Low A pros and cons...Low B pros and cons

Discussion in 'Jazz, Acoustic, Classical & Fingerstyle' started by JakobPek, Dec 23, 2015.

  1. JakobPek

    JakobPek SS.org Regular

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    Dec 23, 2015
    Oakland, CA

    So for the past year or so, I have been playing my seven string with a low B tuning. I've arranged a number of tunes and pieces with this tuning. Just recently I have begun exploring the low A tuning.

    I was wondering, what, in your experience, are the benefits/ drawbacks for each of these tunings?

    What I've discovered so far is that the low B, with it's symmetry of 4ths, allows for more fluid melodic playing across all of the strings, as well helps with playing bass lines, especially chromatic and walking bass.

    With the low A, the barred fifth is so luscious and can allow for greater ease with certain harmonic happenings. Also, the simple translation of the 5th string A to the 7th string A is, well, easy. The low A tuning does not lend itself to chromatic/walking lines like the low B, or grant that fluid melodic crossover. All of a sudden, two string are tuned like a cello.

    What I'm thinking of doing is simply arranging some tunes with the Low A and others with the Low B and exploring from there. I've been working on Bill Evans' 'Waltz for Debby' with both the low B and the low A and decided to use the low B tuning, as there is a lot of bass line motion in the tune, and the symmetry of the 4ths lends itself to bass line playing...so it seems.

    has this been your experience? I'm assuming with more folky songs/ tunes that are not as complex with their bass lines, the low A would be ideal in a sense, as that barred fifth is just so warm and wholesome.

    Anyway, any thoughts/suggestions. What have your experiences been like? :wavey:

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