Question for people who want Maiden to tune down

srfc

Ancient Mariner
Imagine an hypothetical situation.

Maiden decide to look at changing the key of songs, so that Bruce has an easier time of singing. They try down-tuning, and it turns out Bruce is actually most comfortable in key's like F or G that it would be ridiculous to tune down to. So Maiden decide to use capos instead and go up.

Are you cool with that?
 

The_7th_one

Ancient Mariner
No. He needs reherse more and take care of his voice and his breath.
I noticed he's not confortable because he can't move as always because his foot and all the stress of change of clothes play with flamethrowers…
And all his business speeches and travels could caused stress in his voice
 
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Edington

Let's Get Volatile
I actually listen to and play along with a lot of Maiden songs tuned up to F in Audacity, Bruce can sound a little squeaky, but the instruments sound amazing. F is such an epic sounding key.
 

Collin

Chasing Ponce De Leon's Phantoms
Maiden in Eb would sound pretty good. Kind of a darker tuning. Tuning up is incredibly unrealistic.
 

Edington

Let's Get Volatile
Maiden in Eb would sound pretty good. Kind of a darker tuning.
I really want to hear them play Fear of the Dark and If Eternity Should Fail in D (Drop C in IESF's case), makes them sound really sinister. Plus it would help freshen up FOTD a little.
 

Collin

Chasing Ponce De Leon's Phantoms
I guess I wouldn't mind a different tone for Maiden, the problem with downtuning is that the sound quality can start to suffer. Ex: Megadeth (D tuning)
 

Ruflux

Ancient Mariner
I think so too.

I think people who want Maiden to down tune are just using the excuse that it has something to do with Bruce's voice, and that's insulting.
Now there's a dumb conspiracy theory if I ever saw one. Not everything has an ulterior motive, you know.
 

Deanatron

Can I play with Agnes?
I've seen bands tune down to give the singer an easier time. Some it works for (Metallica), some it sounds like a horrible mess (Megadeth).

I'm not too bothered by the change live. I think most casual listeners wouldn't even notice a half step difference in a live situation.

I saw the BOS & LOTB tours in London and Bruce sounded great to me (as did the whole band).

I think some people think downtuning will make them sound like Korn or something. It won't.
 

Mosh

And I should contemplate this change
Staff member
I think so too.

I think people who want Maiden to down tune are just using the excuse that it has something to do with Bruce's voice, and that's insulting.
I can’t see why that’s insulting. Voices age and Bruce isn’t going to have the range or stamina he had when he was younger. That’s just human nature.

Anyway I don’t like when bands tune down. Besides, Maiden’s music already sounds muddy enough, tuning down won’t help.
 

Jonnyess

Prowler
How does Maiden’s music sound “muddy”? Of all the bands I listen to Maiden have the clearest and brightest sound among them.
Having been a musician almost my entire life....I find that in a concert setting, having the THREE guitars is a recipe for mud, as guitar sound hogs all of the mid-range spectrum.

During dueling leads, the 3rd guitar has its own place in keeping the rhythm, but the problem lies when they're all back to business during the verses and choruses....
 

Jonnyess

Prowler
I think so too.

I think people who want Maiden to down tune are just using the excuse that it has something to do with Bruce's voice, and that's insulting.
Bruce's voice is fine...for an almost 61 year old. The "problem" is most of their catalogue was written decades ago, by musicians in their 20s and 30s. Singing these tunes every 2-3 nights at their frenetic tour pace and nailing all the original notes is biologically impossible for a 61 year old.
\
But, whatever Bruce is doing to stave off the inevitable, at least he's not Paul Stanley (Holy. Shit.)
 

The Garlon

Prowler
I don't think tuning down a whole step would change the sound much if their instruments are set up for it. I doubt few would notice. I would prefer the band stay in standard tuning, but if it alleviates Bruce's straining it might preserve his voice for the future. Ain't gonna happen though.
 

Brigantium

Grim Reaper
Staff member
I can't see much to be gained by going up. I think it would do a lot more for Bruce's performance to stop going top speed through the likes of Trooper. I don't think he lacks the high notes, but unnecessary speed for the sake of 'its that whole live Maiden experience' has him tripping over himself. Arguably, quickfire vocals have always been at odds with his singing style, he thrives on longer notes and pauses in the right places. Some older songs might be slower than they were in the Maiden golden age, but some live songs are slightly too rushed for a top quality performance. I was a bit sad that they compromised on the performance quality of If Eternity Should Fail - which at album speed is highly suited to Bruce's vocal performance and makes for a very strong opener as it is - either for the sake of cramming more stuff in, or (personal suspicion) because heavy metal kudos apparently requires speed, and they wanted to make more of an impact with their opener.

I'm inclined to agree with the suggestion that Maiden can sound muddy live. Too much emphasis on a wall of guitar sound with the singer contending to shout over that. I don't 100% mind that effect when it's done well, but it's possible to overdo it live and practically drown out the vocals, as I found at one performance in particular in 2017.

And I do wonder at times if part of the tune down sentiment is less because of actual problems with Bruce's voice, and is more because people have become accustomed to hearing metal with very low tuning, and everything in standard tuning no longer sounds 'heavy' enough.
 

Edington

Let's Get Volatile
And I do wonder at times if part of the tune down sentiment is less because of actual problems with Bruce's voice, and is more because people have become accustomed to hearing metal with very low tuning, and everything in standard tuning no longer sounds 'heavy' enough.
I'm not so sure about that. Standard tuning might not be common among modern bands, but some still manage to use it and sound ridiculously heavy. Opeth and Sylosis come to mind, or even a couple of songs from Firepower and Hardwired... . I also wonder whether Maiden really need to sound "heavier" given their material has never been the heaviest stuff going even in the early days, focusing more on guitar melodies than heavy riffs. That's one reason I've never been overly keen on Maiden downtuning for everything, if they were to do so I feel they'd lose some of the melodic sound they're so well known for.
 
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