Drop Tuning: What Is It and How Can I Use It?

What is it?

When referring to electronic tuners, drop tuning is a function by which the tuner shifts the pitch reference in half-step increments while keeping the name of the note the same.

Why use it?

Drop tuning is most used by guitarists who want to lower the entire tuning of their guitar without having to learn or get familiar with the relevant new note names. Many guitarists, when tuning, are familiar with the standard tuning notes EADGBE. However, many are unfamiliar with the note names that confront them during transposed standard tuning or when “tuning down”. Using a tuner with a “Drop Tuning” feature enables them to enter the degree of detuning as a numerical value (for example -2), whereupon the tuner internally shifts the displayed note names down by the required number of half-steps. This enables the player to tune to the same note name reference as before, but with aurally different results.

Such a function is useful for a guitarist in a stage setting when there is little time for re-tuning. Using the “Drop-Tune” function on the tuner makes the transition from standard tuning fool-proof and avoids embarrassing delays, mistakes etc.

How to Use It

All current Peterson Strobo Series tuners offer a Drop-Tuning feature. Here’s how to use it with the different models:

StroboClip and Drop Tuning

Press the Menu button until “Drop Capo” flashes. Then, using the +/- buttons, enter a value which corresponds to the number of half-steps or semitones you wish to detune by.

 

 

StroboPlus HD and Drop Tuning

 

Rotate the dial until “TRANS” flashes, press the dial once, then rotate the dial until the required Drop Tune value appears on the screen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stomp Classic and Drop Tuning

031114_2110_6.jpgPress the “M” button repeatedly until the “Drop/Capo” icon flashes, then, using the +/- buttons, enter a value which corresponds to the number of half-steps or semitones you wish to detune by.

 

 

 

StroboRack and Drop Tuning

 

Press the “DROP” button and rotate the dial to the appropriate number of half-steps or semitones you wish to detune by.


 

 

 

 

 

 

When playing in Standard tuning, the actual notes behind the tuner’s drop tuned values are as follows:

0: E,A,D,G,B,E

-1: D#, G#, C#, F#, A#, D#

-2: D, G, C, F, A, D

-3: C#, F#, B, E, G#, C#

 

®2013 John Norris for Peterson Electro-Musical Products, Inc., all rights reserved