Scale length for C# standard tuning?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by MisterTV, Mar 22, 2020.

  1. MisterTV

    MisterTV Supporting Member

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    I want to have a guitar permanently down-tuned for playing the classic Black Sabbath catalog, post-Paranoid.

    I have an SG strung with 9-46 (Hybrid Slinkys) but wow, things get pretty loose and floppy when tuned down a step and a half.

    Will heavier gage strings do the trick? Or do I need to find a Fender scale length option? Or even a baritone, perhaps?

    I’m no doom metal or stoner rock guy - I just really love those first six Sabbath records.
     
  2. LoudAC30

    LoudAC30 Member

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    Just go with a heavier gauge and you’ll be golden.
     
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  3. RRfireblade

    RRfireblade Member

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    I use 10-52/11-52 on Gibson scales for C#
     
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  4. cap10kirk

    cap10kirk Member

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    All you need are heavier strings. The 24.75" scale will work fine for C#, I used to keep a Les Paul in B no problem.
     
  5. XSSIVE

    XSSIVE D'Avanzo Guitars Silver Supporting Member

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    12-54 tuned to C# is pretty much the same string tension as 10-46 tuned to E. I do this all the time on one of my 24.75" scale guitars to play Sabbath songs and the guitar plays pretty much the same since the tension on the neck is the same. It just feels a little different due to very thick strings under your fingers, but bending effort is the same and there's no extra slop like there would be tuning down the 10s to C#. Since you're used to 9-46 you can try 11-52 and see how that works for you.
     
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  6. Oinkus

    Oinkus Member

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    Think I have 11s on my C# 24 3/4 scale it works just fine.
     
  7. Bankston

    Bankston Supporting Member

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    Same here.
     
  8. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Supporting Member

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    I had John Diggins who made Tony's Old Boy make me one. I asked him to set it up as he would for Tony. John was Tony's tech as well on some Black Sabbath tours. It was set up with 8s.

    My JayDee beside one being made as a relic for Tony for the 13 tour.
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Arewenotmen?

    Arewenotmen? Member

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    Your best near-term solution is probably to go up a gauge, as others have mentioned.
    HOWEVER, didn't Iommi use 8s on a standard (Gibson) scale SG? Perhaps using a really light touch would also be warranted.
     
  10. Promit

    Promit Member

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    A 25.5 will be a little tighter and clearer than a 24.75, but just string up with 11s or 12s and you should be golden. I'd say 12s on the shorter scale length.
     
  11. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Supporting Member

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    Tony has a very light touch, so 8s work for him. The action is also set extremely low. Much lower than I set my guitars and the 8s buzzed a bit on the frets but it wasn't picked up by the pickups. I wanted to try it that way, which is why I asked John to do that on the JayDee, but, I couldn't play very well with 8s because my fingers weren't used to it. Also, with the action as low as it was you are barely touching the strings it seems, for bends, but some people get used to thinner strings and that is all they play.
     
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