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Post new topic Tunings and string gauges
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Author Topic:  Tunings and string gauges
Bob Gleason


From:
Hawaii, USA
Post Posted 11 Jan 2017 11:38 pm     Reply with quote

I teach a lap steel guitar making course on Kauai every February. I'm always trying to improve what I do for the students. Along with each student making a 6 string lap steel, I like to give as much of an understanding of the instrument as possible. I focus on C6 tuning for the course, and only provide strings for that tuning. I would appreciate anyone sharing input on tuning the 6 string in other tunings, and the string gauges that make that possible. I would like to add that to info sheets that go with the course. I think the students would enjoy that. Thanks in advance.--Bob/Pegasus Guitars & Ukuleles
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Jeff Mead


From:
London, England
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 2:33 am     Reply with quote

I prefer A6 as I really like having the 5th note on the top instead of the 3rd.

Assuming you are using C6 with E (3rd) on top. you only need to tune the C strings to C# and the G down to F# so you can use the same strings for both tunings.
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David M Brown


From:
California, USA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 3:30 am     Reply with quote

Jeff Mead wrote:
I prefer A6 as I really like having the 5th note on the top instead of the 3rd.

Assuming you are using C6 with E (3rd) on top. you only need to tune the C strings to C# and the G down to F# so you can use the same strings for both tunings.


Same here. I do the opposite of many players - I use A6 as my main tuning and retune to C6 as needed.

You could also get away with BDEG#BE or BDEG#C#E with that set of strings, too, and even B11.
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Bob Gleason


From:
Hawaii, USA
Post Posted 12 Jan 2017 9:42 am     Reply with quote

Thanks for the suggestions. Yes we are using C6 with an E on the 1st. I forgot to mention that it is a 23" scale length. Any other tuning/string gauge suggestions welcome. Enjoy your music.-Bob
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Bob Gleason


From:
Hawaii, USA
Post Posted 16 Jan 2017 12:02 am     Reply with quote

Appreciate the replies so far. Here is a quick pic of what we are doing.
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Allan Haley


From:
British Columbia, Canada
Post Posted 16 Jan 2017 7:35 am     Reply with quote

John Ely's chart is a great resource:
http://www.hawaiiansteel.com/learning/gauges.php
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Andy Volk


From:
Boston, MA
Post Posted 16 Jan 2017 7:42 am     Reply with quote

http://www.volkmediabooks.com/products-books/slide-rules
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Dave Mudgett


From:
Central Pennsylvania
Post Posted 16 Jan 2017 7:50 am     Reply with quote

If you want to approach it from the point of string tension, look at the D'Addario links I posted on this thread - http://bb.steelguitarforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=310401

With the online calculator, there's a wizard in which, for each string separately, you can set the desired scale length, tuning, string type. In the last step, you decide whether you want to input string tensions and have it compute string gauges, or input string gauges and then have it compute string tensions.
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