Best guitar strings for detuning

Guitar strings for detuning

Many guitarists use alternative tunings like drop C or drop D, or even detune the whole guitar. But which are the best guitar strings for detuning?

The problem with detuning is that most 'regular' guitar strings are designed to be played on a standard-length neck with standard E tuning. When you detune, the string loses tention and can feel 'floppy' and lead to fret buzz.

The basic rule for detuning is to but thicker strings than normal. You can either but single strings to replace the ones being tuned down, or buy sets better suited to your choice of tuning. If you are purely a rhythmn guitar player then an overall heavy gauge is probably best, such as the Ernie Ball Beefy Slinky strings pictured. However, be aware that sometimes you might need to adjust the slots on your guitar's nut as thicker strings can stick in the nut slots, typically causing tuning problems. You can either widen the slots slightly yourself with a needle file or very fine sandpaper, or get the job done proffessionally by a guitar tech at your local guitar store - it should be a very low cost job.

For heavy metal styles where drop D is often used for ease of playing power chords but fast 'shred' lead is also played it is usually best to go for Skinny Top, Heavy Bottom type strings. This ensures that your detuned bass stings have enough tension, but your top strings are still light (thin) enough to play lead.

Examples of string sets designed for detuning are:

Ernie Ball Beefy Slinky Electric Strings (11-54) "Optimal for detuning"
Perfect for those who like to detune their instrument to lower tuning combinations. Metal fans worldwide have gravitated towards the Beefy Slinky set to give their guitar the optimal gauge combination for Drop D & Drop C tuning. These strings are precision manufactured to the highest standards and most exacting specifications to ensure consistency, optimum performance, and long life. Beefy Slinky wound strings are made from nickel plated steel wire wrapped around a hex shaped steel core wire. The plain strings are made of specially tempered tin plated high carbon steel; producing a well balanced tone for your guitar.

Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottom (10-52)
A hybrid set for those who like thick bottom strings without sacrificing the ability to solo on smaller strings. These strings are precision manufactured to the highest standards and most exacting specifications to ensure consistency, optimum performance, and long life. The wound strings are made from nickel plated steel wire wrapped around a hex shaped steel core wire. The plain strings are made of specially tempered tin plated high carbon steel; producing a well balanced tone for your guitar.

D'Addario EXL140 Light Top Heavy Bottom (10-52)
D'Addario pioneered the use of nickel-plated steel for electric guitar. Today, discerning professionals like Mark Tremonti, John Scofield, Pat Metheny, and Brad Delson, just to name a few, choose XLs for their distinctive bright sound and excellent intonation. D'Addario XL Electric Guitar strings are world-renowned as "The Player's Choice" amongst guitar players of all genres and styles. XL strings are wound with nickel-plated steel and are known for their distinctive bright tone and excellent intonation.

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