met you in 1978 I think we both had S-10 Blond Sho-Bud's with 6&1. I think you told me then you were in D6/9 tuning.
I do remember that we did a Willy & Waylon tune there in my living room and you did some nice Mooney style playing.
I was very new at steel than and was very impressed with your playing.
I was playing Bass that day and after so many years it all gets kind of hazy.

Later I remember that when you played the Castle Club on Gary street you got an Emmons. I'm thinking it was an S-12? About the same time that John got his Sierra D-10.

I think your idea of going to an S-8 makes a lot of sense. Lighter weight and keep it simple, keep it good. 95% of my playing is on the top 6 to 8 strings and only uses 2 pedals and 3 of my knee levers. All the extra pedals, knees and two lowest strings get very little use when I'm at a gig.
Keep on picken'
Very Happy
_________________
Custom inlaid Star Guitar 2006 by Mark Giles. SD-10 4+5 in E9th.
Promat #11 2007, D-10 Blond & Mahogany with Gold Tuners. Killer Tone Monster.
Todd Clinesmith Joaquin Murphy style Aluminum 8 String Lap Steel.
New Mullen SD-10, G2 5&5 All Polished Aluminum including covering.
1960 Wright S-10 Cable PSG
Todd Clinesmith T-8 Console Ordered.
Korean D'Angelico EX-SS Electric Single Cutaway. Great guitar.
Fender re-issue in C6th and a Morrell 8 string lap steel in E13th. Resophonic by Edwin Root.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
Andy De Paule


From:
Saigon, Viet Nam & Eugene, Oregon
Post Posted 2 May 2017 6:12 pm     WoW, Here is b0b at the Castle Club 1978? Reply with quote

WoW, Here is b0b at the Castle Club 1978 or was it 79, maybe 80?
Whoa!
Bob Lee on that Sho-Bud Steel. Johnny Johnson Lead Guitar and Danny Rose rhythm guitar and singing. That left about enough room in the club for 6 drunks.


_________________
Custom inlaid Star Guitar 2006 by Mark Giles. SD-10 4+5 in E9th.
Promat #11 2007, D-10 Blond & Mahogany with Gold Tuners. Killer Tone Monster.
Todd Clinesmith Joaquin Murphy style Aluminum 8 String Lap Steel.
New Mullen SD-10, G2 5&5 All Polished Aluminum including covering.
1960 Wright S-10 Cable PSG
Todd Clinesmith T-8 Console Ordered.
Korean D'Angelico EX-SS Electric Single Cutaway. Great guitar.
Fender re-issue in C6th and a Morrell 8 string lap steel in E13th. Resophonic by Edwin Root.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
b0b


From:
Northern California
Post Posted 2 May 2017 6:21 pm     Re: WoW, Here is b0b at the Castle Club 1978? Reply with quote

I use my low strings a lot on every gig, Andy. That's when I blend into the rhythm section. You don't notice that it's a steel guitar playing those boom-chick parts. My lowest note on the 8-string D6th is an E, same as guitar, lowered from G by a pedal.

Andy De Paule wrote:
WoW, Here is b0b at the Castle Club 1978 or was it 79, maybe 80?
Whoa!
Bob Lee on that Sho-Bud Steel. Johnny Johnson Lead Guitar and Danny Rose rhythm guitar and singing. That left about enough room in the club for 6 drunks.

Not counting the 3 drunks on stage. Embarassed

Here's an article from June 1978 about the D6/9 copedent on that Sho-Bud: www.b0b.com/sgwest/pp7806p3.htm. I switched to extended E9th (Emmons S-12 p/p) a few months after that.
_________________
-b0b- (SGF Admin) a.k.a. Bobby Lee ♪ CopedentsRice & BeanWine Country SwingStella
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Andy De Paule


From:
Saigon, Viet Nam & Eugene, Oregon
Post Posted 2 May 2017 6:41 pm     Was a good time Reply with quote

Was a good time and I was stuffing my face with a giant burger so may didn't.t pay a lot of attention to what you played, except that it was good.

I forgot about the Pedal Press. So you have Day style CBA pedals rather than Emmons ABC. That tuning makes a lot of sense.

Trying to remember about the Castle Club. Didn't you and John Sala trade off nights playing steel there a lot?
I also remember there was another fellow who came and sang often.
I'd come down from time to time with my bass and sit in.
Was not a lot of C&W in San Francisco then and I think even less now.
_________________
Custom inlaid Star Guitar 2006 by Mark Giles. SD-10 4+5 in E9th.
Promat #11 2007, D-10 Blond & Mahogany with Gold Tuners. Killer Tone Monster.
Todd Clinesmith Joaquin Murphy style Aluminum 8 String Lap Steel.
New Mullen SD-10, G2 5&5 All Polished Aluminum including covering.
1960 Wright S-10 Cable PSG
Todd Clinesmith T-8 Console Ordered.
Korean D'Angelico EX-SS Electric Single Cutaway. Great guitar.
Fender re-issue in C6th and a Morrell 8 string lap steel in E13th. Resophonic by Edwin Root.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
Daniel McKee


From:
Corinth Mississippi
Post Posted 5 May 2017 4:33 am     Reply with quote

A while back I tuned my E9th neck down to D9th. I'm using a standard E9th pack of strings but would like to try some thicker gauges. I really didn't do it for any particular reason other than wondering what it sounded like. I like it quite a bit but some of the strings have a little bit of a loose feel so I think it may work better with thicker gauges. Its probably important to note that my setup is very simple with just standard A B C pedals and a knee lever lowering string 8. I'm not sure how well it would feel or work with a more complex setup but I am sure adjustments could be made to make it happen. I never break strings either which is a plus. I've also heard of some universal players tuning down to D9th/A6th which seems really cool.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Charlie McDonald


From:
out of the blue
Post Posted 5 May 2017 5:03 am     Reply with quote

Lovely 'Blue Jade,' b0b. Beautiful chimes.
I think having the proper string gauges contributes to sustain, and the Desert Rose has plenty.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
K Maul


From:
Mechanicville NY/Hobe Sound FL
Post Posted 5 May 2017 10:19 am     Reply with quote

I have one steel tuned to "D Universal" I skip the Dom 7 on string 9 and have it on a knee. My lowest note is F# with a 4th pedal that drops it down to low D. I use it on lots of "singer- songwriter" gigs where it is just an acoustic guitar,maybe a bass and me. It fills lots of sonic space. I had it on a short scale GFI Ultra keyless but am trying it on a longer scale ShoBud to see if the strings are less floppy. I use slightly heavier gauges,like the ones b0b suggested. I think I use a 46 or 48 on 10 because I drop it down so low.
_________________
Kevin Maul uses GFI,Sho-Bud,Emmons,Fender,Supro,Rickenbacher,Clinesmith,RAM steels. Beard & Fluger Resophonics.Fender,Evans,Quilter amps.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Mark McCornack


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 13 May 2017 2:52 pm     Tuning down to D9 Reply with quote

I played my little Pro-I tuned down to D9 for most of the time I owned it. After my first year or so playing it, I got tired of busting strings and dropped from E9 to D9. Problem solved. A couple of years ago I thought I'd try and "standardize" myself a lttle so went back to E9. Maybe after a few decades of music wire engineering, strings are better 'cause no real issues with breakage.

One BIG thing I noticed being back at E9 is there is less cabinet drop with a standard guage strings than when tuned down a step to D9! In retrospect, this makes perfect sense to me. I think now if I were going back to D9, I'd fatten the strings up accordingly and not use a standard E9 set just tuned down. Just something to think about Smile
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Zeke Cory


From:
Hinsdale, New York USA
Post Posted 20 May 2017 10:18 am     D9th Tuning Reply with quote

I have played a D9th setup on all my Super Pro's forever. I use the standard E9th string gauges just tuned down two frets. Offsets are about the same as E9th, and I never break strings. I do have to respectfully disagree with Mark (unless I misunderstood his meaning) that there is "more" cabinet drop when tuned down to D9th with the E9th string guages. My cabinet drop is about -.5 compared to the usual -2.0 to -2.5 with the strings tuned lower (less tension = less cabinet drop). The pedals move with the slightest touch, and the knee levers do not fight back. The Speed stuff is easier and faster once you get used to using a lighter foot touch. Pedal A squeezes take some finesse but I got used to that with practice. You now have to do that with a controlled foot movement rather than relying on the pedal tension resistance. And the sound is not the high pitched breaking glass sound as normal. If you try this out, remember you will have to back off your nylon tuning nuts to reduce your pulls at the endplate. No other mechanical changes are necessary. I love the ease with which the pedals and knees move without fighting back against me. The biggest challenge here would probably be re-adjusting to the new fret positions. (E chord open & the pedaled A chord is now at fret 2). This has just been my experience I thought I would put out there for consideration. I would love to hear more from those who have tried this. Best Regards
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Jump to:  

Our Online Catalog
Strings, CDs, instruction,
steel guitars & accessories

www.SteelGuitarShopper.com

Steel Guitar Music
Instrumental steel guitar CDs for your permanent collection
www.SteelGuitarMusic.com

BIAB Styles
Ray Price Shuffles
for Band-in-a-Box

by Jim Baron

Please review our Forum Rules and Policies

The Steel Guitar Forum
148 South Cloverdale Blvd.
Cloverdale, CA 95425 USA

Support This Forum