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Oh wow drop A tuning, string gauge?

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  • Oh wow drop A tuning, string gauge?

    I'm making one of my 6 string guitars a drop A guitar AEADF#B, and was wanting some input as far as string gauge. Should I just use a regular set, toss the high E string and grab a heavier low A string? I generally use Cobalt Slinky 9's on standard tunings. I know this sounds simple but the closest guitar I have is a drop B guitar and the strings on it are a little too heavy for me, Ernie Ball Not Even Slinky 12-56. Thanks in advance.
    I want to go out nice and peaceful in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming and hollering like the passengers in his car.

  • #2
    I have used drop A with 12-56 without a problem. I also use 9 in E.

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    • #3
      All the metal heads around here and one answer. Wow. Thank you btw.
      I want to go out nice and peaceful in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming and hollering like the passengers in his car.

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      • #4
        I use 10-56 on my 7-string in standard B. When dropping the B to A, it does seem a little floppy for me and I think a 58 would be better for that.
        I feel my soul go cold... only the dead are smiling.

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        • #5
          Lowest I've gone is C standard which I believe I used a 12-52 set for.
          GTWGITS! - RacerX

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          • #6
            I would go for a set of 56 or higher depending on what you play. Any lower then a 56 in that tuning, things get a little too flubby.

            -Nate
            Insert annoying equipment list here....

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            • #7
              For that tuning i would use a baritone set (13-58) or even a 7-string set without the 1st/E string. I tune my guitars to Eb standard with 11s or C# standard with 13s. For low tunings, you do want the extra tension to help with intonation and note clarity, plus the thicker strings give you more attack and a chunkier sound in my opinion.
              It's all about the blues-rock chatter.

              Originally posted by RD
              ...so now I have this massive empty house with my Harley, Guns, Guitar and nothing else...

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              • #8
                A tuning that low is already chunky, so I try to avoid overly thick strings. For the low A, I would try a 54 or 56 and see how that works. Then I'd take the strings you like for standard tuning and shift things down one string with some tweaks. I'd probably end up with something like this: 11, 14, 20p, 32, 42, 56.

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                • #9
                  dropped A, buy a 6 string bass.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by j2379 View Post
                    dropped A, buy a 6 string bass.
                    LOL. My bass player got a 6 string bass the other day and wants to do some very low stuff. I'm all for it. I wish my hands had a little more love for thicker strings that are pretty tight. With what I do for a living now I have to run 9's for standard tuning. This getting old really sucks.
                    I want to go out nice and peaceful in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming and hollering like the passengers in his car.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tomanyjacksons View Post
                      All the metal heads around here and one answer. Wow. Thank you btw.
                      Sorry for my late reply! For years I've used D'Addario 10-46 for E Standard, and each full step I go down, I use a full gauge higher. For drop tunings, I use normal strings using my method, and the dropped string would have the high gauge. (E Standard high to low = 10, 13, 17, 26, 36, 46; Drop D high to low = 10, 13, 17, 26, 36, 49)

                      As soon as I go to B standard or lower, I just use 7 string sets. Since you're going to be playing in Drop A, I'd suggest getting whatever you normally use in E standard, (Cobalt 9's) for the EADGF#B, then for the low B string, (which would be in A) which would be a 56.

                      TL;DR using my method, use your Slinky 9's for EADF#B and for the low B use a 56.

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                      • #12
                        i don't know why i like the feel of bigger strings and i think i have more control over feedback and more control as far as picking dynamics. pinch harmonics are a little harder to get, but i think the control is well worth it. I use 10's on 25.5", and 11's on 24.75" tuned to standard, ive got 12's on a strat tuned to either a 1/2 of full step flat and i think its got the perfect feel and tone.

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                        • #13
                          Are you trying to float a bridge?

                          If you have a floyd or similar you will need to go to something approaching a 7 string gauge set otherwise you will have to radically alter your spring set behind the bridge.

                          Your other issue is going to be intonation at that tuning. I presume you are on a 25.5" scale length, but most baritone guitars are at 27" for a reason. You may find you have trouble with intonation at the high register frets (i.e. solos sound like shit).

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                          • #14
                            I use 9s on my 7-strings, tuned to B standard. I also use 9-42s tuned to C#. I also don't flail the strings. Worked for Iommi, works for me.
                            I want to depart this world the same way I arrived; screaming and covered in someone else's blood

                            The most human thing we can do is comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

                            My Blog: http://newcenstein.com

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                            • #15
                              How do you do it Newc?

                              Every time I have tried to go to B std on 9's it's like I am playing spaghetti. I can't get a decent tone since the strings are almost too loose to vibrate effectively.

                              I'd love to know your trick.

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