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what string gauge should I use?

How does string gauge afect sound, bending, sustain, vibrato, overall playing, etc..
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Re: what string gauge should I use?

4/13/2001 7:06 AM

Stefan Leonhardt (11536) wrote:

Generally, a higher string gauge means better tone, more sustain. But the price is that string bending and playing is a little harder.



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Re: what string gauge should I use?

4/14/2001 7:40 AM

Peter Martins (394) wrote:

If I can afford sacreficing tone so I can play easier should I change heavy gauge strings to light gauge?

Since light guage strings are under less tension do they vibrate more and hit the frets causing... a certain noise I don't know the name for it.

Could you plaese name some more pros and cons so I know what to compare when trying diferent gauges.

Thank you

Peter



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Re: what string gauge should I use?

4/14/2001 8:26 AM

Stefan Leonhardt (11536) wrote:

Yes, a lighter string gauge could lead to more fret buzz. In any way, I guess if you change the gauge of the strings, you'll need a setup (action and intonation).

I can't answer your question if you should change to light gauge if you can afford sacrificing tone in order to play more easily. That's up to you to decide. Most players I know have switched to heavier gauge after playing a while. It also depends on what gauge you're using now (are we talking electric or acoustic - I base my answer on electric!).
If you're using .10s, I guess you could move back to .09s, but if you're already using .09s, I would not go back to .08s.
If you've just started with guitar, don't be so quick to switch to lighter strings in order to play better - if you keep on practising, everything will improve on its own.
String gauge only is one factor for tone. Tone "monsters" like Brian May, Steve Lukather and Santana use light gauge (.09s). But if everything else remains the same, your tone is likely to improve with a heavier gauge.



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Re: what string gauge should I use?

4/15/2001 6:42 PM

Peter Martins (394) wrote:

Well, I'm using 10's Blue steel, and i've been playing for three years with an electric. I chose heavy gauge in the begining because of tone... as was advised by my blues teacher.

But since I've been playing electric for 3 years and I still can't get certain barre chords to sound clean. I was thinking this would help me out a little.

Another question. Heavy guage strings are under more tension shouldn't that make bending easier... not easier (in strength) but making bendings shorter to get to a certain note. Or is it the same?



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Re: what string gauge should I use?

4/17/2001 6:38 PM

Tim Floto (6151) wrote:

I've always used 10's on my strat. I tried 9's and even 8's and they were just too flimsy. I'm happy with the trade off. 10's are pretty light. I also use 10's on my acoustic which are superlight.
Tim

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Re: what string gauge should I use?

4/13/2001 11:15 AM

Jason Hensley (3962) wrote:

Depends on what sound you want, the smaller gauges have a thinner sound.....not as much sustain are bent, trills, vibrato ect.... very easily. The bigger the gauge string, the harder it is to do that...its not that bad, but enough to tell it changed. You get better tone out of bigger gauge strings more sustain. Try them out see which set you like.

Ace

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Re: what string gauge should I use?

4/13/2001 1:13 PM

Jim Kangas (1957) wrote:

As a corollary, because thin strings are so easy to bend, the note you're trying to play will sometimes "wander" a bit if you're not careful.

I'm also tempted to say that thicker strings have a somewhat darker tone. I use flatwounds with a .012 on top. That may sound "heavy", but lots of my jazz buddies will use lots heavier strings. It's really all a matter of personal preference.

-Jim



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Re: what string gauge should I use?

4/14/2001 2:21 PM

Chuck Stensrud (13014) wrote:

When I got my new Epi Casino, it came with .009's on it. I had so much trouble with unintentional bending that I went out and bought a set of .011's the day after I got it. The heavier strings improve the tone as well.

%chuck%

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Re: what string gauge should I use?

4/13/2001 5:38 PM

Chester Horton (10480) wrote:

Peter
It depends on whether you are playing acoustic or electric also. Most acoustics are made for the top to vibrate properly with a certain guage string on and they sound their best with this gauge . I think electric is really a matter of preference and what style and the sound you are looking for. I am sure one of the guys who play electric will explain the differences in each aspect for you. I know some of them but only as head knowledge and not from practical experience.
Chet

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Re: what string gauge should I use?

4/17/2001 3:32 AM

Thomas Rooney (681) wrote:

Pete,
The way that your guitar is set up is as critical as the gauge of strings that you use! Everytime you change the gauge of your strings, the neck has to be adjusted accordingly to compensate for the change in tension. A guitar that is properly set up and intonated with .10's will be easier to play than a guitar with .009's if the neck is out of whack. I think that the importance of having the guitar properly adjusted can't be stressed enough and IMHO, people do more damage to guitars by trying to do it themselves when they don't know what they are doing.
Generally, the heavier the string, the "fatter" the tone will be. The tradeoff will be in your ability to bend the strings. Most people playing rock/blues probably use between .009 and .10 strings on their guitars.I use .95 strings on my fenders and .10 strings on my gibsons and .12 strings on my acoustics. This is what works for me. I'm happy with the sound and my hands don't fatigue as easily when i,m gigging! (something us old farts have to worry about-LOL) I hope this helps.
TOM-being serious for a change...NURRRSSE!!!!