#1
Hello, I just got my Washburn J56SW

http://www.adirondackguitar.com/accoustics/washburnacoustics/jumbo/zoom_j56sw.jpg

This is a very good guitar in my opinion, what I wonder is, what tunings and string gauge I should use. I play mostly in minor and chords. The question is if the standard E tuning on guitar is really the best choice for me ? I do find bar chords quite inflexible and does limit my playing compared to strings with open strings etc, but I still want to play full 6 string chords, maybe there are better tunings that I can use ?
I have heard about open-tunings, but still not sure what tuning I should use. But the idea to use a lot of open strings instead of the bar chords do appeal to me.

I am kind of sure I need down tune my guitar, cause I want a darker tone, I also need thicker strings maybe 10-56 ? cause when I down tune with the original strings I have now, the strings will lose sustain, the guitar tone will fade quickly, I really want a long sustain a tone that last as long as possible.
This is important cause my music is rather slow. I still do not want too much tension on the strings either, cause it does make the playing less comfortable.

I will most likely down tune to either D or C, what I am thinking of, is will my guitar be able to handle this neck tension increase with these strings in long term, or is there a possibility that the neck will lose the neck angle ?
#2
You're going to need much thicker strings. For standard I use 13's.

I'd try messing with open D, and maybe tune it down a half step. Maybe not
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#3
Quote by Ekstasis
This is a very good guitar in my opinion, what I wonder is, what tunings and string gauge I should use. I play mostly in minor and chords. The question is if the standard E tuning on guitar is really the best choice for me ? I do find bar chords quite inflexible and does limit my playing compared to strings with open strings etc, but I still want to play full 6 string chords, maybe there are better tunings that I can use ?
I have heard about open-tunings, but still not sure what tuning I should use. But the idea to use a lot of open strings instead of the bar chords do appeal to me.

I'd stick with standard. You just need to keep playing and practicing to build up the strength to master barre chords. I'm not saying that open tunings are bad or that you shouldn't experiment with them. I'm just saying that playing in standard tuning and being profficient with barre chords is a necessity in my opinion.

If you want to experiment with some open tunings, I really like open C. Also try some open suspended tunings. It's easy to get some pretty cool sounding arrangements in open sus tunings.

Quote by Ekstasis
I am kind of sure I need down tune my guitar, cause I want a darker tone, I also need thicker strings maybe 10-56 ? cause when I down tune with the original strings I have now, the strings will lose sustain, the guitar tone will fade quickly, I really want a long sustain a tone that last as long as possible.
This is important cause my music is rather slow. I still do not want too much tension on the strings either, cause it does make the playing less comfortable.

If the strings you currently have on your guitar are a smaller gauge than 10s, you definitely need to go bigger. I'd be really surprised if your guitar has anything lighter than 11s on it from the factory anyway. If so, I'd recommend going up to 12s. This is going to make it even harder for you to play your barre chords, but it's good for your playing and will improve the tone of your guitar.

Quote by Ekstasis
I will most likely down tune to either D or C, what I am thinking of, is will my guitar be able to handle this neck tension increase with these strings in long term, or is there a possibility that the neck will lose the neck angle ?

Downtuning to D or C actually places less tension on the neck than standard. The looser the strings (i.e. the further down you tune), the less the tension. Downtuning to D or C and keeping your guitar that way will likely result in you needing to get your guitar set up. You're really going to need to get your guitar set up anyway if you are switching string gauges, having trouble playing barre chords, and considering a permanent downtune.
#4
Quote by Artemis Entreri
You're going to need much thicker strings. For standard I use 13's.

I'd try messing with open D, and maybe tune it down a half step. Maybe not


Alright, thanks for your reply, yes you may be right here, I need thicker strings. Will 13-56 handle D and C tunings ?

And about the tuning, if I have understood correctly, Open D is an D chord if all strings are played open ?
I have never heard about anyone using a tuning like Open D minor, but this might be an interesting tuning for me, or maybe not ? maybe it is not a good tuning at all to play with.
#5
^-- You are correct about open tunings. Open D tuning means that you can play all six strings open and you'll be playing a D chord. Open D minor is fine to tune to as well.
#6
Barre chords are very important in guitar playing. I'd say I'm a bit more in favour of alternate tunings than Jimtaka because of what I play BUT, in this thread, I completely agree with him. Learn to play in standard fluently and always relaxed. That's when you should start trying open tunings. When you already have a certain command over standard.
#7
^-- hey i like open tunings, too! i'ma send you back to the fotb, boy.
#9
Quote by confusius
Barre chords are very important in guitar playing. I'd say I'm a bit more in favour of alternate tunings than Jimtaka because of what I play BUT, in this thread, I completely agree with him. Learn to play in standard fluently and always relaxed. That's when you should start trying open tunings. When you already have a certain command over standard.


Yes, Barre chords I have no problem with as I feel, I have been playing them for the last 12 years, but still think I should at least try something different i.e open tuning. It might fit my guitar playing better and will make it possible to play things you cannot play with the standard tuning.