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Changing a Guitar from Standard Tuning to FACFAC - Strings?


JipThePeople

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Is that F A C F A C low-to-high, or high-to-low?

 

If low-to-high (6th through 1st), try:

 

F/.042 A/.032 C/.026 F/.017 A/.012 C/.011

 

That is, if you want a feel comparable to the .009 - .042 set that you've been using in standard-tuning.

 

You can order custom mixed-gauge sets from DR for little more than the cost of regular sets; the gauges must be chosen from among those that are already in use in various sets that are currently available.

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Is that F A C F A C low-to-high, or high-to-low?

 

If low-to-high (6th through 1st), try:

 

F/.042 A/.032 C/.026 F/.017 A/.012 C/.011

 

That is, if you want a feel comparable to the .009 - .042 set that you've been using in standard-tuning.

 

You can order custom mixed-gauge sets from DR for little more than the cost of regular sets; the gauges must be chosen from among those that are already in use in various sets that are currently available.

 

Yes that is low to high. Thx for the feedback. I am new to this alt tuning.

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In general, I tend to like heavier strings for Standard Tuning to begin with, such as .011 - .050 on my Les Paul, and .013 - .056 or .014 - .059 for acoustic; if you like 9's or 10's, you would probably like lighter strings than I do for a given down-tuned application. (I bore that in mind with the suggested gauges I posted above.)

 

 

For comparison and reference, I used to keep a Les Paul set-up and strung for both slide and fretted playing in Open-D (D A D F# A D, lo-to-hi). I used DR Pure Blues custom mixed-gauge sets with the following gauges:

 

D/.052 A/.038 D/.028 F#/.024w A/.015 D/.012

 

Now, if DR had a wound .022 or .023 in their solid-nickel/round-core Pure Blues line, I would have gone with that for the 3rd/F#; that .024 was pretty stiff! But I wanted a wound-3rd for that guitar, and what great tone! It really purred for slide, too...

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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A possibly dumb question; is FACFAC an F tuning? If so, does it work well with songs that aren't in that key? I don't know many songs in the key of F, and it doesn't seem like an F tuning would leave you many open string options in any key but F. Am I wrong about that?

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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A possibly dumb question; is FACFAC an F tuning?

 

Yhup; it's an Open-F tuning, and a pair of F Major triads, F/Root A/Maj3rd C/5th, stacked one on top of the other.

 

By the way, it's the same as Dobro G Tuning, G B D G B D Lo-To-Hi, just a whole-step down from it.

 

It could also be viewed/heard as an Open-Am6 tuning, with the 6th in the bass like Thelonious Monk would've liked. :cool:

 

(Say, strumming a 1st-position Am6 in Standard Tuning-

 

____ X O 2 2 1 1

 

-with that F ringing out on top, it evokes the music in the Matrix series of films... OK, back to our original programming. ;) )

 

I suppose it also could be viewed/heard as a Csus4add6 tuning...

 

If so, does it work well with songs that aren't in that key? I don't know many songs in the key of F, and it doesn't seem like an F tuning would leave you many open string options in any key but F. Am I wrong about that?

 

As noted above, I bet it could work well for Am and C Major as well as F Major, or anything that A, C, or F will figure in; but let me tell you, I just tried it out, tuning my Les Paul strung .011 - .050 to FACFAC Lo-To-Hi, and I just forgot all that $4!t and just jammed with it all the F'n way to town and back! Man, what a sweet tuning! Sweet as in sweet old country blues sweetness when clean, and sweet as in sweet with overdrive and distortion! It's a happy, easy going and versatile yet rootsy-bluesy "ringin' a bell" Chuck 'n' Keef vibed tuning along the lines of Open-G and Open-A, and like those open tunings it also maintains the same intervalic fretboard relationship between the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th strings as in Standard Tuning, so leads and fills played on the "middle three" strings are a breeze. And I do mean finding lots of fretted chords, most using open strings ringing out in the middle and/or above and below; I hardly did any slide at all! But it's absolutely FANTASTIC for slide, as well.

 

:rawk::thu::D:cool:

 

Hey, JipThePeople, if you're still with me here, THANKS FOR GETTING ME TO TRY THIS TUNING! :thu::cool: LOVE it.

 

For the record, trying this FACFAC tuning with the following gauges (that I use for Standard Tuning on this guitar)-

 

(Lo-To-Hi)

 

.050 .038 .028 .018 .014 .011

 

-I found the down-tuned strings to be a little squirrely. Cool, fun, twangy, bendy, but a little squirrely and loose, at least for me. (Remember, I'm used to these medium/heavy gauges in Standard/A=440.) "YMMV".

 

With a medium-low action and a fair amount of relief, I had to be careful when using a slide, so as not to crash against the frets. A light glass slide helped a little, but with care a heavier glass slide sounded better with fuller tone and more sustain, while my even heavier but flared/concave-radiused bell-brass Dunlop "Harris Slide" actually worked best in spite of its heftier mass, due to the concave radius of its sides allowing a little more elbow-room underneath. :thu:

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Speaking of F tunings: the famous Curtis Mayfield "black keys" tuning (as in piano keys), F# A# C# F# A# F# Lo-To-Hi, is a lot of fun and beautiful, quite inspiring. As the late, great Mr. Mayfield showed, it's wonderful for fingerstyle and pick-and-fingers fretted chord-melody playing.

 

I used to tune a flat-top acoustic guitar to F A C F A F (the same, but down a half-step), or E G# B E G# E (down a whole-step); I sometimes did the same on a Strat-stylee axe, GREAT for full-on Mayfield magic and mojo... :cool:

 

Do you think it would work as well tuned down a half step to E G# B E G# B? F is such a weird key to work out of for me.

 

I'm sure it would, as long as the string-gauges for the 4th/B, 3rd/E, 2nd/G#, and 1st/B were each heavy enough that they didn't go all rubber-band floppy on you. (You could use whatever gauge you usually use for the 2nd/B in Standard as the 1st/B here... )

 

You could also try the Dobro G tuning- which is the same relative tuning, just up a whole-step from the F# tuning, and a step-and-a-half up from your proposed E. That would put more tension on those strings, albeit you might need some lighter strings for those basses that are tuned up, namely the 5th/B and particularly the 6th/G.

 

 

Note that this Dobro G tuning is identical to the common and very popular Open-G (DGDGBD, Lo-To-Hi) and its relative up-a-whole-step Open-A (EAEAC#E), except for the two lowest strings, and that "the middle three", the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, are identical to those in Standard/A=440 Tuning, making for a lot of familiar territory between them.

 

Also note that in each of these relative Dobro-based tunings- FACFAC, GBDGBD, and EG#BEG#B- those string-to-string relationships remain the same, so the same grips, licks and slide-moves can be used in each, and much of what one might know in Open-G can still be used in each of them, as well.

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Glad u like that tuning. I discovered it while learning the Zeppelin classic "When the Levee Breaks". Very cool song but I think it is one of their songs heavily "borrowed" from an older blues song. Anyways, to play this song correctly, you have to tune to (6th) FACFAC (1st).
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