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matonanjin

You Are Using the Wrong String Gauge!!!!

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Maybe you are.  Maybe not.   But this was at least an interesting discussion and the results somewhat surprising to me.  It is not a scientific study and purely the opinion, based on listening, of these four guys.  But I often watch Rick Beato's posts and also his posts with Rhett Shull and Dave Onorado.  They are often educational and usually entertaining.

I changed to 9's on several of my guitars a while ago when I started working on bending.  But I did it with the attitude of "but I'll change back to thicker ones after I build up finger strength".   I was almost apologetic when I posted anywhere about it.  And certainly I was of the Stevie Ray Vaughan school of thought that thicker strings equate to greater tone. 

What was interesting about the video, among other things, was that pre-SRV most rockers were using 9's or even 8's.  I never knew this.  The results of this little mini-study at least has me rethinking my going back to thicker strings.

1) What strings do you all use?  2) What are your thoughts on the results of this?  3) Has it changed your opinion of what string gauge to use?   Why or why not to all three questions.

 

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Today must be the day for string questions.    Seems there are so many other factors at play for electrics other than just the strings.    Amp, distortion, etc.    I use 9s on my PRS.    Why?   Because that is what came on the guitar and Paul Reed Smith and his engineers are a whole lot smarter than I am!

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This is the same type of question as how a guitar sounds. It is completely subjective as far as your hearing or feel. I use the same strings which came with my guitars, 10 - 46 on the electric (PRS) and 12 - 54 on acoustics (Seagull).

Henk

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Posted (edited)

I am all over the board. 10's on my Les Paul, 11's on my PRS Hollowbody ( it came with 11's) and 9 1/2 hybrids ( NXL's) on my other guitars. I have been swapping out the G string with wound substitutes in the latter as an experiment to see if it helps with tuning stability. That said, I have stashes of 10's that I need to start using....Light gauges on my acoustics.

Greg

Edited by gotto

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I pretty much stay with the gauge used by the manufacturer. 9's on electrics and 12's on acoustics (except smaller bodied acoustics where I use 11's).

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No I pretty much stay with the string gauge the guitar was designed for. My Les Paul has 10's, Ovation acoustic uses Lights 11's, Taylor GS Mini uses medium. If I get a guitar in the future with 9's then I will use them. 

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1) What strings do you all use?   I'm experimenting after seeing this and similar articles. I currently have 8's on one LP and 9's on the other.

2) What are your thoughts on the results of this?   Tony Iommi and Billy Gibbons are both known for using very light gauge strings.  Neither is known for a thin tone.  Lighter strings require an adjustment in your playing, but its an adjustment that requires less effort and more finesse which puts less stress on fingers.  I believe it could prolong my ability to continue playing as I get older, so I'm making the adjustment now.  For me, vibrato, bends and vibrato on bends are more achievable but still not a skill I've mastered.  

3) Has it changed your opinion of what string gauge to use? Yes, I'll not go back to 10's.  8's are a huge initial adjustment and still trying to decide if I want to go that light.  Sometimes, I seem to prefer the 8's over the 9's in some ways.  The thin bass strings give me more issues at this point, but at first I had to really lighten up not to pull everything sharp on the high strings.

Ernie Ball just came out with a set of 8.5 to 42's which actually sound perfect to me however since so many a so firmly entrenched with the "what came on the guitar" vs. "what's best for me", I worry that they will not get a lot of market penetration and will be hard to find.

Going to 8's from 10's absolutely will require you to tweak your truss rod and maybe bridge height.  9's you may or may not not need to do a set up.

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when I fist tried guitar back in the yearly 80's think I had an 8 set on. and I think is knew a lot of guys used 8's.

listing to the last few seconds where he plays the clips down then jumps from 8 to 11.. you really hear a jump up.

the thing is.. if you have a strong hand you'll over bend a 8 quickly vs heavier.. until you get used to not putting that much into the string.

when I first got my Strat it had the standard 9's on it.. I moved them up to 10's and I'm happy with that. I have 10's on my Les Paul (same set of D 'Addario) except for the LP clone I loaned to my sister.. and she ended up with a set of Long n McQuade branded 11's top wrapped .. lucky her.. don't think she plays that guitar much.

I can easily over bend.. so 10's (possibly 11's ) will hold me back from over bending.

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As I mentioned in another topic.

"Thinner strings will "oscillate" more as far as I understand so you might need to raise the action if your get fret buzz as a result.

I play a lot of barre chords. Higher gauge strings are my preference as they allow me to set the action lower, making it easier to fret.

The only benefit of thinner strings in my experience is that bends and vibrato get a lot easier on the hand."

So I use 9's on my electrics with a 25.5" inch scale since I'm currently working on my blues chops and bend a lot. 12's on my acoustics.

I have no idea what is does to the tone. It shouldn't matter (as much) on an electric since pickups detects movement in a magnetic field. On an acoustic on the other hand, you are transferring kinetic energy from the strings to the guitar top to get it to oscillate creating the sound. So I see why that might be cause for a difference. However, since 10's are a thing on acoustic, that should be enough or they wouldn't exist, right?

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Wow, thanks for putting this topic and the link up, which I have shared to friends. I  thought I was such a wimp moving from 10s to 9s - "not strong enough wrists for barres etc". But I have liked them on my strat and electro-accoustic. In my mind  was always thinking I would perhaps make it back to 10s. Not now! By the way I use Roto Sound. Do you know them? Made just down the road from me in the UK. Great strings. 

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Funny I've got 10-46's on my Strat cause I thought 9's sounded tiny and thin.

You'd think I'd move my Les Paul up to 11's to keep the ratio the same, but I haven't,  it still has 10's,, 

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