I got strings for christmas, and i got light gauge ernie ball strings. I did not know how much of a difference the strings made when playing. becuase i play metal, and the strings may be too light. Can someone help me?

strings can affect tonality, tension on the neck, etc.

its a lot of personal preference. lots of people drop tune and need bigger guage strings. Some people do intense bends and use lighter strings, some people have a brand preference.

its a lot of trial and error, but yea. Not a huge, adverse affect, but it helps the overall feel on the guitar
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If we did tune using the 5th fret on the G string it'd be a C. At the moment it goes G B which stands for George Bush. So obviously GB doesn't want you to C the truth! To the conspiracy cave!
i say no however im sure someone is going to quote me and disagree.

the only differences are going to be playability and a slight difference in tone. i personally use 10s of some d'adarrio. im sure if someone swapped em out for some other type of string without telling me and with the same gauge, i wouldn't be able to tell a difference.
I prefer to use 10 gauge strings because 9's are too light and rattle too much when I detune them and 11's are too thick,
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The main difference I have found is in breakage.

D'Addario and Ernie Ball strings have always done well for me.
I tend to multi-step bends a lot.
If youre gonna be down tuning then a thicker gauge tends to be best. they also have a fuller tone but are more difficult to bend on. Its all preference really. I use hybrids which have a thick gauge at the bottom and light gauge at the top.
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I swear by Ernie Ball strings, though there are tons of different ones, and it's all about preference. As for gauges, if you're going to be playing metal, which usually means drop tunings, etc, you'll usually want higher gauge strings.
It all depends on what tuning your in. light strings (9's) should be used for standard tuning. And then the lower you go from there the higher gauge you need. I like to use a light top heavy bottom string setup. It allows me to have the crunchy lows but still be able to shred and bend up high.

It also depends on what your guitar can handle. If your strings are too tight they will warp the neck or possibly break the truss rod if your not careful.
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I'll add one more thing.

To me, there is a huge difference between hex core strings like Ernie Ball and round core strings like D'Addario. For me, the round cores transmit to much movement (which is great for those of you with Joe Satriani fingers). The hex cores sound just as good but they require more deliberabe movement so they're a little more forgiving if you barely bump a string or move your finger slightly while fretting a chord.

I simply sound better with hex cores (Ernie Ball #10 Slinkys).

Light top heavy bottom strings break easily if you over bend.

Anyway, correct me if I'm wrong, I thought the strings you use are supposed to match the scale? Like 24.5 use .10 gauge strings