Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by edward, Jun 10, 2010.
I go back and forth. Currently using EB SS .09's on LPs and Strats.
if you want to go a bit lighter, try a 9.5 to 44 set.
I prefer 10's.
I guess it's just they feel and sound a bit better with rhythm and regular playing. 9's feel more comfortable for soloing or other single string playing.
+1. Did this recently with my #1 (which I use sometimes for 3+ hours at a time like at gigs) and am very happy with the results.
On the topic of string gauge generally, more important than anything is your long-term health and wellness. As an example (just one anecdote but worth a mention), there is a friend of mine who posts occasionally on this very forum who for years has used very high gauge strings "for the tone" - and by high gauge I mean 11's and thicker - who presently is unable to play at all due to tendon/ligament issues with his hands. Yes, the guy is also into IT in his day job so perhaps that's the major cause of his problems, not his guitar playing, but I would submit that it's specifically when your day job also places stress and demands on your wrists and hands that you most need to reduce the guitar playing-related stressors on them.
To use a baseball analogy, what use is being able to hit the ball further with a 44 oz. bat when using one only tires you out to the point where you no longer can get around on the pitches?
11's on strats and semi-hollows. 12's on acoustics. 10's on trem guitars
I recently put a set of 9s on my son's strat, and started using it due to the wear and tear of 40+ years of playing has taken on the joints in my left hand. A big improvement - I'm not in pain between gigs anymore! Now, I left the 10s on my Les Paul, but put a set of 9s on my Gibson-scale length Squire Tele Thinline VM: waaaay too slinky, and I'm going to take the suggestion from above and try a set of DR Blues 10s on there: if they play with the slinkyness of the 9s, I switch to them all around..
It all depends on what's on sale when I need strings.
This is what I went to a few years ago and is the perfect compromise in feel and tone. I use them on Fender and Gibson scale guitars. The DR strings do have a nicer feel on larger gauges than some other brands, but I prefer Snake oil and Mangan's.
I love 9's on all of my guitars, and even have used 8's on occassion. However, FWIW, when I owned a '69 Les Paul Custom, I had to use 11's and they felt like 8's on that particular guitar. Anything less than the 11's on that LP just sounded thin and felt very very light....to light for comfort.
But what was amazing was how light the 11's felt on that neck. So, it is obviously a question of which guitar you are using.
I normally use 9's on all my 25.5" scale guitars, 10's on the 24.75" LP scale guitars, except when they have Floyds, and then it's back to 9's. None of this "11's for tone, dude" for me. And 12's are for acoustics <G>.
I recently moved back having gone to 11s after being mocked at a music store for buying a set of 9s. All the macho crap is bogus unless you play with a really heavy right hand and you don't play with a lot of precise bends.
I moved back down to 9s after long stints with .0105s, .010s, and .0095s. to me, .009s are so much more dynamic. I can easily bend the G-string from a 2 to a maj3 to a 4 with precision. I can pop them and play with snap that just isn't in heavier strings, especially as I'm a finger-picker.
All macho posturing notwithstanding, I agree with Jim Campilongo that 9s may be easier to bend but are harder to play with your picking hand. All that rake picking is rhythmic and nice and all, but no matter how hard you slam a set of 11s they don't yield they dynamic range of lighter sets.
9s rock on my Stats and Tele.
I use Picato strings on my Blackmore Strat, it's a 9-10 hybrid. The high E is 10, but the rest is from a 9 set. It sounds great, especially when you need that heavy gauge sound on cleans.
I only use 10s when the tuning is Eb, or D. I like it best when I'm using Eb though.
This is so true. I have some guitars that 10's feel very slinky on and others that just seem so tight that I am forced to use lighter strings.
I put a set of SOS 9.5's on my R9 and it rocks........
9s on 25" and 25.5" guitars
10s on 24.75"
12s on acoustics
Works for me.
One question for you two regarding this, does your comment apply to multiple guitars of a single scale length (i.e 10s feeling best on one strat, 9s feeling better on another) or are you referring to guitars you own of various scale lengths? Just curious, since I use 10s across the board on all my 25.5s and never really considered mixing it up.
I'm torn. As an experiment i put a set of 9's on one of my guitars and love the feel, but i'm afraid of losing some tone and breaking strings now. Hmmm...
Wow, thanks for all the feedback, guys!
As I had said in my OP, like many of you the LP feels great with 10s, especially since I topwrap, so no issue there. It's just with the Strats where the big bends (or longer sets or practice) are starting to make me feel, um, older. I really like the feel on the bass strings, and since I like/have used D'Addario for decades I'm gonna try a set of their hybrid 9-46s. This should hopefully give me exactly the feel/comfort I need ...not to mention the difference in tension on the neck should be negligible so I shouldn't have to do a truss rod adjustment.
Funny how some of you mention the SRV-phase ...LOL!!! BTDT, and went to 11s for a while back when. Thought I was cool! Ummm, dumb!! Hahaha, have since gotten older, and hopefully wiser.
Heavier guage for shorter scale gives more of a similar "fight" from the two different types of guitars and makes going back and forth easier.
One step is about right to match the feel. 9s to 10s, 10s to 11s, 11s to 12s.
I'm not moving up in size anymore, but, I think there's not a single guitar with Nines or even 9.5s around here anymore. They've all cycled out, even the ones I played for 2 weeks and have not touched in 6 months.
Just set my Melody Maker up with 12s. Best intonation ever with the straight wrap tailpiece - delighted.
I am leaving the Dual Fulcrum G + L battle axes with 11's, but the trem Fender style S guitars are all switching to 10.5 and maybe to 10s. I am captive to the marketing deal where 11s, 10s ( and 9s for the guitars I care for, for others besides me ) in conventional sizes 11-49, 10-46 and 9-42 are so cheap in 25 set boxes from D'Addario. So, tons of 11-49s and it works for me since the trem guitars are a tiny minority 'round here.
I'm mixing sets to get a custom progressive tensions set, where each heavier string has at least the same tension as the lighter one before it. For 25.5" scale:
.095 .013 .017 .026 .036 .050
For 24.75 to 25"
.010 .014 .018 .028 .038 .052
Only problem is that GHS doesn't make Burnished Nickel in a .052 . Bummer.