Strings for playing a whole step down.

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Sebastian
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Strings for playing a whole step down.

Post by Sebastian » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:06 am

Greetings, I'm not sure if this is the correct subcategory but here I go.

I'm intending to try Igor Presnyakov's tuning, all strings one step down
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaGEd7kjoyo

Which kind of strings would you recommend for that tuning? I use medium tension, but I'm not sure if light or hard tension is better for that tuning. Also strings in my country are kind of expensive (Argentina) and can't afford to try both now.

PS: In the video, Presnyakov covers the guitar sound hole with something, I'm not sure how you call it in english I just call it a "sordina" for a guitar or "tapa" (the best english traslation would be "muter"). What's that for? If he's recording with a condenser wouldn't that lower the volume? And it doesn't sound a direct-in recording, it sounds like a condenser to me, or at least a mix.
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guitarrista
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Re: Strings for playing a whole step down.

Post by guitarrista » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:18 am

Well if you do this you would need hard(er) tension strings; they will feel like light-to-medium tension when dropped a semitone down (if you start with light tension, they will feel too floppy). If you can find D'Addario Pro-Arté Nylon, Hard Tension - D'Addarios are usually widely available and inexpensive. Or if not taut enough, then Extra hard tension.
Last edited by guitarrista on Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
Konstantin
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guitarrista
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Re: Strings for playing a whole step down.

Post by guitarrista » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:20 am

[oopsie]
Konstantin
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Sebastian
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Re: Strings for playing a whole step down.

Post by Sebastian » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:44 am

guitarrista wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:18 am
Well if you do this you would need hard(er) tension strings; they will feel like light-to-medium tension when dropped a semitone down (if you start with light tension, they will feel too floppy). If you can find D'Addario Pro-Arté Nylon, Hard Tension - D'Addarios are usually widely available and inexpensive. Or if not taut enough, then Extra hard tension.
Well actually I was planning to tune a whole tone down not just one semitone. And yes, I just happen to have a set of Daddario pro arte Hard Tension, which I've been trying to sell for about 5 months... luckily nobody bought it, lol.

Cheers.
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Sebastian
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Re: Strings for playing a whole step down.

Post by Sebastian » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:45 am

BTW, I also plan to try the same thing on an acoustic guitar, a Taylor GS Mini, which strings do you think would be more suitable? By default GS Mini uses 0.13 or 0.12 if i'm right
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guitarrista
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Re: Strings for playing a whole step down.

Post by guitarrista » Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:01 am

Sebastian wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:44 am
guitarrista wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:18 am
Well if you do this you would need hard(er) tension strings; they will feel like light-to-medium tension when dropped a semitone down (if you start with light tension, they will feel too floppy). If you can find D'Addario Pro-Arté Nylon, Hard Tension - D'Addarios are usually widely available and inexpensive. Or if not taut enough, then Extra hard tension.
Well actually I was planning to tune a whole tone down not just one semitone. And yes, I just happen to have a set of Daddario pro arte Hard Tension, which I've been trying to sell for about 5 months... luckily nobody bought it, lol.

Cheers.
Haha -it was a bit unclear so I actually first answered assuming you meant two semitones down - and recommended D'Addario's Extra Hard Tension. Then I decided you meant one 'fret' step and revised my post :lol:

Since you have them, try the hard tension ones, but you might end up needing extra hard tension to have the actual tension not be too light.

P.S. Don't know anything about steel strings; hopefully someone else will answer. You do need higher than 'normal' tension again - so if they only vary steel string tension by increasing diameter, it means thicker strings.

Basically in tuning 2 semitones down, the tension (if same strings) drops by 20% (new tension is (392/440)^2 of the old, which is 79.4% or so). With steel strings, if the same material, you have to increase the cross-section area by 26% (derived from 1/0.794) to compensate (tension is proportional to cross-section area for the same pitch). So, you need strings that are about 12% thicker in diameter, if all other factors stay the same. Unless I made a mistake :D
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Re: Strings for playing a whole step down.

Post by RobMacKillop » Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:40 am

I've tuned down a tone many times, and would use high-tension strings. The result feels slightly lower tension than normal tension at normal pitch. Same with steel strings.

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Re: Strings for playing a whole step down.

Post by ronjazz » Mon Feb 04, 2019 2:44 pm

I have a 7-string tune down a step, extra-hard tension set plus a D'Addario .060 for 7. sounds awesome.
Lester Devoe Flamenco Negra
Lester Devoe Flamenco Blanca
Aparicio Flamenco Blanca with RMC pickup
Bartolex 7-string with RMC pickup
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PeteJ
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Re: Strings for playing a whole step down.

Post by PeteJ » Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:57 pm

Has anyone tried baritone strings? I have a set here but have never got around to trying them. This would allow an even lower pitch.

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Sebastian
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Re: Strings for playing a whole step down.

Post by Sebastian » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:45 pm

guitarrista wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:01 am
Sebastian wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:44 am
guitarrista wrote:
Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:18 am
Well if you do this you would need hard(er) tension strings; they will feel like light-to-medium tension when dropped a semitone down (if you start with light tension, they will feel too floppy). If you can find D'Addario Pro-Arté Nylon, Hard Tension - D'Addarios are usually widely available and inexpensive. Or if not taut enough, then Extra hard tension.
Well actually I was planning to tune a whole tone down not just one semitone. And yes, I just happen to have a set of Daddario pro arte Hard Tension, which I've been trying to sell for about 5 months... luckily nobody bought it, lol.

Cheers.
Haha -it was a bit unclear so I actually first answered assuming you meant two semitones down - and recommended D'Addario's Extra Hard Tension. Then I decided you meant one 'fret' step and revised my post :lol:

Since you have them, try the hard tension ones, but you might end up needing extra hard tension to have the actual tension not be too light.

P.S. Don't know anything about steel strings; hopefully someone else will answer. You do need higher than 'normal' tension again - so if they only vary steel string tension by increasing diameter, it means thicker strings.

Basically in tuning 2 semitones down, the tension (if same strings) drops by 20% (new tension is (392/440)^2 of the old, which is 79.4% or so). With steel strings, if the same material, you have to increase the cross-section area by 26% (derived from 1/0.794) to compensate (tension is proportional to cross-section area for the same pitch). So, you need strings that are about 12% thicker in diameter, if all other factors stay the same. Unless I made a mistake :D
Interesting, what do you think would have lower tension, an acoustic guitar with "normal gauge" strings but tuned 2 halfsteps down, or a classical guitar with standard tuning (medium tension)?
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guitarrista
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Re: Strings for playing a whole step down.

Post by guitarrista » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:30 pm

Sebastian wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:45 pm
Interesting, what do you think would have lower tension, an acoustic guitar with "normal gauge" strings but tuned 2 halfsteps down, or a classical guitar with standard tuning (medium tension)?
Classical guitar for sure. Steel strings require a much higher tension for a similar pitch. Look at this table for steel strings:

tension_metal_strings.JPG

Steel strings have 90-100 pounds MORE tension (a bit more than twice more) than nylon/carbon for similar 'tension' designations.

Retuning two semitones down is a 20% reduction in tension (regardless of string material). But the tension was already 200+% that of the nylon strings tension. So, no question - the steel string guitar would still have a much higher tension in your scenario.
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Sebastian
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Re: Strings for playing a whole step down.

Post by Sebastian » Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:39 am

guitarrista wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:30 pm
Sebastian wrote:
Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:45 pm
Interesting, what do you think would have lower tension, an acoustic guitar with "normal gauge" strings but tuned 2 halfsteps down, or a classical guitar with standard tuning (medium tension)?
Classical guitar for sure. Steel strings require a much higher tension for a similar pitch. Look at this table for steel strings:


tension_metal_strings.JPG


Steel strings have 90-100 pounds MORE tension (a bit more than twice more) than nylon/carbon for similar 'tension' designations.

Retuning two semitones down is a 20% reduction in tension (regardless of string material). But the tension was already 200+% that of the nylon strings tension. So, no question - the steel string guitar would still have a much higher tension in your scenario.
Makes sense, I tried recently to tune an acoustic guitar two halfsteps down and still seemed harder to press than the classical one.
One last question, and what a flamenco guitar? How much tension does a flamenco guitar have compared to a classical one? Both with medium tension strings. Thanks
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guitarrista
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Re: Strings for playing a whole step down.

Post by guitarrista » Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:54 pm

Sebastian wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:39 am

One last question, and what a flamenco guitar? How much tension does a flamenco guitar have compared to a classical one? Both with medium tension strings. Thanks
Both flamenco and classical guitars use nylon or carbon strings, so there is no difference in tension inherent to the guitar. Same scale lengths, same type of strings (material), same tuning - so same tension.
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Sebastian
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Re: Strings for playing a whole step down.

Post by Sebastian » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:02 pm

guitarrista wrote:
Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:54 pm
Sebastian wrote:
Wed Feb 06, 2019 4:39 am

One last question, and what a flamenco guitar? How much tension does a flamenco guitar have compared to a classical one? Both with medium tension strings. Thanks
Both flamenco and classical guitars use nylon or carbon strings, so there is no difference in tension inherent to the guitar. Same scale lengths, same type of strings (material), same tuning - so same tension.
Ok, I'll have to add a final question, in how much tension it differs a classical guitar with medium tension string to a guitar with hard tension strings? And a light tension compared with a medium?
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Re: Strings for playing a whole step down.

Post by guitarrista » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:46 pm

Sebastian wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:02 pm
Ok, I'll have to add a final question, in how much tension it differs a classical guitar with medium tension string to a guitar with hard tension strings? And a light tension compared with a medium?
This recent post should give you a good idea of what the situation is like: viewtopic.php?p=1335708#p1336205

There is no string industry standard for classifying tension. Within one company, you can be sure that light to medium to hard increases tension; however, one company's "medium" might be another company's "hard" or even "extra hard".

Another complication is that the actual tension depends on the length scale, and string companies have not agreed on a reference length scale either. So, even the actual tension numbers, where given, cannot be compared directly out of the box without knowing the reference string length scales and adjusting for differences, if applicable.
Konstantin
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