New String Day

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by Randy99CL, Jul 24, 2021.

  1. Randy99CL

    Randy99CL Country Gent

    Feb 17, 2020
    I know a lot of players here use strings in the 11-and-up sizes and I wonder why. I've not tried them but am sometimes struggling to fret and bend the 9s and 10s that came on my guitars. Not enough practice so not yet enough finger strength.

    A few videos lately have compared the sound of different gauge strings and decided there is not much difference and we should select our strings on feel alone.

    It's only been recently that I've really locked onto trying all my guitars and defining how the strings feel. Couple of surprises: my G&Ls with 25.5" scale have 10s standard, no wonder they are a little more tiring to play than the Fenders and Squires that came with 9s.
    One reason why my Gibson LP (24.75") plays so easily is because it came with a hybrid set: 9, 11, 16, 26, 36 and 46. They call that their LP "Signature" set and I like them.

    Recently MF had some EB strings on sale and I got a few sets of Mighty Slinky (LOL) .0085-.040" to try on my 25.5" guitars.
    I've got some normal 9-42 sets to try on those that came with 10s.
    Looking to play longer with less fatigue. Comments?
    Freshy and thunder58 like this.
  2. TSims1

    TSims1 Gretschified

    Jun 18, 2013

    Just do what’s right for you. And nobody else can tell you what that is. I seem to swing on a perpetual pendulum. I started on very heavy strings…….then went very light. Then medium, then back to heavy, and now am trending towards lighter again.
    If I’m playing a Tele and really want those nashville pedal steel bends, then I’m stringing 9s. A battle horse? 10s so I can bash and still bend. A Bigsby guitar? 11s. Acoustics? Generally medium-ish.
    new6659, Freshy, audept and 3 others like this.
  3. BrianW

    BrianW Country Gent

    Oct 21, 2014
    Vancouver Island
    What Tony said.... you have to play what feels and sounds right to you. I am pretty sure Mr Sims could play circles around me with a rubber band and a washtub, but I wouldn't try it myself even if I really liked the sound. Wouldn't work for ME. (at all...:rolleyes:)
    Freshy and oneforsorrow like this.
  4. oneforsorrow

    oneforsorrow Synchromatic

    May 15, 2020
    I concur with the above. I play with a custom gauge set of 11 15 22w 30 42 50. Reasons being — I play heavy-handed and like a wound 3rd and the 22 helps with intonation on my space control bridge. But that creates a limit on bends. It works for me but I love hearing a player with finesse dance across a fretboard on lighter strings and gracefully bend like a pedal steel player. If I could play with lighter strings and still hide my flaws, I’d give it a go. Whatever sounds and feels right IS right!
    Freshy likes this.
  5. bhatta

    bhatta Gretschie

    Jun 29, 2020
    I believe they call it LP signature because Lester himself used them. Gibson had , or maybe still has, Les Paul signature set, at least I used them about 10 years back.
    Same as EB Hybrid Slinkies, iirc, that's my regular string.

    I am not a fan of D'addario, but have now got a set of flatwounds, ECG23 methinks, on my 2655 and am lovin them.

    I went from 9's to 10's when the Gretsch first arrived and now moved to flatwound 10's.
    Really digging them. But for other guitars, 24.75 or 25.5 scale I still use Hybrid Slinkies.

    Experiment and choose your set...
    Freshy likes this.
  6. Synchro

    Synchro The artist formerly known as: Synchro Staff Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    Admin Post
    For a long time, I was a proponent of heavy strings, but I have gravitated to lighter strings, at this point in time. My Guild has 11s, but all four of my Gretsch have 10s up top, with either .050”, .037” & .027”, or .047”, .035” & .025” on the bottom three. My Teles are strung with 9s. I don’t really see much loss of timbre, if any, using light strings. If I were going to play Jazz, straight ahead, I might go for a set of 12s.

    Perhaps it’s the culmination of my years playing, but I find that the biggest effector of my sound is the technique I employ with my right hand. I move between a flat pick, fingerstyle with a flat pick, fingerstyle with a thumb pick, fingerstyle with no pick and the Wes Montgomery approach of thumb-only for octaves. I also use the thumb, Wes style, for rhythm, which gives a nice softness to the sound. There’s more variety availed by these choices than any set of strings could ever offer.
    Freshy and Robbie like this.
  7. Robbie

    Robbie Friend of Fred

    Jun 17, 2013
    Sarnia Ontario Canada
    You’ve received some excellent advice already. For a few years I used 12’s on Strat’s with standard tuning and it ended up causing no end of issues with my wrist and elbow. These days I use 9’s and 10’s and I’m much happier, as in no pain.
    As always with guitar, do what works and feels best for you.
    new6659 and Freshy like this.
  8. Ricochet

    Ricochet Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    I can’t tell you what to like, but since you complain about fatigue. Round core strings(most Pyramids) generally feel a gauge smaller when switching from another (non round core) brand.
    Robbie likes this.
  9. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Gretschified

    Oct 18, 2015
    New string day over here, too:
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