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#214 by lowefirstfret
Wed Jan 11, 2006 10:42 pm
I need some guidance on how a guitar should be set up to handle alternate tunings. To be honest, I am breaking strings. But I am trying every tuning I can find. Is there a specific gauge I should or should not be using? Should the strings not be forced to handle multiple tunings? Should I just leave the tuning on the guitar, and keep it in that tuning? I am talking all six strings, not just Drop-d. So, any advise?

#215 by live2jam366
Tue Jan 24, 2006 5:15 am
Have you tried using a cabo to ease the tension? Just a thought. I'm hardly one to give advice to ya. Breaking strings is something I've just come to expect anymore.

#217 by bhank
Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:27 am
I havnt broke a string in my life ....and I play everyday. BUT I dont use a pick ... never thought that would make difference .. but maybe it does .. just a thought!

#218 by bhank
Fri Feb 10, 2006 5:28 am
WAIT...knocking on wood now ...
#219 by 601Blues
Fri Feb 10, 2006 12:26 pm
[quote="lowefirstfret"]I need some guidance on how a guitar should be set up to handle alternate tunings. To be honest, I am breaking strings. :shock: :shock: I may be missing somphin here but I play open tunin all the time don,t break strings !! I use open G,D,E when you tune to thease you are lowering the tenison on the strings , I start out in standard 440 and tune down from ther the needed strings, what tunin are you useing????

#221 by RhythmMan
Fri Mar 31, 2006 4:48 am
Can we assume you're using a thin pick?

#220 by Guest
Sun Apr 02, 2006 5:25 pm
There are numerous things to consider when using alternate tunings...

1) Best to tune down (as perviously stated) because of the strain it puts on strings and necks. More tension = more breaks.
2) Older acoustics work better at this than newer ones because the woods have aged and the joints are more settled. I have had to re-setup every new acoustic I use for lower tunings. (I always tune down a half step to Eb so in open tunings I go down even more.)
3) The guitar needs to be setup for alternate tunings... chances are it has been setup and adjusted to standard tuning and changing strings and tension causes the neck to be out of adjustment.
4) Changing tunings a lot on the same set of strings causes metal stress and they will break faster.
5) Best to use larger strings because the vibration is greater at lower tension. On acoustics use at least 12's. (String mfgs, like GHS and Ernie Ball, even make special larger strings for electric guitars for this reason.)
NOTE: When using larger strings be sure the nut is correct for the larger gauge or you will bind and hang sharp.

Breaking strings comes from many reasons... see where they break. If at the bridge, could be a rough spot or even your style of play. If you hit hard near the bridge strings will break. Of course thicker picks will put more stress on a string than thinner.
Also some strings work better on some guitars than others... experiment with diff types.
Proper setup, larger strings, and playing a little more away from the bridge will cure most problems with alternate tunings on acoustics.

Hope this helps!


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