PDA

View Full Version : low string on a tenor scale



chuck in ny
06-25-2016, 03:40 PM
how far below low G can a wound string be reliably tuned to?

Jim Hanks
06-25-2016, 04:05 PM
Recent threads have reported folks getting down to low D

Futurethink
06-25-2016, 04:15 PM
That depends on the string (some brands/lines of strings feel "floppy" before other brands/lines when you are lowering the pitch), and it depends on the tenor (some might have a slightly shorter scale length), it depends on the height of the string above the frets (very low strings will buzz faster when the pitch is lowered), and it depends on you (some people tolerate loose strings better than others).

The real answer is to try lowering the pitch in half-step increments until you don't enjoy playing it any more. Then tune it back up a half-step.

I just took a C-string and tuned it to a low-G (I re-arranged a re-entrant set to get linear tuning). That's 5 half-steps down. I like the sound and reduced fretting pressure required, but others may not.

G down to D would also be 5 half-steps.

anthonyg
06-25-2016, 04:36 PM
My standard Tenor tuning with regular low G tenor strings is E,A,C#,F# which is down 3 semitones. I detuned 4 semitones for a while and this sounded good. Down 5 semitones to baritone tuning is very flabby with standard tenor strings.

It will depend a bit on the action of the instrument in question. The lower the action the fewer semitones down you will be able to go. I find detuning 3 semitones on a Tenor to be perfectly stable.

Anthony

Jim Hanks
06-25-2016, 04:37 PM
I haven't tried to go super low but the best advice I saw on the other thread is to start with a new string and go up until you enjoy playing it. If you start high and tune down, you ruin some on the elasticity of the string and it won't work as well at the lower pitch.

Mivo
06-25-2016, 07:32 PM
Here's the video where Gordon Mark plays a KoAloha tenor in linear G tuning (DGBE):


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwkO33PuHmA

The low-D is fairly quiet on that body size, but he utilized it beautifully. I think it would require a high tension wound string to pull it off.

Booli
06-25-2016, 09:16 PM
I haven't tried to go super low but the best advice I saw on the other thread is to start with a new string and go up until you enjoy playing it. If you start high and tune down, you ruin some on the elasticity of the string and it won't work as well at the lower pitch.

Thanks Jim :)

I have said exactly this ^^^ (emphasis added by me) MANY times here in string discussions - you have to start LOW and upon first string installation with a new set, tune UP to the LOWER pitches, whatever they may be.

Right now, I have a set of Martin M620 strings on a tenor tuned to E-A-C#-F#, and it works fine partly because these strings have NEVER EVER EVER been tuned higher than that, and the 3rd string or "C" string from the set is a 0.0340" diameter fluoro string, which is thicker and higher tension than literally EVERY other all-fluoro string set that you can buy right now.

All of the 4 dozen or so fluoro sets that I have seen for sale, from about a dozen string brands, do not have a string thicker than 0.0320" or 0.0319", nor have an unwound fluoro string for that position with more than ~12 lbs tension.

Less than ~11 lbs of tension on a tenor, AT ANY PITCH is like a floppy rubber band and will give a tubby, muddy sound.

I have tried every single brand and set of strings that I could find to buy, from over a dozen different sources, and this I have proven in my own hands.

Whether YOU (as in YOU as in ANYONE at all) like the floppy feel, and tubby, muddy sound is a completely different issue, and one that I cannot speak to for you.

Some folks cannot tell any difference in string tension or sound, no matter what set they use, and maybe are just easy to please in that 'it sounds LIKE a ukulele', but there are some of us here on UU that have a more acute hearing perception and different preferences in just WHAT we want out ukes to SOUND LIKE, and oddly enough we are ALSO the few with the acute hearing perception to hear intonation problems that other folks are simply and COMPLETELY unaware of.

Sometimes, truly, ignorance is bliss.:music:

Croaky Keith
06-25-2016, 09:45 PM
I have used concert low G strings on my tenor tuned to low DGBE, & I like it's sound. :)

Edit: Aquila Nylgut with a Red low G.

JackLuis
06-26-2016, 06:06 AM
I've tried several Fluorocarbon Tenor (Hi g) sets on my tenors tuned dGBE and the tension is lower but fine for me. Fretting is easier and intonation is good, but I've never tried low D. I like the re-entrant d sound better.

I think tuning a new set up is the right way to go. Tuning to C and then down G makes the strings very floppy. I did that on Fremont Blacklines and it took days for them to recover after tuning back down. You could try it next time you change strings, Tune to G and then play of a few days to get the strings to settle down, if you don't like them that way, tune them up to C and carry on.

chuck in ny
06-27-2016, 05:15 AM
I have used concert low G strings on my tenor tuned to low DGBE, & I like it's sound. :)

Edit: Aquila Nylgut with a Red low G.

as it happens i have aquila red concert low G strings around. thanks, i'll give it a try. honestly i never would have thought of it.

Croaky Keith
06-27-2016, 05:48 AM
as it happens i have aquila red concert low G strings around. thanks, i'll give it a try. honestly i never would have thought of it.

You're welcome - actually I got the idea from someone else who was putting tenor strings on a baritone. :)