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Thread: Strung out

  1. #1
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    My treatise on strings:

    I was once an avowed 9-42 user. Coupled with humbuckers, they sounded fine. Legato stuff was easy as could be, and bending was effortless. When I became a guitar teacher, things changed...

    I decided that teaching on acoustic was far simpler; less stuff to fiddle with in the room, easier to accompany the students. I bought an acoustic to teach on, and was rudely awakened by 12-54's! All my electric technique was out the window; I couldn't handle the tension as easily as I could sling those 9's around.

    After a while, I grew to prefer the solid feel of a pick hitthing those bigger strings; better attack, more sustain, and less floppiness. Within 3 months, my picking technique was far better on acoustic than it was on electric!

    So, I moved up to 10-46's on my Strats. While my legato will never be as easy or fluid, I get a much more dynamic response from them, and my picking is more satisfying. Plus, the fatter tone and increased sustain does wonders on those single coils! I can hardly play a guitar with 9's, and when I set someone's guitar up for 8-36's, it was impossible. Then the guy wanted to tune down a half step! ARGH! Felt like rubber bands flaoppin' in the wind!

    My conclusion: bigger strings=bigger tone, and worth the sacrifice of some speed and ease of playing.

    So, what are your stances on strings? Preferences, reasoning, etc.; please don't just tell what you use-tell us WHY or WHY NOT.
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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    Well, since I always have to get the last word in, I have to disagree that fatter strings = better tone.
    I used heavy strings 11-56 on my strat for quite awhile, believing in the Stevie ray school of thought, and wrecked my fingers night after night to get "the sound".
    After awhile I realized all I was getting was "the sore fingers", and went back to 9-42's. I can play faster, bend better, and let the pickups do the work. I found after recording that it didn't sound better with the heavier strings cause I could switch pickups to accomidate for the lighter strings and it worked. I think one reason it worked for SRV is that he tuned down a half or whole step, and the heavier gauge made up for that, but then again he only had one guitar that sounded like his #1 and that was it. I tune to 440 on my strat and it sounds fine with the pickups I'm using.
    I do agree that 8-36 tuned down is going a bit far.

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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Well, to be accurate, I said 'bigger strings=bigger tone', not 'fatter strings=better tone'. I agree that 11-56 on a 25.5" scale neck is pushing it a little too far, but for me those 10's really sound a lot better than 9's.

    Of course, each person, and setup, is different. Looking at the WHOLE picture as a system, and not a chain of individual parts, will certainly give you a better idea of how someone gets a certain tone. But, breaking these things down will hopefully let some younger or newer players in on some basic opinions on all things 'guitar' that will hopefully help guide them in the right directions. (that is, of course, why I'm starting all these threads-hopefully some of the guys here will get something useful out of it)

    and to give Tribb sumpthin' to do [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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    03.30.13 @ 09:28 AM
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    Maybe I should brush up on my reading skills. I stand corrected.

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    12.12.17 @ 08:13 AM
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    I'm sponsored by DR Hi-Beams .11-.50 (plug, plug!). I love 'em! I used to use 9s, and then 10s, I just keep going up! Seriously, I really do prefer the feel of the 11s. And I do believe they contribute to a bigger sound. . .but they are not essential in getting a big sound. After awhile, your hands get stronger and legato and bends are just as easy as playing on lighter guage. You can really dig into the strings for bends.

    If you've never tried DRs (pronounced "d" "r
    s" NOT "Doctors") you should give them a shot. They sound great and require less stretching than most other strings.
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    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 10:10 AM
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    I used .10's for a time, but I had bad string breakage, so I went back to Ernie Ball 9's. I still think I get a pretty thick tone, and frankly I didn't like sore fingers, guess I am a pussy. That's ok. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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    12.31.69 @ 04:00 PM
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    Wow- I started a thread about strings and didn't even think of mentioning breakage! (thx Brett) I must be the 'chosen one' or something, but (knock on wood) I haven't broken a string while playing in over 6 years! Once I stopped using D'Addario's the breaking stopped!

    Brandwise I usually use Fenders or Markleys, and I've had amazing luck with them.

    Anyway, there is no 'I play heavier strings and am therefore more of a man' sentiment here-that attitude always bugged me, but I know people who have it. So Brett, if you ARE a pussy, it's for some OTHER reason! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]
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  8. #8
    Emperor of VHLinks.com Brett's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 10:10 AM
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    Well thanks Abe, I feel better being relieved of my string pussydom. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

    I am chronic string breaker, although as of late I have been much better. In fact I've probably gotten through my last 6 or 7 gigs without breaking as string, a major record for me.
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