anyone else just not like the feel of their guitar tuned down a half step?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by spookyelectric, May 20, 2015.

  1. spookyelectric

    spookyelectric Supporting Member

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    because that's what I've been finding over the last 6 months. I have 4 guitars and over the last months I've gotten to the point where only one of them is tuned down to Eb-- all the others are tuned standard.

    I've tried different gauges when tuning down (i.e. if it's 9's in standard, I'll try 9.5s or 10's at Eb) and it still just doesn't feel right to me. Standard just feels "right" to me.

    Anyone else feel the same?
     
  2. sleewell

    sleewell Member

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    we tune to drop Db and it feels perfectly fine. i use 10-52s.


    are you referring to string tension or something else? if its string tension you can resolve most of those issues with a proper setup.
     
  3. Bogner

    Bogner Member

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    Try a slightly bigger string gauge.
     
  4. Jason_77

    Jason_77 Member

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    Here's a question: the guitar you have tuned down, does it have a different scale length than the others? My SG-Z is kept a half step down because it has a Fender scale length and sounds better a half step down than the other Gibsons do.
     
  5. spookyelectric

    spookyelectric Supporting Member

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    See my original post, tried that....
     
  6. spookyelectric

    spookyelectric Supporting Member

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    Nope, they're all 25.5" scale, but I've heard that about he 24.75" scale vs. 25.5"-- I kinda like the idea of an SG with big fat strings on it..
     
  7. BetterMeThanYou

    BetterMeThanYou Member

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    I tune down a whole step. Actually feels better to me this way. Maybe you should look for some even bigger gauge strings through. Going from 9's to 10's probably isn't enough. Try 12 or 13?
     
  8. spookyelectric

    spookyelectric Supporting Member

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    I think string tension is part of it, but not all of it. When I switch to a different gauge (usually 10-46) and drop down to Eb, I adjust the truss rod and or action if it needs it.

    I think it's string tension and string thickness together. I must just like the thickness of thinner strings like 9-42's and the tension that comes with them tuned to standard, because with 10-46 tuned to Eb, it feels similar, tension-wise, but not the same feel overall because of the added thickness.
     
  9. spookyelectric

    spookyelectric Supporting Member

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    I could pull a Mick Mars and do 11's tuned down to D-- more than that and I get into "wound 3rd" territory and I like bending the G string too much :) (yeah, yeah, I know... insert your favorite G-string joke here :))
     
  10. Bogner

    Bogner Member

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    Thus my saying slightly bigger string gauge.......

    11's
     
  11. klatuu

    klatuu Member

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    I tune standard unless there's a reason to tune flat, like helping a singer hit his notes. I'm accustomed to standard and tuned down feels too slinky. I tend to overbend.
     
  12. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

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    I think a guitar sounds and feels more lively if you tune UP, not down.
    It seems like it is mechanically driven more, but it is a combination of tension in the string and thickness that only exists with tightening the (thinner) string not just subbing in a thicker one. Dropping the tuning diminishes the effect, but one does what one must.
     
  13. DrumBob

    DrumBob Gold Supporting Member

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    I started tuning down a half step over a year ago to accommodate the guts in the band that sing the most, and at first, it felt weird, but after a little getting used to, I don't notice a difference at all.
     
  14. MrAstro

    MrAstro Member

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    Like other's have said I use 11's on guitars tuned to E flat and 10's on guitars in normal tuning.

    It works out the tension on the neck is close to the same when you use a string tension calculator.
     
  15. Soothsayer

    Soothsayer (Paul) Supporting Member

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    Try a Digitech Drop, great for this.
     
  16. EADGBE

    EADGBE Member

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    I'm always in standard tuning. I do like and listen to recordings that are a half step down. But I don't like playing that way myself.
     
  17. wetordry

    wetordry Member

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    All but one are down a half step, and i really don't know why anymore.
     
  18. tone?

    tone? Supporting Member

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    What kind of guitar is it?
    Strat?
    Parts guitar ?
    Do you not like the feel from all your guitars tuned like this or is it just one of them?

    Thanks
     
  19. Beach Radio

    Beach Radio Member

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    I've been playing a few Smithereen's songs tuned down to Eb on a MusicMan Silhouette (25.5 scale) with 9's - and the feel is not dramatically different to me. But I always "feel" like I'm cheating playing anything other than Standard tuning - like Andy Summers is going to come along and tell me if you can't do it in Standard you need to learn some new chords...
     
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  20. afjungemann

    afjungemann Member

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    I used to have one guitar standard and one a full step down. It always sounded kind of lifeless a full step down but now years later, I returned to the same set up and I like it now. Maybe my ears began preferring something different? Not sure.
     

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