#1
My band and I have finally decided on the tuning of Drop F# for our first EP.  I have a 6 string Fender Squier Strat that I want to use for the tuning.  I have two questions.

Will this sound okay?
What size strings should I get? I prefer closer to the tighter side when it comes to strings.

Thanks in advance.
#2
Quote by SwaaT
1. Will this sound okay?

2. What size strings should I get? I prefer closer to the tighter side when it comes to strings.
1. No.

2. Just play bass at this point. Seriously, you're almost tuned an octave DOWN from standard tuning. Your guitar amp speaker will not even be able to put out the fundamental frequencies by an F# at 46hz. If your bass player drops with you, he'll be hitting F# at 23hz. The most you'll "hear" is rumble and mud, the human ear cannot hear that low. Likely any professional sound technician is going to start cutting 20-40hz out of the subwoofer mix anyway...
Last edited by Will Lane at Apr 9, 2017,
#3
Quote by Will Lane
1. No.

2. Just play bass at this point. Seriously, you're almost tuned an octave DOWN from standard tuning. Your guitar amp speaker will not even be able to put out the fundamental frequencies by an F# at 46hz. If your bass player drops with you, he'll be hitting F# at 23hz. The most you'll "hear" is rumble and mud, the human ear cannot hear that low. Likely any professional sound technician is going to start cutting 20-40hz out of the subwoofer mix anyway...

From having tuned that low, point 2 isn't as cut and dry as you make it out to be. I have a baritone in C# standard with a low F# and it sounds fine. It's low, but it doesn't produce nearly the low end a bass would. 

I'll agree with point 1 that it probably will sound like shit on a Squier Strat. 

Why are you even tuning that low and why are you trying to do it on a Squier Strat? It would work on a baritone or something with more than 6 strings, but a normal scale length that low will need at least a .075-.013 set or something like that to make it not too floppy and at that thickness, it'll probably be Mud City. 
#4
On a 6, and with the sort of scale lengths you get with that, that will not sound very good. You need heavy strings and ideally a 27-30" scale length. Further, pickups that are made for those tunings are not necessarily normal pickups. They're often made with low tunings in mind.

Regarding point 2, Will is grossly over exaggerating, but it should be kept in mind that even bands like Meshuggah - who are the bread and butter of bass frequencies being put through guitar systems - don't exactly come off well in the sound and mixing department at times. You don't need a bass to play these tunings but you will suffer unless you have something built for them.

Having owned an 8 string with a 28" scale, I can tell you that a strat - which usually knocks around 26" - will need a hell of a lot more than a .013-.075 set to cope. You'd be playing with rubber bands, and all of that cute, intricate chug and legato that bands like Meshuggah employ is just going to be arduous to play cleanly.
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#5
I K0nijn I Banjocal Thank you for answering my questions rather than some of the other answers i got on a different forum :P.  From what i've read, i'm going to get a 7 or 8 string for it instead.  Would this be better?
#6
Yes. Get a seven or an 8. But you'll want a long scale 7 or 8. So you could just get a long scale 6 and do that.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#7
Quote by SwaaT
My band and I have finally decided on the tuning of Drop F# for our first EP.  I have a 6 string Fender Squier Strat that I want to use for the tuning.  I have two questions.

Will this sound okay?

No. 
Make that a Hell No. 

Why am I always hearing Spinal Tap quotes in my head when people tell me they want to play in F#?

You realize, of course, that normal guitar speakers drop off (don't produce fundamentals) much below 100Hz, right? Some manufacturers will list lower numbers, but it's usually a plus or minus 10dB, and you know that that means, right? 
And that the low E on a standard 6-string is 82Hz?  
And that F# is down around 46 Hz? 
Have you guys ever actually recorded and do you know where an engineer will cut OFF frequencies? 
#8
Sorry for being so belligerent, I am a bit under the weather and grumpy.

I just do not see the value in tuning that low besides the kicks of doing it. It is just not practical. If the bass tunes down with you, that's 23hz trying to go through the subs. Presumably a professional sound engineer will know how to work with that- but they may end up cutting those fundamentals anyway and you'll be left with a kind of hollow mix. If you're looking to do the mixing yourself, good luck. Those kind of low frequencies will guzzle amp headroom, the equipment needed for that kind of mixing must be pretty stout. If the bass stays in a more reasonable range, you may could get away with it. The guitar's 1st harmonics will take up similar space to a guitar's E-standard fundamentals.

Really, I would re-evaluate your tuning and try something more commonplace. You can still make the br00tz without innanely low tunings. Drop C, B, A with the appropriate equipment can be just as thick as what you are hoping F# is.
Quote by dspellman
No. 
Make that a Hell No. 

Why am I always hearing Spinal Tap quotes in my head when people tell me they want to play in F#?

You realize, of course, that normal guitar speakers drop off (don't produce fundamentals) much below 100Hz, right? Some manufacturers will list lower numbers, but it's usually a plus or minus 10dB, and you know that that means, right? 
And that the low E on a standard 6-string is 82Hz?  
And that F# is down around 46 Hz? 
Have you guys ever actually recorded and do you know where an engineer will cut OFF frequencies? 
Sounds like me.
Last edited by Will Lane at Apr 10, 2017,
#9
If you get a 7, you wouldn't want anything shorter than a 27 inch scale, anything below that will be 'floppy'. Even if you got a longer scale six, the pickups will most likely be more muddy than pickups designed for 8's and 7's.
Quote by Will Lane
Really, I would re-evaluate your tuning and try something more commonplace. You can still make the br00tz without innanely low tunings. Drop C, B, A with the appropriate equipment can be just as thick as what you are hoping F# is.Sounds like me.

People always debate the whole 'tuning lower makes you heavier' thing. Often its not that people want to be crazy heavy, its just that they like the sound of lower notes. People seem to forget that a guitar's tuning isn't just a tuning, its a specific arrangement of notes, and some people may just like the tonality and subtleties you can get in F# rather than drop A and so on. 

Also a few of you are mentioning the frequencies clashing with drums and bass, but many bands are able to record 8 strings just fine these days. The reason being is that the low freq's are mostly scooped on amps and eq's when tuned that low. It's all about keeping the tone tight, full of treble and bite, while the bass handles all the low end boom. For example Meshuggah's tone is very harsh and trebley, but eq'd as to not melt ear drums.. But yes if you're going to be mixing it yourself, it could cause a lot of pain..
Last edited by GuitarHawk99 at Apr 12, 2017,
#10
A baritone 6 string might also be a consideration if you don't feel like an ERG.

Agile has some.

As a Squier user, my Drop B (I didn't have thick enough strings) attempt said that was pushing it. 25.5" is okay for B standard/Drop B, but lower, especially on a constant basis really needs a longer scale.

Hell, a Jackson JS22-7 has a 26.5 scale for $199-250 new if you don't want or can't reasonable get Agile. Most 7-strings in that price range are 25.5". Some are only 22 fret as well.
Guitar/Bass:
Schecter: Damien 6/Stilletto Extreme 5, Squier: Bullet HSS*, Washburn RX10*/WG-587, Agile Septor 727
*mods

Amps/FX
Peavey: Vypyr 30/Max 112 (200W), ISP: Decimator

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#11
To answer your questions from the perspective of someone who listens to and records heavy music;
No, probably not, and very, very heavy.

The thing is, strats have a 25.5" scale length and that means to tune that low, you'd need ridiculously heavy strings (we're talking .020 - .100 (which is a bass string)) to get any kind of tension. 
The problem with that kinda string gauge is that heavy strings dull the tone a lot. That's why 9s sound twangier than 12s. 
Having a baritone scale guitar increases the tension, so you could go down to a far more reasonable 17-78.

Then you're onto the problems with the fact it's a strat and that single coils aren't really designed to go that low and stay clear.

I wouldn't worry about the idea of too much low end like the others are saying though. Generally, you'd put a low-cut/mid-boost type pedal (like a Tubescreamer) before the amp and that tightens up the tone. 

Here's an example of most of my points (since Rob's using a strat and goes down to F# at one point)


TL;DR - get a baritone or a long scale 8 string. It'll be worth it in the end. 
#12
I have one question SwaaT why? i am not being an ass, but what thought process was running through your mind that you wanted to tune that low?
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#13
Quote by trashedlostfdup
I have one question SwaaT why? i am not being an ass, but what thought process was running through your mind that you wanted to tune that low?


but it's just 8 string tuning without the top 2 strings.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#14
Quote by AcousticMirror
but it's just 8 string tuning without the top 2 strings.

Yes, but the lower you go, the harder it is to intonate, even with thick strings. The Ibanez M80M has a 29.4" scale length...basically 4 inches longer than your average strat. The F# uses a 74-gauge string on a 29.4" scale.  Wes Borland uses some 4-string baritone (not sure of the exact scale length), but even baritones tend to start at 27". 

Basically, in theory it should work. In practicality, I don't know if that's gonna be that great.
Guitar/Bass:
Schecter: Damien 6/Stilletto Extreme 5, Squier: Bullet HSS*, Washburn RX10*/WG-587, Agile Septor 727
*mods

Amps/FX
Peavey: Vypyr 30/Max 112 (200W), ISP: Decimator

Quote by dannyalcatraz
Understood- I waste money on amps*, too.

justinguitar.com is the answer
#15
Quote by bjgrifter
Yes, but the lower you go, the harder it is to intonate, even with thick strings. The Ibanez M80M has a 29.4" scale length...basically 4 inches longer than your average strat. The F# uses a 74-gauge string on a 29.4" scale.  Wes Borland uses some 4-string baritone (not sure of the exact scale length), but even baritones tend to start at 27". 

Basically, in theory it should work. In practicality, I don't know if that's gonna be that great.


No it will be terrible on a 25.5. But it's not that low.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#16
The low A is pushing it with a 25.5, IMO. I know Korn does/did it, but even Head moved to an RG with a 26.5" before moving to ESP.  

Just because you can doesn't mean you should. 

I am curious. What would be "too low". for a 25.5" scale? 
Guitar/Bass:
Schecter: Damien 6/Stilletto Extreme 5, Squier: Bullet HSS*, Washburn RX10*/WG-587, Agile Septor 727
*mods

Amps/FX
Peavey: Vypyr 30/Max 112 (200W), ISP: Decimator

Quote by dannyalcatraz
Understood- I waste money on amps*, too.

justinguitar.com is the answer
#17
I have a slightly different question. You say this is the tuning you have decided on and that you want to start tuning this way. It sounds like you haven't actually played the music in this tuning yet. Is that correct?

If so, what tuning are you playing in now, and what don't you like about it?
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#18
Quote by trashedlostfdup
I have one question SwaaT why? i am not being an ass, but what thought process was running through your mind that you wanted to tune that low?


Quote by ibanezguitars44
I have a slightly different question. You say this is the tuning you have decided on and that you want to start tuning this way. It sounds like you haven't actually played the music in this tuning yet. Is that correct?

If so, what tuning are you playing in now, and what don't you like about it?


That goes along with my question.
WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/
#19
If you want to experiment, Rondo has a Hadean 8-string for 169. It is a lower rung guitar, but for the price of playing around, it could be an idea.
Guitar/Bass:
Schecter: Damien 6/Stilletto Extreme 5, Squier: Bullet HSS*, Washburn RX10*/WG-587, Agile Septor 727
*mods

Amps/FX
Peavey: Vypyr 30/Max 112 (200W), ISP: Decimator

Quote by dannyalcatraz
Understood- I waste money on amps*, too.

justinguitar.com is the answer
#20
If you want to tune down, your best bet with a 25.5 scale is C with 12-52 strings.  Anything lower than that seems completely unnecessary in my opinion.  But, if you desire to go lower, you really need to look into longer scale guitars... baritone territory perhaps.  That or getting a guitar with more strings on it.  

Out of curiosity... what amp and cab/speaker are you using?  

It might just end up being that nothing you do is going to sound good for recording if you're running a Squier Strat and a Marshall MG.  In which case, especially if you are planning to record, we will be recommending that you worry more about upgrading some equipment before fussing with how low you can go...
Gear: Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson SG Special, Fender Stratocaster, Fender Telecaster, Fender Jazzmaster, Gretsch Pro Jet, Carvin C350, Epiphone ES-339 P90, Epiphone ES-335 Pro. Peavey 6505, Sovtek MIG-100, Vox AC30, Peavey XXX.
#21
Try drop B, its less muddy than A but more meaty than C :p

OT but another thing you may want to use when recording if you don't have an amp you like the sound of is amp sims. Look up the LePou amp sims, they are free and sound pretty good.
#22
Isis tunes lowest string to F# on Celestial and Oceanic and it sounds fine in my opinion. They also use Les Pauls, PRS' and Telecasters. But i don't know how they do it, I can't go lower than B. But it seems that it is possible to tune that low.
#23
Back in the old days if they wanted lower notes, they added an extra neck that started at the headstock so you could play the low notes. They should do that on guitars. That F# would sound great on a 70" scale.
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