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Discussion in 'Sidewinders Bar & Grille' started by stratocarlster, Jan 19, 2021.
For the last 6 months I've been using EB Primo Slinky 9.5-44. Give those a shot.
9.5s makes sense. I do like Elixirs because my son plays my guitars and he turns uncoated strings into a gunky, rusty mess. But they don't make a 9.5 set. Oh well it's not going to kill me to change strings more often.
This thread got my GAS and my interest in coated strings going, so I decided to get a variety pack.
Ernie Ball Paradigm Slinky
D`Addario XT Electric Nickel Plated Steel
DR Strings Black Beauties (the strings are actually black)
DR Strings Dragon Skin
D`Angelico Electrozinc Rock
All are .009 all coated by various methods.
My thought for the day:
I generally keep one guitar with 9's, for those rare occasions when I feel like bending more than a full tone. My default is 10's, though nearly half my guitars have T-I flatwounds, which are the best strings available (unless you're a diehard bendphiliac).
Are those from the early '70s? The .015 is usually good enough when paired with .009 and .011 but .014 must also be good. Also, In those days the gauges were not very consistent, so they weren't as close to spec compared to what you get nowadays.
@OP - If it's any consolation (and I'm sure you remember this if you were playing when young), it was all us youngsters who started playing with 7's and 8's when they first started to become popular in the 70's. So, thinner doesn't translate to older.
Of course, there's also the infamous BB King / Billy Gibbons epiphany moment:
" “I was about 22 and just starting out with ZZ Top,” he says. “I was in the dressing room and BB said to me, ‘Can I play your guitar?’ I said, ‘Sure man.’ He strummed it a few times and handed it back to me. He looked at me rather quizzically and said, ‘Why you working so hard?’ I said, ‘What do you mean?’ He said, ‘Those strings. You got real heavy, heavy strings.’ I said, ‘Well, isn’t that how to get the heavy, heavy sound?’ He said, ‘No! Don’t be working so hard!’ "
Billy switched to 7's, and still uses them on most guitars, AFAIK.
I have some nerve damage in my left hand (fretting hand) which has resulted in some numbness, loss of flexibility and weakness as well in my left pinky and to a lesser degree in my left ring finger. So I have been using 7s on my Strats and Teles and 9s on my semi hollow and hollow body guitars. Keeps me playing.
Even at that, though, I don't bend up much. I find it takes less strength to bend down. Pinky is next to useless.
I wish some one would put together a guitar course for those with issues like mine. Maybe triad substitutions up the neck for chords that typically require 4 working digits. Maybe a modified Django system.
72 or 73 if I recall. I have some picks from around then as well
Not making light of your issues, but Clapton made a pretty good living without using his pinky for solos anyway. Replacing full voiced chords with triads works great, especially if you are playing with a bass player
Yeah but not for the light Jazz-ish guitar I usually like to play. Chord melodies usually put more demand on the pinky.
Clapton wasn't the only one.
King rarely used his pinky.
Keith is pretty infamous for his "5 strings, 3 fingers, one a-hole" quip.
9s with a 10 on high e. A 9 is too plinky and doesn't seem to have as good a response as a 10. I discovered its the rest of the strings that gave me a hard tim with 10s.
Tommy Iommi does the limited finger thing too. I recall a thread here or in one of the other forums... I was shocked at the number of guys who only use three fingers a la Clapton. I felt I was in the minority by using four.
Was that BB King you were referencing or Albert King or Freddie King? If it's BB, I recall him saying one "I don't know chords". Although, I have seen him play some triads.
Prior to opening ST tonight, I was wondering why I continue the charade ...
I sat down with the desire to spend just a few moments with an old friend (my 175), but four measures into Duke Jordan's Jordu ... a piece I can (and have) play in my sleep... I stopped. I sounded like an intermediate student.
Make no mistake, on the ascent attaining intermediate status is an achievement to be proud of. It's not the same descending.
My hands are gone. Arthritis has stolen the last vestige of the enjoyment I once shared. I went from 11's to 10's to 9's to...nothing.
@stratocarlster ... as long as it's in you squeeze every last drop out of it.
Because memories are not the same.
I'm in the process of switching from 10s on everything to 9.5s on Gibsons & PRSs and 9s on the Fender scale guitars.
I sympathize. A few years back I developed finger clubbing caused by pulmonary fibrosis. Fingertips swell up and fingernails curve down instead of growing outward.
This has made playing difficult; there are many chords I can no longer manage and my picking is crude and clumsy. All the familiar movements practiced over a lifetime no longer work.
I can still play, sort of - I have all the knowledge just without any of the the skill, so I'm like a beginner again. Music used to flow more or less effortlessly out through my fingertips; now I have to consciously work both hands to form each note.
But that isn't the worst part.
I've lost the sense of easy intimacy I once felt with my instruments.
Time was, I could really feel each one's personality when I played.
Their character inspired me and flavored my playing.
For me, they used to be collaborators.
Now they just feel like tools.
Of coarse there is always the Charley Byrd school using a classical guitar for jazz. It puts a considerably less strain as far as requiring strength to play. But it does require a bit more flexibility in order to reach certain notes. Then again you can always do the nut work and string up a standard width guitar neck with classical strings. There is always a trade off.
I just got arthritis last May. Sudden and Horrible. I couldn’t even grasp my guitars at first. However, it improved somewhat with time and cortisone shots. I don’t know if this will help you but I also went down to (Billie Gibbons) Rev Willy’s .007s and I sometimes use a compression glove to absorb some of the pressure that would otherwise be on my left thumb. They are so light it’s hard to control them at first. And I can only play for short times. But it’s something. Also I have an Anderson Hollow T which is lightweight and resonant. I’m going to sell my Les Paul. Ernie Ball makes .008s which sound a little fuller. This post is for anyone with similar issues.
I had tears in my eyes a short while ago watching the videos of While My Guitar Gently Weeps ...
They weren't tears of joy.