switching from 10's to 9's on electric?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by regotheamigo, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. regotheamigo

    regotheamigo Member

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    I think I am gonna pull the plug, and start doing this on all my electrics. I am tired of having to fight the guitar when I play, and I just want to not have to THINK about it so much, and play. Especially when I'm bending notes. Anyway my questions are these. If I tune down a 1/2 step as well as play with a lighter string is it going to cause buzzing issues? I'm having to do this because for vocal reasons. Also does it really make your tone thinner sounding. because thats the LAST thing I want.
     
  2. MichaelX

    MichaelX Member

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    I think 9's sound thin. Especially on a strat. I did the same thing a while back. I was playing 10s and just couldn't get the fast licks like I wanted. I went with 9's and lost tone. It did however make it easier to play.

    Then later I started studying jazz really seriously and played on a semi acoustic with 11's. I played on that thing so much that now playing on 10's seems like 9's and 9's sound and feel terrible.

    Maybe string one of your guitars with fat strings and practice with it a lot.
     
  3. jspax7

    jspax7 Member

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    Try a 9.5 to 44 set. D'Addario, and Snake Oil make them. That might be the best compromise, and will feel lighter than 10's.

    I've played 9's for years, and went up to 10's on my short scale guitars, and 9.5's on my strat. Both guitars feel about the same now, and the tone is fuller.

    A small step up or down can make a big difference.

    If you are drop tuning, I recommend using a heavier string. YMMV
     
  4. sosomething

    sosomething Member

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    If you're just now dropping down to a lower tuning, wait before you change string gauge. Tuning down to Eb is going to make a big difference in feel - maybe enough that you can stick with the 10's.

    I tune down a whole step and use 11-50's. Pretty slinky, really.
     
  5. regotheamigo

    regotheamigo Member

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    well if you loss tone, lets say in the bottom end department, can't you just jack up the bass a bit, or lower the treble?
     
  6. billyguitar

    billyguitar Member

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    To my ears bigger strings make the most difference with the high E. I use .011, .013, .017, .030, .042, .052.. I recently put on a Gibson set; .011, .014, .018, .028, .040, .050.. The .014 and the .018 didn't sound that different.
    In the past I would sometimes have to use a .010 high E. Changing to an .011 makes a significant difference. A .0105 sounds almost as good as an .011.. I use these on 25-1/2" scale guitars and can bend all I want. I have small hands but it just takes time to build up. I remember when I first switched from .009s to .010s', I thought I was going to die!
     
  7. Shredcow

    Shredcow Member

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    Regarding loss of tone, as in thinner tone, less mids/treble/bass kind of loss, if you use certain efx, you might not notice it a lot.

    E.g. if you play maybe... heavy metal with a very fat sounding gained up tone, then yeah, it might be harder to notice.

    I'm more concerned with playability than with having more tone (note, not necessarily better tone) but bleeding fingers which will lead to impaired playing ability. Then again, I like trying to do finger gymnastics and I enjoy having a very smooth, responsive floyd rose so yeap, thats my side.
     

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