What guitar to buy for low tuning

Alicia Willis

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Nov 11, 2019
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Hey y’all !

The hubs ( @ashleywillis) and I are on the hunt for a guitar to keep solely in a Lower tuning.
We want something with a fixed bridge that we wouldn’t have to modify too heavily.
ashley is thinking maybe an ESP.

What do y’all recommend?

I’ll add in, it’s going to be a guitar we both use. I typically play my fender and Ashely, his Gibson. I personally want something visually appealing (because I’m more apt to pick it up if it’s pretty 🤷🏼‍♀️)
Also, I despise the body shape on his Gibson. I’ve tried to play it and it just doesn’t feel comfortable for me. he could care less, he will play anything.

Lemme know what ya got !
 

Donovan Etue

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What Calvin said. Check out a local shop and go over a few guitars and figure out which guitar is comfiest for you initially then plug it in and see how it sounds. I've heard good things about Mark Holcomb's PRS signature and Periphery use some pretty low tuning's for a 6 string with a middle of the road price of about $950 US. It also depends on what tuning you're wanting to get it setup for. Gojira's vocalist/rhythm guitarist Joe Duplantier just came out with a new Charvel signature which looks great! A pretty nice vintage look to it that will sound just incredibly heavy on gojira tracks. It's not too expensive either. $899 USD I believe is the price tag. Ibanez's new FR800 model should work incredibly well with low tuning's and it's another tele like shape. It's a bit more expensive at $1100. I myself have been considering selling my Schecter E-1 FR S for a used ESP E-II Horizon III that's for sale locally if it sounds and feels better than the Schecter especially in the classical position. Whatever you guys go with I hope both of you guys enjoy it! Good luck.
 
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Ed Seith

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Anything with a 25.5 scale length will be better - that's going to be just about anything but a Gibson (24.75) or a PRS (25). The longer scale length makes tuning stability a bit easier. It's why baritone guitars and especially bass guitars have much longer necks than a standard guitar. Depending on how much you're looking to spend, some good suggestions can surely be made, but like Calvin said, it's all about actually FEELING it sometimes.
 
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Nocturne

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In my opinion the guitar doesn't matter much. You just have to put on higher gauge strings and setup the neck, bridge and action to avoid buzzing.
 
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Ids Schiere

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I honestly don't know about specific guitars for specific tunings. I think scale length starts to matter at some point when you go low enough but for anything up to like drop C/D standard I'm pretty sure any guitar you'd like is fine and is more of a string and pickup issue. Going lower than that you may want to start going towards baritone scales.

Schecter makes some great guitars and they probably have one for your needs.
Here's one with active pickups
And here are two with passive pickups

Since you said you do not like the Gibson body shape I excluded all's the single cut guitars(tele, les Paul models etc.), I also don't know anything about your budget so I just picked a bunch that looked nice to me.
 
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Conor Mason

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Hello!

Hope I can help. What tunings are you considering going down to? Is there a sound you are going after? I have a 2000 Fender American Double Fat Strat, basically a 2 humbucker Fender Strat. I have dropped this one down one whole step from standard tuning, put .10-.52 gauge strings on it and replaced the bridge pickup with a Seymour Duncan Invader. This guitar and my seven string, which is in my profile pic, cover my low end bases. Personally, I focus on the specs and build of the guitar first ( like body/neck wood, construction, pickups, neck shape, etc) so it fits what I need tonally from the instrument. Then I look at brands to see what everyone is building. There are great pieces from so many guitar builders. My favorites are from PRS, Fender, Gretsch and Schecter. If you are going really low, a Baritone guitar, which is tuned from B-B with 6 strings, is a must-look. The scale length matters as well, like a few on here have posted. A guitar with a longer scale length, like 25.5" which is on many guitars from Fender, ESP, Charvel, Jackson, Ibanez and so on, helps with lower tunings. My 7 string is 26.5" scale length.

From there, I look at brands I know have a history of great builds and quality control. Please feel free to message me if I can help. I also echo what others say; go out and play a ton of guitars! Pick what feels, looks and sounds the best. I always play with tone as my first priority. I have had gorgeous looking guitars that played and sounded like garbage and ended up getting rid of them. Happy hunting!