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Author Topic: Heavier gauge strings for DADGAD / open tunings?  (Read 942 times)
VerySlowHand
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« on: June 27, 2009, 06:57:25 PM »

New to the forum... so a BIG HELLO!!! 

Having 'seen the light' I have sold ALL my electric gear and bought an OM-03R and P-09 with the proceeds. Going to focus exclusively on finger-style (English folk and 'pseudo classical' – not sure of my terminology yet).

Since I didn't want to muck about with the set-up on the Larrivees just yet, I also bought a cheaper Stanford that I thought I'd use to experiment with open tunings.

My question: starting with DADGAD and (Martin Carthy's) CGCDGA tunings and the strings on the Stanford currently being 12's – should I step up to medium gauge? I'll be getting some spare strings, so now's the time to ask if it's either an essential or a desirable thing to do.

I won't be using an amp, or performing, if that's of any relevance.
 
Thank you.
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BenF
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2009, 07:22:48 PM »

I just learned a song in BEBEBE on my OM-03 with 12-54 guage strings, and it worked OK, which surprised me.  I play in heaps of different tunings though, so I like flexibility.  I can't help but feel it would be better using 13s if I were in low tunings all the time.  What we really need is a different guitar for each tuning, and strings to match,  whistling
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2009, 07:26:23 PM »

John Pearse maks a gauge called 'New Medium' where just the 1st,2nd and 6th strings (the ones you tune down in DADGAD) are heavier.

http://www.jpstrings.com/brstring.htm
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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #3 on: June 28, 2009, 02:53:28 AM »

Heavier strings do help in down tunings.They also work in standard tuning.I use 14-58,basically a set of 13 Dean Markley Vintage Bronze and I change the high E to a 14 and ab18 for the B.Just so you know I set up my guitars with very low action and minimal relief on the neck.I also don't use a compansated saddle but my saddle ramp allows me to rest more string making contact with it.I end up with much more tone and I have never had an intonation problem.



I realize this might not make any sence to some and that I will be stoned for it so as they say......


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tadol
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2009, 05:26:10 AM »

Rather than just buying sets, you can also get individual strings and change the guages on individuals to get the tone and feel you want in a specific tuning. The heavier strings are great for a strong bass, but they are a real challenge to play. I'm experimenting with a set of John Pearse that are designed for open E tuning on a baritone, and the low B string is a .076, and the G# is a .060. Great sound, but its like fretting suspension cables.

I know a couple local shops that carry D'Addarios as individuals, and it doesn't seem too bad to assemble a set to your liking, or to buy a standard set and add one or two different guages to try out. I'm going to be giving it a try once I feel I've gotten fair use out of these Pearses and I can find a rigging company to take them off my hands -

Tad
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Bunch of Larrivees - all good -
and a wife that still puts up with me, which is the best -
VerySlowHand
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« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2009, 09:21:23 AM »

Rather than just buying sets, you can also get individual strings and change the guages on individuals to get the tone and feel you want in a specific tuning. The heavier strings are great for a strong bass, but they are a real challenge to play. I'm experimenting with a set of John Pearse that are designed for open E tuning on a baritone, and the low B string is a .076, and the G# is a .060. Great sound, but its like fretting suspension cables.

I know a couple local shops that carry D'Addarios as individuals, and it doesn't seem too bad to assemble a set to your liking, or to buy a standard set and add one or two different guages to try out. I'm going to be giving it a try once I feel I've gotten fair use out of these Pearses and I can find a rigging company to take them off my hands -

Tad

Thanks everyone. I like 'mix and match', not least because I can use phosphor bronze D'Addario EJ's, which a lot of people swear by. Having said that, another OM-03R player recommended I try Elixir Nanowebs. I'll probably give both a go, so I can see which side of the coated / uncoated fence to sit on.

I tried dropping the existing strings on the P-09 yesterday to DADGAD and the thing came alive... not that it was bad as it was, to my ears anyway, but it was quite a revelation.
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Blue in VT
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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2009, 11:55:30 PM »

While I don't play a ton of open tunings...I do keep a guitar in Open G and and one in Open D and both are set up 13-56s and I think they have WONDERFUL tone...and still feel nice on the fingers.

Blue
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ronmac
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« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2009, 12:05:32 AM »

John Pearse maks a gauge called 'New Medium' where just the 1st,2nd and 6th strings (the ones you tune down in DADGAD) are heavier.

http://www.jpstrings.com/brstring.htm

 +1

GHS also make sets known as "True Mediums".



GHS TM335 PHOSPHOR BRONZE ACOUSTIC GUITAR SET
    Roundwound copper / tin /phosphor alloy bronze, rich bright sound without harsh overtones, long lasting, true medium gauge, 013 017 024W 032W 042W 056W
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Ron

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