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Downtuning an acoustic....


(@embrace_the_darkness)
Honorable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 540
Topic starter  

Hey guys, can anyone help me here?

I want to string up my acoustic so that it has drop-C tuning, but I'm worried that having it tuned that low might hurt my guitar? Could I pull the strings tighter before I wind them around the tuning peg, so that the strings will still be tightly strung but with the lower notes still present?

Any thoughts?

Cheers,
Pete

ETD - Formerly "10141748 - Reincarnate"


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(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5384
 

Doubt it. The whole reason the note sounds lower is because it is less tensely strung, it hasn't much to do with anything else when it comes to tuning. I doubt you'll damage your guitar but I think the strings will be so loose it'll be unplayable. All of these are guesses btw.


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

No. The pitch a string produces is related to the length, tension, and mass of the string... since it isn't getting any heavier or longer, pulling it tighter will only make it higher in pitch.

If you want more string tension in drop C, you'll have to adjust another factor. Since you can't make the neck any longer, you'll have to make the strings heavier - by using a heavier gauge.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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(@quarterfront)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 225
 

If you want more string tension in drop C, you'll have to adjust another factor. Since you can't make the neck any longer, you'll have to make the strings heavier - by using a heavier gauge.
...which shouldn't do the guitar any harm. Now, if you used a substantially heavier gauge and then decided to tune back up to normal or use a tuning where some strings were tuned higher than normal you might find yourself stressing the neck.


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(@slejhamer)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Keep in mind that if you use heavier-gauge strings, you may need to reslot the nut.

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


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(@embrace_the_darkness)
Honorable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 540
Topic starter  

Cheers guys. I'm using 12's so I think they'll be thick enough to take it. I managed to get my electric in drop-C and still have a fairly decent amount of tension on the strings; hopefully I can get that on my acoustic as well.

Pete

ETD - Formerly "10141748 - Reincarnate"


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(@slejhamer)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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12s on an acoustic are considered "light."

Tuning that far down with light-gauge strings, you'll lose volume and tone as the top won't vibrate nearly enough. You'll probably get a lot of fret buzz too.

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


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(@trueg)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 19
 

Why would you want drop C? So you can play your death metal on acoustic?


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(@dl0571)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 240
 

Why would you want drop C? So you can play your death metal on acoustic?

I thought the same thing but then I thought "well, I did have my acoustic tuned down a full step on every string for a few Keller Williams songs..." so I'll give the benefit of the doubt and not assume it's solely for death metal.

"How could you possibly be scared of being bad? Once you get past that, it's all beautiful." -Trey Anastasio


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(@ricochet)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 7850
 

I've had some pretty seriously detuned strings on acoustics at times. Messed around for a while with an Epi Bluesmaster (short scale) with extra light acoustic strings (10s) tuned to Open G with the sixth string tuned down to another G an octave below the fifth string G. That flubbery, buzzy sound can be cool.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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