Using a High Strung Guitar

If you’ve got a spare acoustic guitar lying around, even a cheap one, why not convert it to a high strung or Nashville tuned guitar? This is a great way to get yourself effectively another different sounding instrument just for the cost of a packet of strings.

High strung or Nashville tuning consists of using the drone strings from a 12 string guitar or making up a custom set from the gauges listed below. You still tune the guitar to the standard EADGBE tuning but the last four strings will be an octave higher than a normal 6 string. Also all strings are unwound except for the low E which is wound. The whole guitar sounds much lighter, higher and somehow more ‘sparkly’! – hey, you try find the right description!

The gauges for a medium set would be .012, .016, .010, .014, .020, .030 high to low. The gauges for a light set would be .010, .014, .009, .012, .018, .027 high to low.

Alternatively Daddario do a Nashville tuning set so you don’t have to make them up yourself as individual strings. A good cheap. place we’ve found to buy them is .

Nashville tuning was invented in Nashville studios where the recording engineers wanted to get some stereo ‘width’ to the acoustic guitar sound. So they would take the standard acoustic part and pan it hard left and then play exactly the same thing on a high strung guitar and pan it to the right creating an instant spread of sound. This is a great idea for home recording and particularly useful if you have more than one acoustic player at church.

Again get them to exactly coordinate their strumming patterns and see what results you get. Have any of you tried this in your congregation?