Thoughts on wound G string

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by mandobandit, May 14, 2019.

  1. Henry

    Henry Gretschified

    Apr 9, 2014
    I prefer wound Gs but i now use TI jazz 11s, and the wound G is too hard to bend as much as I need so I replace it with an unwound string of the same gauge, P19.
  2. wildeman

    wildeman Gretschified

    May 10, 2015
    They chafe a bit but you get used to it.
    wabash slim, Trash Kidd and audept like this.
  3. Gimper

    Gimper Gretschie

    Oct 30, 2016
  4. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    wildeman likes this.
  5. Bertotti

    Bertotti Country Gent

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I was using these until I went to the .012 set of NYXL with the wound G but now use TI 12s, a couple with the jazz swing and a couple with jazz bebops. I never ever broke an NYXL string though to me they did sound more twangy than the regular DA, as long as I am able I will continue to use the TI strings.
    Last edited: May 17, 2019
    thunder58 likes this.
  6. unbridled

    unbridled Synchromatic

    Aug 20, 2008
    I do need to point out that, although I use the wound G live, if I was to do studio work, I'd have to switch to an unwound G or swap my bridge back to the factory unit, because my Compton is for an unwound G. There isn't a huge disparity in intonation, but it is there.
  7. Grand Marquis GT

    Grand Marquis GT Electromatic

    Mar 2, 2017
    Abilene, TX
    I rock the same strings in flatwound. 10-48!
  8. ramjac

    ramjac Synchromatic

    Aug 14, 2011
    I was getting some annoying wolf tones from behind the bridge on my 5122. Switching to a wound G took care of it. Switching back to an unwound G took care of the tendinitis in my ring finger.
    Donaldo likes this.
  9. wabash slim

    wabash slim Friend of Fred

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    I'm a rhythm player, so, I'm more about a fatter tone than bending strings. Wound G works well for me.
  10. macatt

    macatt Gretschie

    Mar 18, 2011
    Silverdale WA
    Not for me.
    It's a very common move to bend the unwound b and g strings together simultaneously.
    The pitch naturally raises 1/2 step on the b and 1 whole step on the g string.
    In a pentatonic type scale position that gives you a 7th and a 5th interval when bent. Sounds great and I use it often in different situations.
    BUT you can't do this with a wound g.

    S Mac
    audept likes this.
  11. Lee Erickson

    Lee Erickson Country Gent

    Apr 20, 2009
    Eagan, MN
    I think the best thing to do is to try things. After all D'Addario strings are inexpensive. After about 60 years of playing, I've found them to be the most consistent in quality.


    1. Intonation is better on the straight rocking bar bridge that you have on your guitar.
    2. The classic guitar sounds of the 1950's were done with wound g-strings.
    3. The equivalent tension wound g-strings require less fretting pressure than the plain strings.
    4. The equivalent tension wound g-strings require less finger pressure to reach a particular higher pitch by bending.


    1. Due to the smaller core, wound g-strings are more floppy in bending. The action on the 1st fret will be a bit lower and you may get some buzzing on the 1st fret.
    2. The wound g-strings require that you bend them quite a bit further to reach a
    particular pitch. If you need to bump into an adjacent string to get a particular pitch, this can be troublesome.
    3. As you go down in gauge, the manufacturing process becomes more difficult. You may find that you get a bunch more punk round g-strings right out of the package.

    I'm in favor of experimenting.

    I'm inclined to think that larger gauges sound better. If you find that the wound g-string is OK, maybe 0.011's?

  12. mandobandit

    mandobandit Gretschie

    Apr 1, 2019
    Thanks to all for taking the time to share thoughts and experiences.
    I have a few different sets coming and will play around with the different combinations.
    I will say that I have never had a guitar that allowed me to have the action so low with out buzzing.
    I wished I had given the strings that came on it a little time and adjusted the set up before swapping for my usual 46 through 10s
  13. budglo

    budglo Electromatic

    Feb 26, 2019
    Not for me due to bending. To bend a whole step you almost have to bend it up to the low E string. Too floppy.
  14. Pop1655

    Pop1655 Gretschie

    Feb 9, 2019
    Texas Hill Country
    TI 11's (full set) on the 5420
    TI 10's with an unwound G on the 335
    Both serve their purpose.
    NSM245 likes this.
  15. NSM245

    NSM245 Synchromatic

    May 7, 2011
    I agree with the poster who said there's no right or wrong here - we each decide what's right for us. For myself, I do a lot of recording work, and playing in orchestra pits for stage shows - my main instruments for that kind of thing are a Mexican Telecaster, and a Double Anniversary, depending on what kind of show - "Jesus Christ Superstar" would be the Tele, and "West Side Story" would be the Annie. The Tele has very light strings, 10-38, so obviously the 3rd is plain; the Annie has 12-53, with a wound 3rd. It's about "horses for courses" really. I'm sometimes called on to play swing music in a couple of bands also - if I'm doing much in the way of solos, it's the Annie, and in a more big band setting, with no solos, then it's a Godin acoustic arch top, heavy strings, wound 3rd. In addition, I love playing finger picked styles, and western swing music - for those, I mainly use a modded G5122 with strings from 11-48, with a plain 3rd.

    As far as brands go, I don't have a favourite, I've found that most brands are decent - I know a couple that I wouldn't use, which I won't name here, but apart from those, I'm happy with pretty much anything. Right now, I have D'Addarios on my Annie and my Godin, and Ernie Balls on the Tele and the 5122, but that could be all different next month - I'm much more fussy about the gauges than about who made them.
    audept and Gregor like this.
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