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Open E w/ Mediums(?)


jchabalk
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I'm working on a few songs in open E and I wanted to see what if anyone's got any experience playing in this tuning. I'm mainly wondering about potential damage to the guitar. I've been playing tuned to open D with a capo at the second fret but the string tension isn't right and i'm getting a lot of flopping around.

My guitar is a 2008 J-45 with D'addario EJ17 mediums / .013

 

 

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I occassionally play in Open E tuning.

A solidly constructed, modern guitar will easily withstand the forces of an Open E tuning, even if it is tuned like that for long stretches of time. The added tension is not that much higher compared to standard tuning. Less fortunate guitars should probably tune to open D and use a capo at the second fret for playing just to err on the side of safety. Vintage and antique guitars should probably let it be, as they are often tuned to an even lighter tuning than standard and with super light strings to top it off.

I would not terribly recommend medium strings for Open E tuning even with modern guitars, since the added tension of medium-gauge strings is nothing to scoff at and makes barré-fretting, which Open E requires in spades, a lot harder.

I noticed that by switching from one to the other tuning that you might want to re-adjust your truss rod to fine-tune the neck to be as straight as you can possibly make it without buzzing for easier playing.

Edited by Leonard McCoy
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 Open E only involves tuning up two strings a whole step and another 1/2 step.  The question is string gauge.  The only guitars I normally string with 13s are carved top archtops.  But when it comes to flat tops my Gibsons are much older than yours and lighter built so I tend to keep it on the conservative side when it comes to string gauge.  If I wanted to go heavier my normal inclination with a flat top would be to go with a mix and match 13-53 set which was the route I tended to take back in the day.         

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