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Thread: Do i need to adjust the bridge if i use different tunings on a guitar?

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    Ultimate Tone Member SepultuRick's Avatar
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    Default Do i need to adjust the bridge if i use different tunings on a guitar?

    hi, me again, just wondering....i can only afford to have one guitar and my taste in music means that if i wanna try and play the music of some of my fave bands, i need to use a few different tunings all on the same guitar.

    so my question is, do i need to adjust the bridge then i change tunings? i currently have an adjustable bridge but also would like answers that concern other bridge types too as i am thinking of upgrading to a better guitar.

    thanks.

    oh by the way, what kind of guitars suit different tunings just out of interest?
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    Gear Ho Gearjoneser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do i need to adjust the bridge if i use different tunings on a guitar?

    Changing tunings DOES scramble your intonation slightly, so it's actually better to have different guitars for your tunings. However, you can get by..just tuning down a halfstep or dropping the low string, just to play a song. The only problem is that some of the chords on the neck won't ring 100% perfect.

    Whatever you do, don't buy heavier gauges of strings, unless you want to commit that guitar to a heavily downtuned guitar, complete with nut slot widening and thorough setup.

    Also, downtuning is best on guitars with the longest scale length, ideally. On a LP, downtuning will make the strings too floppy, unless you move up a couple gauges.

    Any time I've used an alternate tuning in a band's setlist, I made sure to bring along an extra guitar that's setup and intonated for that tuning. I'd rather switch guitars, than mess with tuning problems onstage.
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    Tone Member bbking1021's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do i need to adjust the bridge if i use different tunings on a guitar?

    +1 you could also try using a hybrid set of strings etc (10-52)
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    Ultimate Tone Member nahfuten's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do i need to adjust the bridge if i use different tunings on a guitar?

    My strat can go in and out of all sorts of tunings with no real problem at all!

    My LP on the other hand, sounds like crap even going to drop-d.
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    Lemur-buckerologist JacksonMIA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do i need to adjust the bridge if i use different tunings on a guitar?

    These guys are all correct. A floyd rose with a D-tuna will put you in drop-D faster than any of the others, but I wouldn't reccommend it if you're going to use any other tunings, as it's the most sensitive to tuning changes and string guage changes (It CAN be done, though). You should be able to get by pretty well with any non-floating bridge.
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    Tone Member Uncle Unborn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Do i need to adjust the bridge if i use different tunings on a guitar?

    Quote Originally Posted by bbking1021
    +1 you could also try using a hybrid set of strings etc (10-52)
    are there a set of strings from 10 to 42 available? I find the low E string too thick when I play chords...

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