so i recently restrung my fender esquire (bought used, first string change). i put on d'addario super lights (.009-.042) because the guy who sold me the strings said most fenders are set up for 9 gauge strings. suprise suprise! the strings that were on it (also d'addarios) were much thicker, but i dont know the gauge....

so my question is, is there any easy way to tell the gauge of a string?
also, will the switch from heavy gauge strings to the 9 gauge i have on cause any problems?

all that i know about the strings that were originally on the guitar is that theyr thicker than ernie ball regulars (ten gauge)

oh i still have the old strings of course
Last edited by SGRocker400 at Jun 19, 2010,
Usually the string gauge is on the front of the pack, so you can tell what you're buying. And the switch will likely cause some problems (i.e. neck warping). The rule of thumb is 1 gauge above or below standard gauge (I think 10s for electric), at least for standard tuning. I'd definitely recommend going to like 10s or 11s.
The first thing I look at when guessing the string gauge is the amount of wound strings. If it's got 4 wound strings then it's usually sporting a pack of .011's or higher on it (some custom gauges have .010's with a wound G-string tho), if it's got 3 wound strings then it's usually a pack of .009's or .010's. If I really wanna have a guess at the gauge then I'll have to feel the strings in my fingers. Since I usually play with .010's thinner string gauges feel very light to me, even rubber-band-ish if you know what I mean, and if I'm having a hard time bending the string then it's usually due to the strings being thicker than mine

Keep in mind that some guitars have different neck measurments which means that the same pack of springs may feel and sound quite different depending on which guitar you use them on. I'd think your Esquire has a regular 25.5" neck tho, so never mind that:

Perhaps this is a good opportunity to setup your guitar from scratch in order for it to suit your style and tonal requirements > I say buy the string gauge and brand you feel most comfortable with (try several gauges in order to find out which one suits you best) and after you've picked the preferred one set your guitar up for max playability. You might have to adjust the string slots at the nut and the truss rod (though not necessarily) and also the intonation (which is a lot more likely)

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Last edited by shwilly at Jun 19, 2010,
thanks shwilly
theyr definitely thicker than 10's but three are wound and three arent.
i love the way the guitar is set up already (suprising cuz its used) its perfect for my punk/metal stuff. i was trying to avoid spending too much on new strings but i guess i hafta.
thanks again!