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Recommendation of using 6th tuning on a Resonator Guitar

Oct 15, 2021 - 2:41:41 PM



5 posts since 6/28/2019

Am in the process of obtaining a second Resonator guitar and tuning it to a Western Swing tuning 6th tuning (135613). What tuning would be best so as not to affect the neck and what string gauges (or string set including brand) would be best?

Was thinking G6 GBDEGB.

Edited by - DoBeau on 10/16/2021 12:31:36

Oct 15, 2021 - 4:08:11 PM



1259 posts since 9/28/2010

First, you can put the 6th wherever you like, but 135613 seems to be the most common 6th tuning, wit the most materials out there. As for key, I suggest you see what suits the singer keys; I use C6 as it suits us best. You shouldn't have any tension issues if you go to Hawaiian for their nice string gauge chart. Brands? I like John Pearse or SIT. SIT strings are for lap steels, but work on resonators.

Oct 15, 2021 - 6:39:08 PM
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3727 posts since 7/27/2008

The most popular form of G6 for dobro is low to high GBEGBD or 136135. You can get there on the guitar you already have by putting a lighter string on the 4th. Instead of the typical 36w put on a 34w or or even a 32w.

For some reason my Clinesmith in the past hasn't liked the 34 going back and forth from D to E and I have broken some strings. A lot of guitars don't have this problem and I'm not sure of the explanation. It could be the Sperzel locking tuners but that's just a wild guess. If I go down to a 32w, no problem.  

There is C6 and A6. Pretty light strings required for C6 and you may not care for the sound because the cone doesn't get "loaded" like it does with G6. Wayne mentioned that there are a lot of learning materials for C6, but that pertains more to lap steel and not so much for dobro. 

Cindy Cashdollar's Dobro Variations teaching DVD from Homespun is a good one to have. They have gone mostly to downloads but you might find a used copy of the DVD with some googling. I am on the mailing list and I have purchased downloadable courses in recent years and they have specials pretty much every week on different titles at 40-50% off regular price. 

Check out Cindy playing GBEGBD G6 at the beginning of the teaser video:

Edited by - MarkinSonoma on 10/15/2021 18:44:28

Oct 18, 2021 - 4:10:27 AM



38 posts since 12/22/2010

I like A6 for the simple reason that it works well on my 22.5" scale lap steel and my 25" scale resonator. I'm easily confused, so this helps. blush

Oct 24, 2021 - 8:57 PM

306 posts since 9/24/2014

Originally posted by maxmax

I like A6 for the simple reason that it works well on my 22.5" scale lap steel and my 25" scale resonator. I'm easily confused, so this helps. blush

I like A6 better than C6 too, never tried it on a reso yet though.

Nov 5, 2021 - 11:21:04 AM



1259 posts since 9/28/2010

While you're experimenting, try A11; it's the Hawaiian B11 down a step, to be closer to regular string gauges. A11 is just taking high G and ing 4,5 &6 up a step so you have AC#EGBD (or 135724, I think). It gives you 6th notes, 7th notes & minors. Worth a try to have some fun and see how it works, then return to normalcy. Or stay.....

Nov 5, 2021 - 12:09:04 PM

3727 posts since 7/27/2008

Taking a typical very tight  16/17-56 dobro set and tuning the bottom 3 strings up a whole step - guitars can react differently to higher tension depending on their construction, but with the standard set I think I would put on some safety glasses prior to cranking up those strings. 

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