Reply to this topicStart new topic
> How Important Is String Tension
TreyDeschamp
post Jun 25 2013, 08:59 PM
Post #1


Learning Apprentice Player
*

Group: Members
Posts: 2.093
Joined: 1-May 08
From: Diamondhead, MS
Member No.: 5.023



So lately I've been feeling when I practice that my string tension is causing my vibrato to be far too wild. For a guitar that is tuned to standard, the tension feels too loose.

Is it possible for string tension to affect vibrato or is this just something that I'm coming up with in my head?


--------------------
Check out my Youtube!
Add me on Facebook!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
The Professor
post Jun 25 2013, 09:29 PM
Post #2


Theory Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 888
Joined: 8-January 13
From: Manchester UK
Member No.: 17.394



That makes sense to me. I've always felt that intonation and string tension are two things I can feel are off right away, and two things that I can't deal with if they aren't perfect. They really effect the way I play all around if they aren't how I like them, or aren't in good shape. So I agree, I think that you need to have good string tension in order to get the sound you want, and the comfort you are used to, on the instrument.


--------------------
Ask me anything on the theory board. Follow my theory course. Check out my personal site
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Mertay
post Jun 25 2013, 11:21 PM
Post #3


GMC:er
Group Icon

Group: GMC Senior
Posts: 2.597
Joined: 27-May 13
From: Turkey / izmir
Member No.: 18.294



String tension has a lot to do with the guitar and string brand+thickness.

There is something called guitar scale length, which has nothing to do with musical scale biggrin.gif its simply the distance between nut and bridge. Most guitars are 25 1/2 (Fender standard), some are shorter (Gibson LP) and these days they are making baritone guitars which is the longest.

Baritone guitars use regular strings but they are downtuned. Companys increase the scale so a downtuned guitars strings won't feel loose. Keep in mind scale effects tone too, so its a personal choice for the player to pick which he wants.

Also I noticed even though similar thickness, each string brand has a slightly different string tention I guess it has to do with their formula. In general stainless steel strings feel a bit tighter.

This post has been edited by Mertay: Jun 25 2013, 11:22 PM


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
enlo22
post Jun 26 2013, 04:03 AM
Post #4


Learning Guitar Hero
*

Group: Members
Posts: 416
Joined: 24-December 11
Member No.: 14.670



Just experiment, and try maybe changing gauge but not too extreme to where you damage your guitar. I've experimented a lot and finally found mine but in the experimenting part there was a ton of frustration. Yes it's based on your scale length and string gauge and tuning which you're at standard. I would try maybe 9's then 10's and even 11's or more if you're into the superrr tight strings.


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
klasaine
post Jun 26 2013, 04:05 AM
Post #5


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 2.743
Joined: 30-December 12
From: Los Angeles, CA
Member No.: 17.304



There are other things that affect tension:

The length of string behind the nut.
The break angle of the string behind the nut.
The length of string past the bridge.
The break angle past the bridge.
Strings through the body or attached to a tail piece.

*These things also have a huge impact on the 'sound' of a guitar regardless of pickups. Just think Strat (even w/buckers) v. Les Paul.

This post has been edited by klasaine: Jun 26 2013, 04:08 AM


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 26 2013, 10:09 AM
Post #6


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 22.808
Joined: 14-June 10
From: Bucharest
Member No.: 10.636



QUOTE (TreyDeschamp @ Jun 25 2013, 07:59 PM) *
So lately I've been feeling when I practice that my string tension is causing my vibrato to be far too wild. For a guitar that is tuned to standard, the tension feels too loose.

Is it possible for string tension to affect vibrato or is this just something that I'm coming up with in my head?


Hey Trey - it does affect the playing. Usually, I adjust pretty quickly to the various string tensions that I encounter, but, imagine that logic dictates that the effort you put in when having looser strings must be less than the one you put in for more tensioned strings.

In my opinion, 09-046 is a balanced tension for standard tuning, so might be you can try it and see if it fits your taste smile.gif


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Darius Wave
post Jun 26 2013, 12:29 PM
Post #7


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 5.258
Joined: 29-November 12
From: Poland
Member No.: 17.069



I know that sound pretty rude but I usually don't even allow my students to by anything under 10-46 (25,5") or 10-52 (24 3/4). This is very subjective but those are my reasons:

1. thiner strings break easier / faster
2. Thingers pressure on frets creates tuning issues - even to 10 cents up while trygin to play hard - no way to get well tuned chords in the first position
3. If You practise on 9's You will feel like 80% of other guitars (at music shop, friends owned etc..) are just not comfortble ( to hard to play)...so why to be able to play only on Your own guitar? Not mentioning the huge distance to acoustic guitar usualy brought with 11's or 12's...
4. Higher gauges sound more fat and indeed has a positive affect on the sustain
5. They are more demanding so Your practise is more affective
6. If the guitar is well prepared (adjusted and made with precision - good fret job and not twisted neck) You can go for even lower action cause the string is more fat but also stiffer and You won't get the fret buzz. For example...Martin or Taylor acoustic guitars are brought with 12" or even 13" and they still feel comfortable! Of course...untill Your try to bend the strings biggrin.gif
7. With higher gauges it's You canset the intonation more precisely.
8. When doing the recordings light gauges can cause even from 3 to 6 cents "upon the right pitch" even when You're completely sure You tuned Your guitar to perfect "0".


Of course there are many factors. I know some players who play on 9's and their in tune but...they usually play very soft.and this is not what I like wink.gif

Of course no offense to 9's users...just my expiriences and private preferences. wink.gif


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
klasaine
post Jun 26 2013, 05:00 PM
Post #8


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 2.743
Joined: 30-December 12
From: Los Angeles, CA
Member No.: 17.304



I play .011 - .49 (or .50). Standard tuned. One a couple of my archtops I use .12s and/or flatwounds ... and not necessarily for jazz. I just like 'em heavy.
I never noticed it affecting my vibrato.
It's more about they're response to my picking hand. They snap back quicker.


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Headbanger
post Jun 26 2013, 06:25 PM
Post #9


GMC:er
*

Group: Members
Posts: 877
Joined: 18-January 13
From: 3rd stone from the Sun
Member No.: 17.478



I use D'addario .011-.049 called Blues/Jazz Rock and these suit me perfectly although I always considered them about medium/heavy..I suppose they are on the heavier side though...I always have used a that gauge on my electric guitars as I have quite big/strong fingers...(sounds a bit silly but its true laugh.gif tongue.gif )

I just ordered some Martin strings for my acoustic...apparently they are lights .012 - .054 (80/20 Bronze)...I don't know what's on my acoustic at the moment but I'm hoping these will make bending slightly easier and give me a brighter sound.... I like to experiment.

In answer to the thread...I do think string Size/tension will make a difference to vibrato and bending...I also think you should be aware of your finger size and hand strength...As I said above...it seems to make a difference to me.

This post has been edited by Headbanger: Jun 26 2013, 06:27 PM


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Mertay
post Jun 26 2013, 06:52 PM
Post #10


GMC:er
Group Icon

Group: GMC Senior
Posts: 2.597
Joined: 27-May 13
From: Turkey / izmir
Member No.: 18.294



I can't feel a bond with a guitar that has 0.9's on it.


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
TreyDeschamp
post Jun 26 2013, 08:10 PM
Post #11


Learning Apprentice Player
*

Group: Members
Posts: 2.093
Joined: 1-May 08
From: Diamondhead, MS
Member No.: 5.023



QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Jun 26 2013, 06:29 AM) *
I know that sound pretty rude but I usually don't even allow my students to by anything under 10-46 (25,5") or 10-52 (24 3/4). This is very subjective but those are my reasons:

1. thiner strings break easier / faster
2. Thingers pressure on frets creates tuning issues - even to 10 cents up while trygin to play hard - no way to get well tuned chords in the first position
3. If You practise on 9's You will feel like 80% of other guitars (at music shop, friends owned etc..) are just not comfortble ( to hard to play)...so why to be able to play only on Your own guitar? Not mentioning the huge distance to acoustic guitar usualy brought with 11's or 12's...
4. Higher gauges sound more fat and indeed has a positive affect on the sustain
5. They are more demanding so Your practise is more affective
6. If the guitar is well prepared (adjusted and made with precision - good fret job and not twisted neck) You can go for even lower action cause the string is more fat but also stiffer and You won't get the fret buzz. For example...Martin or Taylor acoustic guitars are brought with 12" or even 13" and they still feel comfortable! Of course...untill Your try to bend the strings biggrin.gif
7. With higher gauges it's You canset the intonation more precisely.
8. When doing the recordings light gauges can cause even from 3 to 6 cents "upon the right pitch" even when You're completely sure You tuned Your guitar to perfect "0".


Of course there are many factors. I know some players who play on 9's and their in tune but...they usually play very soft.and this is not what I like wink.gif

Of course no offense to 9's users...just my expiriences and private preferences. wink.gif


All points that I never realized. This just got me debating with myself whether or not I want to put a heavier string gauge on my guitar. Makes complete sense to me!


--------------------
Check out my Youtube!
Add me on Facebook!
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Darius Wave
post Jun 26 2013, 11:53 PM
Post #12


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 5.258
Joined: 29-November 12
From: Poland
Member No.: 17.069



Then I should add a point of view why I don't use higher gauges:

I tried from 9s to 13s for the regular tuning and I went back to 10s ...why?

1. Sometimes doing more than whole step bends and even a 3 or 4 half steps + doing the bends with You tapping fingers is really a challange even for people who are able to play hard and practice a lot with higher gauges...Though those are some expression tools I like to use and very often in faster tempo it not enough time to collect enough strength to precisely catch and hold the string at the right pitch with the thick gauge strings.

2. Palm muting - I like when string is muted, played very hard so it even hits the frets and adds a bit of "chain hitting the floor " feel to the sound. Stiffer strings resist it more than 10s smile.gif


3. I hate the 3rd string when it's a bold, raw wire, thicker than .17. I love bold, WOUNDED 3rd string but for recording backing guitars (more tension = more tuning stability = say good bye to always too high pitch note A on the 2nd fret). For rock/metal soloing it's usually a bit to stiff so I decided to stay with the "less evil" option


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post
Cosmin Lupu
post Jun 27 2013, 07:15 AM
Post #13


Instructor
Group Icon

Group: GMC Instructor
Posts: 22.808
Joined: 14-June 10
From: Bucharest
Member No.: 10.636



QUOTE (Darius Wave @ Jun 26 2013, 11:29 AM) *
I know that sound pretty rude but I usually don't even allow my students to by anything under 10-46 (25,5") or 10-52 (24 3/4). This is very subjective but those are my reasons:

1. thiner strings break easier / faster
2. Thingers pressure on frets creates tuning issues - even to 10 cents up while trygin to play hard - no way to get well tuned chords in the first position
3. If You practise on 9's You will feel like 80% of other guitars (at music shop, friends owned etc..) are just not comfortble ( to hard to play)...so why to be able to play only on Your own guitar? Not mentioning the huge distance to acoustic guitar usualy brought with 11's or 12's...
4. Higher gauges sound more fat and indeed has a positive affect on the sustain
5. They are more demanding so Your practise is more affective
6. If the guitar is well prepared (adjusted and made with precision - good fret job and not twisted neck) You can go for even lower action cause the string is more fat but also stiffer and You won't get the fret buzz. For example...Martin or Taylor acoustic guitars are brought with 12" or even 13" and they still feel comfortable! Of course...untill Your try to bend the strings biggrin.gif
7. With higher gauges it's You canset the intonation more precisely.
8. When doing the recordings light gauges can cause even from 3 to 6 cents "upon the right pitch" even when You're completely sure You tuned Your guitar to perfect "0".


Of course there are many factors. I know some players who play on 9's and their in tune but...they usually play very soft.and this is not what I like wink.gif

Of course no offense to 9's users...just my expiriences and private preferences. wink.gif


These are very good observations man! I think that in the end it's a matter of adjustment to a certain gauge, but, it is our duty to expose all the advantages and disadvantages!


--------------------
Go to the top of the page
 
+Quote Post

Fast ReplyReply to this topicStart new topic
1 User(s) are reading this topic (1 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:

 


RSS Lo-Fi Version Time is now: 26th March 2017 - 12:37 AM