Lightening up

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by Chris Bowsman, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. Chris Bowsman

    Chris Bowsman SS.org Regular

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    Ive always been an advocate of heavier strings. After putting a 9-65 set on my 27” 8, the 10-52+64 on my 7 (standard tuning) felt really tight. Put 9-54 on it last night, and it feels better and sounds clearer.

    Anybody else get lighter with the gauges as they get older?
     
  2. wakjob

    wakjob SS.org Regular

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    Oh hell yes...

    I've ditched the heavy strings a couple of years before major hand/wrist surgeries.

    Before, it was 13-56 in B standard for decades.
    Don't tune that low anymore.

    I can do 10-52 on D standard & drop C all day.
    And I keep 9's on a couple of my strats...to keep em' stratty.
     
  3. Triple-J

    Triple-J the Experimetalist

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    I used to do 12-65 in B standard/drop A for my 7's but I've dropped over the years and I'm currently happy with 10-56 as the combination of longer scale (26.5) and lighter strings is perfect for me.
     
  4. HeHasTheJazzHands

    HeHasTheJazzHands greg rulz ok

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    Yup. Like 9 years ago when I started to give a shit about string gauges, I took Jon Schaffer's advice and used super thick ass strings. 11 - 56 in Eb. Now I'm using 10 - 48 in Eb, 9 - 52 in B, 10 - 59 in G#/A, etc.
     
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  5. FILTHnFEAR

    FILTHnFEAR Dread it, run from it....

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    I've tried to go lighter but it just doesn't work for me.

    9-64 on my 1527 in drop B. I don't like thicker strings on the high side, just mainly on the 7th string or I can't get the tension I like.
     
  6. vick1000

    vick1000 SS.org Regular

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    Yes, I have for years now, much easier on my carpal tunnel with a lighter touch.
     
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  7. TheUnvanquished

    TheUnvanquished SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, I've been using lighter strings lately too. The thickest I ever got up to were 11s. I don't know if it has more to do with getting older or maybe returning to the lighter gauges that I started on, and more importantly learned how to bend on. I guess I just want to make certain I get to the pitch I'm aiming for. The lighter the string, the more often it seems that I can do that. And bent strings are a big part of my leads. I'm a metalhead, but the guitarist that is most imprinted in my psyche would have to be Jimmy Page. And he was often playing blues-ish licks. Physical pain hasn't really been a problem for me (yet, and hopefully never), but I just want good, easily achievable vibrato and bends and all that.
     
  8. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    Going heavy is the first mistake that new ERG players make.

    When scales get longer and tunings get lower, you need to be conservative on string gauge. It's too easy to try and outpace physics to gain tension to feel more like a standard guitar, but you'll never win that battle, at least without significant concessions.

    Adjust your technique a little, raise your action a hair.
     
  9. Shask

    Shask SS.org Regular

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    I have always been an advocate for lighter strings. I have had wrist problems in the past, and it is just how I learned to play. It is hard to play that bendy Pantera style when you can't bend the strings, lol.

    I will say, I have upped mine a bit in the last year or 2... like going to 10s from 9s, so nothing major. The bass strings have better chunk that way.
     
  10. diagrammatiks

    diagrammatiks SS.org Regular

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    I’ve gone slightly lighter.

    Looked at some of my old spreadsheets and I was using some gnarly strings. Like 12-60 in e on a 24.75.

    I’m liking around 16-18 pounds of tension these days.

    13-64 on a 28.625 in a
    12-60 on 28.625 in b

    Rest is 10s for normal guitars.
     
  11. broj15

    broj15 SS.org Regular

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    I'm in the same boat. Usually use a 10-54 in D on a 25.5", but since I got my t60 I haven't stopped playing it long enough to get it re-set up so I've just been using whatever came on it (assuming it's a 9-48)
     
  12. Chris Bowsman

    Chris Bowsman SS.org Regular

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    Replaced the 12-60 (drop C) on my Schecter C-1 Platinum (25.5”) today with 10-52. Feels and sounds better.
     
  13. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

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    I don’t like much lower than 11-56 on a 6 string, accordingly I don’t tune much below C# standard. I keep my 7’s in B standard unless i’m learning a song in say drop A. I use 10-64 for that but i’m debating going baritone 6/7 strings at 26.5/27” for my low tunings.

    I DO like some tension however. In standard E at 25.5 I use 10-52 and may drop to say 10-50 soon. It’s mostly the lowest string I like tension on.

    But there’s an upper limit to where it doesn’t respond like a “string” should imo. I think everyone has a different limit. I recall hearing that Stevie Ray Vaughn was a fan of 11-50 in standard? Did that once and man that wasn’t for me.
     
  14. TheWarAgainstTime

    TheWarAgainstTime "TWAT" for short

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    I've been back and forth on string gauges over the years. Lately I've been liking around 14lbs of tension on my plain strings and 17-20lbs on wound strings.

    My main 6 string is a 25" scale in drop B using a custom 11, 15, 24w, 34, 44, 64 set. Sort of a "extra light top/extra heavy bottom" setup. I've used a pretty wide range of gauges for all kinds of tunings and I've found that using this kind of tension is the best compromise for my guitars and playing style, though I do bump up the gauges a bit for single coils and cleaner playing.
     
  15. viifox

    viifox SS.org Regular

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    I've tried lighter gauges. While I've found they're comfortable for soloing, there's just no "oomph" to them.
     
  16. MetalHex

    MetalHex SS.org Regular

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    11 to 54 in drop B on 25.5 is perfect
     
  17. Soya

    Soya Poor person

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    Lightweight all day err day, 9's baby.
     
  18. Harry

    Harry Doom man of Doom. Contributor

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    Less so an age thing and rather that I've come to realize it's what I've liked all along so other than a brief period of experimentation it's pretty much what I've stuck with
     
  19. Harry

    Harry Doom man of Doom. Contributor

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    Yeah, I wouldn't trust the person/source that told you 11-50 in E standard, flat out horseshit.
    Usually the myth that circulates around internet forums is that SRV used "13s".
    13-15-19-28-38-58 (the 3rd/19 is plain) in Eb standard tuning is what he used for the most part. Somethings an 11 or 12 on top if he was struggling a little
    That info is from Rene Martinez, his old guitar tech and is/was working with John Mayer.
    It's rumored he dropped the strings down a bit towards his death, but there's no substantiating info to support that.
    Wouldn't be surprised though, because that 0.013 gauge on the 1st string is just fucking brutal when you're bending strings that often :lol:
     
  20. trem licking

    trem licking SS.org Regular

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    .68-.007 progressive tension set on a 28" 8 string tuned standard, perfect. tried going the complete opposite route with my 9 string 30" tuned standard (.106-.008 progressive tension) and there really isn't a benefit other than perhaps taming some string buzz, but higher action and a controlled strum should take care of that. i dont notice a sound difference really and the lighter strings are just easier/more satisfying to play.
     

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