I recently bought an Ibanez RG7421, which is a 7 string guitar with a 25.5 scale. It came tuned in standard tuning (from 1st to 7th: E B G D A E B). I want to tune it to drop G# (D# C F# C# G# D# G#) but with my actual strings the feel is too sloopy for my taste. I can tune it to drop A and it feels much better than drop G#.

My actual string gauge is .010/.013/.017/.026/.036/.046/.059. Since where I live is difficult to buy uncommon string gauges I wanted to ask which string pack is the best I could get for this tuning. The ones that I can get here are these ones:

Ernie ball 2730: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/ernie-ball-2730-cobalt-7-string-skinny-top-heavy-bottom-electric-guitar-strings


GHS Boomer 7 String Medium Heavy Electric Guitar Set (11-64): http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/ghs-boomer-7-string-medium-heavy-electric-guitar-set-11-64

I don't know if the GHS pack would be too thick for this tuning or which one should I prefer.

Thank you very much in advance!

  • Reckon your second string may be better tuned to A#. I also think that any of your co-players would understand 'downtuning to Eb/D#' better.
    – Tim
    Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 12:45

3 Answers 3


If you currently play .010s, I'd go with the Ernie Ball set. I pretty much swear by them for my normally fretted 7-strings and they are fine even down to a weird low-G based tuning I have dabbled with.

For fanned-fret I'd change things a wee bit as the extra length means you don't have the same problem with a floppy low string, so you can go a little thinner.

Actually - if you have few options where you are, I'd buy both so you can compare and contrast.

  • 1
    +1 for the last sentence. Personally I couldn't handle thin top-thick bottom but the recommendation to feel it out for oneself is really the best advice we could give. Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 17:39
  • 1
    it can feel a bit weird - I did once try .009's at the top down to a .072. Very strange, but perfectly playable
    – Doktor Mayhem
    Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 17:46
  • I recently bought a 10-52 set from D'ADDario and a 0.065 bass string, since I read that many people struggling to find this kind of strings use to get a single string to use as a 7. The only problem now is that the ball end is to big for a guitar so maybe I could try to replace it with a ball end from a older guitar string. If I finally get it right I will tell you how did it go! Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 6:29

Without getting crazy and mixing string gauges, you don't have a lot of options. You can stick with 10s (packs that have .010 gauge strings for the high E), or you can go for 11s or 12s. For just being one fret lower, I'd go with 11s. If they still feel too floppy (just buy one pack and try it out) then you can go with 12s, but when you hit 12s for electric guitar there's a problem.

For a set of 12s, the G string has to be so thick that it's usually a wound string, instead of plain. The reason why that matters is for some reason I haven't yet discovered, wound strings don't bend the same way. If you bend the G string for solos and you want to play 12s, you have to carefully pay attention and get a set of 12s that have a plain G string, not wound. I know D'Addario makes a set of 12s with a plain G because I used to buy them and use the in a band where we tuned two frets down.


In reality, unless you're super sensitive about the feel of the strings, just dropping down a semitone won't make a lot of difference, and won't need a change of string gauge. Hendrix did it over 50 yrs ago, SRV did it - most have at least dabbled. It will make the strings slightly looser, making it easier to bend and wobble them, so unless you play a particular style which requires tight strings, I'd recommend leaving them on, dropping the tuning, and trying it for a few weeks.

If then you still feel the need, go from your .010s to .011s. In fact, I'd be surprised .011 sets for 7 strings aren't readily available.

  • 1
    I guess you would characterize me as "super sensitive". To me a semitone down for all the strings is a huge difference in overall tension and feel. Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 17:37
  • I really feel that with this gauge the tuning I'm looking for feels to loose. The difference is pretty notorious although is just a semitone so I have problems with harmonics and with heavy palm-muting and since I'll be doing this a lot I'd rather to get a thicker set of strings :) Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 6:28

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