String gauges - 25.5 scale Drop G# - Thinnest possible choice?

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by lewis, May 7, 2018.

  1. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    5,087
    Likes Received:
    1,584
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    Im getting more and more disillusioned with thick strings. They just seem so un-musical to me and feel bad under the touch. I can play with them of course and Ive gotten good and use to doing it but I miss slinky, fast and musical strings.

    now the interesting part... one of my main guitars is only 25.5 inch scale.
    Ive been using a 72 on bottom and 13 on top and it works fine. I just wanted to try and get them even thinner and more musical.
    I do play pretty hard (but not REALLY hard though). Anyone know what I could get away with absolute minimum?

    Was thinking of grabbing a set with a 62 on bottom for the low G# to try?

    tuning is:
    G#,D#,G#,C#,G#,C#

    Thanks
     
  2. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

    Messages:
    15,219
    Likes Received:
    3,090
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Location:
    St. Johnsbury, VT USA
    If you use a light enough pick attack and light enough left hand grip, you can get away with using pretty much anything.

    For me, personally, I just use whatever feels best. No sense in trying to wrestle with your strings all of the time. For 27" scale in A, I'm using a .062", so taking that down to G (27" = one fret lower than 25.5"), it'd be a little floppy for me, but not unreasonable.
     
  3. Beefmuffin

    Beefmuffin New Boot Goofin

    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    39
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    Location:
    Decatur, IL
    Double Post, Sorry
     
  4. Beefmuffin

    Beefmuffin New Boot Goofin

    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    39
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    Location:
    Decatur, IL
    I use the ernie ball skinny top heavy bottom 7 string set and it's perfect for me. Starts out as .010 and hits the bottom string with a .062. Jason Richardson, as well as others, play a lot of their EBMM's with standard .010-.056 gauge sets, and that's for drop G, so really it's however you want to roll. I know some people on here would suggest nothing smaller than a .070 for drop G#, all preference.
     
    lewis likes this.
  5. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    5,087
    Likes Received:
    1,584
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    good to know guys!
    Thought i was going mad as all the old threads/posts on here i researched, said 70+ gauges like you said @Beefmuffin

    i will grab a daddario light baritone set 13-62, and see whats what.
     
    takotakumi likes this.
  6. metallifan3091

    metallifan3091 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    83
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    For what it's worth, my seven is an older PRS SE with a 25" scale and I use the EB Cobalt 10-62 set and I usually keep it tuned down one whole step. I've never had any trouble with tension or intonation but YMMV depending on preference.
     
    lewis likes this.
  7. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

    Messages:
    7,911
    Likes Received:
    718
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2012
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Open tunings are a little harder to find ideal strings for unless you build custom sets, especially for tuning low.

    However, you might also take a look at the D'addario super light 8 string set, but remove the 9 and 24. You'd end up with 11, 16, 32, 42, 54, 65 :yesway: should be a good "step down" from the 13-72 you're used to
     
    lewis likes this.
  8. NateFalcon

    NateFalcon Party’s over

    Messages:
    1,149
    Likes Received:
    882
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2017
    Location:
    The belly of the liberal beast
    It’s whatever you’re comfortable with, in both sound and playability...it can feel like a compromise at times. I like lighter strings personally because my style is real bendy, I love piercing highs and I like working the whole fretboard...but when I tune below C# I up my string guage because I hate that “fret slap” feel of a bass when I’m playing guitar...I also pick REALLY hard and prefer 25.5” to multi or 27” or longer scales - so for diversity’s sake I usually keep a couple guitars tuned differently. For daily jamming I like C-ish and Slinky 9’s lol...it’s finding that balance between “ears” and “feel”. 25 years later I still change my mind on certain days
     
  9. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    553
    Likes Received:
    415
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2018
    Jesus. I use a 60 for C on a 27 inch scale guitar. Couldn't tolerate anything thinner than that :eek:

    A 56 for G? That's just a rubber band
     
  10. kindsage

    kindsage SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    2,785
    Likes Received:
    490
    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Good luck bro. I use an 85 for drop G on a 28.625" scale guitar and hate anything thinner (gets fretbuzz and flop too easily)
     
    binz and lewis like this.
  11. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    1,851
    Likes Received:
    819
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2014
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    I think Jason Richardson uses something like 10-56 or something stupid for drop G on a seven in 25.5, so really as long as it stays in tune and you like the gauge go for it.

    I use a 56 for a low C# personally.
     
    Masoo2 likes this.
  12. Lorcan Ward

    Lorcan Ward 7slinger

    Messages:
    4,741
    Likes Received:
    1,129
    Joined:
    May 15, 2009
    Location:
    Ireland
    At the moment Jason uses Ernie Ball 9-42 M-Steel set with a 56 Cobalt for Drop A and a 10-46 M-Steel set with a 58 Cobalt for Drop G. I've no idea how you can get away with such spaghetti gauges for the low strings but it does allow you to tune lower and get a better tone on short scales.

    Your best bet is just to buy a bunch of gauges between 60-70 to see what you like. Its also important to try different types of strings and also different manufacturers to find the right balance between tension and tone. With short scales you are going to have to sacrifice one for the other. I could never get it right so thats what pushed me towards multi-scales.
     
    Mathemagician and lewis like this.
  13. Lindmann

    Lindmann SS.org Rectangular

    Messages:
    171
    Likes Received:
    165
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2014
    Location:
    Planet earth
    I got two 25.5" guitars on drop G with different gauges and use them for different purposes as they sound vastly different.

    First one: 14 - 74 - for slams, heavy chugging, chords, rhythm guitar play, stuff that needs perfect intonation

    Second one 14 - 58 - for unsteady single notes (sound cool on the lower strings), lead stuff, and stuff that asks for agressive pick attack, bending and vibrato stuff, pinch harmonice

    When recording I constantly switch between those two.
    When playing live I always choose the guitar with the thicker strings at the cost of fancy vibratos and pinch harmonics.
     
  14. Masoo2

    Masoo2 SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    843
    Likes Received:
    144
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2014
    Location:
    NC, USA
    I've been using 56 on a 27 inch all the way down to G with no problems, paired with 9.5-46 and a low 74 for F# through Eb

    Once I got in the mindset of "tone over feel," I found that I could use basically any gauge without much problem as long as I had a decent setup. And I pick H A R D with a super thick pick (Hufschmid) with no real problems whatsoever.

    I always see people on forums recommending such huge gauges, but I've never actually seen a touring/professional guitarist use anything more than like a 62-64 for tuning down to G. There's a few notable exceptions (Pat from FFAA, guys from TAIM, etc) but those seem to be, as I said, exceptions rather than the norm.

    Someone else recommended ordering a few singles so I'm going to second that.
     
    lewis likes this.
  15. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    5,087
    Likes Received:
    1,584
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2011
    Location:
    Norfolk, UK
    yeah I completely agree with this. I tried a high end Mayones recently that was tuned equally low to my band, but was using much thinner strings and it played better than anything else I own. There was no intonation issues either despite the strings being much slinkier than what I would use. Now granted its a longer scale than 25.5, but its all relative.
    Im going to try some 62's first and see how I get on.
     
  16. gujukal

    gujukal SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    680
    Likes Received:
    99
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2014
    Location:
    Sweden
    Try a set of d'addario 12-60, i use them for drop a# but they probably work for g# when getting used to the lower tension. I've also started using thinner strings I'm general, feels and sounds better.
     
    lewis likes this.
  17. angl2k

    angl2k SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    149
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    Location:
    Netherlands
    I tune to drop A with 25.5" scale and use a 56, but only because it sounds much better than a higher gauge on that particular guitar and my rig, YMMV. For G# I'd probably use a 59 or 60 gauge. I haven't noticed any weird things but I don't pick very hard.
     
    lewis likes this.
  18. ZombieLloyd

    ZombieLloyd Not one 7 string

    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    114
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    Location:
    North Wales, UK
    How do you manage to get to drop A with a 56 gauge string? I can't go further than C standard with a 12-60 gauge set, whereas the other guitarist in my band uses 9s for that tuning, how do you guys do it?
     
  19. angl2k

    angl2k SS.org Regular

    Messages:
    341
    Likes Received:
    149
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2016
    Location:
    Netherlands
    I put on an EB cobalt 9-42 set and buy a 56 single. Tuned to AEADGBe. Tension on 7th string is 11.23 lbs. Big strings are overrated:) A good setup helps and also a properly cut nut.
     
    Masoo2 and ZombieLloyd like this.
  20. ZombieLloyd

    ZombieLloyd Not one 7 string

    Messages:
    369
    Likes Received:
    114
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2015
    Location:
    North Wales, UK
    Right, 7 string. I didn't see a mention of the seventh string in the message I was responding to and for some reason I thought you were using a 6 string haha. To make myself sound less like an idiot, I used to play drop A on my Jackson DK-2. I miss having a blocked Floyd Rose because I could get any tuning on any string gauge I wanted just by adjusting the spring tension. Now I'm playing that Washburn Solar V with the Evertune and I'm still getting used to it haha.
     

Share This Page