#1
My friend and I are starting to write our own music. We're into Heavy Metal, Thrash, Death... stuff like that. We want to be super heavy so we decided to play in Drop A. I'm in the process of getting an Ibanez ARZ 400T : http://www.ibanez.com/ElectricGuitars/model-ARZ400T

I want it so I can go super heavy and be able to shred real fast. What do you think would be the best string gauge for this guitar and Drop A? Please let me know, thanks in advance.

- Patrick
#2
Drop A is extremely low, setting up a guitar for that (especially with a floyd rose) is going to be excruciating, you have to be prepared for that.
As for string gauge, there's no way you'll get away with anything less than 0.12s I would say. Probably heavier, but a lot of it's down to personal preference. I had a mate once who used 0.09s for drop B. It sounded terrible but he liked it for some reason.
Also, maybe you should consider getting a baritone guitar. I believe Ibanez makes the RGD series which would cope a lot better with such a low tuning
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#3
Quote by Paddy McK
Drop A is extremely low, setting up a guitar for that (especially with a floyd rose) is going to be excruciating, you have to be prepared for that.
As for string gauge, there's no way you'll get away with anything less than 0.12s I would say. Probably heavier, but a lot of it's down to personal preference. I had a mate once who used 0.09s for drop B. It sounded terrible but he liked it for some reason.
Also, maybe you should consider getting a baritone guitar. I believe Ibanez makes the RGD series which would cope a lot better with such a low tuning


Pretty much this. Don't tune down to drop A just because you want to sound "brutal". You also need to consider your amp situation because a lot of combo amps/some cabinets won't cope very well with that much low end. I'd consider a baritone guitar and if not, .12's or above.
#4
a 7 string does wonders.
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#5
I use EB Not Even Slinky and use a custom gauge 70 for the A. Sounds brutal! you don't need an 70 though, its all about preference, but anything below an 65 would sound muddy too me. Iv heard Lee Malia from BMTH uses an 80!
#6
i have a 11-60 set on my strat but I have it tuned to Drop B and ill go down a half step to drop Bb but any further and i would recommend .12's for drop tunings i would not recommend a floyd rose unless you are going to isolate that as your writing guitar to stay in that tuning for a while because you will need either another spring or springs with more tension to balance the tremolo. however, if you were to get this guitar it wouldnt be terrible for drop tunings since it has a little bit longer scale at 25". Not super long but workable. It could possibly get a little muddy since the whole guitar is made of mahogany. If you were to look at another one i would suggest Alder or Maple wood to keep some good mids in your tone. The new Jackson X line is something to look into. They use basswood for the bodies of the guitars but with down tuning that can sound very good and maple necks, also usually a 25.5" scale. They also use active EMG's and Seymour Duncan's which will fit very well.
#7
Well, I know what my amps are capable of, I play in C# Standard .011s, just messing around trying to write my own stuff. I've heard great stuff about the ARZ and know it's great for heavy riffs and shred solos. But it's true, I'll need to learn how to deal with a Floyd. I'll ask for further help if needed. Thanks you guys!
#8
Quote by Trivium7
i have a 11-60 set on my strat but I have it tuned to Drop B and ill go down a half step to drop Bb but any further and i would recommend .12's for drop tunings i would not recommend a floyd rose unless you are going to isolate that as your writing guitar to stay in that tuning for a while because you will need either another spring or springs with more tension to balance the tremolo. however, if you were to get this guitar it wouldnt be terrible for drop tunings since it has a little bit longer scale at 25". Not super long but workable. It could possibly get a little muddy since the whole guitar is made of mahogany. If you were to look at another one i would suggest Alder or Maple wood to keep some good mids in your tone. The new Jackson X line is something to look into. They use basswood for the bodies of the guitars but with down tuning that can sound very good and maple necks, also usually a 25.5" scale. They also use active EMG's and Seymour Duncan's which will fit very well.

Yes, I do want to isolate it as my writing guitar. I can always experiment with different tunings and string gauges with the guitar I have now.
Last edited by PatrickRBallard at Apr 8, 2012,
#9
one of these would probably work a lot better for drop A: http://www.ibanez.com/ElectricGuitars/model-ARZ307FM
or http://www.ibanez.com/ElectricGuitars/model-ARZ307
they are still an ARZ, but they are 7 string versions, so they work very well in drop A.
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#10
As one person has already said, a seven string does wonders. You get the low notes, but you get to keep the high notes too!
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#11
@14xjake

They would be good, but I'm just looking for a workhorse, something versatile that can handle anything. I also want the 400T for the EMGs.
#13
Quote by PatrickRBallard
@14xjake

They would be good, but I'm just looking for a workhorse, something versatile that can handle anything. I also want the 400T for the EMGs.

If it's in drop A, it won't handle be able to handle anything. Especially as it'll take so long to adjust the tuning. If you get a 7, you'll be able to play songs in standard and still have the lower string for drop tuned stuff.
Also, are you going with drop A simply because you think it'll sound heavier? How heavy a song is depends on the songwriting, not the tuning. Lamb Of God sound pretty damn heavy and they mostly use drop D
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#14
Quote by francesco18
Drop A for thrash metal ? Did I miss a meeting ?

No no haha. I like to play thrash in C# standard. I play Deathcore stuff in Drop A.
#15
Quote by Paddy McK
If it's in drop A, it won't handle be able to handle anything. Especially as it'll take so long to adjust the tuning. If you get a 7, you'll be able to play songs in standard and still have the lower string for drop tuned stuff.
Also, are you going with drop A simply because you think it'll sound heavier? How heavy a song is depends on the songwriting, not the tuning. Lamb Of God sound pretty damn heavy and they mostly use drop D

Very true. But hey! Drop A was my friend's idea... NOT MINE! xD
#16
Quote by PatrickRBallard
Very true. But hey! Drop A was my friend's idea... NOT MINE! xD

You need to think very hard about whether you really need to tune that low. A friend of mine had a band that tuned to drop A# because they wanted to be heavier than everyone else. The low tuning made their onstage sound utterly appalling. It just sounded like distorted mush
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#17
You can always pick'n'mix strings. So have your favourite string gauges on the bottom 5 strings (for shred, something like the strings you would find in a 009 or 010 set, probably) and for your top string get something... ALOT thicker lol.
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