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Tuning guitar to Drop C


(@jmh1819)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 20
Topic starter  

I've found that if I tune my guitar to drop C(CGCFAD). I sound a lot more like the heavy bands I like to listen to. :D The only problem is when I tune down my strings start to vibrate a lot. What should I do? I know alot of the bands I like tune there guitars like this so there must be something they're doing that I don't know. My guitar is a Epiphone Les Paul Special II if that's important.

Thanks in advance.


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 cnev
(@cnev)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4478
 

One thing you might try is using heavy gauge strings, they won't be as slack and it will cut down on vibrations. I'm sure other people that use that tuning alot can give you better advice.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


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(@coleclark)
Reputable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 419
 

10's ... the metal bands that use drop C use guage 10 strings.

also they will lower the action which lets them do there super fast lead work, i wanted to play a few songs in drop C (killswitch engage, bullet for my valentine) but after looking into it you really need to have a dedicated guitar set up to that tuning :(


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 10340
 

10's ... the metal bands that use drop C use guage 10 strings.

also they will lower the action which lets them do there super fast lead work, i wanted to play a few songs in drop C (killswitch engage, bullet for my valentine) but after looking into it you really need to have a dedicated guitar set up to that tuning :(

I'm not too sure about this, but I thought that guitarists who tuned to drop C, or other lower tunings, tended to use REALLY heavy strings - most people round these forums consider 10's to be light? I'm one of the few people who use 9's on electric AND acoustic in standard tuning, and also (on different guitars, but with the action raised a touch) for slide (usually DGDGBD) on both elctric and acoustic. I'd imagine, from what I've read on the slide forum, you'd need at least 11's, possibly 12's.

Stevie Ray Vaughan's the classic example - he tuned low and used 15's!

:D :D :D

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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(@jmh1819)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 20
Topic starter  

Right now I'm using 10s. If I try to use thicker strings will that hurt the guitar? Do I need to modify my guitar to use different strings or can I just stick them on there?


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(@noteboat)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4933
 

As long as they fit in the nut slots, you can use 'em.

Your guitar setup is designed to compensate for string tension. If you drop the tuning, there's less tension. So you'd need a new setup unless you get the tension back into the original range - by using heavier gauge strings.

I'd go up a gauge and see how it plays.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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 vgo
(@vgo)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 18
 

On my guitars with standard C tuning I use 11 gauge strings, but next I'll try 12. 10 gauge for drop C is definitely too small.


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(@wes-inman)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5599
 

Yeah, down to C you need heavy strings. A few years back I was in a band and we played a lot of the modern drop-tuned songs, I had to re-set my guitar completely for it. I used 11's for the high E and would have gone heavier.

The problem with going with heavy strings is that it widens the nut slot. Later on if you go back to standard tunings you might hear a high frequency shimmer from your strings because of the widened slot. You end up having to replace the nut.

If you really insist on super-low tunings, you really should consider a baritone or 7 string guitar.

Here is a good video that discusses down tunings and string gauge.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbjOFb-Mw8I

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


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(@coleclark)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 419
 

dunno...bullet for my valentine use 10's ... and there a heavy band...

maybe you need heavy strings on a standard setup guitar, but if you get yours customised for that tuning you can drop down to lighter strings to do faster lead work on...??


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(@brandyn)
New Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1
 

hey dudes just wondering if i have my guitar epiphone les paul special 2 set to nothing in tuning can i put on some thicker strings on it for heavier guitar playing? and will it wreak my guitar?


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(@rparker)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5492
 

hey dudes just wondering if i have my guitar epiphone les paul special 2 set to nothing in tuning can i put on some thicker strings on it for heavier guitar playing? and will it wreak my guitar?

Hi Brandyn, welcome to GN. Don't be afraid to start a new thread. :)

Couple of questions to help folks...
#1: What do you mean "set to nothing"? Do you mean to say standard tuning? eadgbe
#2: What guage are you running now and what do you want to go with?

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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