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String gauge question

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by D_Kita, Oct 26, 2017.

  1. Dick Blackmore

    Dick Blackmore Strat-O-Master

    Jan 10, 2017
    San Diego
    Whats the problem are you a thirteen year old girl? 8s and 9s should not even exist, if they ain't bleedin you aint feelin! Every guitar player should start with a set of .13s and a box of band aids. 14 miles to school in two feet of snow, uphill, after you milked the cows and fed the pigs and chickens. You people are soft!


    Get off my lawn...
  2. Stratoskater

    Stratoskater Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 8, 2011
    Running with Scissors
    I agree with this 100%. I noticed when I use EB RnR pure nickel 10's that they have a bit more tension than other brands of the same gauge. It helps my playing be a bit more precise and definitely helps with string to string definition especially in more complex chords or odd an voicing.
  3. apm1991

    apm1991 Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 14, 2017
    I personally like a little lighter, imo better for bends and slides when doing solos.. I just use .10 usually
    TheDuck likes this.
  4. JFinelli81

    JFinelli81 Strat-Talk Member

    Aug 22, 2017
    Phila PA
    That was harsh. lol

    Anyway. I am a beginner like the OP. I recently picked up a beater Squire Tele and the store offered to throw a new set of strings on for me at no cost. I decided to try the 10's simply for the hell of it. All my other stuff is 9's and that's all I have ever played. I can tell the difference between the two. The 10's feel much firmer and stiffer all around on the neck to me. I don't know whether that's good or bad but after playing it all night I went back to my strat with EB 9's and super low action. It felt like I went from an Acoustic to a plastic toy with nylon strings.
    Dick Blackmore likes this.
  5. himijendrix

    himijendrix Senior Stratmaster

    May 2, 2012
    Barrow Upon Soar, UK
    I'm going to buck the trend here, when I went from 9's to 10's a few years ago I found a great difference in tone, much darker than the 9's. My bandmates also noticed it immediately.

    Maybe it was a difference in my playing style on the heavier gauge but there was definitely a difference in tone.
    stratman323 likes this.
  6. trapdoor2

    trapdoor2 Strat-O-Master

    Oct 25, 2017
    Nawth Alabama
    Nothing like giving different string gauges a try. String sets are cheap, experience is priceless.

    When I was experimenting (and young, poor and skinny...and had hair), I learned to take a few extra wraps on the string posts so that if I had to take that set (or string) off, I would have enough string left to put 'em back on again if I wanted to.
  7. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 4, 2013
    Changing the gauge of string will require an adjustment to at least the neck relief and the intonation.

    You will not get more mileage out of a bigger string.
    Dick Blackmore and Hal Nico like this.
  8. D_Kita

    D_Kita Strat-Talk Member

    Oct 21, 2017
    Thanks guys. Helps a lot. Looks like I will be staying on 9s then.
    Any suggestions on which 9s to go for?
  9. suncrush

    suncrush Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 25, 2014
    IME, expensive strings aren't worth the money. Find a brand of cheap strings you like, and let it rip. I prefer Ernie Ball, other people are going to suggest other brands. Do what feels good.
    brians, henderman and D_Kita like this.
  10. Tone Guru

    Tone Guru Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 13, 2011
    Music City TN
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2017
    D_Kita likes this.
  11. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 8, 2009
    Area 51
    I mentioned the Ernie Ball Paradigms earlier - they cost more than a typical set ($13 a set, I think?) but if it gives you peace of mind it might be worth it.

    Also, body chemistry is a factor - if your finger oils and sweat tend to kill strings quickly (I knew a guy who could deaden a set of strings in one sitting,) then buying expensive strings would be pointless. If that is the case, buy cheap and change often - and maybe invest in some GHS Fast Fret to clean your strings between uses.

    If there are certain strings you tend to break more often (high E is the usual,) then you can buy single strings in bulk - you can find a dozen plain strings for less than $3 from some websites.
    D_Kita likes this.
  12. banjaxed

    banjaxed Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Mar 14, 2014
    Liverpool UK
    When I started playing in 1960 strings were like rope and it was a battle to play until you got used to it.
    Now at my age making life easier is more important than worrying about what gauge to use, so I now
    use 8s or 9s. Am I a 13 year old girl ? No, just an old guy that knows what he likes :)
    Hal Nico and s5tuart like this.
  13. D_Kita

    D_Kita Strat-Talk Member

    Oct 21, 2017
    Actually have my first set of strings intact and on the guitar. Still in decent condition. I appreciate your suggestion but those are nearly $20 here in Japan. I’ll go with something cheaper, and replace if it breaks.
  14. s5tuart

    s5tuart My Dad used to say.... Strat-Talk Supporter

    I like this post! I use 8's on everything and am happy to continue doing so. I LOVE my tone and the noises I make on these hair-thick wisps. Do I care that others think I'm a wuss? NOPE! :D
    banjaxed likes this.
  15. Wrighty

    Wrighty Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 7, 2013
    Harlow, Essex, UK
    Lower, surely? Heavier strings will put more stress on the neck and raise the action.............................I would have thought.
  16. Wrighty

    Wrighty Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 7, 2013
    Harlow, Essex, UK
    Good point, I'm a 'dig in' type, fretting and strumming and 9s just don't suit, too easily bent out of tune.
  17. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jun 8, 2009
    Area 51
    Sure - if you haven't had issues with breakage yet then you can go with something more affordable.

    The big 3 brands - Ernie Ball, D'Addario, and GHS are all good, reliable strings and relatively affordable - there are slight differences in sound and feel between them, but they are subtle differences at best.
    D_Kita likes this.
  18. Chont

    Chont Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 25, 2012
    I just settled on the perfect gauge for ME. Gilmour 10.5s which are High to Low 10.5, 13, 17, 30, 40, and 50. I don't care for the 17 gauge plain G so i tried a wound G and it lasted like two seconds. Couldn't bend it more than a half step perhaps because of the floating bridge pulling up as I bent. So I took that off and put the 16 Gauge G from the Gilmour 10s that came off and voila! Feels and responds to the way I play absolutely perfect. So from now on i'll get a pack of 16 Gauge G strings to go along with the Gilmour 10.5s.

  19. Biddlin

    Biddlin Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 11, 2013
    Not for long if they have to pay rent.
  20. suncrush

    suncrush Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 25, 2014
    I mean, you're wrong? That's literally the going rate. And, as I said, the guy I took mine to who charged that is a touring pro when he wants to be, so he knows his stuff.