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> String Guages, What's best?
sidewas lightnin...
post Sep 25 2008, 01:40 AM
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Today I was on GMC (as always wink.gif ) and I took my, well, daily trip to the lick of the day page and saw that Kris's tip was to use thinner strings for lead work. I know many famous guitar players (Van Halen, Iommi, Rhoads, etc, etc) used thin guage strings, but SRV once commented that anyone that used thin strings was a wimp. I am really leaning towards thin strings at the moment, but I really need more evidence before I can close this case up and go and order some strings. I like to do more lead work, with lots of bending, and I know thinner guage strings are better for that. I won't be tuning down much either, drop D or a half step down is how I usually tune if not standard.

Thanks

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Muris Varajic
post Sep 25 2008, 01:48 AM
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There is no best gauge,only what you prefer most.
But things are like this,
with thin strings you get less tension which means legato,fretting
and eventually bending might be easier,
concerns are less sustain and less tone,compared to thick strings.
With thick strings the idea is opposite,more tone and sustain(maybe SRV)
but also more tension,probably harder to play legato and stuff like that.

Lets say "normal" gauge is 009,
008 is probably thin and 010 and above is thick.

Hope this helps. smile.gif


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Bogdan Radovic
post Sep 25 2008, 01:59 AM
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Well you won't be a "wimp" for using thin strings...What gauge do you currently use ?? I think as Muris stated , that 009 is normal and will suite you just fine....I don't think you need to go bellow that...


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inertia
post Sep 25 2008, 02:51 AM
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I think it partly depends on neck length as well. I have nines on both my strat and les paul, and to be honest I prefer 10's on my les paul
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RIP Dime
post Sep 25 2008, 03:26 AM
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QUOTE (inertia @ Sep 25 2008, 02:51 AM) *
I think it partly depends on neck length as well. I have nines on both my strat and les paul, and to be honest I prefer 10's on my les paul


I agree.

I also take the scale length into consideration as well. 24 3/4" scale guitars have less tension on the strings than 25.5" scale guitars. I prefer 11's on my V(24 3/4"), and 10's on my Strat-like guitar.


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Xuestor
post Sep 25 2008, 04:04 AM
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QUOTE (inertia @ Sep 25 2008, 03:51 AM) *
I think it partly depends on neck length as well. I have nines on both my strat and les paul, and to be honest I prefer 10's on my les paul


I use 10-52 on my les paul for the de-tuning option. my ibanez and strat get 9's on them.


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Danilo Capezzuto
post Sep 25 2008, 06:38 AM
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Well...what strings gauge you use? If I remember well the normal and old gauge was the 0.10. With the rock and than shred era the new standard for the strings became the 0.9 and 0.8. Stevie Ray Vaughan is a man apart, he usually used 0.13, but he have used 0.17 too (!!!) In my opinion 0.10 are the standard for a nice sound, 0.9 are to thin in sound and feel. I like 0.11 too, but those wounded low strings are too big in sound. Good luck!


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Marcus Lavendell
post Sep 25 2008, 07:52 AM
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I use a .009 to .046 set, so basically I have thin strings when I play solos and thick strings for the riffs. Works great for me! smile.gif


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Canis
post Sep 25 2008, 08:35 AM
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I just bought some .010's without knowing what the main difference was.. Hope I'm still able to play as "good" as I do now tongue.gif

This post has been edited by Canis: Sep 25 2008, 08:36 AM


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superize
post Sep 25 2008, 09:39 AM
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I use 0.9 but i really want to try thicker strings for when i playing i D standard tuning


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Gilmore
post Sep 25 2008, 09:54 AM
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Hi

Diaddario strings are labeled like this.

8 - 38 - Extra super light.
9 - 42 - Super light.
10 - 46 - Regular light.
11 - 49 - Medium (Ideal for Blues/Jass.)
12 - 54 - Heavy.

And there are of course variations of this.

Most people use 9´s or 10´s, I use both myself, but it depends on the guitar.

Canis wrote:

"I just bought some .010's without knowing what the main difference was.. Hope I'm still able to play as "good" as I do now "

But you must remember if you change gauge you must adjust your guitar and do a setup, because the tention on the neck changes alot, even if you just go from 9 to 10´s. Intonation is defenitly needed, action settings and mabye even truss rod adjustment. It´s best to let a pro do it properly. smile.gif

Pete Townshend used a set of 12´s on his SG Specials in STANDARD tuning and he didn´t use a g-string as a 3rd string but he used another b-string instead. No wonder the neck sometimes broke off in his hands when he was banging on it, imagine the tention on the neck. laugh.gif

This post has been edited by Gilmore: Sep 25 2008, 10:00 AM


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Canis
post Sep 25 2008, 10:04 AM
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Woo, thanks for the tip! I'll definetly get a pro to do it. I don't want my new baby to get damaged ohmy.gif


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Muris Varajic
post Sep 25 2008, 12:29 PM
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QUOTE (RIP Dime @ Sep 25 2008, 04:26 AM) *
I agree.

I also take the scale length into consideration as well. 24 3/4" scale guitars have less tension on the strings than 25.5" scale guitars. I prefer 11's on my V(24 3/4"), and 10's on my Strat-like guitar.


And there you see,it's fully individual. smile.gif


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Chief Brody
post Sep 25 2008, 12:51 PM
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QUOTE
But you must remember if you change gauge you must adjust your guitar and do a setup, because the tention on the neck changes alot, even if you just go from 9 to 10´s. Intonation is defenitly needed, action settings and mabye even truss rod adjustment. It´s best to let a pro do it properly. smile.gif


I agree with the second part (it being best to have a pro do a setup) but i have to say that in my experience there is some leeway in regard to the steps you need to take when changing string gauge, obviously if you're going from super light 08's to 11's or higher you're gonna have to do some fiddling. If however, you're just going up one gauge (or even two depending on the guitar), you might not even have to do anything.

I find that newer, high end guitars are more able to take different gauges in this way, whereas older guitars (cheaper ones also) can be a bit more sensitive and so require more attention. That's not a rule set in stone, but it's what i've experienced!





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Fran
post Sep 25 2008, 01:31 PM
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As stated above, thin strings are easier to play, but provide less tone/sustain.

I used 9s before, but since I got my SG with 10s I never went back to 9s, they just sound better, specially on LP/SGs. Most people use 9s, if you buy strings in a shop and don't know what to get they'd give you 9s most probably.

Best thing you can do: try a set of 10s and a set of 9s, see how you like them. Each player is different. A friend of mine has been playing for over 20 years and uses 8s. Go figure.


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misterj
post Sep 25 2008, 01:37 PM
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also may depend on your type of guitar. imo strat single coils sound kinda thin. the concept is that the pickups are magnetic, so the more metal you have (thicker string) the more it is picked up. i have always liked thicker strings on my strats, b/c i think they sound thicker, or bigger. however, with humbuckers, you already have a thicker tone, which is why i just use 9's on my humbucker guitars. i went all the way to 12's on my strat from 10's without a setup just to try the tone. they were too thick for me, so i switched back to 11's. maybe just try a thicker set (within reason, don't switch from 8's to 13's or anything. one gage or two should be enough to get the tonal idea.) to hear the tone. if you like it, get a setup. as long as you dont have a very fragile guitar with a very thin neck, the most it will be is hard to play, and because of the bowed neck, the intonation might be out, but you can still check out the tone. tone, after all, is really the only reason to switch to heavier strings. lighter strings will always be easier to play.
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post Sep 25 2008, 01:51 PM
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I use 9/46 on most guitars in normal and drop D tuning,and have a set of heavy 12's on my Jackson thats tuned to drop C

Another thing to watch out is the nut near the headstock might not want to take a heavy set of bass strings on it!My LP,parker and strat wouldnt let the strings sit in the grooves when I was trying Drop C on them

You need big strings for that tuning or the tension is too slack-guitars with locking nuts wont have any trouble but watch out for the the old school ones!



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Gus
post Sep 25 2008, 04:19 PM
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I started with 009. I've been playing 010 for a long time, but just came back to 009's because of easier bends.

What I like about 010 is pulling offs, but as I am quite fine in this technique and not that good in bending I decided to move back to 009.

Be also aware that different brands give different feel.


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post Sep 25 2008, 05:19 PM
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I would say 10-46 set is a "golden middle" one. This one is also often labeled as "light" gauge. In the end it is all down to personal taste and feel. Even some same gauge sets but different brands have different fell to it, more tension, less tension etc.
If you are unsure what to do, the best way is to experiment will all of them until you settle on one that suits you the most.


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Xuestor
post Sep 25 2008, 05:35 PM
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I just have to add that your tuning also plays it's part when choosing string gauge. When tuned half step down, the 9s and 8's are VERY sloppy and 8 are almost unplayable like this I would say. A nice tip If you have a floyd rose is that If you sometime wanna play half step down, you just choose one gauge thicker strings. That way you will most likely not have to do any adjustments to the bridge or anything.


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