#1
So I've been wanting to play some songs by Breaking Benjamin and many of their songs are in Drop A#.
Although I've been playing guitar for a few years now, I never really learned a lot about the guitar itself. I had mainly just been learning musical techniques. Now I want to start learning more about guitars physically.

Basically, can I get some different strings for my guitar that allow me to play Drop A# (And on that note, Drop C too.)?
If so, what gauge?
Or do I need to just save up to buy an entirely different guitar? And if that's the case, is there something in specific I should be looking for?
Sorry for a lot of questions.

I have two electric guitars:
- Ibanez ART120
- Washburn X10 MBL

Any information would be helpful.
Thanks.

P.S. This is my first post, so sorry if I did something stupid....
#3
Quote by darkwolf291
You can just slap some heavier gauge strings on and go to town
Will have to redo the setup though

I'd recommend 12-56 gauge to play that low

I play in Drop A# and I find 56's too floppy for me and i'm playing on a 25.5 scale LTD. Depends on your preference I guess but I use 68 - 13 baritone D'Addarios
Last edited by AxSilentxLine at Apr 20, 2015,
#4
Yeah, you'll just need some heavy strings and probably a setup/intonation/action adjustment. You probably won't be able to get both Drop A# and Drop C on the same guitar with the same strings. That's just too big of a jump. It'll either be great for Drop C and way too floppy for A#, or great for A# and unable to tune up to C without breaking strings or just being super hard to play.

Honestly, for me, personally, if I wanted to play Drop A#, I'd do it with a 7 string. Compared to B standard, that would mean dropping the low string half a step, and actually RAISING the other 6 by half a step. Pretty sure Keith Merrow used 7s tuned like that for some of his solo stuff, before Conquering Dystopia, like Pillars of Creation. Sounds real cool, and you could do it with a totally standard (7 string) string set.
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#5
Thanks for all the suggestions and help guys!
The only other question I have is in regards to the setup adjustment. I've never done that before.
That is just adjusting different parts of the guitar, right?

Would I be good to just look up a guide online or is that something that needs to be done professionally?
#6
Do this, get the Drop A# pack of strings. There's a warning label on the pack they're so heavy! You'll have to shave the nut which is a permanent change and you'll only be able to go to A# because any further will bend the neck and possibly permanently damage it. If you've got a couple guitars that could be something to look into
#7
I personally have a 13-64 for A#, someone mentioned a 13-68 which would be good as well.

You can definitely set it up yourself if you have the right tools (allen wrench and a flathead screwdriver for the Ibanez) but the biggest thing to get is a small ruler that measures 64ths of an inch (or 32nds if you can't find that or mm if you aren't in America, just convert all measurements as needed). First string it up, get the strings stretched out and in tune. In play position adjust the truss rod so the lowest string rides 4/64" over the 7th fret. Do small adjustments, no more than a quarter turn at a time and let it settle for a few minutes after each turn. You can also have it a little higher than that if it buzzes too much. Next adjust the bridge height. Since the Ibanez has a TOM and you can only adjust one half of the bridge at a time, make it so the lowest string is 4/64" of the 17th fret and the highest is 3/64" over the 17th fret. For the washburn since it has individually adjustable saddles do everything the same except do 3/24" across the board on all the strings at the 17th fret except the lowest, which will be 4/64".
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#9
DR DDT's 12-60 set of strings would probably work well for you. I used them but I don't remember if I had it in drop A# or drop B. But that's a good starting point.

You will most likely have to do some work on the guitar such as adjusting the action and possibly a truss-rod adjustment if the overall tension changes significantly. Whether you do this or take it to a shop is up to you, but you can definitely learn some good things by reading around on the net and watching tutorial videos.

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#10
Man, I use 12-54 for dropped A# with baroness stuff. I've actually gotten my EC-1000 to have decent tension in A# with .11-.49 with a wound third.
#11
Quote by VishNuRoXoUt
Man, I use 12-54 for dropped A# with baroness stuff. I've actually gotten my EC-1000 to have decent tension in A# with .11-.49 with a wound third.

I have an MH1000 and EC1000 in Drop A# and with 54's it felt like playing spaghetti to me but I do a lot of bending so I like the extra tension lol
#12
I guess what to gather from this is that really its personal preference; you can use thinner strings with lower tunings and still have success as you can see here, some people are using a .54 on the Drop A# and others a .68
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#13
Quote by BV-95
I guess what to gather from this is that really its personal preference; you can use thinner strings with lower tunings and still have success as you can see here, some people are using a .54 on the Drop A# and others a .68

Pretty much. Use what feels right, but make sure to set it up for the proper tension
#14
And when you turn the guitar horizontally to play it, remember that strings that heavy will sag just like bridge cables...


Hey, it COULD happen...
#15
Quote by dspellman
And when you turn the guitar horizontally to play it, remember that strings that heavy will sag just like bridge cables...


Hey, it COULD happen...

heavier gague = more tension, so not likely haha