Hey guys,

I got my first electric guitar (a MIM Strat) and would like to change the stock strings.

I'd like to string it up in D Standard, Perfect 4th Tuning (D-G-C-F-A#-D#). I'll be playing similar music to King Crimson, and I play with a .71mm pick.

I'm not much of a chordal player. I'm looking more to use it for lead playing (soloing, riffs, etc.).

Anyone have any recommendations? I'm not sure what type of strings I should get - there seems to be a lot of options. I'd prefer something not too twangy though, and I guess it would have to be higher gauges because of the tuning and the pick.

Is there a complete set I can buy for this odd tuning, or should I just make it up out of singles? I'm a bass player, and buy singles for that so I know how to balance my gauges and what-not.

Last edited by MatthewJH at May 20, 2016,
But do you know how to balance the trem?

FWIW, you'd be as well to start with a set of 10s and figure out what you'd like to change from there.
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But do you know how to balance the trem?

FWIW, you'd be as well to start with a set of 10s and figure out what you'd like to change from there.

I've never done it, but I did recently get a book ("The Fender Stratocaster Handbook" by Paul Balmer) and it does have a few pages about setting it up.

Every time I pick the guitar up, it is significantly out of tune though. I don't know if it's caused by the trem or if the nut slots are too tight or the tuners suck. I was debating just tightening/disabling the trem because the constant re-tuning is driving me nuts, and for whatever reason, I assume it's the cause. Does this sound probable? The MIM is more of a Deluxe model and has Fender stamped tuners so I don't think they'd be cheap tuners.

Also, I may try a set of 11's and go from there. I have 10's on it now, and it's setup for E Standard, P4 Tuning, and I think it would be too floppy brought down to D.

Do you have any recommendations for some clear, articulate strings, that aren't very bright or "twangy"?
Last edited by MatthewJH at May 20, 2016,
Quote by Tony Done
If you like fairly light strings I would try 11s, but it deepends what kind of feel you want.

Hmm, I may not even like 11's if they'll be light in D, but maybe I should try a few sets.

Any recommendations on brands/models? Again, I'm looking for clear and articulate but not twangy.
When I buy strings for my NST-tuned guitars, I usually buy a few sets of 9s, 10s and occasionally 11s. I use what I need for the NST guitars, and the leftovers get used on standard tuned guitars.

But it is also perfectly reasonable to buy singletons online.
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I use super slinkies on my jackson tuned in 4ths. I've never really had any problems. Just make sure you know how to set the intonation. I actually think that 4th tuned guitars intonate better due to the symmetry.
Off-topic, is there a way to multi-quote multiple users in one reply?

Back on topic... Thanks guys.

Tony Done, Slinkies (well, nickel-plated steel) sounds like a good ballpark of what I'd be looking for. I'll try those. Thanks!

DannyAlcatraz, that's a good idea. I'll see. I need to order some singles for my bass, but the online retailer I get them from only sells bass strings, so I'll need to see if JustStrings.com or some other retailer sells the single bass strings and gauges I'm looking for - I'd rather pay for shipping once, if possible.

JRCSgtPeppers, what's the difference between Slinkies and Super Slinkies? Also, do you find that the two higher strings are a bit higher in tension, and unbalanced from the rest of the set? I would have thought they would be, since they're both raised a semi-tone, but I've never tried... When I bought this guitar, I told the shop my plans for P4 tuning and they tossed in two lighter gauged top strings.

Also, do you have tips, references, or chord voicings for P4 tuning?

Thanks again guys.
look up a string tension calculator and run the numbers.
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