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Rick Andrews and other experts answers guitar repair questions
For almost one year, guitar luther Rick Andrews answered your guitar repair questions. After recieving over 500 questions we put together the most popular questions and answers. Today, we are involving other great guitar builders and will continue to expand this area in the future. This section will no longer be interactive but you should find most of your guitar building and repair questions have already been answered in this section.

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  •  Can You Suggest a String Guage?

    I have a Maton 6string acoustic guitar (with factory pick-ups) and a Fender Telecaster. I tune down half a step (Eb,Ab,Db,Gb,Bb,Eb), with the occasional down tune of the E string to D (Db). Can you suggest a gauge of string that would best suit this set up. I am currently using fairly heavy strings to compensate for the lower tunings, but would like to try lighter strings if possible. Would the guitars need to be set up differently to maintain harmonic integrity and would that then affect the sound of the guitar should I need to return it to concert pitch for other musical projects ?Thanx Steve

  •  Rick Andrews Answers Your Question Below.

    Well now that's a different one for me for sure but I will give you opinion about it.

    A half step is really not that much. If you think about it this way . . . players using a tremelo tailpiece or as some refer to it as a WHAMMY BAR . . . not to be confused with other bars, the step up or down with those are more than half step by far.

    Same string gauge should be fine just as normal. You might have to do a very tiny adjustment to the truss rod if you leave it tuned down for longer time periods, but otherwise I would stay with the strings that you use the most normal.

    If anything maybe as you say a slight heavier guage but to me the same as usual would be fine, especially on the telecaster. Interesting stuff there.
    Rick Andrews- Andrews Guitars



    Comments:
    I have to agree with you on this one Rick. I use 10's- 46's on my Yamaha Pacifica and I've tuned down a 1/2 step a number of times without any noticable issues. I would suggest moving up one string gauge if you plan to stay in that tuning as the sustain (at least on my guitars) is not quit as good as when it was in the normal tuning (but what is normal now?)..
    Charlie Harrelson- Solo guitarist featured on Life Without Light and Tracks Across America.


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