I'd like to tune a Strat a whole step down, and I was wondering what gauge of strings I should use to get the same tension that I get in normal tuning with .010 strings.



I'd try .011s. Because they're heavier than .010s, they'll have higher tension, which might be enough to compensate for tuning them down a step. But perhaps more importantly, they'll have a plain third string rather than a wound one, which will help keep the feel similar to the feel of the .010s. I've tried .012s, but the wound third string feels very different.

  • .011-.052 is a good place to start. You can also try .012-.052 with an unwound G (LaBella Electrics Blues Heavy, for instance). I use these for tuning down 1 1/2 steps, which I find is somewhat slacker than standard E - but then again, I use .011-.052 for standard E.
    – user321
    May 26 '11 at 20:32

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