Ok so im 3 strings and im gdg. Scale length 25.5". I'm using lite strings at the moment and I'm happy with the tension and sustain on the 2nd & 3rd, but the first string, tuned correctly, seems much looser and has got that buzz. I'm thinking a heavier gauge might fix the problem. Have I got this all wrong? I'd just like a bit more tension on the first string.

Views: 465

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

3rd .042NW, 2nd .030NW and the bothersome 1st is .009 plain steel. Any recommendations?

Those gauges are way out of whack - .042 and .030 are OK but you want anything between .020w and .024w on the top. You can go plain gauge, but I find them rather stiff and dead sounding compared to a wound of the same gauge. We produce various sets, all aimed at proper playability - getting the string gauges right can make a huge difference to the feel of a guitar.

Hey chicken bone. Im a big fan of your work, you've helped alot through your yt Videos. I tried the .026 from the medium set I had and didn't like it much. Too much tension. I found a set of steel acoustic strings and put the .014 unwound on. Seems good but a bit bright compared to the others. I'll grab a set of electric strings and try that. I'll definitely try a set of your strings too. Thanks again.
Hey chicken bone. Along the same lines, ie, string tension and playability. What is your favourite scale length for cbg's? I made my first one 25.5" and I love it but I've got so much to learn. I've got 3 necks on the go atm and haven't decided on scale length. I'm a cabinet maker by trade but a complete beginner playing and not getting any younger. So any and all advise is welcomed and encouraged. Cheers
Nothing wrong with mixing gauges. 25.5 is Fender scale length. Take an A string from a Medium set. Ar you using electric or acoustic strings? You may want to use a phosphor bronze acoustic Medium A...
Well that's an eye opener for me. Sounds good. I've already bought "medium" strings and the first string jumps in diameter from the lite I'm using now @ .009 plain steel to the medium first @ .026 nickel wound. I would have thought there was an option between but I'll give it a go just replacing the first.

so you used the #5, #4, and #1 strings from a pack...with the #1 drop tuned a Major 6th to get the higher G note, yes it will feel floppy.

1) try the #3 string instead for the octave G

2) or the #2 string since its only a major 2nd drop tuning for that octave G

3) or tune the #1 up another octave so its uptuned a minor 2nd for a 1-5-16 (8-octave) tuning.  don't worry, a light tension string can be tuned up a 4th and becomes a medium tension string.

Thanks JL. Yeah, I've tried a #2 @ .014. Seems much better.

I rarely look at if the pack says light or medium because the string gauges vary quite a bit from one brand to another and from electric to acoustic. I always look at the actual gauge of the strings. The ones mentioned by CB John are perfect for GDg tuning but I often use lighter ones for a different sound and feel. The lightest gauge I've gotten away with for the high g string is a .017 plain. It has plenty of tension and bends well if bends are in your playing style. The low G is .036ish and the middle D is around .026 when I want a lighter set. This closely corresponds to an electric "regular" set's 5th, 4th and 3rd strings if that helps.

Thanks. It does help. Being an absolute beginner I didn't know what to think. You and the others contributers help alot. Thank you.
Me too. I found a steel acoustic set and put the .014 on. Much better.

Please Forgive the soapbox moment that follows:

to clarify that light/medium/heavy is the TENSION that the package is put together for intended use.

A light tension #6 E string is about the same gauge as a medium tension #5 A string just tuned up a 4th higher.  My go-to reference is the D-Addario string tension guide, showing every gauge and its tension across a full octave of notes you can tune it to.



The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation? How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources


When will you stop building?

Started by Joe Caruso in Other stuff - off topic, fun stuff, whatever. Last reply by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner 39 minutes ago. 27 Replies

built-in reverb

Started by JOHN POMEROY in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Paul Craig 5 hours ago. 1 Reply

Peloton Bike

Started by Grace Acebedo in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by Grace Acebedo 10 hours ago. 6 Replies

Holding the CBG

Started by Jack Brady in Performances, How to Play, Lessons, Concerts. Last reply by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner 12 hours ago. 4 Replies

Screw Inlays

Started by Brent Kasl in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner 19 hours ago. 1 Reply

Logo using tracing paper

Started by Titch the Clown in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner yesterday. 1 Reply

Help Tuning

Started by Joan Pace in Other stuff - off topic, fun stuff, whatever. Last reply by Cause the Blue rat on Sunday. 3 Replies

Blog Posts

My mistake at the markets

Posted by Rick Tish on August 22, 2019 at 9:27am 0 Comments

Indiana State Fair

Posted by Rick Tish on August 19, 2019 at 7:46pm 0 Comments

Buying in bulk

Posted by Rick Tish on August 17, 2019 at 6:31pm 2 Comments


Posted by Rick Tish on August 15, 2019 at 7:08pm 0 Comments

Latest Activity

Clint Spotts liked Taffy Evans's discussion Its a CBG but not cigar box guitar. new build
11 minutes ago
Clint Spotts liked Shawn's photo
18 minutes ago
Clint Spotts commented on Shawn's photo


"Awesome builds, man! "
19 minutes ago
Jerry Jordan commented on Randy S. Bretz's photo

Bone fret markers

"nice detail.,.,tiny little skulls.,.,"
21 minutes ago
Clint Spotts liked Shawn's photo
21 minutes ago
Jerry Jordan commented on James Conder's photo

The Buccaneer Special

"love it.,.,many is the times I had to "route" with a flat blade screwdriver i sharpened…"
22 minutes ago
Randy S. Bretz posted photos
26 minutes ago
Jerry Jordan commented on Shawn's photo


"Shawn your builds always look stage and studio ready.,.,these look great and I like the long scale…"
26 minutes ago
Randy S. Bretz liked Trevor A.'s video
29 minutes ago
Randy S. Bretz liked Downtown Vinnie's video
30 minutes ago
Will "KOOL DOG HOOCH" Bonner replied to Joe Caruso's discussion When will you stop building?
"LOL no political post or something close to it."
39 minutes ago
Dave Lynas commented on Dave Lynas's video

Dance of the Trolls

"Thanks Derek. They do get along."
1 hour ago



© 2019   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

\uastyle>\ud/** Scrollup **/\ud.scrollup {\ud background: url("https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/963882636?profile=original") no-repeat scroll 0 0 transparent;\ud bottom: 25px;\ud display: inline !important;\ud height: 40px;\ud opacity: 0.3 !important;\ud position: fixed;\ud right: 30px;\ud text-indent: -9999px;\ud width: 40px;\ud z-index: 999;\ud}\ud.scrollup:hover {\ud opacity:0.99!important;\ud}\ud \uascript type="text/javascript">\ud x$(document).ready(function(){\ud x$(window).scroll(function(){\ud if (x$(this).scrollTop() > 100) {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeIn();\ud } else {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeOut();\ud }\ud });\ud x$('.scrollup').click(function(){\ud x$("html, body").animate({ scrollTop: 0 }, 600);\ud return false;\ud });\ud });\ud \ua!-- End Scroll Up -->