Was messing around and wanted to see how many different open tunings I could get out of the gauge of strings i use. Went online and checked out different brands and gauges. Came up with this chart. 

The top row is the open tuning for a standard six string guitar. Below each string are the gauges used for that tuning from thickest to thin. Colors are used to represent the same tuning used on the next string higher in pitch. If you compare the strings used to tune both E and A you'll see that some of the strings used to tune a low E can also be used to tune to A.

The ? to ? below each column is the preposed tunings for those strings. I only went one step lower on each string. Tuning down from A to G. Because if you make your strings too loose they start to sound wobbly. 

The next row down is the gauge of strings I use and what I believe I should be able to tune them to. 

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No time to work it out , but what about mixing two sets different  gauges. May also depend on if you are stringing up for slide or mainly fretting. 


Well Taff, I had another glass or two of red and then came up with the following:- Do one of the three as a Shane Speal low E, E B using the E, D and B from one set, then a straightforward GDG using the A, D and G from the other, and finally a GDG with the remaining low E, A and G. Leaves a B and two top Es for should I ever go into the uke business. Or, as previously threatened, cheese wire....

Don't really think sliding or fretting would matter. The over all range determines what key you can tune the guitar. This does help singers. I find myself tuning to higher keys so I'm not singing low. To low in G I can turn to B and the song sounds better. I have a low voice. A slide only player can have CGBs in different keys to add variety to a performance. 

I can see mixing sets to reach a desired key. Higher or lower than G. 

Hi, I find that light strings, when a bottle neck slide is used, can result in rattle on the frets easier and lower volume. So I keep the heavier gauges for slide set ups.

Bluegrass/Dobro factory sets run to 56 to 16, the sets I buy anyway.


I was totally unaware there were 16 gauge high E's. When looking for info on bronze strings I've found that D'Addario has tension charts for each set. Their 16 gauge high E runs a tension of 30.740 with 10's around 16.2. HUGE difference. And going by the tension of their B string it could easily handle being tuned up to that high E. However I'm not sure of the strength of phosphor bronze and how it would handle being tuned up.

Iv'e got the D'Addario site saved. It'll take some time to go through all this cool data. I feel confident my estimates on electric guitar strings are accurate enough to help fellow players out with finding new tunings. I know different types of strings will have different strengths. Try but there may be breakage is the best I can offer for now.  

16s? Yeesh! I once strung my Hondo LP copy (DiMarzio humbuckers) with 13s for rhythm playing and I could scarcely get them down to the fingerboard...

Been pondering your 'two sets different gauges' idea. Much heavier than 10s and you couldn't get the low E up to G; much lighter and the B would be too light, I think. I've got a few on the bench- I'll see if the 'two GDGs and one EE'B' thing will fly.

Hi, I said earlier that electric sets of strings have unwound 3rds,ooops! I'm just fitting a few of my CBGs with new strings, Jazz style 12 - 52 and found that the 3rds are wound. Sorry 'bout that.


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