General Guitar Tuning Directory For Aspiring VK-inspired Musicians And Anyone Else Interested

While you can find a lot of this information in various places on the internet, having a directory in one place for what Japanese bands use for certain albums and certain songs should be useful to someone. Since visual kei uses all sorts of tunings, let’s follow this convention. We will also track bass tunings here too.

[Number of Strings/Type of Guitar/Neck Tuning]
Artist - Song/Album (any additional notes like capos or amp settings)

[6 String Guitar E Standard]

  • Dir en grey - JEALOUS
  • Dir en grey - I’ll
  • Dir en grey - Gauze
  • Dir en grey - Most of Macabre
  • Most of Janne Da Arc
  • Lycaon - “Gossip”
  • Lycaon - “Mayaku”
  • the Gazette - “舐~zetsu~” (Uruha only)
  • Pierrot - “Psychedelic Lover”
  • Pierrot - “Hill - Genkaku no Yuki-”
  • heidi. - “remu”
  • Shinno from NoGoD plays in E Standard

[6 String Guitar Eb Standard]

  • Nightmare - “Believe”
  • Nightmare - “Akane”
  • Nightmare - “Over”
  • Dir en grey - “Dozing Green (Acoustic Version)”
  • Some ViViD songs

[6 String Guitar D Standard]

  • Dir en grey - “Hydra”
  • D’espairsRay - Reddish

[6 String Guitar Drop D]

  • Dir en grey - “Fukai”
  • Most of ReivieЯ
  • Diaura - “Shitsuyoku no Seiiki”
  • Diaura- “Lost November”
  • D’espairsRay - “TRICKSTəR”
  • ScReW - all songs prior to X-RAYS

[6 String Guitar Drop C#]

  • UnsraW - “-9-” (pretty sure Spiral Circle uses Drop C#)
  • Girugamesh -13’s Reborn
  • most of Sadie’s tracks until 2009
  • 12012 - “Icy Cold City”
  • Versailles - “Aristocrat’s Symphony”
  • Dir en grey - “Dozing Green (Before Construction Ver.)”
  • Dir en grey - “Dozing Green (single/album version, Kaoru only)”
  • Some ViViD songs
  • ScReW - between X-RAYS and self-titled
  • BORN

[6 String Guitar Open C#5]

  • Dir en grey - “Dozing Green (single/album version, Die only)”

[6 String Guitar Drop C]

  • Girugamesh - “Owari to Mirai”
  • the GazettE - “RED”
  • the GazettE - “Nakigahara”
  • the GazettE - “Mayakashi…”
  • ViviD - Take Off
  • ViViD - Dear

[6 String Guitar Drop B]

  • the GazettE - “Filth in the Beauty”
  • the GazettE - “舐~zetsu~ (rhythm)” (you need two six string guitars one in Drop B and the other in E Standard to play this melody. One 7-string in Drop A can accomplish the same task but with a lot more work for the Drop B parts.)
  • The Gazette - “DISCHARGE”
  • The Gazette - “The Invisible Wall”
  • ScReW - from self-titled to disbandment.
  • Some Lycaon songs

[6 String Guitar Drop A#]

  • Dezert - “Boku no Himitsu”
  • Dezert - “Memai ni shinda heya”
  • Girugamesh - “crime~tsumi”
  • Girugamesh - most of self-titled album (2007)
  • the GazettE - “BLINDING HOPE”
  • the GazettE - “REMEMBER THE URGE”
  • Mamireta
  • RAZOR

[6 String Guitar Drop A]

  • Dadaroma - “Waltz of Rain”
  • Dadaroma - “Oboreru Sakana”
  • Lycaon - “Who’s bad psycho party”
  • the GazettE - “DOGMA”
  • the GazettE - “THE MORTAL”
  • the GazettE - “Uragiru Bero”

[7 String Guitar B Standard]

  • Mucc - “Zetsubou”
  • Lynch. - all of Greedy Dead Souls and most of their early discography
  • Kyrie from NoGoD plays in B Standard

[7 String Guitar Drop A]

  • 101A - “moon” (have to check if all of “4” can be played in this tuning)
  • DIMLIM - “Malformation” (pretty sure all of CHEDOARA is Drop A)
  • Alice Nine - “Yami ni Chiru Sakura”
  • Alice Nine - “Byakuya ni Kuroneko”
  • Alice Nine - “Shunkashuutou”
  • Deviloof
  • MUCC - Iris
  • MUCC - In the Shadows
  • MUCC - Boku ga Hontou no Taekirezu (2017 re-recording)

[4 string bass E standard]

  • Dir en grey - JEALOUS
  • Dir en grey - I’ll
  • Dir en grey - GAUZE (except for “Cage” which is in drop D)
  • Dir en grey - MACABRE (except for “Hydra” where all instruments are in D standard)
  • Dir en grey - “Undecided”
  • Dir en grey - “Higeki…”
  • Dir en grey - “Ash” (original and all remakes)

[4 string bass Drop D]

  • Dir en grey - “Cage”
  • Dir en grey - “Hydra”

[4 String BDGC bass a.k.a “the GazettE tuning”]

  • the GazettE - "Filth in the Beauty
  • the GazettE - “The Invisible Wall”
  • the GazettE - “Fadeless”
  • the GazettE - “Distress and Coma”

[4 String ADGC bass]

  • the GazettE - “Hedoro”
  • the GazettE - “DERANGEMENT”
  • the GazettE - “DRIPPING INSANITY”

[5 String BEADG bass]

  • Karin from NoGoD played this
6 Likes

For bass:

[4 string bass E standard]
Dir en grey - JEALOUS
Dir en grey - I’ll
Dir en grey - GAUZE (except for “Cage” which is in drop D)
Dir en grey - MACABRE (except for “Hydra” where all instruments are in D standard)
Dir en grey - Undecided
Dir en grey - Higeki…
Dir en grey - Ash (original and all remakes)

[BDGC a.k.a “the GazettE tuning”]
the GazettE - Filth in the Beauty
the GazettE - Invisible Wall
the GazettE - Fadeless
the GazettE - Distress and Coma

P.S. Never show “the GazettE tuning” to any avid bass enthusiast outside of VK - they will think you are insane for that.

I will come up with the rest later.

5 Likes

That’s actually a pretty interesting tuning and I can see the utility of it. Easy for drop-D riffs and getting some notes underneath on the low B, with the high C of a 6-string bass to do melodic lines on the G and C.

I would probably struggle with it personally, I don’t really do “lead bass” like that and I’m perfectly happy with a 5-string, or even a just 4 in BEAD. But, while I’m not familiar with those songs specifically, I can absolutely imagine the value in it.

1 Like

I needed this when i was a 14 year old, snot nosed kid. Thank you!

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If I understood your comment correctly (please do correct if not), you meant that it would be a variation of a 6-string bass standard tuning (BEADGC)?

Because what Reita is doing with the GazettE (according to Ameblo blogs at least, take this information with a grain of salt):

BDGC is a modified 4-stringed three-and-a-half step tuning (ADGC, used for songs such as Hedoro, DERANGEMENT, DRIPPING INSANITY…) that also gets pitched up a half at times (for songs such as “Yoin” or Vermin), meaning that the “high C” here is C2 and not C3. That is why those not acquainted with anything GazettE might be shocked to know something this inconvenient is being used in real life.

“But why?” might one wonder like me back then, but idk - it sounds heavier that way?

and what another snot-nosed kid like me did not know at all:

Most songs by the GazettE that sound like drop A# are in fact drop A (DOGMA, THE MORTAL, Uragiru Bero…except for “Blinding Hope” and “Remember the Urge”), and lighter songs that sound like drop C# are in fact drop C (RED, Nakigahara, Mayakashi…)… :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

2 Likes

Yeah, thats how I was reading it as. So instead that G is the same pitch as the 3rd fret on a normally tuned E string on a bass, and the C above it the same pitch as what would normally be the 3rd fret of the A string (comparing to normal EADG tuning) is what I’m getting from what you’re saying now?

That’s… definitely interesting. Watching a few covers online I think I can see how that would be useful for some of those fills!

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Yes, G is the same pitch as if you tuned down your A string (EADG) one step down and the C is likewise for your third (D) string.

My personal theory is that Reita (bassist) just wanted to keep his playing always in check / fuss-less when switching from “lighter ballad/upbeat rock” tuning (standard D tuning, DGCF) to this exotic “heavy” tuning we are examining at the moment (BDGC).

1 Like

Let’s see…

6 string/Electric Guitar/E standard-
Most of Janne Da Arc

6 string/D# standard/Half Step Down/E flat tuning-
Nightmare - Believe/Akane/Over

6 string/Drop D-
Diaura - Shitsuyoku no Seiiki
Diaura- Lost November

6 string/Drop C#/Drop Db-
Girugamesh -13’s Reborn
most of Sadie’s tracks until 2009
12012 - Icy Cold City

6 string/Drop C-
Girugamesh - Owari to Mirai

6 string/Drop B/Drop Cb-
The Gazette - DISCHARGE
The Gazette - The Invisible Wall

7 string/B Standard-
Mucc - Zetsubou
Lynch. - all of Greedy Dead Souls and most of their earlh discography

6 string/Drop A#/Drop Bb-
Dezert - Boku no Himitsu and Memai ni shinda heya

6 string/Drop A-
Dadaroma - Waltz of Rain
Dadaroma - Oboreru Sakana

7 string/Drop A-
Alice Nine - Yami ni Chiru Sakura
Alice Nine - Byakuya ni Kuroneko
Alice Nine - Shunkashuutou, surprisingly

does anyone know what tuning that A9 - Kowloon Nine Heads Rodeo is in?

2 Likes

Please excuse my posting, but Dir en grey’s “Dozing Green” is quite peculiar when it comes to guitar tunings:

Before Construction ver.
all Drop C#/Db

Single/Album version:
Kaoru: Drop C#/Db
Die: C#G#C#G#C#C# / DbAbDbAbDbDb (Celtic Tuning - if you want to play Die’s drones note by note)

Acoustic version:
all Standard D#/Eb

@MegamAntto from their PV alone, it looks like they play C# drop 5s from the 4th fret (not to mention playing Ems/F#ms from the very top), meaning that they did AEADGB(E) or the 6-string equivalent anyway (later lives might utilize 7 strings as they did with Gemini onwards)

3 Likes

I’ve just updated the main post with everyone’s additions! Feel free to correct me if I got anything wrong.

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[6 string/Drop A#]
Mamireta - Whole Discography (My guess after watching some covers and lives)

[7 string/Drop A]
Deviloof - Whole Discography (same case, they don’t change guitars)

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Super cool thread.
For those that are interested
Vivid tuned to drop C/ D standard for Take off and Dear, and used Drop C#/ Eb standard for the majority of the rest of their releases

Screw used Drop D for all their releases prior to Rui joining, Then Drop C, then started using heavily dropped tuning (like Drop A - B) after their self titled album

All of RAZOR’s stuff so far is Drop A# I believe.

BORN was primarily Drop C#

Lycaon is primarily Drop B

sorry for not using the convention listed above, quickly wanted to contribute during a study break.

2 Likes

I’m back because this is my favorite thread ever-

[6 string/E standard]
Pierrot - Psychedelic Lover
Pierrot - Hill - Genkaku no Yuki-
heidi. - remu

[6 string/Drop A#]
Girugamesh - crime~tsumi
Girugamesh - most of self-titled album (2007)

[7 string/Drop A]
Newer MUCC’s heavier songs, namely
MUCC - Iris
MUCC - In the Shadows
MUCC - Boku ga Hontou no Taekirezu (2017 re-recording)

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Speaking of MUCC, Miya did mention the setup/tunings he used since Aku:

I think drop A and drop G (Mucc guys are djentlemen now) was used for heavier songs whereas drop C and A# were used for lighter songs instead? Not sure if they released any tab books for that as of yet though.

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I knew it. Something was telling me that Crack was played in a lower tuning than their normal

My another guess by trying play some songs and watching some lives by them. Plus i tried play open strings on my guitar while listening to their songs.

[7 String Guitar A Drop]
Dadaroma -Whole discography (I guess i didn’t notice Takashi changed his guitar during DVD “This is LIVE” and Online “POINT OF NO RETURN” )
The Madna - Whole Discography (this is Takashi, so… same thing)

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[7 String Guitar Drop G#]

  • THE DESPERADO - Whole Discography (Seiya has guitar playthroughs on his channel and tuning is in description)