We regularly get inquiries as to which of our string gauges we recommend for use with various instruments and with altered tunings. Quite a few of these inquiries lately have been involving deeply dropped tunings, which require strings of a much heavier gauge in order to avoid the dreaded “detune flop.” To help you on your way, we’ve put together this helpful guide to determine which of our extended gauge string packs tend to work best with specific dropped tunings.

Guitar Tunings

Drop D and Eb Standard

Skinny Top / Heavy Bottom (10-52)

Maintains slinkiness on the high strings, and beefs up a tighter feel on the lower strings, especially when dropped.


Drop C#

Power Slinky (11-48) + 52

Using the 11-48 set with the low-E string swapped out for a 52 gives you all of the low-end chug that you need while still feeling like standard tuning on the higher strings.

Beefy Slinky (11-54)

Retains the feel of standard tuning even when dropped to a much lower tuning.


D Standard

Beefy Slinky (11-54)

Optimal for detuning. Similar to the Skinny Top / Heavy Bottom, but several gauges heavier. Provides a higher-tension feel.


C Standard and Drop C

Not Even Slinky (12-56)

Still feels slinky, but retains a good amount of tension at a significantly dropped tuning.

Beefy Slinky (11-54)

For an even slinkier, looser feel.

Drop B

Fender Scale – Single Strings (11, 15, 20w, 36, 48, 60)

Creating a custom set of single strings allows you to retain tension on the higher strings, while allowing enough twang on the lower strings.

Gibson Scale – Single Strings (12, 16, 24w, 36, 48, 60)

A slightly adjusted custom set of single strings allows you to beef up the higher strings, while retaining the size of the lower strings. Can also use a 62 or 64 on the low-E string for added heaviness and tension.


Bonus Content

Our web series, String Theory, explores the styles and string selections of some of the world’s top guitar players. Watch the most recent episode below and see them all at ErnieBall.com/StringTheory

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