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> String Guage And Bends
Shuma13
post Jun 30 2011, 04:36 PM
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Hello,

This is probably a simple question, but I will ask anyway smile.gif

I got some feedback on a REC lesson I posted last night around bending and what string gauge I am using.

I am using .010s today. What effect does string gauge have on bending?

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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 30 2011, 04:48 PM
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The thicker your strings are the more difficult is to bend... you have to do more force with your left hand. It's recomended for beginners to use 0.9 or 0.10 because it's easier to bend and play. Shredder players use those gauges because it's easier to play fast. The thicker strings have a thicker and deeper sound that's why it's very used for metal riff oriented styles.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jun 30 2011, 06:16 PM
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Like Gab said, thicker strings will be more demanding, as they require more force for bending. If you have strong fingers you can use 11s, although it's best to stick with 10s if you haven't mastered the bending technique yet.



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Shuma13
post Jun 30 2011, 06:23 PM
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Thanks Guys!

Thicker String = Higher Tension

I think I will try a set of .09s to see how much of a difference I can notice, and if I like it.
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Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 30 2011, 06:30 PM
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For instance 0.13 - 0.68 are quite a nasty set of fellas to bend around with biggrin.gif even in drop A


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Mudbone
post Jul 1 2011, 04:47 AM
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Like the other guys have said, a higher string gauge will make it harder to bend. But this can actually be a good thing. It actually has an unintended consequence that you don't immediately notice. What it does is it make you play harder. Because your left hand is exerting a lot of force, your right hand subconsciously hits the strings harder. You play more intensely and put more effort into your playing. This is just an observation I have from my own playing, everybody's experience may vary.

So should this be a major factor in deciding what gauge of strings to use? Well, thats entirely up to you. If you're very comfortable playing with nines, you could always consider going up a gauge for the reason I just mentioned. See if you notice it biggrin.gif


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Ben Higgins
post Jul 1 2011, 11:12 AM
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Yeah 9's or 10's is the most 'normal' guages for rock/metal in standard tuning. I used to use 10's but I've used 9's for years now and would never change. smile.gif

If you can get the best possible tone out of the lightest guage strings possible then do it, that's my philosophy. (The tone is down to personal taste of course, so if you can get what you want out of it then it's all good)


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Brandon Earman
post Jul 1 2011, 01:21 PM
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I have been playing the past couple years with Ernie Ball "Beefy Slinkys" (.11's I believe). This past week I got a new telecaster with .09's I think.

The difference is huge. It took me a while to get used to bending on such lighter strings (still trying to master them). But it is so much easier to bend and bend + vibrato with lighter gauge. I have also noticed hamer-on's/pull-off's are easier down low (for instance 2h4h5p4p2).

Anyways I would recommend lighter gauge for beginners, and heavier once you build strength and technique. I love the heavier, smooth tone I get out of the heavy strings through my strat.. it's great for blues/SRV. biggrin.gif


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Todd Simpson
post Jul 1 2011, 08:04 PM
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QUOTE (Brandon Earman @ Jul 1 2011, 07:21 AM) *
I have been playing the past couple years with Ernie Ball "Beefy Slinkys" (.11's I believe). This past week I got a new telecaster with .09's I think.

The difference is huge. It took me a while to get used to bending on such lighter strings (still trying to master them). But it is so much easier to bend and bend + vibrato with lighter gauge. I have also noticed hamer-on's/pull-off's are easier down low (for instance 2h4h5p4p2).

Anyways I would recommend lighter gauge for beginners, and heavier once you build strength and technique. I love the heavier, smooth tone I get out of the heavy strings through my strat.. it's great for blues/SRV. biggrin.gif


IMHO you are SOOOOOOOOOOO right. Others may disagree entirely but my personal experience is similar. I was playing 11's for the crunch til I tried a pair of 9s and never went back. I like the heavy tone on thicker strings so I bought a 7 string with a low B. It's way thicker than a standar E even on a pair of 11s and I don't have to detune which makes string tension a bit frappy.

I still use 9s on my 6 string guitars though. I've tried hybrid sets with heavy EAD but since I'm a lead player mostly I went back to 9s. Yngwie uses 8s. I tried a pack of his custom 8s and I didn't like them at all. They are so thin that they cross the line for me in terms of tone. But they sure work for him.



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TylerT
post Jul 1 2011, 08:32 PM
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QUOTE (Todd Simpson @ Jul 1 2011, 03:04 PM) *
IMHO you are SOOOOOOOOOOO right. Others may disagree entirely but my personal experience is similar. I was playing 11's for the crunch til I tried a pair of 9s and never went back. I like the heavy tone on thicker strings so I bought a 7 string with a low B. It's way thicker than a standar E even on a pair of 11s and I don't have to detune which makes string tension a bit frappy.

I still use 9s on my 6 string guitars though. I've tried hybrid sets with heavy EAD but since I'm a lead player mostly I went back to 9s. Yngwie uses 8s. I tried a pack of his custom 8s and I didn't like them at all. They are so thin that they cross the line for me in terms of tone. But they sure work for him.


Holy crap! 8's???

Thats insane haha!

I like hybrid 10's on my main guitar and regular 9's on my strat style...9's are so fun to play with and I personally like the tone! You can get a better "snapping" sound on the lower strings!


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Shuma13
post Jul 2 2011, 04:25 AM
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Put a set of .09s on. Seems almost loose when bending. Going to take some getting used to being able to bend to pitch :-)

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Brandon Earman
post Jul 2 2011, 11:55 PM
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Interesting feedback from everyone smile.gif

When I bought my American Strat, I had it setup for Beefy Slinkys (.11 gauge) in the store before I ever took it home. I was playing a lot of Stevie Ray Vaughan stuff and read that he played heavy strings (maybe even .12's if I recall).

Now that I've had time to really test heavy strings out... it makes me realize how tough and strong Stevie's fingers/hands had to have been. His vibrato was always so strong and smooth, he could manipulate the strings with ease. Not to mention his .12's would often rip his skin from his finger tips, where he would then superglue them back together to continue the gig.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Jul 3 2011, 08:54 PM
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For me, it's kind of going through phases of hybrid 10s and hybrid 11s throughout the years. I prefer the heavy bottom strings. ATM I keep 10s with heavier gauge on the bass, although I like the tone of 11s more, it's more straighforward.

10s have completely different tone, and they are awesome for use on a Strat too, but on a good strat..


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Cosmin Lupu
post Jul 3 2011, 09:37 PM
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I just made a HUGE mistake of going for Ernie Ball strings instead of my trusty Elixirs sad.gif I almost lost a solo yesterday onstage because of being used with the slippery feel of the nano web coating on the Elixir strings.

The Ernie Ball strings have a good overall tone but when you play them for a few days extensively, they tend to get corroded very fast (my hands get sweaty at a fast pace)



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moleman
post Jul 6 2011, 02:44 AM
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QUOTE (Cosmin Lupu @ Jul 3 2011, 08:37 PM) *
I just made a HUGE mistake of going for Ernie Ball strings instead of my trusty Elixirs sad.gif I almost lost a solo yesterday onstage because of being used with the slippery feel of the nano web coating on the Elixir strings.

The Ernie Ball strings have a good overall tone but when you play them for a few days extensively, they tend to get corroded very fast (my hands get sweaty at a fast pace)



Nano web coating you say? I'm gonna have to try that.

Do you guys clean your strings after use? I have been experimenting with wiping down my strings with a tissue to get rid of the "finger poo" that builds up. I'm worried that I'm shortening string life though...
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Cosmin Lupu
post Jul 6 2011, 06:38 AM
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QUOTE (moleman @ Jul 6 2011, 01:44 AM) *
Nano web coating you say? I'm gonna have to try that.

Do you guys clean your strings after use? I have been experimenting with wiping down my strings with a tissue to get rid of the "finger poo" that builds up. I'm worried that I'm shortening string life though...


I once wrote an answer to a topic regarding string life smile.gif and if i do remember well, I explained my price/ value theory regarding Elixir strings. From what I understood, nowadays they are not the only brand having coated strings. The idea is that even if Elixirs are more expensive, on the long run they prove to be a cheaper solution, as string life spans to a period of 4 months of abusing and they still sound good. I got my Ernie Ball strings finished after almost 3-4 weeks of heavy playing.

So actually it can come down to 3-4 packs of Ernie Ball in 4 monts vs one pack of Elixir in the same time period.


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