heavy strings vs. light strings


View Full Version : heavy strings vs. light strings

10-06-2007, 03:47 AM
i sorta know the basics on this but what are the advantages for heavier gauge strings and for lighter gauge

10-06-2007, 03:57 AM
Heavier gauge gives you a bigger heavier sort of tone, which is good for thumping metal players or jazz musicians etc, light strings can be easier to pick fast hence why shredders/lead players or floating bridge systems usually have thin strings

10-06-2007, 04:03 AM
well does the length of your neck have anything to do with what gauge would be best or is that just something ive been told

10-06-2007, 04:06 AM
not usually, its more so player preference

10-06-2007, 04:11 AM
oh ok i had just heard that like a person with a strat that had like 12-52 would have more tension on the neck then a guy with a lp with the same strings but i guess they were wrong thanks

10-06-2007, 04:13 AM
^ Well scale does affect it, shorter scales such on LP's have less string tension when they're tuned up and so aren't as tight, so heavy strings should remedy that, where as on my RG it has a very long neck so i just use thin strings to both prevent it just snapping, and also because i want an easily playable, fast string

10-06-2007, 04:14 AM
oh ok i had just heard that like a person with a strat that had like 12-52 would have more tension on the neck then a guy with a lp with the same strings but i guess they were wrong thanks

well yes strats have more tension on their necks than Les Pauls do because of the smaller neck scale, that's why strats sound so snappy and twangy, it's just the way they are made, it doesn't have to do so much with the strings you use, like the other guy said they only real diff between string gauges is that u'll get a beefier tone or u'll be able to pick and bend easier

10-06-2007, 04:15 AM
oh ok well my guitar has the same scale as a LP. right now i have 10-46 but i was thinking about going to some heavier gauge strings soon.

10-06-2007, 04:21 AM
For my Ibanez RG electric, I've always gotten the heaviest gauge ernie balls and then for the low E I use a thick elixir (acoustic string). Gives it a good heavy tone for metal and that really thick low string allows me to go down to drop-A (for some certain metal songs) without too much flop.

10-06-2007, 04:22 AM
Well yeah, basically i find playing fast stuff on my LP quite hard as the string noticeably moves more than on my RG, so chee it's basically preference and how the guitars made, but you could remedy it with a heavier gauge, but remember that no stupidly heavy strings! They can snap the guitars neck when tuned to E standard

10-06-2007, 04:22 AM
i posted a thread about this the other day


as billy gibbons from zz top uses 008 gauge strings and he has a meaty tone. he started using thinner strings after advice from bb king who also has a meaty tone. i dont think it makes that much difference. the tone is in your fingertips and the guitar body wood more than the strings.

10-06-2007, 04:24 AM
what would be stupidly heavy gauges?

10-06-2007, 04:26 AM
what would be stupidly heavy gauges?

Wes Borland from Limp Bizkit used a Bass A string for his low E. That's pretty stupid...but I want to try it.

10-06-2007, 04:30 AM
Well the guages that Zakk Wylde endorse from GHS [the bottom E is a 60 i think] are examples of silly

12-13 should be fine though

10-06-2007, 04:35 AM
i have 10s right now like i said, but i was thinking about trying 11s or 12s next to see what they feel like..i already know what 9s are like and i cant do that its easy to bend but i feel out of control with 9s its like i bend when i don't mean to sometimes with 10s its alot better but i just wanted to try out thicker strings. EDIT: also whats up with the snake oil brand strings supposedly they are pure nickel but aren't DR strings pure nickel?

10-06-2007, 04:54 AM
I personally enjoyed 11's with my LP, were a slag to bend them, but have a very nice tone and good for Eb tuning, i may go back to them next time as i'm a tad bored of 10's

10-06-2007, 05:01 AM
see as i said my guitar is the same scale as a LP and most of the stuff i play is in Eb and i don't use bends that much anyways so i was thinking it might feel better playing heavier strings

10-06-2007, 05:05 AM
I have a relatively short scale guitar, heavier strings just feel natural to me now, especially with all the bridge crap, only thing is if you make quite a jump with string gauges it can be quite stressfull on the neck and you may need to adjustt he truss rod. As for me, I used to use 12s on my jag for about 6 months, found em a bit to heavy and went down to hybrid 10-52s, they feel great. 11s are a good choice.

10-06-2007, 05:08 AM
To the TS, 11's or 12's would be a great choice for that and give you a nive big tone

On my RG, i'm pretty much with 9's perma, its what the edge pro is set up for and just feels more natural

10-06-2007, 05:19 AM
i was going to go for 11-50s

10-06-2007, 10:24 AM
I had .11 super slinkys on my fat strat (tone zone in the bridge). That was awesome. I loved em, although when any of my friends went to play it they usually had a little trouble...but alas I had to change strings and all I had near me on short notice was music and arts center. They charg 8 bucks for ghs boomers, that best buy sells for 4 bucks a pack (yes, I used to get my strings at best buy..and I think I'm gonna start doing it again). Right now I have EB custom guage rock n roll strings on there. They're .10's and they sound fine. I liked the .11's but these are a bit easier to play. I dont like light strings because they just feel so...wimpy for lack of a better word.

Try em out, its only for a month or two at the most ;)

10-06-2007, 11:11 AM
there is some technical reasons you would run different gauge strings.

thicker strings can get a meatier tone, but as you read above guys like bb king, billy gibbons and even frank zappa all played with lighter gauge strings(like 8's!). imo these guys had some bitchin heavy tones, solid stuff.

lighter guage strings are easier to bend and are usually used on guitars with real low action. they are not all that great for slack tunings though, but they also put less tension on the neck too.

guys who like heavier gauge strings are like srv, and omar rodriguez. heavier gauged strings are much more stiff, making it harder to bend. you can play with more slack tunings and strings won't flop around when tuned a step down. they do put more pressure on the neck which might require truss rod adjustments. You also might need to raise the action or file the nuts out to accomodate these larger strings(my mexican tele made em sound more like high tension springs than guitar strings when i put 11's on it, have to get action raised).

personally i don't play heavier gauges for tonal purposes i just like the extra resistance on my fingers, makes my guitar feel more there and makes me feel like i have more control

06-04-2012, 05:19 PM
It's not 2011, Colin.

06-04-2012, 05:31 PM