View Full Version : Strings for Warren Ellis Electric Tenor "Chicago Tuning"

02-22-2018, 10:14 AM
Hey guys,

In case you weren't aware, chicago tuning means its tuned like the top 4 strings of a guitar, or like a baritone uke, D-G-B-E.

Now the reason im posting this here is im a previous long time baritone ukulele player.

That being said, ive been looking at D'addarios EJ26 custom light strings. Since im a uke player, I would prefer a much lighter tension string. ive decided to stick with steel, or nickel wound, because i would prefer this on an electric instrument. The only issue is that the strings above are meant for an acoustic guitar. and since this is electric I would prefer something made for that but with a lighter tension

Anywho, the Warren Ellis String Gauge guide tells me that the gauges should be around 0.32, 0.24, 0.14, 0.11, but with wiggle room for sure.

So I thought about D'addarios EJ20 Jazz Nickel wound extra light, to grab that electric sound, still be within the proper string gauge, and have the tension im looking for.

What do you guys think in regards to strings that will capture the "electric" feel of the instrument, that generally fall into the gauges ive listed, and that have an overall lighter tension?

02-22-2018, 10:29 AM
Go to Strings by Mail and order the individual D'Addario strings. I do this all the time for my tenor guitars and individual classical guitar strings for my baritones. It is cheaper and you can get the exact diameters you want.

Another great source of information is Mandolin Cafe. There is a Tenor Guitar subform that is very active. I know some of those guys own Warren Ellis tenors so they can give you first hand advice.

02-22-2018, 12:57 PM
Have you tried the Billy Gibbons strings for lower tension?

02-25-2018, 03:42 AM
Don't overthink. The Warren Ellis isn't some "new" exotic instrument that needs custom strings
It's basically a guitar, though slightly shorter scale. Guitar is tuned EADGBE. The Warren Ellis guitar is tuned DGBE.

So just use any 4th-1st (DGBE) strings of an electric guitar set.
It's a real no-brainer ;)

The slightly shorter scale would mean that the tension would feel a tiny bit looser than on a full-scale-length guitar.
The solution to this is another no-brainer. Then use a slightly heavier gauge set.

The manufacturer recommended tensions are a bit too high for my liking. 11's are considered Medium tension.
From memory, I think I just used DGBE from D'addario's 010 (light) set.

Full sets of guitar strings are so cheap and readily available that I would not bother ordering individual strings.
Just buy the full set and don't use the E-A strings.

And remember - SETUP is very important.
I'd recommend getting it properly setup by a professional (unless you know what you're doing) at least for the first time, to ensure slick playability and intonation.