string gauge

  • The first"light guage" I remember trying was after reading Clapton or Green using a banjo string for the top E, dropping the E to the B and then B to the G .....

    I then tried all the 7,8,9, guages but have happily lived with 11's since the 70's. Like tone, It's all in the fingers ;)

  • I have always used .009s for regular e-e tuning on guitars with 25.5" necks and. 010s on 24-3/4". That gives about the same tension when swapping back and forth between different guitars. The exception is for 60's-style instrumental music for which I prefer heavier strings. Rick Beato's test unfortunately ignore both clean sound and sustain. With distortion and/or effects masking the true sound of the guitar you can get almost any result you want with any string gauge given a few minor EQ tweaks.

  • I feel validated. I started on 9's. Had experimental moments, and always went straight back to 9's as soon as I got my money's worth out of whatever I was trying out. I haven't felt the need to dick around with electric string gauges for a long time.

  • I have the same experience with my Tele; I'd guess it's because of the fixed bridge.

    I read this before.
    However, if a vibrato adds a certain 'give' when bending a string, you still have to apply the same amount of force to get to the same pitch. Also the neighboring strings would add additional resistance since the string would need to be moved further.

  • I read this before.
    However, if a vibrato adds a certain 'give' when bending a string, you still have to apply the same amount of force to get to the same pitch. Also the neighboring strings would add additional resistance since the string would need to be moved further.

    That's true; there's no getting around the fact that the same guage and length of string will require the same tension to generate the same pitch. However, perhaps the sensation of looseness comes from the beginning of the bend, rather than at the target pitch.


    Personally, I'm thinking more about how the strings feel against the plectrum. When attempting to pick at speed on my tele, I get a better sense of knowing where the string is under my pick at a given moment. This means I can dig in deeper. In contrast, I feel the need to "tip-toe" more when playing fast-passages on my floyd-rose guitars.

  • I use hybrid 9's with a fat bottom on 25inch scale length, and standard 10's on 24 3/4 lengths...


    When I watched this video a few days ago it made me think about skinnier strings on the bottom for heavy music - makes a lot of sense actually.


    But for cleans...bigger strings are beautiful...like queen said about ladies.

    PRS Custom 22's - Fender Strats - Diezel VH4 - Carol Ann OD2 - Toneking Imperial MK2 - Colin the Kemper - CLR Neo ii.

  • I watched that video a few days ago and I agree that for distorted tones heavier strings don't sound better and indeed can sound congested and lack treble bite. It would have been nice if they had 2 of the same guitar so the contrast would be apparent, or used some clean tones.


    For clean sounds I only like 9's for funk, reggae, and calypso. For blues/jazz/solo fingerstyle 9's just don't have the girth and snap I'm after, so I use 10-46 as a good compromise.

  • I started on 10's in my teens, tried a couple of times to change to 9's but found them too flabby, especially when tuning down 1/2 step with a floyd, hitting the bottom E hard would make it go sharp, 9's just seemed ridiculous. I started playing on low gain amps when young and hit the strings quite hard to get different dynamics, so much that I would tend to break strings at least twice a night during a gig. Many years later I picked up an old strat that had been strung with 9's thinking I'd eventually get around to swapping in 10's, but instead after 20 odd years of playing I've made the switch to 9's.

    Sorry for the long winded post but I personally think how much articulation, dynamics and (character?) can be applied during bends, vibrato and pick attack is more important than anything demonstrated in this video when selecting string gauge.


    Or I could've just said it's all about the feel ?


    P.S. If you like 9's on a strat, try 9.5 to 44's on Gibson scale, 10's definitely feel heavier

  • Trevor Rabin & Billy Gibbons use 7's

    Didn't even know 7's exist. Didn't even think about changing from 10' I've been using for decades. I tried 9's on one Strat after I saw the video from Rick Beato for the first time in my life and I like how it feels.

    Better have it and not need it, than need it and not have it! - Michael Angelo Batio

  • I have always used .009s for regular e-e tuning on guitars with 25.5" necks and. 010s on 24-3/4". That gives about the same tension when swapping back and forth between different guitars. The exception is for 60's-style instrumental music for which I prefer heavier strings. Rick Beato's test unfortunately ignore both clean sound and sustain. With distortion and/or effects masking the true sound of the guitar you can get almost any result you want with any string gauge given a few minor EQ tweaks.

    Indeed, that youtube test is whack imo. Your attack eventually adapts to the gauge you use, of course if you attack the same way on .012 that you do on .009, it'll sound like you don't pick hard enough and if you attack like Stevie Ray Vaughn on a set of .009, it'll choke and sounds like you have no control. Also, as heldal said, this riff he does and overdrive he uses is quite useless to compare tonal difference. The biggest thing about string gauge which he doesn't seem to address is that feel, stability and sustain is a much greater variable than tone in my opinion and except maybe

    for the latter, those can't be understood by a youtube video.

  • I drank the Koolaid served up in this video and it didn’t work out. Tried lighter strings and the tone was absolute garbage. Buzzy and thin. There was absolutely nothing I could do to get rid of it no matter what I tried setting up the guitar. At least I only wasted a set of strings. It all depends on the player, the guitar and what kind of music you play and ultimately personal preference to decide what is best.