9 to 10s?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by neastguy, Aug 3, 2005.

  1. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,690
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    ohio
    man, I switched both of my guitars to 10's and now I'm wondering if I made a mistake....how long does it take to adjust..? my hands just dont seem as light across the board anymore...getting fatigued fast....I'd hate to go back to 9's because they feel like nothing is there anymore when I play....tell me this is normal please.....I like the 10's, but I dont know if my hands can take it....
     
  2. Supertgtr

    Supertgtr Member

    Messages:
    650
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2003
    Location:
    land o' cheese
    Maybe try a 9 1/2 set from GHS?
    Or a hybrid set from Earnie Ball?
     
  3. mikeyp123

    mikeyp123 Guest

    give it at least a couple weeks or a month of regular practise, you'll adjust.. the tone improvement is worth it.
     
  4. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,690
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    ohio
    thats what I was hoping to hear...I can defiantely hear a tone and feel difference so I dont want to give up, as long as all seems normal right now.....
     
  5. 3Sides

    3Sides Member

    Messages:
    336
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    I went through this last summer. I switched to 10's and after 5 months I still hadn't adjusted. In fact after that time I was still having difficulty with things I was playing on 9's. Ended up with 9.5's and stayed there. I recently went back to 10's for a week and still didn't like it. IMO adjusting your amp and pickups will make the two gauges sound almost the same except for the cleanest of tones.
     
  6. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,690
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    ohio
    i'm gonna give it another 3 wks and then decide, maybe 9.5's are the answer....
     
  7. Mark Robinson

    Mark Robinson Member

    Messages:
    7,088
    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2002
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    And play what sounds best to you. I'm a naysayer on the idea that heavy guages, automatically = better tone. It may be true for some, but it's not a hard fact. I actually prefer the sound of lighter strings, the lighter the better, and would play 9 sets or even 8 sets, if they stayed in better tune on my guitars with trem. I'd love to be able to easily buy a set with a 38 on the bottom, about a 15 or 16 for the G and a 9.5 for the skinny e. Larger guage sets do sound good to me if they are tuned down a bit. At concert pitch they sound and feel tight and piano like. I prefer a loose and juicy, loopy light guage set.

    I also like the option of fretting a 2nd on the "G" string and bending it up a whole step to a major 3rd , against the 4th and or root tones, with my index finger. That is much more difficult with a 17 or heavier on a Fender scale guitar. So 9.5 or lighter for me usually, with no apologies.

    Heavy wire on an L.p. can also make it pretty difficult for me to get a really clean, high headroom sound out of my Guytron or Marshall amps. It's a lot of signal. The light sets sound good to my ears.

    Plenty of great players use heavy strings, and plenty use light strings. Same goes for high versus low action. It's possible to get great results with either. I'm not going to toss my light strings out with the internet bathwater.. But I do have a profound personal dislike for skimpy frets. YMMV etc.
     
  8. Brian D

    Brian D Member

    Messages:
    5,922
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    The Land of 10,000 Lakes
    Also, a little tweak to your set-up may be in order to get the best feel for your new string gauge.
     
  9. GrantMe

    GrantMe Guest

    i jumped from 9 on my old guitar to 13 on my new one about 4 months ago.....it takes time to adjust and im still adjusting but it gets better....and when i go back and play my other guitar....its even easier to play....wich is always nice ..lol
     
  10. mikeyp123

    mikeyp123 Guest

    that's another good point mentioned.. what scale is your guitar, fender or gibson?

    I was a 9s guy on my start.. switched to 10s on my Les Paul, since the shorter scale is much easier to bend, also depends on how low your stop-bar is? The lower the stop-bar, the lower the tension, lowest when it resting against the body.

    Anyway, I played 10s on the LP for a couple weeks then switched to 10s on the start.. and after about 2 months on the start, I'm completely comfortable. It was pretty brutal at first, just stick with it.

    It's also made switching between acoustic and electric much easier.
     
  11. OOG

    OOG Member

    Messages:
    3,300
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    pacific rim
    Thomastik has a set that starts with a .014
    maybe just thinking about that will help?:D

    seriousley speaking
    the "half gauge" thing is great
    i like the sound of a bigger string but like the feel (for some things) of lighter ones
    on my 335, going from 10's to 10.5's worked perfectly for me
    11's were just to heavy for lots of things that i play on that guitar
     
  12. KHK

    KHK Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    881
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Location:
    NS Beach, Fl.
    Keep at the 10's. I think the heavier guage has an audibly more fleshy tone. You will find that your fingers will get stronger and many things will become easier. 11's sound about perfect and you can easily get used to them over time. Fingers use muscles which get stronger with resistance training (increasing string tension). Anyone can develop strong fingers. You will be glad you stuck with it 6 mos from now.

    JMO
     
  13. neastguy

    neastguy Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,690
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    ohio
    ok, well for some reason last night and today my hand came alive again, I guess they finally started to adjust, seems like I can play normal again....I still dont like em much on my lp custom, but on my strat its seems cool...just an update...
     
  14. bluesdoc

    bluesdoc Gold Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,128
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    I don't agree. Some hands will not adjust well to higher string tension. Muscles might adapt, but tendons and ligaments are much less able to change, especially with age (ie, me). I get tendonitis and overuse joint ligament problems if I try. Yup, it does sound good, but some of that can be adjusted for (with lighter strings) by raising the action a bit. 9.5s seem ideal for me. Guys that don't bend much can of course tolerate heavier guage strings. But for us benders, not everyone will adjust.

    jon
     
  15. t0neg0d

    t0neg0d Member

    Messages:
    332
    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    I had the same issue when switching to 10's... I did this years ago. I, as others have stated, believe it is worth the time it takes to adjust for the increase you'll hear in tone/sustain.

    cpokay mentioned switching to 11's... tried this as well... but couldn't do it... I don't play enough now to make a switch like that again... wish I could though. Let us share your pain! Tell us how it goes.

    Me
     
  16. Deaj

    Deaj Member

    Messages:
    4,650
    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Location:
    Kingston, WA
    I've tried several time now to switch to a heavier gauge (from 9's to 10's) and I'm still playing 9's. I can tell you that I noticed a difference (meatier tone) and would liked to have stayed with the 10's but I was never able to adjust no matter how long I stuck with it. I'm quite happy with my tone though so I'm not missing anything :)
     
  17. guitguy28

    guitguy28 Member

    Messages:
    1,166
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2004
    On my Strat I switched from 9s to 10s, hoping the extra resistance would give a better "feel" for bend vibrato. This is for the High E, B and G strings, mind you. It took a couple weeks for my left hand to more or less adjust to the tension. But even after a month or so, I still found that the tension was too high on the high E, just right for the B, and too little for the G.

    So, I went back to a 9 for the High E and up to an 11 for the G- making the gauges .009, .013, .018P. And it feels just right to me. Bending is no problem, an there's no tension or soreness in my wrist anymore, and also the intonation stays true, particularly on the G string. It's more expensive to buy each string individually but picking and choosing each individual gauge is what worked for me.
     
  18. voodoochile

    voodoochile Supporting Member

    Messages:
    595
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2005
    Location:
    St Louis, MO
    One comment above suggested a hybrid set. If you are not familiar with these, several companies make them- my choice is D'Addario.

    There's the concept: 10 gauge strings for the heavier gauges where you play most rhythm work, and 9's on the higher strings where you play solo's. This let's you keep the easier bending that 9's offer, and the better tone of the 10's on the top.

    Give 'em a try.

    Remember to check your neck for any needed string height adjustments.
     
  19. Antero

    Antero Member

    Messages:
    1,448
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2005
    One night I slammed my way through "Let Them All Talk" (by Elvis Costello), fast and hard. That sort of badcore I'm-not-just-practicing-anymore playing.

    When I finished, I was out of tune. Not TOTALLY out of tune, but enough for me to notice.

    Thus, 11s.

    12s may follow if I feel tricky. ;)
     
  20. KLB

    KLB Member

    Messages:
    3,047
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2002
    Location:
    West of the Sun, East of the Moon
    On an S-guitar, or other 25.5" scale, using a 10 set -- and tuning down to Eb -- can be a thing of beauty. Try it.

    Different guitars with the same scale will not always FEEL the same, even with the same brand and gauge of string set.

    Some guitars are "happy" with 9.5s, others with 10's. etc.

    Yes, a 10.5 set on a standard tuned 335 is sweet!
     

Share This Page