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Thread: NMC Electric Guitar Alternate Tuning Gauges/Tension Question

  1. #1
    Registered User Nathan Kellstadt's Avatar
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    Default NMC Electric Guitar Alternate Tuning Gauges/Tension Question

    This is the only instrument forum I belong to and we all know it's the most civil forum on the internet, and I wouldn't know which guitar forum to start with or where to post this so I'm going to start here since there's enough members that also play electric guitar. This also seemed like the best category to post in given the subject matter.

    I have an idea for a tuning scenario but am lost as to which notes to tune to and which gauges to use based on tension and what would reasonably work.

    I'd like the highest four strings to be tuned in fifths and the lowest two to be an octave lower than the middle two strings. So for example, going low to high CGcgda. This would give me a four string fifths tuned instrument as well as a cross/sawmill tuned instrument. Now I don't care if it's tuned to CGcgda or FCfcgd or AEaebf# or any other tuning as long as it keeps this interval relationship. I'm open to using the low B string on a seven string set if would better facilitate this.

    My issue is that, depending on the gauge/tension of string used, you could end up with something floppy or too tight so finding that sweet spot is crucial to playability and musicality. I know there are string tension calculators but they don't really let me know what would be most feasible.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for which scenario would work best, assuming what I'm looking to do is feasible?

    Thanks.
    Dear sir, I am terribly sorry, but I fear I must inform you that what you are playing is most certainly not any part of anything.

  2. #2
    Americana in France? Daniel Nestlerode's Avatar
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    Default Re: NMC Electric Guitar Alternate Tuning Gauges/Tension Question

    Watch this Premier guitar rig rundown.

    It's Robert Fripp's guitar tech talking about his set up. Fripp tunes to something he calls New Standard. It's basically a 5 string mandocello tuning with a high g on top (CGDAEg). At some point the tech mentions the sizes of the strings. Those gauges should work for your set up.



    Hope this helps!
    Daniel

  3. #3
    Registered User Nathan Kellstadt's Avatar
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    Default Re: NMC Electric Guitar Alternate Tuning Gauges/Tension Question

    Thanks, Daniel. I'm actually aware of NST (I think there are even threads on here somewhere discussing it), but what I'm looking to do is a tad different. Ideally what I'd like is a more 'elaborate' version of the string tension calculators online. The D'addario is great for giving tension, but you have to input the gauges, and this is part of what I'm struggling with coming up with.
    Dear sir, I am terribly sorry, but I fear I must inform you that what you are playing is most certainly not any part of anything.

  4. #4
    Registered User Jonathan K's Avatar
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    Default Re: NMC Electric Guitar Alternate Tuning Gauges/Tension Question

    You should check out http://stringtensionpro.com/

    Input the tuning you want, scale length and the desired tension of the strings. The desired tension can be extrapolated from documentation on a standard string set you already like.

    I did this for NST on a short scale guitar. Itís tedious but works.

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  6. #5

    Default Re: NMC Electric Guitar Alternate Tuning Gauges/Tension Question

    I've played around with octave mandolin guitar conversions and very short scale basses for a number of years. It comes down to which priority do you have, scale length, or pitch? Do you have an instrument in mind that you want to employ this on?

    For example, If its a typical guitar scale, an E-string works comfortably in both tension and pitch as the high note. If you go up to G, the strength of the string is nearing its limit as on a 12-string, the high G is usually the first to fail. An octave below a mandolin is quite comfortable on a guitar scale.

    E .011p
    A .018 or .020p
    D .028w
    G .046w
    D .052w
    G .058w or .060w
    This would work on any electric guitar. My shop dosen't typically stock guitar strings heavier than .060.

  7. #6

    Default Re: NMC Electric Guitar Alternate Tuning Gauges/Tension Question

    I just went to the website that Jonathan K mentioned. It will answer the questions you have exactly on the money. You can mess around with the specs that you input using things that you are familiar with to see what the typicical specs actually are. Its a great tool that I'll keep on hand myself.

  8. #7
    Registered User Nathan Kellstadt's Avatar
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    Default Re: NMC Electric Guitar Alternate Tuning Gauges/Tension Question

    I've decided fifths doesn't seem as realistic. However, the same scenario with fourths works out incredibly well. I used to play bass so that will come back fairly quickly.
    Dear sir, I am terribly sorry, but I fear I must inform you that what you are playing is most certainly not any part of anything.

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