Drop a tuning on a 24 3/4" scale on a les paul

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by Iron Beard, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. Iron Beard

    Iron Beard SS.org Regular

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    I play in drop a and I've always played 25.5" or 27" scale guitars. I have a les paul I want to tune to drop a. what problems may I have with the shorter scale and what size strings should I use?
     
  2. Nick

    Nick SS.org Regular

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    you wont have any problems with strings other than the low A.

    On that scale id suggest a 68 but its really up to you. I use a 62 on a 25.5 scale guitar and I find it perfect but many people will tell you you need something insane like an 80 - not the case.

    you might get intonation issues higher up the fretboard but really. Stuff like that isnt really overly noticable. Nile tuned to drop A on guitars of that scale earlier in their career with no issue.
     
  3. max3000

    max3000 SS.org Regular

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    Also be aware that such a low tuning with a very thick string will give you a LOT of buzz if you don't raise the action/adjust the neck relief.
     
  4. Nick

    Nick SS.org Regular

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    fret buzz is pretty much unavoidable when you are tuning this low on a guitar that isnt really built to accomodate it.

    If I were you id check your 'low e' machinehead will actually take a string the size of a 68 or whatever you choose to use through it - it may not.

    You will get buzz on the lowest string if you want low-ish action but it will be behind the fretting hand so wont affect the actual sound.
     
  5. Chokey Chicken

    Chokey Chicken mouth breather

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    I bought a 7 string set and slapped it on my explorer and threw out the high e string. I use pretty light gauges and still manage to have mine tuned to drop A. (I believe it's a 56 from a regular slinky set.)

    Point being, low tunings are possible and they don't exactly require insane gauges. You'll likely prefer a higher gauge, but it's not a necessity.
     
  6. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    I'm only a half step up and I use 12-60 set. So mebbe do'er a 13-62? 64?
     
  7. Dyingsea

    Dyingsea SS.org Regular

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    I use a 68 gauge and could even use a 66 if I wanted but have zero issues with clarity or intonation. Plenty of jazz guys as well using low A's on jazz boxes typically in the 24.75 - 25" range. It's really not a big deal.
     
  8. Iron Beard

    Iron Beard SS.org Regular

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    This is what I do on the 25.5 scale so ill try that on this then. Thank for the Help.
     
  9. lorguitarist

    lorguitarist Legions Of Raum

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    I have an LTD/ESP Eclipse that is in drop C. I'm sure A wouldn't be a problem, but If you're not comfortable with doing the intonation and set-up yourself I would take it to a tech. There's going to have to be modifications to be made to the nut and the machine heads to accommodate the higher string gauge. Best of luck to you.
     
  10. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    What strings are you comfortable with using on a 25.5 or 27" scale? A pretty "normal" feeling set would be something like 13, 17, 26, 36, 46, 68.

    LaBella makes a 7 string set that's 10-70, which is just a set of 10's with a 70, and I've had good results using that for drop A in the past. Pretty inexpensive, too :yesway:
     
  11. Winspear

    Winspear Tom Winspear

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    For balanced tension in drop tunings, just double the gauge of the octave A string. I'd recommend not going more than .005 less than that.
    It will just be a bit darker tonally and might not intonate well because of the thick string on short length - but the difference is entirely negligible from 25.5. 27 moreso. A isn't really pushing it though, especially if you don't use monster strings for the other 6 and thus want something like an 80.
     
  12. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    Also I'd like to say that when you get this low with thick strings on the short scale, pick choice makes a really big difference

    I had been using big stubby 2.0mm for years and years, but since I've set up my SG for C standard I've switched to 1.0mm picks and the difference in tone is immediately noticeably improved.
     

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