#1
How do I get my guitar tuned up two full steps without damaging my neck, breaking strings, or using a capo?

I've been playing in Standard Tuning (E, a, d, g, b, e) for forever and the occasional tune down to Drop-D (D, a, d, g, b, e) to jam some R.A.T.M. or Tool. For the last couple of months I've kept her tuned up one step to F# (F#, b, e, a, c#, f#) and really liked it. She's been in F# for a long time now and the other day I took her up another half step to G and even up to G#. I really want to have her stay in G# (G#, c#, f#, b, d#, g#), so I can just jump between that and 'Drop-F#' (F#, c#, f#, b, d#, g#). Probably doesn't make sense to any normal guitarist who actually understand the mechanics of how a guitar works and plays, but it's been my hell-bent crusade to get to this point.

Couple of other things:
-I have a couple guitars but the one I'm trying to accomplish this with is a PRS Korina SE Single Cut. I had $500 to spend and it was between her and a Strat, I went with her because of how light the Korina wood is.
- I usually use light gauge strings- .09s. They didn't don't seem to mind being in F# Standard at all. They made it all the way to G# but I didn't leave them there in fear it would damage my neck.
-I don't want to tune down and half step and just play on the A. Sorry, I've never been much of a fan for logic. I want G#, c#, f#, b, d#, g#!
- I have a capo. I went out and bought a cheap and crappy one. I hated it. So I went out and bought a nice one. I still hate it.

Ideas I've had so far: (let me know if any are good or bad)
-Find a set of strings for a seven-string guitar that runs E, a, d, g, b, e, a and just don't use the 'big E' and tune down a half step. Do they even make sets of seven strings that have the tiny little a-string?
-Buy a set of .08s and tune up anyways. I don't know if this would be good for my neck though...
-Buy a cheap piece of junk $30 guitar from a thrift store and throw on some .09s and tune to G# anyways.

I'm looking for any ideas or clarification on whether or not my ideas so far might be a good / bad / impossible idea. I know this sounds ridiculous and stupid, so don't bother answering with that!

I'm new here, so let me know if this is in the wrong section! I think I got it right though.

Sorry for a long question and thanks ahead of time,
-Argo_Rock \m/
#2
Why not keep it in standard and purchase a capo that you can put on the 4th fret?

EDIT: So you don't like Capos? That's a shame, maybe it's just a matter of gettinguse to it.
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Last edited by Emperor's Child at Mar 25, 2012,
#3
Quote by Emperor's Child
Why not keep it in standard and purchase a capo that you can put on the 4th fret?


He said he hates capos. TS what do you like about tuning up so high? The extra tension? The higher pitch?
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#4
Haha, I was afraid I'd have to get used to it...
Yeah she'll just stay in F# if I can't but I'd really like to.
#5
I cannot comprehend why you would want to tune to G#, but hey, each to his own. Personally, I'd get a cheap POS guitar and tune that to G#, that way, you can have different guitars in different tunings.
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#6
I do like the tension. Couldn't really give you much more of an explanation, I just like the sound of it. As if it isn't blatantly obvious, yes, I'm not very guitar experienced. Self taught with about 2 years under my belt. So yeah, I'm a rookie.
#7
You seem nice, but this is pretty idiotic. Particularly your stubborn refusals to use a capo or to deal with having 5 strings. You've never been much of a fan of logic? Good luck with that.

They don't make 7-strings with high As for a reason, and it's because guitars don't tune that high. It's been tried. You're only option is to buy 08s and get used to breaking strings. Don't worry about your neck, as long as you adjust your truss rod appropriately to compensate it should be fine.
Last edited by Attercop at Mar 25, 2012,
#8
Quote by Argo_Rock
I do like the tension. Couldn't really give you much more of an explanation, I just like the sound of it. As if it isn't blatantly obvious, yes, I'm not very guitar experienced. Self taught with about 2 years under my belt. So yeah, I'm a rookie.

Well, what do you actually play in G#?
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#9
Quote by Attercop
You seem nice, but this is pretty idiotic. I just want to say though, your 'crusade' is retarded. You've never been much of a fan of logic? Good luck with that.

Thanks! You seem really nice too!

Quote by Attercop
You're only option is to buy 08s and get used to breaking strings. Don't worry about your neck, as long as you adjust your truss rod appropriately to compensate it should be fine.


Truss rod? Please explain what that is and what you suggest to do with it.
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#10
Quote by AgentOrange...
Well, what do you actually play in G#?


Anything and everything. I mostly just make up my own riffs, but sometimes I'll just play Nirvana or some Led Zeppelin as if I were in E but up in my G#. I just really like the sound and I don't bend strings much so the tension doesn't bother me at all. Sometimes I would go to 'Drop-F#' if I were going to play Tool or AIC something.
#11
Quote by Argo_Rock
Truss rod? Please explain what that is and what you suggest to do with it.

The truss rod is a metal rod in your guitar's neck that can be adjusted to alter the curve/bow of the neck. Higher tunings mean more tension, so you'll need to make your neck curve further back to compensate.

I have no tips on how to go about it, as I've never messed with my truss rod. I got told, unless you know what you're doing, don't, because you can screw up your neck.

Good luck with this. I really like the tuning you're aiming for, but I don't mind the capo on the 4th fret.
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#12
Quote by G-Dog_666
The truss rod is a metal rod in your guitar's neck that can be adjusted to alter the curve/bow of the neck. Higher tunings mean more tension, so you'll need to make your neck curve further back to compensate.

I have no tips on how to go about it, as I've never messed with my truss rod. I got told, unless you know what you're doing, don't, because you can screw up your neck.

Good luck with this. I really like the tuning you're aiming for, but I don't mind the capo on the 4th fret.


Thanks! That actually helps a lot.
#13
I'm assuming OP is a solo player (and by that I mean plays by himself), because tuning the G# would be a pretty awful idea if you were playing with other string players who were in E, so perhaps he simply likes the sound of a guitar naturally up at G# tuning. While true that it's similar to someone liking their guitar capoed at the 4th fret, by tuning the string to G#, you're going to achieve much higher pitches on your high e (or high g# now) than you would be able to accomplish on the 4th fret. In addition to that, capoing the 4th fret means your hand will be much more cramped since frets quickly become closer and closer as you make your way up the neck: tuning to G# still gives you those first 4 frets to play around with.

Asking what he plays in G# doesn't really make a difference...guitar is an insanely easy instrument to transpose on, so you can base whatever piece you want in whatever key you want either via tuning or via capo. Again, if he's playing with other people it's a bad idea, but if he likes the sound of G# and is playing either his own compositions or transposed songs, there's really no harm. If he's doing it specifically to play songs in G#...he won't be in it for very long lol. The only piece that pops to my mind off the bat for G# is Il Vecchio Castello from Pictures at an Exhibition...I had to arrange it for guitar at one point, and I remember that the piano arrangement was G#m, because I wanted to base it in D, which wound up being a tritone difference for my transposition.

Of course, as far as actually getting it there...good luck OP lol. Have you broken a lot of string in the past while trying?
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Last edited by Greenfinger182 at Mar 25, 2012,
#14
Could you not replace the low E string with and A string, the A string with a D string and so forth? I have the same problem like you, but the other way. My low E doesn't sound too good when it's tuned down to B.
Good luck!
#15
I know the European alt-rock band Placebo plays a handful of songs up a full step, and up a half step - so thats not that farfetched. Going any higher than that might be hard to accomplish though.
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#16
Quote by gurreu
Could you not replace the low E string with and A string, the A string with a D string and so forth?


+1

I'd give that a go.
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#17
Quote by Greenfinger182
I'm assuming OP is a solo player (and by that I mean plays by himself), because tuning the G# would be a pretty awful idea if you were playing with other string players who were in E, so perhaps he simply likes the sound of a guitar naturally up at G# tuning. While true that it's similar to someone liking their guitar capoed at the 4th fret, by tuning the string to G#, you're going to achieve much higher pitches on your high e (or high g# now) than you would be able to accomplish on the 4th fret. In addition to that, capoing the 4th fret means your hand will be much more cramped since frets quickly become closer and closer as you make your way up the neck: tuning to G# still gives you those first 4 frets to play around with.


I have a couple Guitars, and I'm going to put one of them into G#. Yes, that's a big reason why I don't like the capo, it does make me feel really cramped...

Quote by Greenfinger182
Asking what he plays in G# doesn't really make a difference...guitar is an insanely easy instrument to transpose on, so you can base whatever piece you want in whatever key you want either via tuning or via capo.


Yup.

Quote by Greenfinger182
Have you broken a lot of string in the past while trying?


Nope. I tuned up to the G#and back down to where I keep her at F# (out of fear for my necks safety) a couple times. The last time when I was tuning back down to F# I decided to put her into 'Dadgad' (up a step in E though- E, b, e, a, b, e) to play Kashmir and the little 'e' string broke.
#18
Quote by gurreu
Could you not replace the low E string with and A string, the A string with a D string and so forth? I have the same problem like you, but the other way. My low E doesn't sound too good when it's tuned down to B.
Good luck!


Yes! That would be ideal, but where the hell am I going to find a tiny enough string to replace the little 'e' string? Do they make strings like that?
#19
Quote by Argo_Rock
Yes! That would be ideal, but where the hell am I going to find a tiny enough string to replace the little 'e' string? Do they make strings like that?

I'm not sure. I've never seen anything lower than 0.08 but I've never gone out of my way to look if there was.
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#20
Use the A-e from an 11s or 12s set then a single 08 for the high G#
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#21
Quote by GABarrie
Use the A-e from an 11s or 12s set then a single 08 for the high G#


OK this makes sense for accomplishing something that doesn't!
I think this post is finally making progress! Maybe buy a couple of .08 just in case to.
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#22
i really hope you post some sound clip!
as this sounds interesting.

but here's my 2 cents

im pretty sure the most stable way to get 2 steps up is having one of those 24.25 scale guitar like a gibson and playing with 8s
#23
Side note, never had a D'Addario string break on me but even so in this scenario a few spare 08s gonna be handy
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#24
Quote by JazzMunkeyy
i really hope you post some sound clip!
as this sounds interesting.

but here's my 2 cents

im pretty sure the most stable way to get 2 steps up is having one of those 24.25 scale guitar like a gibson and playing with 8s


I don't know what 24.25 scale means...
Yeah I need to get something to record on but if I do or can figure it out I'll post sound!
#25
Quote by Argo_Rock
I don't know what 24.25 scale means...
Yeah I need to get something to record on but if I do or can figure it out I'll post sound!


its a shorter scale length
the distance from nut to bridge
#26
Oh ok. I looked mine up and it's 25" So that's close so think I'm pretty good.
#27
Do you like the higher up sound, or just the sound of the different keys in general?

Here's my crazy suggestion for your crazy question: The same tuning, but an octave down?

Yes, it'll be insanely heavy, but doable with thick strings and a long scale length...
#28
Quote by GABarrie
Side note, never had a D'Addario string break on me but even so in this scenario a few spare 08s gonna be handy


I've broken a ton of them.

As for the G#, sounds interesting! I'd love to try it but then again, I don't mind capos I think GABarrie has the best idea. Also, if you just like the tension and feeling of higher tunings then maybe consider bigger strings (for standard tunings)? I've got myself up to 11s now. The pitch is SO much more stable with bigger strings. You can pick hard without it going out. Also, as for the truss rod, I'd suggest you learn about the mechanics of the guitar and set ups and such. Maybe do a project guitar, it's a really great thing to learn and important IMO. I've got my main guitar set up so well that now when I play other guitars I always end up checking the intonation because I can hear it being off
#29
A 9/42 set in standard on a 25" scale will have about 86# of tension, a 7/38 set in F# will have about 98#. It won't ruin your neck, and will need only minimal adjustment.

Good luck.
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