Choosing Strings - Drop-Tunings

Author: Admin   Date Posted:7 February 2014 

For those unfamiliar, drop tuning is the practice of tuning the strings on a guitar to pitches lower on the scale than the traditional E Standard guitar tuning (E, A, D, G, B, E). They're a great way to expand your creativity but you'll need the right set to accommodate the extra tension needed in the strings for going lower. That's why we've compiled this list of preferred gauges for different tunings so you can get the right set for playing your axe: Dropped A tuning is where all strings are tuned down a 4th with the lowest string tuned 1 additional step down to A, E, A, D, F#, B; favoured by everyone from Coheed and Cambria to Whitechapel and Matt Bellamy of Muse. As it's one of the lowest tunings you can go to on a standard guitar, we recommend heavier strings like D'Addario EXL148 Extra Heavy Electric Guitar Strings, Elixir Nanoweb Baritone 12-68 Electric Guitar Strings or DR DDT 13 Mega Heavy 13-65 Electric Guitar Strings. Dropped B tuning is where the strings are tuned to B, F#, B, E, G#, C# and is tuning is favoured by bands such as Slayer, Slipknot and Stonesour. Players looking to do drop B tuning should consider strings such as D'Addario EXL117 11-56 Medium Top Heavy Bottom Electric Guitar Strings, Ernie Ball Not Even Slinky 12-56 Electric Guitar Strings or D'Addario EXL148 Extra Heavy Electric Guitar Strings. Drop C tuning can be used to refer to any of many different alternative guitar tunings including CGCFAD, CGDGBE and CADGBE. This is a tuning favoured by players such as Children of Bodom, HIM, Black Label Society and 30 Seconds To Mars For drop C tunings, you'll want something a little heavier than a standard gauge such as a Ernie Ball Beefy Slinky 11-54 Electric Guitar Strings, Elixir Nanoweb Heavy 12-52 Electric Guitar Strings or D'Addario EXL145 Heavy 12-54 Electric Guitar Strings. Drop D tuning, also known as DADGBE, is one of the most common alternative tunings where the lowest string is tuned down  from the usual E of standard tuning by one whole step / a tone (2 frets) to D. Guitars with longer scales like a Stratocaster can use lighter strings such as the D'Addario EXL125 Super Light Top/Regular Bottom 9-46 Electric Guitar Strings. For guitars with a shorter scales like a Les Paul, you want something a bit heavier like a set of Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottom 10-52 Electric Guitar Strings or GHS Boomers Thin-Thick 10-52 Electric Guitar Strings. If you've got a question about what strings you should use for your guitar, feel free to contact us on either our Kosmic Sound Facebook Page or the Kosmic Guitar Repairs Facebook Page if you need a setup. Happy shredding!