The Down-Tuning Experiment – Rob Scallon Gets Low

Rob Scallon is famous by now for his various Slayer covers on the banjo and ukulele as well as his awesome Binary Metal video taking down a whole subgenre of metal with the legendary Fluff. He’s the naturally inquisitive type, one of those guys who’s always thinking “I wonder what would happen if I…” the … of which is always an excellent/trainwreck fun to watch kind of idea.


This week, he’s taken the quandary posited by Fluff in the video Does De-Tuning Make You Heavier? and put it under the microscope in the name of science. His control is the riff, played the same every time, each time a half step lower than the previous tuning. This means he is continually upping the string gauge every couple tunings, and actually drilling out his tuner posts to fit the larger gauge strings.

I can’t help but wish he hadn’t jumped from F# to Drop Q so quickly, but his guitar must have not quite been able to handle much lower. There’s a whole world of gnarly below F#, but of course matching the bass part to guitar tunings that low becomes a challenge all its own.

Isn’t science fun?

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As Editor-in-Chief of Gear Gods, I've been feeding your sick instrument fetishism and trying unsuccessfully to hide my own since 2013. I studied music on both coasts (Berklee and SSU) and now I'm just trying to put my degree to some use. That's a music degree, not an English one. I'm sure you noticed.