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Thread: Alternate tuning

  1. #1

    Question Alternate tuning

    Hi,
    got a 23"tenor guitar tuned to GCEA, with 0.020w, 0.015, 0.012 and 0.009 strings.
    I'd like to drop the tuning an octave, anyone had experience of this?
    Cheers
    Andrew.D

  2. #2

    Default Re: Alternate tuning

    That sounds like ukulele tuning at the same pitch as a soprano or tenor? Most tenor guitar players that use guitar style tuning use DGBE. I'm not sure that you could do C tuning that low at 23".

  3. #3
    Registered User WillFly's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternate tuning

    Well, you'd have to have pretty heavy gauge strings to compensate for the potential slackness in the octave drop. If you imagine that your top A is 5 frets up on the top E string of a conventional guitar, then an octave below that is the equivalent of the conventional guitar 3rd (G) string played at the 2nd fret. I use a .022 wound string for my guitar G strings - and for my tenor (CGDA) 3rd string.

    So, if your top string is a .022 (say), then you can work your way down from there in equivalent gauges. You could probably get away with a lighter gauge than .022 for the top string. I think you would have to get an appropriate set and try it - and see what effect it has on general string tension and on the neck...

    Cheers,

    Will

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Alternate tuning

    I have been wondering the same thing about what gauge strings to use..... I have sent a message to a dealer a friend knows and hopefully I will get a reply soon.... I actually came on hear looking for this info, lol. I will pass along any info I find...please do the same.....

    Nathan
    '96 Flatiron f-5 Festival, '23 Gibson F2, '36-43 Kalamazoo Army/Navy A, Micheal Kelly Octave.

  5. #5
    '`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`'`' Jacob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternate tuning

    Check out D'Addario's online String Tension Pro software for suggestions.

  6. #6
    Registered User Seonachan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alternate tuning

    I've tried this before. I don't remember the exact gauges but the starting point is octave mandolin tuning. Taking as an example the John Pearse set for GDAE tuning (42-30-20-13). In GCEA tuning you're using the same G (42) and A (20). For the C and E you can adjust up and down from the D gauge (30). Maybe 42-32-26-20 or something - best to check against a tension calculator.

    I have to say though that for me the results were disappointing. Not enough oomph at the low end, no high range to balance out - just a muddy middle, and with all wound strings, squeaking everywhere.

    I did some more experimenting and found a range I liked, nudged up a few steps to B-E-G#-C#. Not a practical tuning for playing with others, but I thought it hit a decent balance between the muddled low GCEA and the treble-y Chicago tuning. On my cheap Stella it made for a very archtop jazzy sound.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Alternate tuning

    Here is what I was told... "I usually just use the gauges for the D'addario octave mandolin set. 12-46 EJ80 Phosphor Bronze Octave.Mandolin Strings. You use the same gauge string - just in a ball end." Here is the dude's website if you need a mando or other instrument... www.vintagemandolin.com he has some pretty sweet mandolins!
    '96 Flatiron f-5 Festival, '23 Gibson F2, '36-43 Kalamazoo Army/Navy A, Micheal Kelly Octave.

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