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Strings: Light vs. Heavy

Vince Lau (422)

Guitar Equipment Forum · 9/17/1999 2:27 PM
Hey guys and gals, I just joined and I"ve been playing for awhile and I know string guage is mostly personal preference but I'd like to hear what you guys have to say about it. I personally enjoy heavier guage strings. Right now string my strat with GHS Nicker Rockers lowtune 011 .015 .019 N28 N38 N58, I usually replace the high e with .013 or .012 guage. It is a low tune set so they are supposed to be tuned down a whole step or half a step but I play them standard tuning. I get really good sustain and blues tone out of the heavier strings, not to mention much stronger hands. I used to play the lighter strings, but when compared with the heavier guages I got better tone and sustain. The disadvantages are more difficult vibrato during bends, not to mention the bends themselves but once my hand got adjusted it got killer. What do you guys prefer? Light or heavy?
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Re: Strings: Light vs. Heavy

11/18/2000 7:28 PM

Daniel Seaton (1582) wrote:

I love them heavy. I have tried 13's but was worried about what kind of strain I was putting on my guitar. Now I am using 12's and still love them just as much with a little less worry.

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Re: Strings: Light vs. Heavy

11/19/2000 6:57 AM

Inactive Member wrote:

Concerning strings, I'm sort of a sissy.
I use a light gauge, usually .09s.
When I can get them, I use sets of strings with light top and heavy bottom.
But I have one guitar set up with .10s and I'm going to make the change from .09s to .10s completely.

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Re: Strings: Light vs. Heavy

11/19/2000 4:17 PM

David Mackie (11072) wrote:

I like the heavier strings on my acoustic, (.13s) but I tend to go light on my electrics, because I bend alot, and with a family history of arthritis, I like to take it easy on my joints. I use .009s on my tele and .010s on my Epi DOT, although I may try .011s with a plain G sometime just to see.

I agree with Mr. Wendler that light strings are best if you let the amp do the work, but some people seem to think that doing so makes you a lesser player. Not so!!! A players choice of notes and expressive abilities are what make his/her worth, not weather or not he/she can push them big strings around!



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Re: Strings: Light vs. Heavy

11/19/2000 4:33 PM

Inactive Member wrote:

Nevertheless, it's true that heavier strings are one factor to improve your tone. But only one factor. Tone also depends on your hands, guitars and amps - even cables - and generally on your playing.
There are countless players with light gauge strings with great tone: Brian May, Steve Lukather ...
So heavy strings are not mandatory to have a great tone - they can help, no more.



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Re: Strings: Light vs. Heavy

11/20/2000 3:50 PM

David Mackie (11072) wrote:

Absolutely, and thanks for completing the thought.





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Re: Strings: Light vs. Heavy

11/20/2000 4:50 PM

Ron Rutkowski (290) wrote:

Lights on my acoustic,10's on my electric.





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Re: Strings: Light vs. Heavy

11/20/2000 6:58 PM

Bruce Maag (15581) wrote:

I agree, why punish yourself with heavy strings, when the gear you use can do it for you. I used .009's and thin picks, when I first started out.

I thought it would make me a fast lead player. But I was thinking bass akwards. Now i'll use .010's and a fat pick. I can do the tricks better.

Acoustic players should step up a gauge one at a time until they hit that happy medium. All depends on the person. Some musicians can handle the heavy strings, others have physical limits.

I do have an acoustic with heavier strings. But that's my strumm'n guitar. No tricks on that one.



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Re: Strings: Light vs. Heavy

11/20/2000 7:30 PM

John Schell (6102) wrote:

I have heard that Jimi Hendrix used to use 9's on his guitars and sometimes even 8's.

I have tried going to heavy string thing and to tell the you truth, all I got was sore fingers.
Now I use 9's and i'm go to go.


John

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Re: Strings: Light vs. Heavy

3/5/2001 2:16 PM

Paul Stelzmann (340) wrote:

Recently, I have switced to .10's on my semihollow electric. Since I am working on a lot of slurs these days, I noticed it has made a world of difference compared to .11's. I believe there are mediums strung on the acoustic; I'm still experimenting with what works best for me there.
On a peripheral topic: the action of the guitar. I prefer as low an action as possible without getting fretbuzz. It just makes the guitar easier to play...particularly regarding barring. I have recently read that slide-guitar players prefer heavy-strings and high action. What other applications are there where a player would want high action?



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Re: Strings: Light vs. Heavy

3/5/2001 11:26 PM

David Mackie (11072) wrote:

In the 70s, Larry Carlton used to set his 335s up with .009s and a really high action. This gave him absolutely clean bends and helped (he said) the light guage strings sustain better. My Tele style Peavey is set up somewhat along the same lines, and I would say he's right, but it's a subtle thing.

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