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Open C tuning - slack strings?

GUEST 24 Feb 10 - 03:20 PM
Phil Cooper 24 Feb 10 - 03:36 PM
Midchuck 24 Feb 10 - 03:38 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 24 Feb 10 - 03:41 PM
pdq 24 Feb 10 - 03:44 PM
Jack Campin 24 Feb 10 - 04:43 PM
Melissa 24 Feb 10 - 04:53 PM
Nick 24 Feb 10 - 05:43 PM
pdq 24 Feb 10 - 05:53 PM
JedMarum 24 Feb 10 - 06:13 PM
GUEST, Sminky 25 Feb 10 - 04:34 AM
GUEST,Roj 25 Feb 10 - 04:46 AM
mandotim 25 Feb 10 - 06:26 AM
Backwoodsman 25 Feb 10 - 06:30 AM
Flashmeister 25 Feb 10 - 07:04 AM
The Sandman 25 Feb 10 - 02:14 PM
GUEST,woodsie 25 Feb 10 - 02:27 PM
Murray MacLeod 25 Feb 10 - 03:35 PM
theleveller 26 Feb 10 - 03:52 AM
mattkeen 26 Feb 10 - 09:15 AM
mattkeen 26 Feb 10 - 09:17 AM
John P 26 Feb 10 - 10:19 AM
GUEST, Sminky 26 Feb 10 - 12:24 PM
GUEST,jeff 26 Feb 10 - 03:09 PM
John P 26 Feb 10 - 06:38 PM
GUEST,Tom in Ireland 18 Jun 10 - 11:08 AM
Murray MacLeod 18 Jun 10 - 04:41 PM
Nick 17 Jul 10 - 05:59 AM
GUEST,Jay R 15 Mar 15 - 08:58 PM
Musket 16 Mar 15 - 04:21 AM
GUEST 16 Mar 15 - 08:14 AM
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Subject: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 03:20 PM

Can anyone advise me whether it's possible to replace the usual low E string when using open C tuning so that it won't be so slack?

I'm new to this game - my first attempt at playing this way (Gloomy Winter - Dougie Maclean).

Also - how do you do a search on this forum? I've tried many times on lots of topics but never had a hit (e.g. surely ther are psoting on 'open tuning')

Also should I get an email if someone replies to this? Is there a way of setting it up to do that?


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 03:36 PM

You might want to use a heavier gauge E string for the low C. Though I've not had problems using a light gauge E on my guitars. They don't seem to wimp out with the string tuned two steps down. I recall a Martin Carthy video where he mentioned using a thicker string for the low E (I think mine if .054, he suggested .056 or .057).


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: Midchuck
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 03:38 PM

Sure. You just need a somewhat heavier gauge low E. A .60 or something instead of the standard .52 to .56. Donno if you're in Blighty or US, so I don't know about the availability of single strings in nonstandard gauges. Over here, Elderly can fix you right up.

Of course, that's only a good idea if you're going to stay in that tuning. If you tune back up to standard with that string on, bad things might happen.

Peter


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 03:41 PM

GUEST - there's a problem with the search engine at the moment - the top search box only returns results from the DT (song) database and is not properly searching the posted threads.

You have two options for searching the threads:

1) Put the phrase in the Filter box, set Age drop-down to All, and press Refresh - this will find threads with the phrase in the title.

2) Use the Google custom search box - it's the bottom box in the search area - and press Search.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: pdq
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 03:44 PM

Perhaps you could tune the 6th string up to G rather than down to C?


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 04:43 PM

Arabic ouds often use a tuning with the lowest string a C, so if you live somewhere where you can buy single oud strings that might do it. (Their scale length is typically about 61cm, dunno what a guitar is).


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: Melissa
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 04:53 PM

Guest, when somebody responds to a question by posting in a thread, the thread goes to the top of the list on the front page and the number beside it goes up.

You can get/send private messages here by signing in as a member. Mudcat doesn't have a notification system (unless one of the gadgety new clickythings provides that service?) which is probably for the best. Some topics would overload your inbox with notification messages.

Welcome to mudcat!


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: Nick
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 05:43 PM

Dougie Maclean tunes his guitar to open C (or open C minor) but rarely plays in C. Usually capos at 4th or 5th fret with many of his songs - eg Caledonia is in E, Ready for the Storm in Fm, Talking with My Father in E, Garden Valley in F.


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: pdq
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 05:53 PM

Imagine going to a Socialist rally and having a Folk concert break out.


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: JedMarum
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 06:13 PM

Most players who regularly tune low, to C or nearby, do place heavier gauge strings on the low tuned ones. I would NOT do that if you only use C tuning part-time on that guitar.

String gauges and tuning effect your overall neck tension and you can put too much stress on your guitar and and cause problems. Most of the time, temporary retunings are not an issue.

I play with a few players who tune to C, and yes the guitars tend to sound a but "slack stringed" - but it is musical within the piece and they pick very carefully to reduce the "slack string" sound.


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 04:34 AM

I have a guitar permanently tuned to CGDGCD, I use a .56 gauge 6th string and don't usually have a problem. Using a capo also helps.


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: GUEST,Roj
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 04:46 AM

The D'Addario website has a string tension chart. If you look up the string gauge you've got on now and find it's tension tuned to E, then find the gauge that is at or near that figure when tuned to C you'll have maintained the appropriate balance across the instrument. Don't however, then tune the new string up to E or D, for you will find that you have spectacular levels of neck relief at best, the bridge in your lap at worst. Hope that helps


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: mandotim
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 06:26 AM

Simplest answer is to talk to Malcolm Newton at Newtone Strings in Derbyshire. He can hand-make any sort of string or set you like (I'd recommend .058 or .060 for low C). His strings are great, and used by a lot of the pros for alternate tunings. Not ruinously expensive either, and they last well. Website is here . No finanncial interest, they're just good strings.
Tim


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 06:30 AM

Here's another vote for Malcolm Newton at Newtone Strings. I use his 'C' sets and they are my usual gauges (12 - 54) but with heavier cores in the wound strings, so they feel exactly like a standard set in standard (EADGBE) tuning. And they don't put any additional stress on the neck or have that 'sloppy twangy' sound either.


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: Flashmeister
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 07:04 AM

I'm in a C tuning on a J200 at the moment - it is absolutely fine on medium gauge strings and the big old body of teh beast really makes the notes sing, my partner though is using the D'Addario heavies on a smaller bodied guitar(green pack I think)and that reduced any slight rattle from the string slackness and gave a richer bass tone. also on the mediums i found the top string was sounding a wee bit thin and sharper in sound than before but then I have not long put brass pegs on them so that might be a contributing factor and I am just not used to them!
I have to say though that the poor old box felt like it was screaming when it went back into standard after being in C for so long - I would say if you are thinking of regularly playing in C tunings if you can do have a guitar tuned just in C to save on stressing the neck.....and as a good excuse to get another guitar
:-D


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 02:14 PM

Interesting thought tuning the e string up,does trhis cause ternsion problems?does the string snap,or do you use a lighter gauge 5 string?


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: GUEST,woodsie
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 02:27 PM

Nick Harper uses a piano string for the low C to get exactly the correct tension.


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 03:35 PM

using a piano string seems like a bit of a faff when you can get exactly the same result easier and quicker by using the Newtone Open C set.


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: theleveller
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 03:52 AM

"I have a guitar permanently tuned to CGDGCD, I use a .56 gauge 6th string and don't usually have a problem."

Yes, me too. I use 13 to 56 gauge and, after considerable trial and error, have discovered that D'Addarrio are the best for the job on my big Lowden. I have no problem playing without a capo in this tuning but tend to use the 6th string more as a drone to add a bass beat - it's just a question of adapting your playing style and the guitar does need to be set up correctly, though mine still has a very low action. Depending on the song, however, I do often capo up to the 2nd, 3rd or 5th fret (try it on the 9th - the effect is amazing!).


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: mattkeen
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 09:15 AM

Me too
13 to 56 tuning CGCDGC


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: mattkeen
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 09:17 AM

PS
Martin Carthy use the heaviest he can get with his 1st string starting at a 17

He basically wants to create the same tension as you would have with a medium set on standard tuning


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: John P
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 10:19 AM

I tune my guitar C G C G C G, bass to treble, where the bass C is two steps below the normal low E and the highest string is 3 semitones above the normal high E.

String gauges: .059 .047 .036 .026 .016 .009

You can't tune back and forth to normal tuning.

John


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 12:24 PM

You can't tune back and forth to normal tuning

John P - I'm amazed you can get that E up to G with a .009 in the first place!


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: GUEST,jeff
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 03:09 PM

Medium gauge 12-string sets have .009s for the 1st course and the G octave...piano string seems a bit of pretense for the low C. Anything between .056 and .060 will suffice.


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: John P
Date: 26 Feb 10 - 06:38 PM

I keep expecting the .009 for the high G to break, but I've been using that tuning and those string gauges for a few years now and haven't ever broken one. I arrived at the string sizes by making some shrewd guesses and then changing a couple slightly until all the strings felt like they had the right amount of tension and sounded good. It seems to be working.


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: GUEST,Tom in Ireland
Date: 18 Jun 10 - 11:08 AM

Hi Guest,

Just to let you know, I think the tuning for Gloomy winter is as follows:

C=6th Strig
G=5th String
C=4th String
G=3rd String
C=2nd String
D#=1st String

At least, that's what works well for me.

Regards,
Tom


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 18 Jun 10 - 04:41 PM

1st string tuned to D# ?

I don't think so.

Tuned to D would work, and tuned to E would work just as well, but hardly to D#.


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: Nick
Date: 17 Jul 10 - 05:59 AM

Murray I'd think it very likely it is Eb on the top string. He uses the same tuning on Ready for the Storm. On the version I just listened to of Gloomy Winter it's in Fm and I'd guess he sticks his capo on 5th fret as that area seems a favourite spot for him


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: GUEST,Jay R
Date: 15 Mar 15 - 08:58 PM

C-G-C-G-C-D# is Open C-Minor. It rocks. I play it all the time. Tune the D# to an E and you have Open C-Major. I havent tuned Standard tuning in over 2 years. I use the D'Adario True Medium set, and have just about perfect tension and action with no fret buzz at all...


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: Musket
Date: 16 Mar 15 - 04:21 AM

I like open C. I tend to tune my baritone guitar down from it so open C is capo 2nd fret.

For my other guitars, yeah, the bottom string isn't thick enough and not really worth having one thicker as it buzzes on drop D, DADGAD etc (I set a rather low action.)


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Subject: RE: Open C tuning - slack strings?
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Mar 15 - 08:14 AM

Martin Carthy gauges

http://editthis.info/geartome/Martin_Carthy


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