#1
Hello everyone!

I have used Ernie Ball "Skinny Top Heavy Bottom" (11s) for quite a while now!

I had a go on my friends guitar, who obviously uses lighter gauge strings, and my fingers were slipping everywhere!

Should I change to lighter strings?
What are the benefits of keeping my heavy strings? (Or swapping to light)

Cheers!
#2
keep using heavy strings , they have better dynamics anyways and your finger strength is better then if you use a light gauge, lighter gauge strings are easier to bend and imo too easy, i cant feel the pain from bending, feels weird to me. but if you go to a lighter gauge you might loose some finger strength
#4
Its pretty much all about how you want your guitar to feel. With thicker strings you can get lower action because of less floppyness in the string. Thin strings are much easier to bend. Tone is obviously different also.
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#5
The main advantages are being able to tune lower and you also get a crunchier more metal like sound out of thicker strings.
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#6
I use the AC/DC example.

Angus - Lead - Skinnies

Malcolm - Rhythm - HEAVY!

But yeah, its all up to preferences. Usually, if you like a nice clean sound though (like little gain) you might try thicker strings for a better tone, but if you crank everything to 11 and play death metal, you might want thicker strings also but for a totally different reason. I prefer thick strings myself.

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#7
I find that The heavier strings produce a better quality of sound without the accidental bends. If you have been playing with heavier strings it takes a long time to get used to light ones. Finally Your finger strength will diminsh drastikly. Those are why I'm changing back to my original heavy strings.
#8
Heavy = fuller tone, harder to bend, finger dexterity
light = less full tone, much easier to bend and press down but less finger dexterity
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#10
thats bull****, your fingers` strength will not diminish just because you will start to use thinner strings, I use light gauge strings (ernie ball 9s) coz I play alot of blues and funk and I bend notes very often - that is the best way to keep your fingers in good shape.

And when it comes to tone, it is true that heavy riffs may sound worse, but it`s a personal matter, I prefer thin strings because they sound better to me in funky rhythm riffs.
#11
I wouldn't say (and I am not saying anyone else said this) that thicker strings = better tone, just different. For example you simply can not get the EVH tone or easily get a nice twangy country tone with thick ass strings.
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#12
Quote by Vitor_vdp
so, if heavier strings means better finger strength, using heavier strings make you a bit of a better guitar player ?


Not necessarily I can have the strongest fingers in the world and still suck at guitar, finger stregth only makes it easier to play it doesnt neccesarily make you better
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#13
Quote by Vitor_vdp
so, if heavier strings means better finger strength, using heavier strings make you a bit of a better guitar player ?


No only practice will. People are talking like finger strength = better. You only need enough strength to play the gauge that you play. So if you are going to switch to thinner strings its probably a GOOD thing that you will lose strength. I use 11-52 in standard E and when I play a guitar with nines I tend to over bend and its wierd to vibrato.
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#14
It's a matter of preference, although i know a lot of jazz boxes tend to come with 12s or so and this helps give a rich full tone. If i play on any less than 10s now it feels weird, like the guitar isnt there enough or something.

But really it's down to what you like, stevie ray vaughn went as high as 14s or something insane at one point O_o and he had an amazing tone from that strat but billy gibbons for instance has a huge sound and he uses 8s (the thinnest you can get i think)
#15
I think its pretty much down to what feels the best to you, providing that the strings in question can be tuned to your desired tunning (i wouldnt recomend using 09s for dropC, i speak from experience). I mostly play everything in standard tunning, some stuff in dropD when i want to fool around, and 09s work the best for me, but if you are used to the 11s and you find the tone to be nice, i say keep them.
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#16
People go way overboard with some of these big fat strings. If you stay in standard tuning or just to drop D, 10-46's are plenty fat IMHO. I can play better/faster with a nice set of hybrid 9-46's compared to some big fat set of strings.

Even tuned to B or C, I don't see a reason for anything over a 52 or so.
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#17
Hmm, I sometimes tune to drop A....

My like.. Guitar hero, Matt Bellamy, uses .010, .013, .017, .026, .036, .060.

The 6th string is WAY thicker than the others... But I do like my Ernie Balls...
#18
I picked up a guitar for the first time about 2 months ago and just got a left-handed Vintage Les Paul. It still has the original strings on it, but I'm toying with the idea of changing them. What strings would you recommend for a rookie that doesnt know any better? I'm learning basic "metal" tracks at the moment.
#19
The question is do you prefer the feel of your strings?

If you do then i wouldn't change them.

Playing heavy and lighter guages have their advantages.

Playing lighter gauges teaches you finesse and how lightly you can play guitar without fretting too hard and improves your ability to move around.

Playing heavier gauges will help out if you play longer amounts of time by increasing dexterity and endurance. Not to mention they are easier to pick.

You should try out both gauges religiously. Afterwards pick your favorite.
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#20
Thin are easier to play mostly. But heavier gauges hold more tone!

Heavier gauge will strengthen your fingers also. Light ones, you can play faster and are better with Floyd rose style trems.
#21
With the skinny top heavy bottom, I can't play an Fm barred, the g string won't connect.
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#22
Quote by AlucardZero
With the skinny top heavy bottom, I can't play an Fm barred, the g string won't connect.


I had this problem.. But I seem to be alright at it now...