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Baby Taylor strings gauge and tuning


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Hi all. 

I have a fairly new Baby Taylor mahogony guitar which comes with light gauged strings. The tuning is okay in standard tuning, but once I tune half step down, intonation is horrible. 

Taylor recommends using light gauged strings. If I change to medium gauge and tune half step down, would the tension be too much? Would it help tuning stability? 

What are other ways to improve tuning and intonation without costing a fortune? 

Thank you!

 

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monster_inc wrote:

Hi all. 

I have a fairly new Baby Taylor mahogony guitar which comes with light gauged strings. The tuning is okay in standard tuning, but once I tune half step down, intonation is horrible. 

Taylor recommends using light gauged strings. If I change to medium gauge and tune half step down, would the tension be too much? Would it help tuning stability? 

What are other ways to improve tuning and intonation without costing a fortune? 

Thank you!

 

What you want to do is try to maintain the total string tension that the guitar was designed for.   It just so happens that for a normal scale length guitar, lights (0.012-53) at concert, mediums (0.013-56) at D# and "heavies" (0.014-60 or so) at D have almost exactly the same tension.   This little chart is very handy for visualizing string tension in different tunings - you Baby will be somewhat less because of its shorter scale.

http://theunofficialmartinguitarforum.yuku.com/topic/5339/String-Tension#.UbShrhTn-1s

If you really want to get into detail about calculating string tension (lets say for an altered tuning like DADGAD) the D'Addario chart is really handy - obviously the tensions are generic for any brand of strings

http://daddario.com/upload/tension_chart_13934.pdf

Most people find that mediums will let them tune down two semi tones, but the answer to your question is that they should be perfect for one.

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In my opinion those guitars do best with extra light stings and tuned a whole step higher than standard.

 

The sound is wonderful that way. If you consider it a different instrument than a regular guitar. Something like a big mandolin. You'll be reaching for it for all those songs you normally would capo at the 2nd or 3rd fret of a regular guitar.

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monster_inc wrote:

Thank you both. Unfortunately tuning up is not an option because of vocal range. 

 

Who says tuning up means you have to sing higher? Just play a C where you would have played a D. Play an F where you would have played a G. Play a G instead of an A etc.....

You might like the different voicings backing your singing.

It also might mix better with other guitars in standard tuning by being a little differently voiced.

Capos pretty much make short scale guitars too.

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