What is your cure for multiple alternate tunings?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Motherfuzzer, Apr 4, 2020.

  1. Motherfuzzer

    Motherfuzzer Supporting Member

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    I like to play a few songs in alternate tunings. I was once told some of them can strain a guitars neck, therefore I do not like to leave my guitars tuned up that way. Also, it can be a pain changing from one to another, and possibly back again.
    I use an Epi acoustic, and change it up everytime. I don't do a set of these songs live or anything, I just like to play them at home sometimes.
    What do you do?
    Do you have a guitar for every tuning you want to use?
    Just go back and forth?
    Robot tuners?

    Is it safe to leave my guitar tuned to open E?

    Here are some of the songs I like to play, and their tuning;
    Pink Floyd - Fearless G
    Black Crowes - She Talks to Angels open E
    Led Zeppelin - The Rain Song DGCGCD
    Cinnamon Girl - DADGBD
    Joe Walsh - Confessor intro open D
     
  2. 3waytie4last

    3waytie4last Unfluencer Gold Supporting Member

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    Obligatory Sonic Youth rack shots...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  3. NashSG

    NashSG Member

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    I really find it it usually no big deal going from one tuning to another, but if you have a certain gauge string on, it might not like going into the ones where you tune up like say open E. I find on most guitars, especially Fender scale length, you got no much issue going from standard to open G and any of the open D variants are fine especially strung up with a set of 10s. Guitars with shorter scale length or maybe really low action might have some issues in some tunings.
     
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  4. doc

    doc Member

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    It really is a shame the robot tuners have such a reputation for unreliability. That would have been the perfect solution to this issue.
     
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  5. gregeatworld

    gregeatworld Member

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    I have a 2015 Gibson with the robot tuners and have had no issues. I believe the key to getting these tuners to work is reading the manual. If you try and figure out how to use them without reading the manual, you will not have good results.
     
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  6. Starshine

    Starshine Member

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    What, standard tuning too hard for you?
     
  7. PhxdB

    PhxdB Member

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    I have one too!

    It's actually a pretty useful tool and it's cool to have one of these guitars as a novelty. If Gibson would have stuck to putting this on one model instead of their ENTIRE 2015 line then I don't they would have had as much hate as they got.
     
  8. FenderBigot

    FenderBigot Supporting Member

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    I only need DADGAD, so I use a dedicated guitar for it.
     
  9. MkIIC+

    MkIIC+ Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Here's my solution to the alternate tuning tension problem and the desire for uniform tension across many guitars in standard tuning.

    I string my 25.5" scale length electrics (Strats, Teles) with 9.5 gauge custom balanced strings. About 100 lbs of tension. I string my 24.75" scale length electrics (Les Paul, SG, Espirit) with 10 gauge custom balanced strings. About 105 lbs of tension. The string gauges on the shorter scale length are just a pip higher on each string versus the longer scale length.

    I dedicate one guitar to have D# standard tuning. A SG with 10.5 gauge custom balanced strings for about 100 lbs of tension. If I wanted to use a Strat or Tele then I would use 10 gauge custom balanced strings.

    The D# guitar is used for songs that are in D# standard or alternate tunings. The reason being is that many of the common alternate tunings are usually dropping string tension. Often around six half steps total. DADGAD comes to mind. When using a D# standard guitar, many these alternate tunings will still result in about 100 lbs of tension so the neck maintains it's relief. When using D# standard as a starting point for DADGAD, three strings go down half a step and three go up half a step.

    Also, I bend a lot less when using alternate tuning so individual string tension is less an issue. I’m mostly interested in maintaining total tension and consistency in neck relief. Thicker unwound strings break less too so it's nice to have a 10.5 on the high e-string.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2020
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  10. MkIIC+

    MkIIC+ Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I like the G-Force myself. I found it easy enough to use when familiar with it. Putting in on all guitars was moronic. Same with messing with the neck specs. I find 2015 Gibson USA models completely undesirable and I'll never own another one...ever. But I would happily upgrade a Les Paul Special with G-Force.
     
  11. CanserDYI

    CanserDYI Member

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    I have 3 guitar tunings I use and I use three guitars to do this. I have my 7 which is my normal set up for AEADGBE, my 6 string humbucker with DADGBE drop d and my 6 string single coil with FACGCE.

    Too many switches to use one guitar.
     
  12. CoachD

    CoachD Member

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    I've been in the same place with pretty much the same set of songs as the OP. (Add "Traveling Riverside", some Stones, etc...)

    I currently have an Esquire (partsocaster) set aside for these songs. I leave it in open G and adjust as needed from there.

    For as little work (a few minutes tops) as it is to just retune, it's definitely enough to keep me from playing through a song for months or years.

    But even one guitar just for alternate tunings isn't enough!

    Then there's a Strat for Eb Jimi?
    A LP for Eb Ace?
    Humbucker Strat or Explorer or ??? for Eb Eddie?
    Maybe a Danelectro just for DADGAD? I mean they're so cheap anyways, right?

    I sort of want a Gretsch Jet for slightly flat (early) Beatles, ACDC, CCR?

    How do you play along with Layla? Light my Fire?

    What about a guitar tuned down a whole step?

    Hmm... those new SG Jr's are pretty cool looking...
     
  13. PhxdB

    PhxdB Member

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    Yes, the neck decisions were very weird.

    The neck width on those models is a complete deal break for many.
     
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  14. MkIIC+

    MkIIC+ Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    If there was ever an example of a company was completely out of touch with it's customers, this is it.

    Maybe it just me but if I was the head of product development for a guitar manufacturer and there was pressure to innovate, it seems like the obvious answer is to be in contact with your custom shop luthiers, roster of artists and your dealer network to identify new features players might value. I can't imagine the changes they made in 2015 were done this way.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2020
  15. Tony Done

    Tony Done Member

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    I use medium (13-56) on acoustics, and always tune down, eg open D rather than open E. I might tune up for a very short time, but I certainly wouldn't leave it like that. It wouldn't matter so much with lighter strings on a guitar built for mediums. I mostly play slide in open tunings, and I have different guitars for them than I use for fingerpicking, a big part of that being different tonal preferences for the two styles. On electrics I only use open tunings anyway, and don't woryy about string tension, except for breakage risk. I've had my 30" bari tuned up to open D with 13-56 strings. Fantastic tone, but I feel like I should be wearing safety gear when I'm tuning it.

    24.75" is about 1/2 a fret or 1/4 of a tone different from 25.5", and you can use this to judge gauges andtensions - it isn't a lot.
     
  16. AprioriMark

    AprioriMark Silver Supporting Member

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    I installed a set from Tronical on an SG when Gibson was first announcing the 2015 series, and I have had zero issues with it.

    OP, i came here to say, "try the Gibson/Tronical system" because this is exactly what i use it for. I play several instruments in a band that does many styles, and I keep 2 Gibsons (oddly enough, models that did not come with Min-E tune, so I installed them) with the system. These boards will tell you it's an awful system, but they're wrong. If you switch tunings in a set, this system is amazing.

    To be clear, yes, you need to charge it every few gigs. It comes with a proprietary charger. Don't lose that. Also, you need to think of tuning differently and learn to let the machine do it. That's the hardest part: having it be second nature to mute your signal and hit the proper buttons on the system instead of turning the pegs. Once you learn to think of that instrument as a different beast, it works extremely well. I can't tell you how many times a string slipped and I hit my tuner pedal in a break in a song, reached for the tuning peg and went, "#$&+@*&!!!" and then started the process over with the autotune system.

    -Mark
     
  17. chrisjnyc

    chrisjnyc Supporting Member

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    The Gibson\Tronical tuners work great for multiple turnings. I know most people don like them, but I have used one for year and would like to get a second one
     
  18. geek-mo

    geek-mo Supporting Member

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    Yes, and I'm sure they worried constantly about the open tunings straining the guitar's neck.
     
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  19. LikeLinus

    LikeLinus Member

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    I have a different guitar for each tuning I use.
     
  20. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Member

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    Leaving the guitar tuned up to an E chord is ok as long as it isn't creating a big upward bow that you leave unadjusted forever. Constantly changing tunings will tend to kill the strings.
     

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