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.11 string gauge vs .12

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Fenderama, Feb 10, 2011.

  1. Fenderama

    Fenderama New Member!

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    Hi, I have been using Dunlop Heavy Core 12-16-20-32-42-54 guitar strings for 3 months now on my strat. At first it was difficult adjusting from .10's to .12's but then I got the hang of it very quickly and I can't believe the tone I was getting from these strings. Of course, I dropped tuned to Eb g# c# f# bb eb for easier bending, I have no idea if the letter's mean its tuned down half or a full step (I cant read music notations i play by ear) , I am just basing things on what my tuner says.

    Anyways I recently switched back to .10 strings for better bending and I thought it would make my playing easier however the opposite happened, my notes were all over the place and I really missed that heavy tension that forced me not to bend my notes every 2 seconds for no apparent reason.
    So I want to go back to .12 strings again, however there is a problem, I have a guitar class and everyone is going to be in standard tuning except me if I use 12's. I was wondering if I went to .11's and set it to standard tuning, will the string tension be similar to the 12's? And is the tone quality from .11 and .12 strings really that far from each other? Or is there another option I am not aware of?

    Thanks for all the help :)
     
  2. ghostwolf

    ghostwolf Super Moderator Staff Member

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    give it a shot, the difference in tension between 10s and 12s is pretty drastic, 11s might just be what you're looking for.
     
  3. Gravy

    Gravy Strat-Talker

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    You could always just put 12s on and tune to standard (if you dont mind doing a set-up) thats what i do

    I do use a slightly different set than you though 12-15-18-30-38-52

    Hmmm now that im looking at it...i guess it more like a set of 11s with a 12 for the high e...oh well its a custom set anywho:rolleyes:
     
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  5. Kanegon

    Kanegon Strat-O-Master

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    Couldn't you just use a capo if it's just a helf step down?
     
  6. Hugh

    Hugh Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    That's what I do
     
  7. Hugh

    Hugh Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    yes, 11's tuned standard are about the same tension as 12's a half step low
     
  8. Alan0354

    Alan0354 Most Honored Senior Member

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    12 for frequent bending is really tough. Particular if you play the older style that bending is the main thing and hold for sustain. Does it really improve the tone that much. I know heavier strings and heavy pick is good for fast picking. Lighter strings get too sloppy and cannot follow the fast picking from my experience.

    I am using 10,13,17,26,46,56. I am thinking about changing G and B string to 18, 14 and leave the other alone.
     
  9. Gravy

    Gravy Strat-Talker

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    IMO it does great things for tone...and the extra tension is something you just get used to...it's best to go up one gauge at a time, that way you "grow" into them...that's what I did

    My favorite thing about the heavier gauges is that it let's me be more dynamic...I can play whisper quite with them one minute then hit them real hard and get some great bark out of em
     
  10. Fenderama

    Fenderama New Member!

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    Thanks again for all the info its greatly appreciated. Great tip about the capo, why didn't I think of that! I actually have a G7th capo I use for my acoustic that would work. So I can use the capo for class and switch it any time I want.

    Thats exactly what I realized was missing when I went back to the 10's, its a lot harder to oscillate between really quiet, medium, and loud volume levels with good control. 12 gives the sound more then one dimension. Also my speed and accuracy seems to increase with thicker strings. It does hurt way more when playing long hours, but thats why I started stretching and warming up properly before playing and wearing wrist braces when I go to bed to avoid problems in the future.
     

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