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Thread: Strings gauges for 21" scale tenor guitar

  1. #1
    Registered User Mement0o's Avatar
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    Question Strings gauges for 21" scale tenor guitar

    Hi everyone!

    Just a received a beautiful Stella tenor guitar.

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    What strings gauges would suit for CGDA tuning and 21" scale?
    I only had 23" scale tenor guitars and the Ry Cooder's Gauges Chart can't help me.
    Is there a brand that would strings for 21" scale tenor guitars?

    Thank you!

    Guilhem

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  3. #2
    Tenor Guitar Greenhorn Huck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strings gauges for 21" scale tenor guitar

    Gauge Tension
    0.0100 in. 19.60 lbs
    0.0150 in. 19.65 lbs
    0.0240 in. 19.83 lbs
    0.0360 in. 19.45 lb

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    fox 

  5. #3
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strings gauges for 21" scale tenor guitar

    Hi Guilhem, that is a nice looking little guitar, I think Hucks suggestions are very good especially as a starting point.
    Buying single guitar strings and making up your own sets is a great way to go.

    Just make sure the guitar is in sound condition with no cracks or loose bracing, I would go with the suggested strings, you may find a .032 or .034 C string suits your playing style better but that is the benefit of making up your own sets.

    I had a very similar guitar, it seemed quite lightly built and I found it played very nicely with light strings, 10 14 20 32 but a lot will depend on you own preferences.

    As a general rule, sticking to around 20lb of tension on each string is a safe and good place to start but with vintage guitars you need to be sure everything is in good condition.

  6. #4
    Tenor Guitar Greenhorn Huck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strings gauges for 21" scale tenor guitar

    D'Addario EJ66 Tenor Guitar String set @ 21 inch scale:

    0.0100 in. 19.60 lbs
    0.0140 in. 17.12 lbs
    0.0220 in. 16.74 lbs
    0.0320 in. 15.62 lbs

    fox's recommendation:

    0.0100 in. 19.60 lbs
    0.0140 in. 17.12 lbs
    0.0200 in. 13.60 lbs
    0.0320 in. 15.62 lbs

    Results are using String Tension Pro calculator.

    Good luck with your new tenor guitar.

    I went back and calculated a more balanced "light" set:

    0.0090 in. 15.88 lbs
    0.0135 in. 15.92 lbs
    0.0220 in. 16.74 lbs
    0.0320 in. 15.62 lbs

    As fox mentioned buying single strings is a great way to go.

    If it were my guitar. I'd put on the EJ66's and swap out the 10 for a 9. Then you can experiment from there. That's the string gauges I use on my 23 in. Bonne chance!
    Last edited by Huck; Nov-05-2019 at 4:50am.

  7. #5
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strings gauges for 21" scale tenor guitar

    Hey Huck, it is great that you are getting into strings
    There can be some discrepancies between the calculators.
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    Huck 

  9. #6
    Tenor Guitar Greenhorn Huck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strings gauges for 21" scale tenor guitar

    Quote Originally Posted by fox View Post
    Hey Huck, it is great that you are getting into strings
    Still working it out fox.

    I've got a 12 1/2 inch scale Prim up to 25 inch six string so I utilize that calculator a lot.

  10. #7

    Default Re: Strings gauges for 21" scale tenor guitar

    Thanks for the string gauge recommandations! Today I tried to replace my thin sounding 010 a-string with an 011-inch one to fatten up the sound a little bit. It broke when I tried to tune it higher than g# just short of a. I tried another one and gave it some time to get used to the tension tuned to g. It also broke when I tried to reach the a. I went back to a 010 and tuned it without any problems. Guess I'll have to live with thin sounding higher notes...

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