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Dec 4, 2021 - 3:36:55 PM
21 posts since 2/5/2009

On my squareneck, will it break strings tuning some up from GBDGBD to EBEG#BE? Never tried it on this guitar, and I don’t really want strings breaking.

Dec 4, 2021 - 6:23:24 PM
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3785 posts since 7/27/2008

Not really wanting strings breaking -  a sound strategy I'd say! wink

If you're trying Open E for the first time to see if you like it - here's the easiest way to  get there. Tune down to Open D (DADF#AD) and provided you have a dobro capo, attach it to the seconded fret.  This is often what Jerry Douglas when he plays Leadbelly's "On a Monday."  He flips the lever back on his DoubleShot to change to D, then puts the capo on the 2nd fret.

Obviously the 6th string goes down to E from G. 

As far as tuning to Open E with a standard dobro string set - one string you will likely have trouble with will be the 4th or low D string. If the typical 36w is on there it will probably blow if you try to tune it up to E. Need a 34 or even a 32 to be really safe. 

Deoending on one's guitar, the 3rd string G might not like going up to G# - I can't say for sure - I never do it. Whenever I retune the 3rd string it's always down. 

The plain first string D going up to E should be no problem. 

Dec 4, 2021 - 6:51:50 PM
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390 posts since 11/28/2012

I don’t recommend tuning up to Open E with a standard set. I know there are players who do it, but the one time I tried, it felt ready to blow at any moment. I couldn’t relax and play, it felt too tight.

Mark is right, use Open D, and capo to E if your goal is to get to E.

Dec 4, 2021 - 7:00:31 PM
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21 posts since 2/5/2009

Thanks, I was thinking of the Jerry Douglas approach. Trying to switch a tune I play bottleneck style on a round neck to dobro.

Dec 4, 2021 - 7:33:48 PM

lap dog

USA

8 posts since 9/25/2020

I have one of my square necks tuned down to D and use a capo to take it to E. I keep one of my lap steels in E to make it easy to jam with other guitar players as that’s a blues key universe they live in.

Dec 5, 2021 - 10:26:20 AM

wlgiii

USA

1270 posts since 9/28/2010

I use a regular set tuned to E and haven't had any issues, not even with the third string. D + capo 2 has been tried, but the sustain & resonance aren't quite the same as straight open E. This holds true for my National Tricone, Appalachian dobro, and Oahu non-reso.

Dec 5, 2021 - 10:27:56 AM

wlgiii

USA

1270 posts since 9/28/2010

I forgot to add:

Here's the Appy in open E with a regular string set: resohangout.com/topic/53508

Dec 5, 2021 - 12:16:31 PM

3785 posts since 7/27/2008

Wayne, can you tell us the gauges on these D'Addario strings? And a link to the actual set?

I have a "project" dobro along with a couple lap steels that don't get played much and maybe I would give them a shot with Open E. 

To repeat what I wrote earlier, if I try to tune a .036w 4th string from D to E from a typical resophonic set on my Clinesmith, it'll blow every time. 

Edited by - MarkinSonoma on 12/05/2021 12:21:57

Dec 6, 2021 - 11:23:46 AM

wlgiii

USA

1270 posts since 9/28/2010

I'm currently using Martin Retro medium gauge:

.013, .017, .026, .035, .045, .056

Dec 6, 2021 - 5:03:03 PM

390 posts since 11/28/2012

quote:
Originally posted by wlgiii

I'm currently using Martin Retro medium gauge:

.013, .017, .026, .035, .045, .056


Yeah, I wouldn't have any issues tuning to Open E with these gauges.

It's the .028 or .029w 3rd string, and/or the .036w 4th in a standard set that cause the issues in Open E.  At least for me.

I bet your .035 is still tight though, no?

Dec 7, 2021 - 11:27:01 AM

wlgiii

USA

1270 posts since 9/28/2010

It's a bit tight, but not noticeably so. Or at least not any more; I may have just gotten used to it over time.

Dec 7, 2021 - 11:48:17 AM

3785 posts since 7/27/2008

I suspected that Wayne was referring to strings for standard guitar ("regular string set") but the answer was ambiguous - it could mean "regular dobro/resophonic strings" since that is the entire theme of this forum. That's why I asked for the specifics earlier. 

 Strings in the medium Monel set  I would question for my own playing in Open E: 13 first string seems a little wimpy to me. The 35w fourth tuned up fron D to E might snap on my Clinesmith, but not on my other guitars.  Don't know the science behind it but it could have something to do with the Sperzel locking tuners on the Clinesmith. 

The 26w third tuned up to G# should be fine. In my earlier post I speculated that going up a half step might be risky, but I was basing that on the assumption that we were talking about the most common gauge nowadays in a "regular dobro" set which is 28w, and not a 26w from a flattop  guitar set. But since the wound 3rd is the first to die, tuning a lighter gauge 3rd up to G# makes me wonder if it will start sounding  bad fairly quickly. 
 

Edited by - MarkinSonoma on 12/07/2021 11:51:05

Dec 7, 2021 - 1:34:20 PM

wlgiii

USA

1270 posts since 9/28/2010

I was indeed referring to regular guitar as in round neck non-reso EADGBD. Our local store had a few packs of those Martin Retros in the discount bin because Martin was changing the packaging, so I figured "hey, cheap strings to try" and ended up liking them.

Dec 8, 2021 - 10:41:37 AM

1304 posts since 1/14/2011
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quote:
Originally posted by MarkinSonoma

He flips the lever back on his DoubleShot to change to D, then puts the capo on the 2nd fret.


This is what I do...very convenient.

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