Rick Beato's recent video on string gauge

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by piloto117, Jan 24, 2020.

  1. ur2funky

    ur2funky Supporting Member

    Dec 1, 2010
    I tried a set of 8's a few years ago and never looked back. Love bending on them.

    Now I pick up a guitar with 10's on it, and it feels like I'm being punished. Where's the fun?

    Doesn't Billy Gibbons use 7's? He seems to have some tone.
    CJReaper, factotum and TommyGuitar like this.
  2. portobear

    portobear Member

    Jan 30, 2009
    Renton & County Durham, UK
    I use the gauges my fingers like, 9s and 10s, I've ripped the skin along my nail bending heavier strings so I stuck to lighter ones.
  3. stickyFingerz

    stickyFingerz Supporting Member

    Jan 7, 2017
    Great video.
    I guess I'm the only one who prefers .11s? :dunno

    I have .12s on my Tele, it's tuned to D standard. Switched from 11-56 to 12-60 and I'm really happy with how it sounds and how it feels.

    Not the best guitar for your blues licks or what not, but it rings like a bell and kicks some massive ass.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
  4. Riffa

    Riffa Member

    Mar 29, 2017
    I watched it last night and I think I want to try .9s on my Tele now. I’ve always used .10s, but I guess I’m getting old because the tension’s been killing me lately.
    Mngwa likes this.
  5. the.godfather

    the.godfather Member

    Jan 8, 2013
    London, UK
    I've slowly kept moving down in gauges over the years. I started off using 10-46 originally, then moved to 9-46 and I've been happy using 9-42 for the last couple of years now. I don't notice any difference in tone at all. 9-42 is my happy place now, I can play for as long as I like without it feeling like punishment. Bends are a joy. I could quite easily go down to 8's and may well choose to do that as I get older. I too have picked up a couple of guitars recently with 10-46 and it was almost unbearable.
  6. David MacNeill

    David MacNeill Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2012
    Boise ID
    Somebody’s gotta do it. Them banjos ain’t gonna drown themselves! :eek:
    ntotoro, TravisE, dbeeman and 3 others like this.
  7. Krausewitz

    Krausewitz Member

    Oct 27, 2010
    Haven’t watched the video, but have experimented with string sizes. Lighter gauges sound brighter and twangier to me.

    I love the sound of 9s (they sound perfect to me), but they’re way too uncomfortable, so I use 10s instead.
  8. Snufkinoob

    Snufkinoob Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Ah, my daily reminder that everything is always wrong. Neat.
    factotum and Abram4235 like this.
  9. sitedrifter

    sitedrifter Gold Supporting Member

    May 17, 2014
    I listened to this video with headphones and my monitors and loved 10s everytime.
    noisebloom likes this.
  10. geek-mo

    geek-mo Supporting Member

    May 4, 2012
    I used to play old, arch top electric guitars intonated for a wound G. I used 12s on the top during that time. That was my sound.

    I got really tired of not being able to bend strings the way I wanted and having to fight my guitar all the time. I sold the arch tops, switched to solid body, switched to 10s and went quickly down to 9s. I enjoy playing much more with this arrangement.

    Now, having seen this video, I will give 8s a try. I just want to see how the feel is. After watching this video, it's pretty clear that the tone is there.

    (My doctor told me recently that I have pretty amazing grip strength, so I don't have anything to prove to anybody.)
  11. zztomato

    zztomato Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2008
    Ottawa, Canada
    I wonder if he'd like the sound of 8-38 on a clean archtop track?

    That demo was good but only for the style of play through a distorted amp. I definitely take his point. I actually like 10s with a 9 set's wound strings- 10-42.
    Zenyatta Mondatta and BigPapiFan like this.
  12. Abram4235

    Abram4235 Supporting Member

    Jun 24, 2015
    I agree with many on this thread to play what feels best. The difference was there but so small that it's not worth sacrificing feel for. Also, it did not accomplish the same thing that a tube screamer does, that is just ridiculous.
    SmallStones likes this.
  13. jdel77

    jdel77 Supporting Member

    May 25, 2009
    Melbourne, 'Straya...maaate...
    I’m hearing more Treble in the lighter gauge strings. I’ve been playing D’addario 10-52 on both my E and Eb guitars since the mid/late 90’s.
  14. Brian Johnston

    Brian Johnston Member

    Jun 23, 2011
    I like taking a set of .10 strings, but replacing the 1st string with .011... I don't want the others to be heavier, but I like the first one to be heavier. I only did this a few times (because the string broke) and much prefer the fullness of that string.
  15. spentron

    spentron Member

    Aug 2, 2004
    If you listen to the beginning, it's the whole (claimed) purpose of the video to check the resulting mud factor. Still wouldn't hurt to hear the strings with another sound though.

    I think they used the same pick for all string sizes, which isn't necessarily realistic.
  16. splatt

    splatt david torn / splattercell Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2008
    i listen with both my hands and my ears, so i gotta continue with my still-lasting choice of round-core “pure nickel”, .011-.048, though i can imagine trying an .012 set.
    i tune primarily to D-Standard, occasionally to C#-Standard & some open tunings.
    dbeeman, Abram4235 and Sigmund like this.
  17. briwinters

    briwinters Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Watched that video last night...interesting stuff. Had a couple of thoughts:

    -Definitely material here for a few follow ups. One being a Fender style guitar through a cleanish amp, same test. I heard the same difference the testers did in the video but I don’t live in Les Paul/cranked Marshall world...this video wouldn’t be enough to convince me to make a change. And I’d love to see a follow up with the same guitar players in 6 months. Guys like Rhett Shull are touring pretty regularly...big difference between hanging in a studio putting stuff under a microscope and playing for a few hours in front of live audiences. If they do change string gauges I’d love to see if they stick with them.

    -As a guitar teacher I see adult students who can’t play chords in tune all the time. Lots of times they are beginners who bought guitars that came with 9's. More then a few times I’ve recommended students bump up to 10s and it usually makes a big difference. So I would argue that in their case their “tone” improved immediately with heavier strings. Obviously some work on technique had to happen too but at least they started getting better results right away...much better then a beginner quitting out of frustration because he hates what he is hearing.

    -I remember back when Los Lonely Boys first came out the guitarist said he was using 9s on his Strat. Which at the time was kind of shocking because he was defiantly in the SRV territory....just not how you did it back then! But it worked for him so who’s to say what’s right.
  18. homerayvaughan

    homerayvaughan Supporting Member

    Aug 21, 2005
    I've never noticed a huge difference in tone, or even one that made me want to change gauges. I started on 7's-8's-9's for years as they bent easy/easy to play. Went to 10's for the past 25-30 years and I think I prefer them just for the feel. I tried 11's briefly, too stiff. If they are too light, like if I play a guitar with 9's even, my bending and vibrato are out of control. Recently I had to tune down to Eb for a gig, and they felt too slinky. 11's may have been a better idea, but I don't like messing with action and having the neck change ever so slightly that different tension brings, just for one gig. Also, playing 10's is pretty universal, in that I can play someone else's guitar or one in a store that may have 9's or 11's and I can assimilate to it easy enough. If I played 9's all the time, 10's (used to) feel too light. 11's were impossible. YMMV.
    Abram4235 likes this.
  19. JosephZdyrski

    JosephZdyrski Member

    Feb 21, 2019
    I honestly was kinda surprised by this, and it seems clear to me IF someone is seeking the Jimmy Page sound. 8’s may be part of the equation.

    However I commented on the video... asking if his opinion would be the same if seeking the ideal jazz tone... say if you want to sound more Metheny than Page for example and I’m not sure if I got a response yet but if I do I’ll update this and post it here...
  20. Jarick

    Jarick Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2006
    Saint Paul, MN
    I thought it was a nicely done comparison and a reminder of the string's impact on tone.

    My Les Paul Junior was strung with 10's earlier this year and I was digging it quite a bit. I wanted to use it for down tuning and put 11's on it and the tone got way too boomy and it lost the lively tone it had previously. So watching this video I put 9's on it and tuned back up to E and it woke back up.

    But it's guitar specific...some of mine like 10's and some like 9's and some like 9.5's.

    Sometimes I like coated 9's as they feel a tiny bit stiffer than regular 9's.

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