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> Messy, Dirty, Horrible Sound, I can't belive I just found this out!
RIP Dime
post Oct 3 2008, 12:00 PM
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Well, I just had a breakthrough* today, less playing wise, more tone/gear wise. I just moved back to playing 9s after a long time playing 11's and 12s. So when I play guitars that have strings thinner than 10s on, my sound seems to break up in horrible disgusting ways. This is most likely a problem totally secluded to me, but it's just that certain factors, in the case of me, combine to make it very hard for me to play with 9s and still have a nice clear sound. I think I've got it down to these reasons.

You may find it hard to get a good tone out of thin strings if you do the following:
-Pick very hard: I noticed that I have to pick notes at less than half of my normal picking strength when playing thin strings to get a nice clear tone. Gugh... dry.gif I suck. I'm guessing that it's because the strings flop around too much if I hit them too hard.
-Press down hard with your left hand: If I press to hard with this hand the strings go slightly out of tune, resulting in harmonic madness. I actually knew of this before, I don't know why I haven't thought to just press lighter. Ugh... I'm an idiot.
-Palm mute hard: I think you get the picture. All of these factors result in one thing: Notes going out of tune.

So if you have a hard time getting a nice clear tone, try using heavier gauges, or just play with more touch man. As for me, I'm abandoning all hope of playing with the touch of someone like Yngwie, I'm sticking to thick gauges.

Oh, and I want all you savvy instructors to stop worrying about me straining too much, I've been playing thick strings for so long that I'm not straining when I play fat strings and pick hard and press hard. Although I do recognize this as a flaw, and I'm going to practice applying just enough pressure to get the tone I want. But if you see any other problems with this please let me know. smile.gif

(*Breakthrough: classified as when I go "Dude!!! How come I didn't notice that before!" all of a sudden)


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OrganisedConfusi...
post Oct 3 2008, 12:03 PM
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Using different guage strings can change your sound a lot and might not be suitable for how you play. I stick to 10's on every guitar and have certain strings on each guitar by different companies as I like my guitars to stay the same.


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DeepRoots
post Oct 3 2008, 12:10 PM
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About picking, i change picking pressure alot depending on what i play if i want a fat powerful tone for a phrase i'll really slam on the strings- but the more tender stuff ill pick with hardly any weight to my hand. I've never really considered changing my "overall" picking stringth to change my tone i guess.
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OrganisedConfusi...
post Oct 3 2008, 12:12 PM
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Yeah that is definitely the case. Depending on the style of song depends on how I play it. Metal you want chunky riffage but funk you want more jangly chords and soft playing.


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Jose Mena
post Oct 3 2008, 02:19 PM
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Man, I wouldn't worry about it, the goal is to find your tone. I also prefer thicker gauges because like you said the thinner strings will flop around if you hit them too hard, especially if you have low action.

However I cannot go beyond 0.010's because bends become to hard for my hands, I stick to 0.010 and control my picking hand to obtain the sound I want. If you have found your formula stick to it and develop your tone/playing that way.


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Scott Gentzen
post Oct 3 2008, 08:15 PM
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QUOTE (OrganisedConfusion @ Oct 3 2008, 07:03 AM) *
Using different guage strings can change your sound a lot and might not be suitable for how you play. I stick to 10's on every guitar and have certain strings on each guitar by different companies as I like my guitars to stay the same.


Actually, I've started to go the opposite way. I have one guitar set up with 9's and the other with 10's. Not a huge difference but I play the guitars differently.


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RIP Dime
post Oct 4 2008, 02:57 AM
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QUOTE (Jose Mena @ Oct 3 2008, 02:19 PM) *
Man, I wouldn't worry about it, the goal is to find your tone. I also prefer thicker gauges because like you said the thinner strings will flop around if you hit them too hard, especially if you have low action.

However I cannot go beyond 0.010's because bends become to hard for my hands, I stick to 0.010 and control my picking hand to obtain the sound I want. If you have found your formula stick to it and develop your tone/playing that way.


Yea, I was just surprised at how much change I noticed this time. I'm definitely just gonna stick with what I find the most comfortable from now on. smile.gif I found that gauges like 12-54, and 11-52 work great for me when I tune to D standard, my favorite tuning, and the tuning I use the most.

I just recently started tuning to E standard again because I wanted to learn some Voivod, and Cynic songs. And the last gauge I remembered using for E was 9-46(the guitar has a 25.5" scale), I tried it and it sounded very messy. So I think I'll just step up the gauge for E, maybe something like 10-49.

And about the picking, I do change my picking strength depending on what I'm playing at the moment, but ya, I think my overall picking was just too hard for 9s. I do tend to go through picks rather quickly.


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Smikey2006
post Oct 4 2008, 06:13 AM
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i use 10's and never need to apply very much pressure. I get the tones i am looking for, i believe this is another matter that is personal preferance.


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RIP Dime
post Oct 4 2008, 08:40 AM
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QUOTE (Smikey2006 @ Oct 4 2008, 06:13 AM) *
i use 10's and never need to apply very much pressure. I get the tones i am looking for, i believe this is another matter that is personal preferance.


Maybe not exactly personal preference, but it definitely is a personal problem for me(that may or may not apply to others), but I don't like having a sloppy sound so I guess that could count as a personal preference. As I said, to me it doesn't feel like I'm playing very hard, but when I play thin strings with my technique the way it is things start to separate, and get messy. To get the tone I like from 9-46 strings I need to really hold back, that's how I came to the conclusion that I play too hard, but I'm just gonna stick with heavier gauges so it's all good. smile.gif


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Noangels
post Oct 4 2008, 09:22 AM
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I am not sure if i buy all this string gauge tone/picking above,having 9's/10's/11's and above on differnet guitars the tone seems the same and the only thing is bends are harder on thicker strings.Some of you guys must be beating the hell out of the strings!I can hit them hard too and have broken a few low E's but the strings never feel floppy

Your pick can also make a HUGE impact with your sound.I use dunlop Tortex pinks(about 1.8mm?)as does my fellow guitarist in the band as its a good blend between riffing and solos-I also love Dunlop big stubbys(3.00mm)and they make the strings sounds WAY fatter.
If you are playing with thin strings and a thin pick then try out some fat picks,it feels like putting a booster pedal in front of your amp when you change from thin to fat


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Oct 4 2008, 08:02 PM
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Dynamics is made with the amount pressure you put on the string with your picking hand, so it is crucial in developing tone mate. THanks for sharing your info. CHeers smile.gif


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Canis
post Oct 4 2008, 09:17 PM
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I didn't really notice how hard I was pressing the frets until I read this... I have hammered my fingers hard tongue.gif
I experimented a little, and found out that I could use 1/3 of the power I use, and get a much cleaner sound ^^

Thanks =D


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bamba23
post Oct 5 2008, 03:47 PM
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haha i tryid both 9 and 10
didnt found any dif
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