Heavier strings

dwolfggc

Member
Messages
434
I started out playing acoustic and then started playing electric after a couple years. I've been using 10s pretty much the whole time on electric because someone once told me that everybody used 9s or 10s. So I started using 10s and never really thought much about it (i use 12s on my acoustic).
Recently realized I'd never tried heavier strings, bought a pack of 11s and love them!

I feel like my clean is warmer, my distortion is crunchier, and when i play open chords they just seem to sound smoother, less jangly.

Its really made a huge difference in how i feel about my gear.
 

Whogo

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
630
Welcome! I made that same switch about eight years ago and have not looked back. All of my solidbodies have 11s on them now. On my Thornton Jazz Elite, I have 12s; on my archtop--13s!
 

dlc1953

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,611
Started using 11's on my Strat about a year ago, never go back to 10,even on my Lp copy.
 

SmilingDave

Member
Messages
451
I'm somewhat torn between .10s and .11s. I agree with everything said about the warmth and smoothness they have, but because .10s are easier to bend, it's just fun to play them sometimes. I have both .10s and .11s on my guitars; .105's are a nice compromise and they also find there way to my fretboards from time-to-time.
 

qaawale

Member
Messages
20
I use 11's on my Strats... I only have one humbucker guitar and it's a Dean Z79 (Korean import set neck Explorer with binding and a dangerously oversized headstock...).

My Strat's get nothing but 11's.... some have steel, some have nickel depending on the voice of the guitar.

The Dean gets 10-52's. I like the slinky short scale feel of smaller strings on the top and the thicker sounding humbuckers (the neck p/u sucks... the bridge is actually nice...) make up for any tinniness. It's a fun to play guitar and I just let the rig do the work on that one.

The Strats are the ones wherein a heavier gauge and a more muscular style actually effects their tone... Must be a Fender-Scale thing. I can't get that same thing from a PRS or Gibby scale...

The floppy low-end of the Dean, however, didn't sit well with me, so I use the skinny top/heavy bottom sets on the Gibson-scaled Dean. Tonally, the bottom is VERY resonant on that guitar, so a tight focused sound really comes to life.

My next axe will be a Godin 5th Avenue... who makes the nicest flatwounds?
 

s360guitarist

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,241
That's nice ladies, but step aside...

I have 12-56's on the Tele...Not Even Slinky's. :boxer

(oh, and 11-50 flatwounds on the Gretsch.)

Needless to say there are no bends to speak of...
 

cram

Member
Messages
14,210
I started out playing acoustic and then started playing electric after a couple years. I've been using 10s pretty much the whole time on electric because someone once told me that everybody used 9s or 10s. So I started using 10s and never really thought much about it (i use 12s on my acoustic).
Recently realized I'd never tried heavier strings, bought a pack of 11s and love them!

I feel like my clean is warmer, my distortion is crunchier, and when i play open chords they just seem to sound smoother, less jangly.

Its really made a huge difference in how i feel about my gear.

years of acoustic playing got me in the same direction and and I have to agree with all you're saying here. Heavier strings just sound great and feel great to me.

That's nice ladies, but step aside...

I have 12-56's on the Tele...Not Even Slinky's. :boxer

(oh, and 11-50 flatwounds on the Gretsch.)

Needless to say there are no bends to speak of...

Hehe - I use those "not even slinky" strings on my LP.
I use the green pack for my strat.. those are 12's on top.

Note - I don't want to false advertise here: I detune 1/2 step.
 

s360guitarist

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,241
NOTE: Here is my disclaimer...

I use heavy gauge strings perhaps to apply strength to my playing weaknesses. I am not a lead player by any means. There is no shredding, no bends, not even any real riffs. But the heavy guages work for me when it comes to arpeggio stuff and big open chords. The OD is more alive to me and I add a shimmering delay on those big single notes to just create more of a presence than anything else.
 

ManCas

Member
Messages
111
...I used .11's for a lot of time.. recently had to go down to .10's cause I am recovering of some pretty heavy tendonitis, and bends were giving me a hard time. A couple months ago I put a 10-52 set (light top/heavy bottom) and have been pretty happy with them. Now I only use 11's on a guitar I have tuned down a whole step. Both are strats.
 

dwolfggc

Member
Messages
434
Yeah, i never do much more than 1 step bends. The 11s don't feel stiff though, like acoustic strings do. Maybe its just those years of playing acoustic.
 
Messages
8
The gauge of string is a very personal choice.I prefer heavy strings for a bigger sound on my strat although I was in a band years ago and the other guitarist used 8's and sounded great.Your world.
 

JeffOlson

Member
Messages
2,906
I will use 12s or 13s on some guitars, but I do not make subtle, nuanced bends on those guitars. It is impossible! For lead guitar, I use 9s or 10s on a 25.5-inch scale guitar--because I bend A LOT when I play lead. My #1 guitar (a CS Tele) has 10s on it (Thomastik-Infeld Blues Sliders), but I will often use TI flat-wounds in 12s on a thinline Tele I use for jazz (again, with no real bends to speak of).
 

southpaw pete

Member
Messages
1,337
Yeah, I was mostly an acoustic player for well over a decade, playing "bridge cables" as my father-in-law calls them (12-56) on my acoustic. When I started playing more electric, I was playing with lighter strings like you mentioned. Now I'm playing 11-49 with a wound 3rd (D'Addario EXL115W). Makes such a huge difference for me.
 

Structo

Member
Messages
9,553
About a year ago I made the move to 10-46 strings.
They really do sound better especially on a clean tone.

Some scale lengths are harder to bend than others but can be done.
I can't see going back to 9's unless I get to old to play the 10's.
 

Agramal

Member
Messages
1,221
That's nice ladies, but step aside...

I have 12-56's on the Tele...Not Even Slinky's. :boxer

(oh, and 11-50 flatwounds on the Gretsch.)

Needless to say there are no bends to speak of...

I have 12s on my Tele too, tuned to standard, and I bend all over the place.

I have 13s on my LP and bend all over the place.

I have 14s on my baritone and bend all the time.

:BluesBros
 

Flyin' Brian

Member
Messages
30,426
Simple......Whatever works.

I have Fender scales, Gibson scales, solid bodies semi hollows and an archtop.

11 is the highest gauge I use. People love the way my guitars play, most like my tone and most importantly I like the way that they play and sound.

As far as mellow and full, few people are as mellow sounding as Metheny and he uses 11s.

Jim Hall is known to use an unwound G to facilitate wrist vibrato. His sound is pretty darned good as well.

Like I said....whatever works.
 

chervokas

Member
Messages
6,839
I'm a .011-.050 man myself on most of my guitars--I like the resistance in the bends, allows me to be more accurate on the slow, half-step bends I play most often. I keep one Gibson scale guitar strung with .10s for more bendy rock leads. I also like a wound G string on guitars which I play with some open tunings so that the intonation is purer on the chord voicings that mix a bunch of fretted and open notes.
 

PedalFreak

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,315
I was in the same boat. Started out as an Acoustic player using 12's and 13's. Then when I started playing electric a friend picked some strings up for me, Hybrid Slinkys 9-46. Put them on and thought "what is this?!?!" Couldn't play. Strings were WAY too small, way to low.

Took my acoustic and my electric in and asked for a set of 12's for electric. Then had them set up my electric like my acoustic :D Loved IT!

I went from 12-54 or 13-56 on my electrics, now I play anywhere from 11-50 to 11-54. I have a couple guitars with 10-46 or 10-50 on them. But mainly play the 11-52 or 54.
 




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