#1
Im thinking of converting one of my guitarsf rom 6 strings to 5 strings, by subtracting the 6th string and having the A string as the lowest string.

It's an old clunker that while is a realible instrument, I thought it'd be a good strategy. I'd do open D or G tuning.

Has anyone here done something similar?
#2
I don't really see the point in that. I mean, I'm sure you could do some cool stuff with it, but with 6 strings you can do all the same things plus more.
#3
I broke my G on my old acoustic about a year ago, never put a G back and just made up some funky tunings, gives me a different sort of sound, I enjoy it
#4
Quote by flaaash
Im thinking of converting one of my guitarsf rom 6 strings to 5 strings, by subtracting the 6th string and having the A string as the lowest string.

It's an old clunker that while is a realible instrument, I thought it'd be a good strategy. I'd do open D or G tuning.

Has anyone here done something similar?

Don't do this. Without the tension from a 6th string, the guitar neck will bend out of shape over time. Guitar is an instrument that is designed for 6 (or more) strings, and the tension of the strings (with the help of the truss rod) keeps the neck in shape. Without that final string, I can just see that neck bending way too much.
#5
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Don't do this. Without the tension from a 6th string, the guitar neck will bend out of shape over time. Guitar is an instrument that is designed for 6 (or more) strings, and the tension of the strings (with the help of the truss rod) keeps the neck in shape. Without that final string, I can just see that neck bending way too much.


+1

Want a 5-string guitar?

Here's an idea!

Don't play the 6th string. lawl
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#7
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Don't do this. Without the tension from a 6th string, the guitar neck will bend out of shape over time. Guitar is an instrument that is designed for 6 (or more) strings, and the tension of the strings (with the help of the truss rod) keeps the neck in shape. Without that final string, I can just see that neck bending way too much.


this. 6-strings were designed to have 6 strings.
Anfangen ist leicht, Beharren eine Kunst.
#9
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Don't do this. Without the tension from a 6th string, the guitar neck will bend out of shape over time. Guitar is an instrument that is designed for 6 (or more) strings, and the tension of the strings (with the help of the truss rod) keeps the neck in shape. Without that final string, I can just see that neck bending way too much.


Couldn't you just adjust the truss rod accordingly? Or maybe use thicker strings to make up for the missing tension of the 6th string.
#10
Quote by 757ian123
Couldn't you just adjust the truss rod accordingly? Or maybe use thicker strings to make up for the missing tension of the 6th string.

To a point...


But the hell would you?! It's nonsensical to use a 6-string instrument as a 5-string. And it creates more potential repair issues later. Just don't bother; it'll make your life easier if you use instruments as they were designed.
#11
^ I kind of agree but kind of don't. By removing one string and tuning it differently you could do something different. You would play it differently than a 6 string guitar, just like you play a 7 string guitar a bit differently than a 6 string guitar. Experimenting is fun.

Here Paul Gilbert plays a three string guitar (it has three E strings).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYlx5gW90Aw
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#12
Yeah, to be fair though, guys like Paul Gilbert have guitar techs who can insure their guitar doesn't go out of wack and such.

Also, experimentation is good, but there needs to be a lot of monitoring when you do something like that. If you don't watch it, the guitar could start bending out of shape in a week or less. As long as you have the knowledge to make sure your guitar stays in good shape, by all means experiment! If you don't, then leave the experimentation until you've gained that knowledge.
#13
^ In a week or less?

Now... I'm not saying for a second that you shouldn't err on the side of caution (I'm ultra-cautious to a fault). Nor am I saying that you shouldn't keep a close eye on it, because that's just good practice (do as i say, not as i do ). And it goes without saying that if you do anything chancey, it's at your own risk.

But I've left guitars without strings for ages with no problem. Granted our climate is fairly benign here in northern ireland. And obviously that's not scientific proof that just because mine were ok, that yours will (it's a bit like running across the road without looking* and when you don't get knocked down through sheer dumb luck pronouncing it safe ).

But yeah.

I mean, when they make guitars they leave the necks for ages with no strings on them so they can dry etc. And that doesn't seem to do them any harm. Granted I'm guessing the truss rod will be slackened then and not tightened till strings get put on (I assume).


* Don't do that either, it's not safe.

EDIT: I should clarify, I'm no guitar tech or luthier. I don't think these guys are either, though (but I could be wrong).

All I'm saying is you quite often find that people over-err on the side of caution. Treating your gear with respect/caution is a good thing, of course it is. But sometimes people overstate how careful you have to be with it, as well. Similar thing with e.g. tube amps... listen to some people and if you don't use standby the world will stop turning. Irony being that using it incorrectly (in the way they say) can actually do your tubes more harm than good.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
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Last edited by Dave_Mc at May 19, 2014,
#14
Quote by Dave_Mc
^ In a week or less?

[snip]

You're correct. But see, in that case there would no tension on the neck. There would just be the truss rod and the neck's wood itself holding everything straight. No strings is different than taking 1 or 2 strings off. I have a Squier bullet that has no strings on it currently (because I like the neck, but the body is made out of shitty pine wood), and that hasn't bent out of shape after 2+ years of no strings.


Example time...

A guitar that is set up for 10-46s (assume E standard tuning) has approximately 49.75kg (109.68 pounds) of tension on the neck. So, let's say you remove the G string (which is a .017 gauge string). You lose 7.56kg (16.7 pounds). For some neck, that may be ok short-term. For other necks, that's gonna be an issue very quick. Obviously, thinner necks may bend quicker in this scenario.

So, you could retune and make up for the lost tension that way. Or you could put heavier strings on (accounting for no G string) and stay in the same tuning. And so on. But you'd have to compensate somehow.

Of course, my example is a very specific scenario. I think my point is clear though.
#15
Yeah. I'm guessing the wood will affect it too (maple's pretty strong; leo fender initially thought his broadcaster would be ok without a truss rod i think), as well as the thickness.

you could always just tweak the truss rod. I'm guessing that'd make it safe.

other thing, is, different people like different amounts of relief, so different people will have different settings on their truss rods. and that normally doesn't do any harm. Whether that amount of difference is anywhere near as much tension difference as a whole string, I dunno.

I kinda get the feeling we need the more luthier-minded regulars from EG or G G&A in here, maybe better yet from G B&C.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#16
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Don't do this. Without the tension from a 6th string, the guitar neck will bend out of shape over time. Guitar is an instrument that is designed for 6 (or more) strings, and the tension of the strings (with the help of the truss rod) keeps the neck in shape. Without that final string, I can just see that neck bending way too much.



This is...what's the word I'm looking for? ? ?


OH YEAH! Bullshit.

Remove the string, relax the truss rod as necessary.

Next.
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#17
This thread makes me want to go pull a spark plug wire off my car engine, & let the air out of one of the tires, & go for a drive. I can adjust the stabilizer bar & body cross braces to compensate for the flat tire. Perfect. Why not? Sounds like fun.
This is some of the dumbest shit I've ever heard.
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#18
Quote by riffhog
This thread makes me want to go pull a spark plug wire off my car engine, & let the air out of one of the tires, & go for a drive. I can adjust the stabilizer bar & body cross braces to compensate for the flat tire. Perfect. Why not? Sounds like fun.
This is some of the dumbest shit I've ever heard.



Keith Richards...

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#19
Quote by Arby911
This is...what's the word I'm looking for? ? ?


OH YEAH! Bullshit.

Remove the string, relax the truss rod as necessary.

Next.

#21
Quote by TV-Casualty
What the hell?

Also: 'Not for sale'



Custom made and not for sale to anyone else. More a marketing gimmick than anything.

Still sorta cool tho...
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
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#22
Keith Richards has done this for decades.
On an original 1953 Telecaster.
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#23
looking at string tension guides like this one

http://www.daddario.com/DAstringtensionguide.Page?sid=652a25e7-a09a-4009-b398-a89b33940d08

it seems removing a string and running as a 5 string guitar is pretty much similar to running a lighter gauge of string.

(all tensions assume a scale length of 25.5 inches)

gauge / tension
10 16.2
13 16.6
17 16.6
26 18.4
36 19.5
46 17.5
total tension - 104.8

gauge / tension
9 13.1
11 11
16 14.7
24 15.8
32 15.8
42 14.8
total tension - 85.2

i do wholeheartedly agree that whenever you change your string gauge you should have the guitar setup for that new gauge but i know most guitarists (particularly younger guitarists) don't do that at all.

so moving from 9 gauges to 10 gauges is a difference of roughly 20 pounds of tensions between the sets, while removing a low E string would remove about 15 to 17 pounds of tension off the neck.

so if you want to keep similar tension on the neck then i'd remove the low E and bump up a string gauge. this would keep a similar tension on the neck

but if the concern is now the uneven distribution of tension on the (maybe you call it camber or yaw or something technical ) causing a warping of the neck then i am a bit unsure... but... there are 'low heavy' sets of strings out there.
gauge / tension
10 16.2
13 16.6
17 16.6
30 25
42 26.3
52 22
total tension - 122.7

you'll notice a difference of tension of about 18 pounds between the regular 10 gauge set and the bottom heavy 10 gauge set, with a disproportionate amount on the lower side of the neck. so once again, this would be a similar to the difference in tension as removing a low E string would yield.

my friend ran bottom heavy sets ever since i knew him about 10 years ago and he never got his guitar adjusted for the new tension, his PRS has had no noticeable issues. i have similarly never heard of any issues from anyone else who has run bottom heavy sets (but i also haven't known them as long or followed them as closely to find out if they had issues.

basically i would say it'd be in the TS's best interest to get his guitar re-setup for the new string tension. it just help ensure the guitar is optimized toward the new tension. but i also feel the amount of doomsaying stated toward running a guitar with a missing string is a bit much. frankly i wouldn't really worry about it... unless you guitar is running a floyd rose bridge.

i'd definitely do something like this on a guitar with a fixed bridge.
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Last edited by gumbilicious at May 20, 2014,
#24
I've refrained from the conversion since although the guitar is a clunker , I'm not sure of the level of risk I'd be taking to damaging the guitar. The risk:reward ratio is unknown so I'm going to leave it and run with open D tuning kn it.


Quote by Dave_Mc

I kinda get the feeling we need the more luthier-minded regulars from EG or G G&A in here, maybe better yet from G B&C.


I don't know what any of those acronyms mean!


Quote by riffhog
This thread makes me want to go pull a spark plug wire off my car engine, & let the air out of one of the tires, & go for a drive. I can adjust the stabilizer bar & body cross braces to compensate for the flat tire. Perfect. Why not? Sounds like fun.
This is some of the dumbest shit I've ever heard.


Converting a guitar from a 6 string to a 5 string (for music production) and altering your car to that point are two different things. I apologize if you don't get that.
#25
Quote by flaaash
I've refrained from the conversion since although the guitar is a clunker , I'm not sure of the level of risk I'd be taking to damaging the guitar. The risk:reward ratio is unknown so I'm going to leave it and run with open D tuning kn it.


i am not so sure the risk is high at all. about as risky as changing the gauge of your strings it seems.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
#26
I used to do this quite a lot when I was playing slide exclusively in open G. Just do the same things that you'd do if you change gauge. ie. check neck relief, adjust the trem if you have one, you know, the normal stuff.

And why do it? In open G the 6th string is nothing but an annoyance, especially for slide.

Keef took it one step further. He cut the nut for 5 and uses a custom bridge. Look closely at the string spacing on his 5 string tele. I never went to that extreme, I used to just not run that string. It works fine.
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#27
Quote by flaaash

Converting a guitar from a 6 string to a 5 string (for music production) and altering your car to that point are two different things. I apologize if you don't get that.

I get it just fine. It's just odd to me that people would remove a string that was designed to be there or get worried about removing the string.
Also, just because Keith played with a string removed doesn't make it cool to me. Keith made MANY bad decisions in his life. Crap, he may not even have noticed the missing string Sorry...
If you like the way it plays & sounds with the string removed, that's great. I hope you make great music with it (no sarcasm intended-I mean it). It's just that taking away something from a tool to make music just makes it far less effective at what it was designed to do IMO, but that's why music is great-you can try anything to get different sounds. I'd just rather try some Tom Morello techniques or something before limiting my instrument.
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#28
Quote by riffhog
I'd just rather try some Tom Morello techniques or something before limiting my instrument.


Do all of your guitars have tremolo bridges?

I don't see it as a 'limitation' if it makes it more fit for the specific purpose the person playing has in mind?

Is taking all the extra seats and anything else that doesn't help me go faster out of my race car 'limiting' it because it's no longer as designed?

Well sure, in one sense it is, it's limiting how many people I can hold and whether I can legally drive it on the street, but since that's not it's intended purpose, I don't see it as a limitation?

I'm not really arguing against your point for you, but I'm curious why you're so adamant against it for someone else?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#29
Quote by flaaash

I don't know what any of those acronyms mean!


Sorry

EG is the electric guitar forum here

G G&A is the guitar gear and accessories forum here

G B&C is the gear building and customising forum here
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#30
Quote by Arby911
Do all of your guitars have tremolo bridges?

I don't see it as a 'limitation' if it makes it more fit for the specific purpose the person playing has in mind?

Is taking all the extra seats and anything else that doesn't help me go faster out of my race car 'limiting' it because it's no longer as designed?

Well sure, in one sense it is, it's limiting how many people I can hold and whether I can legally drive it on the street, but since that's not it's intended purpose, I don't see it as a limitation?

I'm not really arguing against your point for you, but I'm curious why you're so adamant against it for someone else?

If you read my last post, you'll see I'm not "adamant against it" for someone else. I still think it's a dumb idea, but people can do whatever they want. Why not just NOT HIT the low E string when you don't want to hit it. That's basically what every guitar player in the world does. I don't get why you're so up in arms over my thinking it's a dumb idea to remove a string, when almost no one does it. Have you asked yourself why no does it?
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#31
**** having a normal guitar with five strings. You should do something cool with it. You should either make tune it really high like a piccolo guitar, or buy a pack of 10 string-bass strings, and use the upper course to create a piccolo bass
#32
Quote by riffhog
If you read my last post, you'll see I'm not "adamant against it" for someone else. I still think it's a dumb idea, but people can do whatever they want. Why not just NOT HIT the low E string when you don't want to hit it. That's basically what every guitar player in the world does. I don't get why you're so up in arms over my thinking it's a dumb idea to remove a string, when almost no one does it. Have you asked yourself why no does it?


Agree to disagree?
“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”
Charles Darwin
#33
Quote by Arby911
Agree to disagree?

Of course! We're good. You know that.
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#34
Quote by Cathbard
I used to do this quite a lot when I was playing slide exclusively in open G. Just do the same things that you'd do if you change gauge. ie. check neck relief, adjust the trem if you have one, you know, the normal stuff.

And why do it? In open G the 6th string is nothing but an annoyance, especially for slide.

Keef took it one step further. He cut the nut for 5 and uses a custom bridge. Look closely at the string spacing on his 5 string tele. I never went to that extreme, I used to just not run that string. It works fine.

This is the best post in this thread.

Do whatever you want to do.

Is 4 string bass limited?

If people think 5 string guitar is limited, why don't they think 6 string guitar is limited because there are 7 string guitars? And by the same logic even 7 string guitar would be limited because there are 8 string guitars and so on. They are all good for different kind of stuff.

Paul Gilbert's 3 string guitar is used for completely different kind of playing than his 6 string guitar. It works better for that kind of stuff because the other three string are useless. It's easier to play a 3 string guitar than 3 strings of a 6 string guitar. If you don't need the strings, why not remove them?
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

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