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Guitar High E String questions


Garry Goodman

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Hi

 

I know many guitarists use open tunings. I think the electric guitar scale lengths are something like Gibson has a 24" scale and Fender has a 26" scale.I am not sure about this.

 

My question: How high up in pitch does anybody tune their high E string to when using the open tunings? Also, what gauge string is used? On all the tuning charts I've been able to find, I never see anything higher than a G4.

Is it common to tune up to a G, G# or A? Does anyone have a high (440hz) string on their guitar? Will a .009,.008 or .007 string work?

Thanks for any input

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The first string doesn't go higher than e in any of the common open tunings. The same e as in "standard" tuning. I like .012-.052" strings on my electric guitars tuned to Open E for mainly slide work. String gauges down to .010" work reasonably well.
"A cheerful heart is good medicine."
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Fender's usual scale, like many others, is 25 1/2", BTW. Gibson's is 24 3/4". (For most Gibsons. It's 25 1/2" on my SJ-200.) Fender has some short-scale models as well. It doesn't make a huge difference in string tension. I've never been able to feel a difference.
"A cheerful heart is good medicine."
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Steel as in pedal steel,or steel string acoustic or electrics? Are you saying one can take a .011 plain steel string on a guitar witht a scale length between 24-26" regular guitar and tune it up to a 440 hz, A above the high E string?

My .009 string pops gefore I reach A.Is this uncommon?

Thanks

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Originally posted by Garry Goodman:

Are you saying one can take a .011 plain steel string on a guitar witht a scale length between 24-26" regular guitar and tune it up to a 440 hz, A above the high E string?

Scale lengths of pedal steels are fairly close to regular guitars. They actually use the same strings. Steelers commonly pick up "guitar" singles for spares.
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Thank You!

So,if I got this right,the highest note one can tune to is an Ab (415.30 Hz) on a guitar scale. You can use a .011 plain steel string to tune up to that note.

 

Why do my .011,.010..009,.008 amd .007 strings break on all my guitars when trying to tune up to this note?

Thanks

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Uhmn, I'd think that Ab is kinda high for a "normal" guitar scale-length, especially for a .011"-gauge string! I'd think that "fairly close to regular guitars" could include just enough shorter of a scale-length to make a difference; I use .011" through .050" strings on a 24-&-3/4" (24.75") scale-length Les Paul in "Standard"/A-440 tuning, and I can very definitely feel a marked difference in tension with the same gauges on a 25-&-1/2" (25.5") scaled- Strat- or Tele-style guitar! They're so much more squeezably bendable on the LP...

 

Are you playing "standard", fretted-style, or slide/steel, or what? And, what kind of guitar are you using?

 

Could you tune to a lower relative tuning, closer in overall pitch-range to "Standard", and use a capo to achieve the desired tuning? Perhaps down a 4th from your target-pitches, capoed-up accordingly? A lot of players do this not only for a given pitch or key, but also for string-tension, tonal, and fret-spacing reasons (the higher up the fretboard you go, the closer the frets are to one another, making stretches easier).

 

The late, great Lenny Breau (please forgive me if I've misspelled his name!) used to play some custom-made seven-string guitars with the 'added' string being the 1st, highest string, a "High-A", instead of the more common low-7th. -BUT- one was a slightly shorter-scaled classical-style with fishing-line (!!) for that 1st/"High-A", and the other an electric with an extremely shorter-than-normal scale-length, using something like an .008" or .009" for that 1st/"High-A".

 

To tell you the truth, I didn't even know for sure that you could get a .007"-gauge string!

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Thanks for that post,I was begining to think I was getting confused.

 

Yes, there are .007 gauge plain steel strings.

 

The guitar I am using is unusual.It is actually a bass guitar. It was an idea I had a while ago,and it was finally completed in January. It is a 12-string, 12 single strings . A fanned fretboard 34" scale to 32" scale .It spans 7-1/2 octaves.

Tuned in 4ths either from C0 (16hz) to G4 or C#0(17hz) to Ab4.Now what happened is that it took me nearly 2 years and lots of r&d to get the .004 string made that would tune up to G4(392hz) and not break at 32".

 

It was suggested that I use a 34"-29" fan so a .007 would tune up to Ab4 (415.30)hz at 29".It is very tight and brittle,not bendable,and usually breaks at 29-30".

 

I was wondering if this .007 would tune up to Ab and be flexible on a guitar,but my experiments come up with a very tight,ready to pop string,usually breaking before reaching Ab4.

 

I wanted to check with "real" guitarists like you guys to see if Ab4 was an everyday ,easy thing to tune up to on a Fender,Gibson,etc.. I wanted to check to see if the high A4(440hz) was already an existing string for say,the 7-string guitar before "I put my foot in my mouth'.

 

So am I safe in assuming:

1) tuning up to Ab above the high E string is not common?

2) no one has a high A string for electric guitar?

Otherwise,one of the by-products of making my Ab4 string is-it tuness up to a nice,slinky A440 on a regular electric guitar.

Is this something guitarist are interested in?

thanks

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Whoa. Wow. I was just daydreaming about playing an imaginary eight-string axe with a Ralph Novax-style fanned-fretboard, right before getting to your last post there... WHOA! :freak::thu::D:cool:

 

What are the odds of that? Jungian order of coincidence...

 

(Actually, probably pretty good, considering that it's me and this forum and all... )

 

Wow, you really must post some dedicated threads here on this forum about your creation and its developement and applied use in playing!! I really do insist! This is great stuff, real meat, as far as the nuts-and-bolts and the state of the instrument and its potential for ever wider enabling of creative musicians!

 

I do not want to lose your potential continuing contribution to this forum, but... you may be well served in also asking questions on these matters on the sister-MI-bass-forum, Bass Player Magazine's "Low Down Lowdown"-forum (go to the bottom-right of this 'page to the "Hop To:"-sub-menu, select, and clonk on the "Go"-toggle... ).

 

Originally posted by Garry G:

"So am I safe in assuming:

 

1) tuning up to Ab above the high E string is not common?

 

2) no one has a high A string for electric guitar?

 

Otherwise, one of the by-products of making my Ab4 string is- it tunes up to a nice, slinky A440 on a regular electric guitar.

 

Is this something guitarist are interested in?

thanks "

You are a Mad Scientist of a higher order, and I mean that as a very sincere compliment.

 

It is true, that tuning up to Ab above the high E string is NOT common.

 

Other than the examples that I mentioned before (and please note that the scale-lengths of those instruments was shorter than the average 'normal' guitar, and much shorter than that of your creation of ambitious loft), a "high A string for electric guitar" is exceedingly rare, to say the least.

 

There are some other uncommon, 'nitch' instrument makers, such as Warr and others. Do some searches on this forum for "eight string" and "8 string" and "Warr" and "Sleipner" and "Oden" and "Thor" (I remember some Norse-themed model-names of one maker's).

 

http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/icons/icon3.gifhttp://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/icons/icon2.gif You really may want to contact Thomastik-Infeld , Viennese makers of fine and often unusual and even truly unique strings for all manner of instruments, and I do mean all.

 

Yes, it is something that at least some guitarists would be interested in, or at least, find interesting.

 

I have also long day-dreamed of a "harp-guitar" with twelve chromatically-tuned bass-strings in its "harp" array's compliment, not only for the availability of their open bass-notes as pedals and drones, but also as symapathetic resonators -AND- my biggest hope and joy in this- for picking-hand harmonic "chimes" (if you're not familiar: high over-tones actuated by plucking a string with a finger or thumb touching the string in a specific location along the string's length to create a 'dead-spot' "node", causing the string to vibrate in exaggerated sub-dividing loops, emphasizing tones above (and exluding) the fundamental.) :cool:

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

 

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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