Tuning one step down. Wich string gauge now?

Silvio55

Member
Messages
177
Hi guys! I'm currently using EB 9's with my electric guitars, been using them for years, always in standard tuning.
But now, in my band we want to try playing with the guitar and bass tuned one step down, to make us easier to sing some songs.
The question is: wich string gauge should I try?
Thanks!
 

Blix

Wannabe Shredder
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
25,986
First just try tuning down what you already have. It that is too loose for you, go up a gauge, or even try a half-gauge up.
 

GeorgeNada

Member
Messages
1,651
For only a half step change i would keep the same strings......maybe go up to 10's if the 9s feel to loose
 

gtrguru

Member
Messages
880
I use NYXL 11s. The package even says optimized for D standard. They are great sounding strings for D standard or drop C. And a bonus, they last forever.

I didn't like the NYXL when I tried them on my standard tuning guitars. Give them a try.
 

Hugo Da Rosa

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,389
First just try tuning down what you already have. It that is too loose for you, go up a gauge, or even try a half-gauge up.
This. You'll want to also check for intonation in addition to string tension. If either tension or intonation (or both) don't quite translate to something you like with a full step down tuning, then consider moving up to 9.5 or 10s

Edit: Also check for dead frets. If that's the case and a string gauge change doesn't quite resolve it, then you may need to consider having a pro setup the guitar again.
 

T Dizz

Member
Messages
20,953
Hi guys! I'm currently using EB 9's with my electric guitars, been using them for years, always in standard tuning.
But now, in my band we want to try playing with the guitar and bass tuned one step down, to make us easier to sing some songs.
The question is: wich string gauge should I try?
Thanks!
EB Beefy set works great for my D standard axe
 

Jet Bycraft

Member
Messages
1,463
I tuned down a whole step many years ago and 10-46 was too loose. I ended up going with 11-48 (YMMV).
 

Sociophile

"Ignore" Button Aficionado
Messages
2,010
My band does drop C# (drop D with the whole guitar down a half step), and the Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottoms have worked well for me. They go 10 to 52, keeping your solos from being too painful but giving you lots of tightness in the low end.
 

Silvio55

Member
Messages
177
Thanks all! I think I Will try 10's and see how they feel, 9's are too loose tuning down a full step. I was thinking even trying 11's as my first choice.
I use 9's in my 24 3/4 scale guitars and my Strat as well.
 

stevel

Member
Messages
14,655
@Silvio55 follow the D'addario link given above. This will give you a rough idea how to keep the tension in the same range to keep the feel the same.

If you can keep the same general tension, you may not need a new setup - because realistically if you keep the same gauge and just tune down, putting less tension on the guitar, the neck will relax some, which may change your action (making it feel even more sloppy on the fingerboard in addition to the lower tension) and may cause intonation issues.

Really, you should find what works and get the guitar set up by a tech to play like you want it to play when it was in standard tuning - intonation and action are both likely going to change with a change in gauge or tension, though it is possible that by matching the tension pretty closely it won't be a big concern.
 

TheNightMoose

Member
Messages
82
I've always used Power Slinkys (11's) when tuned down to D Standard. Whatever gauge you choose, get your guitar setup for that tuning.
 

Vuur

Member
Messages
77
First just try tuning down what you already have. It that is too loose for you, go up a gauge, or even try a half-gauge up.
This. It can really be that simple. Much simpler than taking other people's take on something as subjective as this. :)
 

barfoden

Member
Messages
229
If you use 9-42 in standard go to 10-46 in e-flat. D-standard use 11-49.
I have used 10-46 in standard and tried them in E-flat (25.5 scale). But the wound strings are just slighty too soft for my taste.
 

ryandfl

Member
Messages
1,543
I generally tune 1 step down. On Fender scale guitars.

I like 10-52, light and heavy, the best.

But really standard 10s and 11s are fine for me. Tune any lower and 11s are needed.

I tried 12s and 13s when tuning to C and Drop C. I am so glad I'm using normal strings now. It's just not worth it to fight with the guitar and not be able to bend well. Unless you're a giant.
 




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