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> Alternate Tunings, which can harm your neck
J.E.
post Nov 24 2008, 11:29 PM
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Hi i just wondered is there any open tunings that can harm my guitar? I was thinking of trying out the Fm tuning like Albert Collins but i dont want to ruin the guitar so i thought id ask here just in case. Cheers smile.gif


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berko
post Nov 25 2008, 11:00 AM
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Hi,

I have no experience with such a tuning but I really don't know why it would harm your axe..

I'm not sure whether Collins did it the same way, but an Fm (F Ab C) open tuning would look something like this:

F Ab C F C (or Ab) F

U dont even have to change string gauge, because the largest difference is only a whole step (if you dont consider to tune B string down to Ab which would mean 3 semitones).

So this is my humble opinion, but I do support the idea to experiment with such "exotic" (at least for me) guitar setups. smile.gif


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-Zion-
post Nov 25 2008, 11:54 AM
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changing the tuning on the guitar, especially a lot lower than usually *can* do things to your neck.. the tension that the guitar was used to, is no longer there..

i have only tuned it down a ½ step, and i dare not go any further.. not without changing the gauge.. and i am not going to do that.. so standard tuning for me.. wink.gif

however, i am no expert, so i am also very interested in this..
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OrganisedConfusi...
post Nov 25 2008, 11:56 AM
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I constantly change my guitar tunings and they are fine.


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fkalich
post Nov 25 2008, 12:49 PM
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QUOTE (OrganisedConfusion @ Nov 25 2008, 05:56 AM) *
I constantly change my guitar tunings and they are fine.



I don't think there is any question, that using a tuning or a set of strings that significantly changes the balance of stress on the neck, is risky. I would be careful not to do anything too extreme on any guitar I cared about.

This seems not extreme to me. The two middle strings are down a tone. The two outside are up a semi tone. 5th and 2nd are a little unbalanced, but not real extreme.

F Ab C F C (or Ab) F

I would just use my head, and not do anything extreme, in terms of string gauges, or tunings where clearly the tension on on side of the neck has change in a very different way than the other side of the neck.
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OrganisedConfusi...
post Nov 25 2008, 12:53 PM
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I sometimes tune my high e and low e string up to F in some of the tunings I use. I think people worry a bit too much. It isn't as easy as people think to warp a neck and there is a huge difference between having alternate tunings and having the strings off the guitar completely for a significant amount of time. The only thing that may change if you use alternate tunings often is the intonation of the guitar which you should check fairly frequently anyway smile.gif Some bands like Sonic Youth constantly use different tunings for pretty much every song and they've had their guitars for 20 odd years.

But I wouldn't tune 9's up to an F as it is likely to break the string on the high e.

This post has been edited by OrganisedConfusion: Nov 25 2008, 12:57 PM


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AlexLion
post Nov 25 2008, 01:33 PM
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Hmm, I`m wondering can i tune down my guitar to drop C(CGCFAD), never tried, but want to do this very much biggrin.gif I have 10-46 gauge strings on my Jackson JS30DK, so can this be risky or not?(without changing gauge)
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Nov 25 2008, 01:39 PM
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It will not damage your guitar, but the change of gauge and change of tunings could make a relief on the neck bigger, so the action could raise a bit, but it all depends from guitar to guitar. In general nothing wrong is going to happen, just be carefull, and don't overdo it.


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OrganisedConfusi...
post Nov 25 2008, 01:43 PM
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Also it's wise to up the guage for dropped tunings. Especially for Drop C or lower as it will sound better anyway and will have less impact on neck but it wouldn't damge it using 9's. However 9's will sound awful at drop C and below.


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Marcus Siepen
post Nov 25 2008, 04:39 PM
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I agree with Ivan, there is no problem (or danger) with experimenting a bit, just, as Confusion mentioned, be sure to use thick strings when you want to use very low tunings.


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The Uncreator
post Nov 25 2008, 04:53 PM
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Basically just change strings accordingly, As everyone has said. I switch tunings alot, but I change strings As I need, and all is good.
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AlexLion
post Nov 25 2008, 05:12 PM
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Thank you for information guys, then i think i`ll go for 10-52 gauge, but how they will sound on normal tuning? And maybe any recommendations what kind of strings to use with that gauge( for metal of course laugh.gif )? I used(and using now) some GHS strings and tone is quite good, but i don`t like that lower strings(they are black) lose the paint pretty fast or whatever that is and after 2 months they looks like zebra dry.gif Any advices on strings with cool tone and without paint on them?

This post has been edited by AlexLion: Nov 25 2008, 05:13 PM
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kjutte
post Nov 25 2008, 06:12 PM
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QUOTE (Jarl Emil @ Nov 24 2008, 11:29 PM) *
Hi i just wondered is there any open tunings that can harm my guitar? I was thinking of trying out the Fm tuning like Albert Collins but i dont want to ruin the guitar so i thought id ask here just in case. Cheers smile.gif


Honestly, I know you didn't ask for this, but I don't think you should bother with it unless you got a problem that a capo can't solve.

Dropped tuning may sound cool and all ,but in the end it's really about your fingers.
And you are very correct, strage tunings can without doubt harm your neck, unless you use custom springs for your floyd rose or strat bridge.
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fkalich
post Nov 25 2008, 07:35 PM
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I am only interested in drop D for now. Open tunings are a different ballgame. They do something neat real easily, but are also limiting. Maybe in the future I will take some interest. But if you try to do too many things, you just end up being mediocre in a lot of things, at least for a long time. I will worry about something like this when I can hold my own against the teachers here. I think most super guitarists that use open tunings went this rout. They did not get into it until they had a mastery of standard tuning.

I am not talking about tunings mostly people use potentially causing damage. I am talking about extreme things, particularly if you leave it tuned like that for an extended period. The stress on a neck goes up by by a squared factor as you raise pitch of a string. If I used some strange tuning, especially while using an non standard set of strings such as heavy bottom, and especially if you are up tuning, I would check the neck bow on both sides of the neck, what you do for a truss rod adjustment. That should be about the width of the high E string. If you find that increased a great deal, I would certainly not leave it in that tuning. And particularly if you find that the bow increased a great deal on one side of the neck, and not on the other. That is just common sense. By putting unbalanced stress on wood for an extended period, you sure as heck will warp it I expect. Could be wrong, but in my experience, common sense is close to correct 80% OR 90% of the time, so I go with it.

But most tunings are not like this, most of the time they downtune. I found this list of open tunings researching this.

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/w...ngs/tunings.htm

I am not interested as I said, because I am busy enough trying to get some mastery of standard tuning (other than dropping the low string down a tone once in awhile, because you can still pretty much think like open tuning when you do that).

edit: when I talk about standard tuning, I include Eb tuning in that category. I pretty much use that all the time anymore.

This post has been edited by fkalich: Nov 25 2008, 08:13 PM
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AlexLion
post Nov 26 2008, 10:13 AM
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Would be very great if some experienced players check what I`m asking about in the last reply (in this post)... dry.gif
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