About To Buy First Gretsch & String Gauge Info Required

Discussion in 'Electromatic Gretsch Forum' started by colchar, Oct 5, 2020.

  1. Paulie26

    Paulie26 Gretschie

    108
    Sep 7, 2020
    Ireland
    Beauty
     
    colchar likes this.
  2. ffc65

    ffc65 Electromatic

    17
    Jan 7, 2015
    London
    I too have arthritis in my hands. I just got a 5410 rat rod and was finding the .11's quite hard work, especially higher up the fretboard. I've literally just put a set of .10's on and it's so much easier on my hand although I would say acoustically the guitar doesn't sound quite as loud or full. I haven't yet had a chance to try it plugged in but don't expect to notice any difference
     
    colchar likes this.
  3. Highroller

    Highroller Country Gent

    Jun 11, 2015
    Portland, OR
    Yeah, if the choice is light gauge strings versus not playing, well, guess what I'd be using?

    The guitar itself won't have any problems with 10's or even 09's. I doubt you'll have to do any nut work or truss rod adjustments. Just slap 'em on there and see how it goes.

    Bigsbys tend to favor somewhat heavier strings, but I run 10-46's (with a wound third) on five different Bigsby equipped guitars with no noticeable problems. With 09's or anything lighter, I'd expect to have to a little more slippage on the tuning, but that's a small price to pay to keep playing.

    Good luck with it!
     
    colchar likes this.
  4. audept

    audept Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Age:
    73
    Dec 1, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Welcome to the forum, ffc65! Long time for your first post! I'm also struggling with arthritis. I usually play 10s but I'm moving down to 9s so I can keep playing a little longer.
    vintage_grunge_uk_flag_union_jack_doormat.jpg
     
  5. BCRatRod73

    BCRatRod73 Gretschie

    324
    Sep 1, 2020
    Mississippi
    Turn back now before it’s too late! The addiction is real, as is the insatiable desire to purchase more and more Gretsch guitars. It’s too late for the rest of us. You have a chance if you turn back now. Hahaha
     
    colchar likes this.
  6. marcello252

    marcello252 Electromatic

    26
    May 31, 2020
    Italy
    Back in the 80s I started playing using 008s, that's what a lot of people played back then.
    Then I switched to 009s across the 90s (I played mostly Strats).
    Then, in grunge years, I moved to 010s and 011s, I stayed with it until 00s when I had some tendinitis trouble and I switched back to 010s.
    I stayed with it since last year, when I finally realized there is no real change in sound between 010 and 009, with 009s sou ding better in distortion to my ears, so I moved back to a more comfortable 009, wondering why I haven't done this before...
     
    new6659, colchar and Medium John like this.
  7. lichla1988

    lichla1988 Newbie

    2
    Apr 19, 2020
    MS
    I
    I have a 5422 bought about a year ago. I also have issues with my hands and wrist. Mine also came with 11. I changed to 10 and added a graphtec nut and filed it down to lower the strings making it easier to press down. My action was really high, lowering the action will really help your hands. Adjust the bridge height. Make the strings as low as possible without fret buzz.
     
    colchar likes this.
  8. ffc65

    ffc65 Electromatic

    17
    Jan 7, 2015
    London

    Thank you, I've been lurking a while but this post struck a chord with me
     
    colchar likes this.
  9. rockinstephen

    rockinstephen Electromatic

    I use D'Addario .010-.046 on my 6196 Country Club. On my previous Gretsch (6118 TJr.) I used flat wounds of the same gauge for awhile. What does anyone think of flat wounds? That may be a good topic for a new thread...
     
    colchar likes this.
  10. I got a few sets of 7/30 something strings from the Rev. Willy , AKA Billy Gibbons . I found them extremely hard to install , because they are so small . The three smallest strings were the toughest , like trying to wrap a hair around the tuner post . Put them on a LP DC Jr . Everything was right according to the tuner . I did have way too much string wrapped around the post and had to take several of them off and start over . I've done this some many times I usually don't even have to think about it , but didn't take into consideration how small they were . Anyway , I played a couple of licks and was thinking , man these things are great . Then I played some chords . Sounded like hell . Every note was out of tune checked the tuner , nope all in perfect tune . Decided I was just crushing the chords out of tune . The funny thing is I've always thought I had a real soft touch . Not true with Rev. Willy's . I tried for a couple of days to soften up my touch enough to use them because they felt sooooo good . It never happened . I cut the things off and went back to the 9/42 set and the chords sound great again . So buyer beware . If you have a feather soft touch these will work great for you . If you discover you're a chord crusher like me , stay away . I take back everybody needs to try them at least once , just for fun .
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2020
    colchar likes this.
  11. DasherF

    DasherF Gretschie

    191
    Aug 28, 2020
    Minneapolis, Mn
    Are Wurm strings still made? They had Slime (9s), Super Slime (8s) and Eech! (7s). Starting out, I loved those Eech! gauge strings...found myself changing them a lot..
     
    audept likes this.
  12. NateC86

    NateC86 Newbie

    2
    Apr 2, 2020
    Wylie, TX
    My 5420 came with 10s, and I think the gretsch specs are 10s on the newer 5420s. I've played 10s, 11s, 9.5s, and 9s on it.

    Honestly the 9s might be my favorite, which shouldn't be the case but I felt like it added some bite to the sound.

    Last string change I went back up to 10s and regret it... 11s were also nice and I played those for a while, definitely added meat to the sound and was perfect for playing rhythm.

    The other thing to consider which I'm sure you've come across on here is the stock bridge. The stock bridge on the 5420 is terrible and probably won't work great with lower gauge strings. Mine would make all sorts of noise if I went lighter than 11s. I switched to a Tru-Arc bridge and that made a huge difference, better sound, less unwanted noise and just feels like a better guitar.
     
  13. Gregor

    Gregor Synchromatic

    908
    Oct 17, 2018
    New Brunswick, Canada
    At the moment I'm using D'Addario 10-46 half rounds on my 5120. Liking them so far, mainly for how quiet they are.
    A search on here for Flatwounds will reveal lots or info for you.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2020
  14. colchar

    colchar Electromatic

    52
    Oct 5, 2020
    Southern Ontario

    I've noticed lately that I have a lighter touch than I had thought, but at times I do tend to grip chords too tightly. Then there is that overly heavy right hand of mine............
     
  15. colchar

    colchar Electromatic

    52
    Oct 5, 2020
    Southern Ontario
    According to the webpage they are .11s, at least on the limited edition model I got. I assume all the 5420 models will be the same.



    Isn't it just a normal tune-o-matic type bridge?
     
  16. ffc65

    ffc65 Electromatic

    17
    Jan 7, 2015
    London
     
  17. ffc65

    ffc65 Electromatic

    17
    Jan 7, 2015
    London
    I have noticed a rattling on the bridge since putting the 10's on. Without doubt it's a much nicer guitar to play now, certainly for me anyway
     
  18. Mr Swisher

    Mr Swisher Synchromatic

    811
    Jun 12, 2012
    England
    I've tried so many strings but have seemed to find a happy groove with GHS Dave Gilmour Boomers 10-48.

    They are worth a spin.
     
    colchar likes this.
  19. Wjensen

    Wjensen Gretschie

    334
    May 25, 2019
    Raleigh, NC
    Congrats on a great guitar. I have a 5420 which is strung with 11s. I use NYXL. You can generally raise or lower string guage by one diameter with no problems. If you plan to lower it to 9s, you may need to get a new nut cut and installed and have it re-set up. But since its an electric guitar, you just need to turn up the amp:)
     
    audept, colchar and Mr Swisher like this.
  20. Mr Swisher

    Mr Swisher Synchromatic

    811
    Jun 12, 2012
    England
    This fixes most things ;)
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.