Hey there folks,

I'm a total newbie when it comes to building and playing (if you can even call it that) CBG's.  I have just completed a 3-string guitar.  I have it strung up and tuned to open G (GDG).  But, the strings I have on there are all too high pitched for my liking.


What gauge strings should I use to get a good bluesy sound out of my guitar?


I have just bought a couple packs of Ernie Ball strings and I'm not sure which ones to use.  I plan on experimenting with some different combinations, but I thought some of you on here might have some pointers on where I should start.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.




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that's strung kinda light. What gauges are the strings in the pack? Is it a medium set of acoustic strings?

You might want to try something @ .32 .24 .16 or if you want all wound somewhere @ .42 .32 .24

I'm not exactly sure what I've got on there now. 


I have one pack of "Regular Slinky" strings that are 10/13/17/26/36/46 and the other is "Beefy Slinky" 11/15/22/30/42/54.


I'll probably start with the Beefy 42/30/22.  Thanks! 

The strings you have on there might sound better tuned GBD by the way...


It all depends on the scale length, no one can recommend a particular string for a given pitch without that info..
I'd use the lowest (fattest) three. You can use the remaining three on a second three string and tune to the same key an octave higher so they're pleasing to hear together.
You may or may not get to g depending on the scale length, but you just adjust the middle note to fit and it'll all work. For example if the outer strings will only reach to E and you fear going higher for breaking one or cracking your top / overstressing you're neck (both will probably handle a bit more than you'd expect) then the target middle note (was D for a G tuning) will be adjusted down to B (3 frets worth) you'll find it is the lightest string which limits things first.

You can pretty much do this with any consecutive three from a regular set of strings but using the lowest makes for a nice pleasing register and of course leaves a second consecutive three which is good, in time you have a small box of loose unused strings which is sucky to have to dig thru to save a dollar

It's 25.5" from bridge to nut.  Thanks for the help.

I love your bridge/saddle with the hinge over top.  You could see that on my next build!  Thanks

you can buy strings singly on ebay, use Ernieball slinkys 32-24-16 (-:

Don't buy packs of strings, buy singles to get the exact gauges you need. 042, 032, 024 - that will get you a deep growly sound with G- D - G if you are on a regular-ish guitar scale.

Some people poopoo online string calculators but I've had some good success with them.

Standard guitar tuning, low to high is E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4 (middle C on a piano is C4).

on http://wahiduddin.net/calc/calc_guitar_string.htm

You can input your scale length, the note you want in the octave you want and even desired string tension (I like 16lbs per string).

So a G2 with 16lbs of tension would be 0.03483 or around a 35, rounding up. 

Rounding up (or down depending) a G2 D3 G3 set for a 25.5" scale at 16lbs tension would be:

.35 .23 .17 or thereabouts (which is around what a few have suggested)

Your mileage may vary.

If you want a lower sound, maybe go to DAD?
D2 A2 D3 : .46 .31 .23 (or thereabouts) 

i get my strings at the guitar junkyard and can get em in singles. i use a w36, w26 and a plain 18. the A, D, and G strings if you buy in a pack of six. if you drop the A string down one step you have an open G tuning, but i leave it alone and tune the D and G string up one step so im in open A E A


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