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> Could My String Gauge Be Hindering Progress?, and what about gauge = certain tuning?
Wilska
post May 1 2009, 06:33 PM
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I have a question about string gauge.. I don't have a great understanding of all the aspects that the string gauge impacts. But I wonder if my string gauge could be hindering me. A few years ago I played the guitar a lot and made a lot of progress and could play some pretty advanced stuff, then there were a few years when I didn't play very much guitar at all. 2 years or so ago I started playing more again and the last year i've been playing more than ever. However i've been trying some different string gauges and for the last year or so i've been using GHS Boomers 10-52. Now I seem to be stuck and suddenly it feels like my strings are to stiff and feel clumsy, even tho i've never felt that way before about these same strings. How much does string gauge affect tone really? I love the tone I get from thicker strings but maybe they are a little too thick?

Also, what are your thoughts about string gauge and certain tunings? I have a feeling 10-52 string gauges are more for lower tunings? I'm tuned to Eb always.

Any thoughts? If you want it would be nice to know what gauge everyone uses and if you've just stuck to the first size you started playing on or of you've experimented with gauge.


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JVM
post May 1 2009, 06:35 PM
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Maybe your guitar needs a little action set up? That could be the cause for the stiff feeling.


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AlexLion
post May 1 2009, 07:00 PM
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I use 10-60 GHS Heavyweight Boomers with normal string action (not low) and I feel perfectly ok with them and I`m progressing fast smile.gif Don`t think about that, just practice and you will progress no matter what, and if you like tone why not to keep those, there`s not much speed sacrifice. Oh, I use drop D but I`ll go for Drop C soon, and I like overall sound, very bassy laugh.gif

btw - When was the last time you changed strings?
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JamesT
post May 1 2009, 07:07 PM
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I don't think string guage would hinder progress in all ways. ...maybe string bending, but it might help in others.

However, I've always used .009s so I don't have much to compare this to except for maybe once or twice when I put .010s on. The .010s do feel different, kind of like you have to muscle them around a bit. The tone was bigger too, so I'll bet there are trade offs.

I'd love to hear what others thoughts and experiences are here too. wink.gif


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Wilska
post May 1 2009, 09:40 PM
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QUOTE (AlexLion @ May 1 2009, 08:00 PM) *
I use 10-60 GHS Heavyweight Boomers with normal string action (not low) and I feel perfectly ok with them and I`m progressing fast smile.gif Don`t think about that, just practice and you will progress no matter what, and if you like tone why not to keep those, there`s not much speed sacrifice. Oh, I use drop D but I`ll go for Drop C soon, and I like overall sound, very bassy laugh.gif

btw - When was the last time you changed strings?


I just changed strings and I do so very regularly. As for problems bending etc I had problems when I first switched gauge but now I can bend anywhere without any effort at all, so your fingers definetly gets used to that. I think I just need to start focusing more on the playing itself. Trying to figure out why the guitar feels so alien to me all of a sudden!


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R ecording: Blackstar HT-DistX, Line6 Pod X3 Live
P ick: Dunlop Jazz III XL black, Dunlop Ultex Sharp 1.14 and 1.40
S trings: GHS Boomers 10-52, Rotosound 10-46
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Andrew Cockburn
post May 1 2009, 09:52 PM
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In my experience you adapt to different gauges very quickly - heavier strings actually help you strengthen your fingers for vibrato and bending - swapping to lighter strings makes an interesting change but you get used to it quickly and it feels normal. I'd look at the guitar setup as JVM suggested, or just take it to a tech for a setup.


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vampire18
post May 1 2009, 09:56 PM
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tuning to Eb gives you almost exactly as much tension as a lower gauge string. so while hindering your progress isn't the term i would use using a higher gauge string is harder to play but has more tone. if i had two guitars that one of them is pretty much junk(which it i going to be soon) i will put 0.11 and treat practicing it like weight lifting. basically making my finger stronger so when i go to my regular Eb tuned 0.10 i it would fell like bending air.


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Vasilije Vukmiro...
post May 1 2009, 10:33 PM
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Strings cannot effect your playing that much, still, don't go under 0.9!


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djohnneay
post May 1 2009, 10:54 PM
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Some time ago I picked up some 11's and they seemed hard to play,
but in return I got better tone, and better action, so figured it was worth it.
Pretty quickly adepted to this, and you can 'train' your fingers to become stronger.
I wouldn't go back now even if I had to.

By the way, I always play in standard tuning.


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vampire18
post May 2 2009, 12:16 AM
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QUOTE (djohnneay @ May 1 2009, 11:54 PM) *
Some time ago I picked up some 11's and they seemed hard to play,
but in return I got better tone, and better action, so figured it was worth it.
Pretty quickly adepted to this, and you can 'train' your fingers to become stronger.
I wouldn't go back now even if I had to.

By the way, I always play in standard tuning.


wow 0.11 in standard tuning? is the tone you gain really that much different from the tone you get with 0.10? i mean if you go to a 0.10 with Eb tuning you could probably bend octaves and be a vibrato god lol


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Pedja Simovic
post May 2 2009, 12:20 AM
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I was playing for long time 9's and then switched to 10's. Much better and clearer tone in my opinion. If you have some sort of jazz guitar, 13's are lowest I would go with there - then you really start to feel difference string gauge makes !

If I was you, I would keep playing 10's for a month or so. If its stopping you from progressing, shift back to 9's and you are all set.


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djohnneay
post May 2 2009, 09:24 AM
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QUOTE (vampire18 @ May 2 2009, 01:16 AM) *
wow 0.11 in standard tuning? is the tone you gain really that much different from the tone you get with 0.10? i mean if you go to a 0.10 with Eb tuning you could probably bend octaves and be a vibrato god lol


My guitar came with a 10's set, which I thought was normal, so because I wanted to play metal I changed it to 0.11's
Mayby I'll set it up diffrently the next time I change strings.

Last time I tried while setting up the trem, I could go to BEADGB tuning and still be able to play biggrin.gif


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kjutte
post May 2 2009, 11:28 AM
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QUOTE (Wilska @ May 1 2009, 07:33 PM) *
I have a question about string gauge.. I don't have a great understanding of all the aspects that the string gauge impacts. But I wonder if my string gauge could be hindering me. A few years ago I played the guitar a lot and made a lot of progress and could play some pretty advanced stuff, then there were a few years when I didn't play very much guitar at all. 2 years or so ago I started playing more again and the last year i've been playing more than ever. However i've been trying some different string gauges and for the last year or so i've been using GHS Boomers 10-52. Now I seem to be stuck and suddenly it feels like my strings are to stiff and feel clumsy, even tho i've never felt that way before about these same strings. How much does string gauge affect tone really? I love the tone I get from thicker strings but maybe they are a little too thick?

Also, what are your thoughts about string gauge and certain tunings? I have a feeling 10-52 string gauges are more for lower tunings? I'm tuned to Eb always.

Any thoughts? If you want it would be nice to know what gauge everyone uses and if you've just stuck to the first size you started playing on or of you've experimented with gauge.


I use 10-46, and it's pretty nice in E tuning.
When I had weaker fingers, I used 8 and 9s, to avoid being robotic.

Having too thick bass strings pretty much mudds you up, IMHO, and limits you to powerchords.
It may work in lower tunings, ofc, but you need alot of gain to clear it up I think, atleast with the gear I have tried.

This post has been edited by kjutte: May 2 2009, 11:29 AM
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Vasilije Vukmiro...
post May 2 2009, 09:48 PM
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QUOTE (Pedja Simovic @ May 2 2009, 12:20 AM) *
sort of jazz guitar, 13's are lowest


13? I wonder how that sounds!


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Muris Varajic
post May 2 2009, 10:47 PM
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I guess all you need is to setup your guitar nicely
and spend some more time on adapting to new gauge,
10s are nothing radical after all.
I started with 8s and now I'm playing 10s, everything is just fine. smile.gif


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kjutte
post May 3 2009, 09:30 AM
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QUOTE (Muris Varajic @ May 2 2009, 11:47 PM) *
spend some more time on adapting to new gauge,
I started with 8s and now I'm playing 10s, everything is just fine. smile.gif


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Marcus Siepen
post May 3 2009, 11:01 AM
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I also think it is a matter of proper setup. The strings that you are using should be perfectly fine for your tuning, I definitely would not go for thinner strings.


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Velvet Roger
post May 3 2009, 11:26 AM
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Played in the past always with 0.09, but after switching to 0.10 it was a matter of time to get adjusted to it smile.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post May 3 2009, 08:17 PM
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Try some other sets as well, experiment a little. I've used Boomers 10-52 for quite some time before, and I can say that they are a bit stiff compared to some other strings of the same gauge. I've found Ernie Ball, Elixir, Dean Markley and even Daddario more flexible, so possibly you can try experimenting with all these brands and see how you will react. If you still have trouble playing/practicing, possibly it's time for a setup now.


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Bogdan Radovic
post May 5 2009, 08:00 AM
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I think 10s are ok and that is a very common string gauge people use.Thing that can really hinder a progress is definitly a guitar setup.If you don't have it set well and comfortable you may have difficulties. I switched from thicker to thinner and now I'm back on thicker strings on my bass.It really didn't make much difference for playing - except tonewise.Thicker string did need a little adjusting too but there was no advantage in technique on thinner ones and vise versa.


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