#1
Hello,

I'm wondering what type of strings (gauge wise) I would need to play songs with very low tuning (in B standard or B drop A. And other metal tunes.

Also , should I raise my action to play these?
#2
I don't tune as low as B standard, but I occasionally tune to drop B, and my lowest string needs to be a .59 or larger to feel right to me for that tuning (plus it feels just right for C# Standard, which is the tuning I use the most). Ideally, I'd think .60 would be about perfect for B, .62 for A, etc. If it is a 24 3/4" scale guitar you might need even thicker strings.

Also, in my experience, I've not had to do much to my action or truss rod when tuning down. The reduction in tension from downtuning is offset by the fact that thicker strings increase the tension, so in the end the guitar stays balanced. However, if you tune down without increasing the gauge of your string set, your guitar will need to be adjusted to compensate. The same goes for tuning up with heavy strings.
Last edited by KailM at Nov 7, 2014,
#3
I used Ernie Ball's "Not Even Slinky" gauge 12 strings and I was able to get to drop B fairly easily. However, that guitar needs to be dedicated to drop tuning, and you should get that guitar set up as such. Someone with an extensive knowledge of what to do in that case will be with you shortly.

If you try tuning up to standard with those gauge 12 strings, you might damage your guitar. So be careful, keep those strings low.

Ideally, going beyond drop C sounds more versatile and generally better with a 7 string guitar. The lowest string in standard tuning will be a B, followed by E, A, D G, B, E. Tuning that low B down a step gives you the br00tal drop A. The gauges for those strings are beyond me, and if that is your case, another person with extensive knowledge will be with you shortly.

Above all, make sure you won't wreck your guitar.
Last edited by Will Lane at Nov 7, 2014,
#4
Thanks for the input so far guys. It is a guitar I am going to use specifically for lower tuning and heavier strings.
#5
Quote by Will Lane
I used Ernie Ball's "Not Even Slinky" gauge 12 strings and I was able to get to drop B fairly easily.
I did this with a 25.5" scale and the strings felt sloppy in everything lower than D standard.

Now for C standard I use d'addario 12-62 and they work like a charm.

As you can see, it greatly depends on the player's taste.