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wanted :really strong guitar strings

Big Al Whittle 13 Jan 06 - 05:02 AM
mooman 13 Jan 06 - 06:14 AM
Ernest 13 Jan 06 - 06:16 AM
Allan C. 13 Jan 06 - 06:27 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 13 Jan 06 - 06:54 AM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Jan 06 - 06:56 AM
David C. Carter 13 Jan 06 - 07:00 AM
Leadfingers 13 Jan 06 - 07:23 AM
Big Al Whittle 13 Jan 06 - 07:36 AM
Bobert 13 Jan 06 - 08:07 AM
Duke 13 Jan 06 - 10:03 AM
Strollin' Johnny 13 Jan 06 - 10:11 AM
Strollin' Johnny 13 Jan 06 - 10:11 AM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Jan 06 - 06:32 PM
GUEST,Val 13 Jan 06 - 06:59 PM
Big Al Whittle 18 Jan 06 - 05:35 AM
GUEST,Whistle Stop 18 Jan 06 - 08:25 AM
Big Al Whittle 19 Jan 06 - 06:58 PM
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Subject: wanted :really strong guitar strings
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Jan 06 - 05:02 AM

I've been playing this last week in E tuning

EBE Gsharp BE

I am trying to navigate my way through a new set of songs - and it occurred to me that easier than going from there to G(Spanish), I could go upwards

EAEACE

however the inevitable happened and I started snapping strings.

I know there is someone out there who will have trod this path before me. Is it possible without breaking strings onstage etc and other things that make you look like an idiot?

all the best

big al whittle


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Subject: RE: wanted :really strong guitar strings
From: mooman
Date: 13 Jan 06 - 06:14 AM

Hi Al,

Here is a useful String gauge tension calculator

which I use a lot in calculating suitable string guages for unusual instruments and various tuning to get an even and appropriate tension across all strings.

I hope this might help in calculating suitable gauges. If you dial in your normal setup, you can see what your guitar is accustomed to and then try suitable gauges for the new tuning.

An alternative would be to keep your current string gauges and tune DOWN and then capo, e.g. at the second fret to reach the higher notes.

Hope this helps...

Peace

moo


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Subject: RE: wanted :really strong guitar strings
From: Ernest
Date: 13 Jan 06 - 06:16 AM

Try barbed wire...


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Subject: RE: wanted :really strong guitar strings
From: Allan C.
Date: 13 Jan 06 - 06:27 AM

Mooman is pointing you in the right direction. More than breaking strings, it is important to consider the effect of tension increase upon the bridge and the face of the guitar beneath the bridge. I wrecked one guitar irreparably by such means. I should have seen it coming, I suppose. But before I knew it, a bulge emerged beneath the bridge. I might not have noticed right away except that tuning suddenly became impossible. I later checked with a luthier who told me that the guitar is now completely suitable for use as firewood. The repair would cost more than the value of the guitar.


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Subject: RE: wanted :really strong guitar strings
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 13 Jan 06 - 06:54 AM

when you kill an acoustic guitar that way.

there is a last chance salvage operation that could save it
from the dustbin or the bonfire..

prise the remains of the bridge off..

bind the splintered soundboard crack as neatly as possible
with.. eg. chicken wire and carbody filler..

fit a floating 'jazz' bridge and trapeze tailpiece..


..now feel free to go ahead and experiment with higher tension strings..


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Subject: RE: wanted :really strong guitar strings
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Jan 06 - 06:56 AM

There's some spare fencing wire out the back paddock...


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Subject: RE: wanted :really strong guitar strings
From: David C. Carter
Date: 13 Jan 06 - 07:00 AM

I play a lot using a sort of open C tunning.I can't go up,so I tune down,leaving the E and A as normal,then I capo on the 3rd fret.Dylan uses this in-One too many mornings.A friend of mine,who has several guitars,uses different gauge strings on the same guitar.I think he even uses a couple of banjo strings.This is using an electric guitar of course.If you can,I think it is a good move to use two guitars when playing someplace in public,one tuned normal and the 2nd guitar already tuned as required.Good luck.
David.


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Subject: RE: wanted :really strong guitar strings
From: Leadfingers
Date: 13 Jan 06 - 07:23 AM

One problem with punkfolkrocker's idea is that the tailpiece is likely to 'crush the end of the table - I had this happen to a relatively inexpensive 12 string , despite NOT over tuning !


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Subject: RE: wanted :really strong guitar strings
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Jan 06 - 07:36 AM

MANY THANKS FOR THESE SUGGESTIONS


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Subject: RE: wanted :really strong guitar strings
From: Bobert
Date: 13 Jan 06 - 08:07 AM

Yeah, guage is the most important aspect... If yer playing a lot of different open tunin's then you should be using .013's (high E)...


As fir performances, you might want to consider a couple of guitars. I usually peform with three... One in an eerie E tuning, EBEBBE, one is E and the other in G... The one in G I can get to Double droped D (D modal) oer standard without any risk of breaking strings... E to G is a little riskier in a performance, however...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: wanted :really strong guitar strings
From: Duke
Date: 13 Jan 06 - 10:03 AM

I used to tune up to open tunings until one day when I opened the guitar case, I found that my Gibson J-45 had exploded! However I took it in to the shop and they repaired it and it never sounded so good before. Today, with my martin I use light strings and only tune down!


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Subject: RE: wanted :really strong guitar strings
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 13 Jan 06 - 10:11 AM

WLD - ignore the stuff about this-and-that gauges. Speak to Malcolm Newton at Newtone Strings (look them up in Google). He'll make you up a set for whatever tuning you want to use, in your normal gauges, and they'll only cost around six quid a set. I got some sets for 'C' Modal from him, gauged 12 - 53, and they were excellent - exactly the same tension as 'normal' strings at concert pitch.
S:0)


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Subject: RE: wanted :really strong guitar strings
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 13 Jan 06 - 10:11 AM

And Duke's right - never tune up!


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Subject: RE: wanted :really strong guitar strings
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Jan 06 - 06:32 PM

Yeah man - it was in tune when you bought it...


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Subject: RE: wanted :really strong guitar strings
From: GUEST,Val
Date: 13 Jan 06 - 06:59 PM

I haven't studied guitar strings, but harp strings are generally tensioned to approx. 70% - 80% of their tensile strength. To raise the pitch of a string one octave, the tension must be doubled (if I'm recalling the equations correctly) assuming everything else is kept the same. So raising 1/2 step increases tension by about 1/12, or a bit over 8%. So you start at 75% tensile strength, raise the pitch 2 half-steps - now you're at 91% strength just sitting there. Now pluck the string nice and firm... *snap*

I suspect similar for guitar. Going to a heavier guage means you'll have to crank the tension up even farther to get to the pitch you want - and the string will still be that much closer to breaking. Likewise going to a lighter guage - the tension will be less for the same note, but the string is weaker and so still close to breaking.

Only effective way to change pitch significantly while keeping the length the same (i.e. not using a capo) is to change the overall density and/or diameter of a string - different materials, wound strings, etc.

As others have said, use caution about increasing the tension on an instrument significantly beyond design spec. Guitars may not be quite as near to breaking as are harps when in tune, but they can still be torn apart.


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Subject: RE: wanted :really strong guitar strings
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 18 Jan 06 - 05:35 AM

Sorry to drag this up again, however a new development......

I was in WH Smiths yesterday and I came across this American magazine called 'acoustic guitar' - the cover story of which is about John Hammond.
(scuse thread drift - but how is it the Americans can get these things right? cover story and in depth interview of the English acoustic guitar magazine is Kate Melua who has mastered A minor and E chords and is now working on F for her next album! That an Ian Anderson - better known for his fluting)

Anyway to quote Hammond, "I use an E tuning(EBEGsharpBE and an Atuning EAEACsharpE... I like the tension and high whine....". Also his strings... wait for this one..... are Dadarrio bronze 80/20!

Now presumably Hammond isn't ripping the bridge off his guitar every fortnight - so what is going on with this artist? if there is anybody who has an insight into this I should be most grateful.
But its like I said initially, some guys have been down this path before me.


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Subject: RE: wanted :really strong guitar strings
From: GUEST,Whistle Stop
Date: 18 Jan 06 - 08:25 AM

Well, two things about John Hammond. One, you mentioned the type of string (D'Addario 80/20), but not the gauge, which is a big part of what will determine the tension. Two, Hammond plays a lot of slide; slide players typically like to keep some tension under the slide, and often play with fairly high action so that the slide doesn't rattle too much against the frets. So Hammond may be warping the necks and bellying the faces of his guitars beyond what most of us non-slide players would find acceptable.

By the way, we Americans get it wrong also. It's great to see John Hammond on the cover of Acoustic Guitar magazine, but as a subscriber for over ten years, I can tell you that they have also featured a lot of lesser guitarists on their cover.


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Subject: RE: wanted :really strong guitar strings
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Jan 06 - 06:58 PM

got an e-mail from John's website

To answer your query, John uses medium gauge strings on his guitar that looks like a Martin. He tunes his National up to an A and not his guitar that looks like a Martin. I hope this helps.
paul


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