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  1. #1
    Top Of The World Benjami's Avatar
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    08.12.11 @ 01:51 AM
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    Default Sucker In A 3 Piece, Tuning?

    I was playing along with this and it didnt sound really right, i know im playing it the right way so it has to be in the tuning.
    Now i got new strings yesterday and i dont want to change the whole tuning yet since i have some other stuff to do as well (get my bridge floating a bit and the intonation is pretty ****ed up :P)
    But my guess is this is in half a step down?

  2. #2
    Eruption Webbed1's Avatar
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    01.02.15 @ 01:00 PM
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    Sounds like standard E to me, but I jam to it in drop d.
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  3. #3
    Eruption
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    Default

    E'

  4. #4
    Baluchitherium
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    04.02.15 @ 07:26 AM
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    the reason it doesnt sound quite right is because Ed uses a slightly sweetened tuning, im not gonna go into it here but its pretty well documented elswhere, its a bit of a ball ache tbh, just jam it in regular tuning, most people won't be able to tell.
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  5. #5
    Top Of The World Benjami's Avatar
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    08.12.11 @ 01:51 AM
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    Default

    ok thanks, yea most people wont but it gets on my nerves xD
    im having that alot lately, i cant even really listen to the older ac/dc records anymore because of the sound of the guitar wich is also tuned a little different xD

  6. #6
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    12.03.10 @ 03:16 PM
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    Default

    If you wanna find a more in depth explanation to Tommy's description of Ed's tuning (and I agree....it's ball ache via steel toed work boot!) Just google Lonnie Totman/Eddie's tuning. Basically, you'll get a jaded account of his relationship with Eddie, but among the diatribe of an angry former employee there is some interesting facts about how he tuned the high E and B strings a little differently, and how to do so, you have to use a particular amount of finger pressure to acheive tuning the E from the B just right. I firmly believe there to be a fair amount of melarky involved. it's clear reading Lonnies comments, that he never had any respect for Ed, deservedly or not but WTF...It's an interesting read. I have a guitar tech friend who had it on authority (or at least said he did) that the overtones you hear on songs like Sucker, Black and Blue, and Source is nothing more than his Eventide 949's set higher in the mix than normal.
    If you listen to that section of the intro with that pinch harmonic scream, you can just barely hear the doubled detune of the note. The trick is that since Diver Down and more predominantly 84' Ed got turned on heavily to the Eventide Harmonizer. His main reason for using them was to create a more expansive guitar sound on record. (The twin harmonizer sound became what is known as the Van Hagar era tone), though 84 was the first time Ed's guitar was featured in both channels throughout most of the album. The reason it's hard to pinpoint is that although detectable, Ed did set them fairly transparent as a rule. He still recorded the amp dry, but then in the mix, there would be left and right fields effected with Harmonizer, progressive/slapback delay, then the normal studio finessing of compression, limiting, and EQ'ing. It's a cool sound though. I've always dug the music to Sucker. The lyrics dont do it justice.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  7. #7
    Top Of The World Benjami's Avatar
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    08.12.11 @ 01:51 AM
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    alright thanks for the info i appriciate it =]

  8. #8
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    04.02.10 @ 06:19 PM
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    i have discussed this with lonnie before. here is what he told me. i have posted it before.

    Ed's bizarre tuning:

    This all MUST be done by ear with exception of first pitch. Programming offsets into a tuner will NOT work.

    Notes:
    > this tuning sequence typically needs to be done a couple times because everything "floats" so much (finger pressure, bridge etc.)

    > this tuning is TOTALLY dependent on mimicking Ed's finger pressure. If you press differently it all changes

    > A couple chords like "open D" usually sound fairly out. Ed has a pretty heavy hand and naturally pulls them in. So if this is a little weird sounding its normal.




    TUNING:
    #1: reference the 4th string open D to 440 with tuner this is ONLY time tuner is used with exception of a few strings while doing intonation

    #2: next step (by ear) - on 9th fret barre with 3rd finger on 4th, 3rd, 2nd strings. Your aiming for NO BEATING BETWEEN THESE 3 PITCHES. The whole tuning revolves around this section.
    (this drops the B sting a lot (approx. 14 cents or more)
    (its very important to make sure first finger is placed on 5th string 7th fret even though you don't play it, changes everything if you don't).

    #3: Get the 1st string open E by playing it against the 2nd string open B WITH NO BEATING. (drops the E approx. 11 cents or more).

    #4: To get the 5th string do a simple open A barre on 2nd fret with your first finger. Match the 5th and 3rd string for no beating. (4th string should be pretty much in).

    #5: To get the 6th string C# PULL OUT THE D TUNER. Barre the first fret with your first finger. Match the 6th string first fret with the 4th string first fret with NO BEATING.

    #6: To set D Tuner fine tuning push the D Tuner back in (normal setting). Place first finger on 7th fret and 4th string 9th fret with third finger. Fine tune these two pitches with no beating (allen screw on D Tuner)


    INTONATION:

    #1: Intonation for 1st, 3rd, 4th and 6th strings can be done with a tuner like normal. If a little fine tuning is required trust your ear.

    #2: To get 2nd string intonation play a B major triad on 9th fret (B-9th fret/4th string, D#-8th fret/3rd string, F#-7th fret/2nd string). Play one pitch at a time staring with B. Typically the F# will be way out. Adjust the 2nd string intonation to make the F# in with the rest of B major triad.

    #3: To get the 5th string intonation play an E major on 7th fret (E-7th fret/5th string with first finger, Barre with 3rd finger on 9th fret for B,E,G#). Typically the E on 5th string will be out. Adjust the 5th string intonation to make the 5th string E in with rest of E major chord.



    None of this was explained to me. I compiled it by watching him fine tune during sound-checks etc. He totally freaks out when a tech doesn't "just know this". Unreasonable like usual.
    Have fun!!

  9. #9
    Eruption
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    12.12.17 @ 08:13 AM
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    Default

    Yes, he has a strange method of tuning, but that's not why Sucker in a 3 Pieces sounds a little strange.

    It's more a combination of the harmonizer, and the fact that Ed sometimes would tune the guitar to itself rather than use a tuner (to make sure he was in A440 'tune').

    I'd bet that's more the case here. He's probably just a hair out from 440.
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  10. #10
    Eruption Webbed1's Avatar
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    01.02.15 @ 01:00 PM
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    I bet Mike loved Eddie's tuning Everything about Eddie is just so unorthodoxed, from his playing style, his tuning.... his character So 2 out of 3 works.
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  11. #11
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    04.02.10 @ 06:19 PM
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    yeah i have never had that problem. i also use alot of detune and pretty deep detune when playing anything from ou812

  12. #12
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    12.03.10 @ 03:16 PM
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    OU812 is the muddiest sounding of the albums, and there's alot of harmonizer up in the mix for sure. Ed also said in an interview response in GW about tuning and the freshness of strings during recording. He said that basically whatever the guitar is roughly tuned to is what he'd use and what Mike would tune to. Also as far as string changes, he said if one snaps, he just changes the one as to keep the guitar from sounding to "bright"l, and he'd never bother reintonating. So you could imagine that intonation would be a bit off at times. The only time guitars were maintained regularily and complete string changes were performed was on tour, but that was just to keep strings from popping every five minutes.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  13. #13
    Sinner's Swing!
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    12.11.17 @ 07:17 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jape Man View Post
    that's not why Sucker in a 3 Pieces sounds a little strange.
    I think it's exactly why Sucker sounds "strange". Open D is going to sound out of tune, as are the rest of those same chords in "Sucker". If you tune your top 4 strings to open 440 with a tuner, you'll sound different than the album.

    Eddie obviously has his favorite chord shape, and those 3 strings in that chord shape in THAT position MUST be perfect within itself, everything else be-damned!

    The top E is then tuned to the E on the 2nd string, and the 5th string open A is tuned to the 3rd string/2nd fret "A".

    So no open strings on the guitar except for the 4th string open D is tuned to 440.

    The tech's words sound like sour grapes, to me. For decades, plenty of performers have tuned to certain chords played in real-life conditions, as opposed to obsessing about the open strings each being in 440.

    Tuning to the inherent screwed-up finger pressure of that barre shape (which Eddie uses in more than half of all VH tunes) makes perfect sense. This simulates a game-time condition, since Eddie spends half his life playing this shape in this exact position.

  14. #14
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Majestic View Post
    I think it's exactly why Sucker sounds "strange". Open D is going to sound out of tune, as are the rest of those same chords in "Sucker". If you tune your top 4 strings to open 440 with a tuner, you'll sound different than the album.

    Eddie obviously has his favorite chord shape, and those 3 strings in that chord shape in THAT position MUST be perfect within itself, everything else be-damned!

    The top E is then tuned to the E on the 2nd string, and the 5th string open A is tuned to the 3rd string/2nd fret "A".

    So no open strings on the guitar except for the 4th string open D is tuned to 440.

    The tech's words sound like sour grapes, to me. For decades, plenty of performers have tuned to certain chords played in real-life conditions, as opposed to obsessing about the open strings each being in 440.

    Tuning to the inherent screwed-up finger pressure of that barre shape (which Eddie uses in more than half of all VH tunes) makes perfect sense. This simulates a game-time condition, since Eddie spends half his life playing this shape in this exact position.
    That being said, for myself, with the exception of playing with a keyboard,which has gotta be pretty dead on, I'll always just tune the guitar to itself as well. For some reason to me it just sounds a little more interesting somehow. Not out of tune by any means as some puritans suggest. Just gives it a bit more character.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

  15. #15
    Baluchitherium
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLEEPER5150 View Post
    That being said, for myself, with the exception of playing with a keyboard,which has gotta be pretty dead on, I'll always just tune the guitar to itself as well. For some reason to me it just sounds a little more interesting somehow. Not out of tune by any means as some puritans suggest. Just gives it a bit more character.
    whenever i tune up i usally play an open D major and then flatten the G-string (not the one i'm wearing) a couple of cents, to me it sounds more 'in tune' i cant stand playing a guitar thats just tuned up with a tuner, it never sounds right, although i will admitt the other guitarist in my band hates it...lol
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    Not because I have a great body, it's just an easy way to make sure I have the hotel swimming pool all to myself."...Bullwinkle for quite obvious reasons!

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