#1
First off let me just get it out of the way and say that I'm a new member to the forums... extremely new... so I really hope I'm not overstepping any boundaries or anything. I looked around the different threads and topics and I hope that I'm at least in the area of where this post should be. Also, I'm well aware that there have probably been a million people asking this same question, I haven't come across any of those threads so I decided (naively) to make my own.
Anyway, the question is this:
I play the electric guitar and I'm starting to get good. I only really started getting into the guitar a few months ago and though I wouldn't consider myself ignorant on the topic I'm sure as hell not experienced. My friends and I are thinking of starting a band. The music we'll be playing will mostly be power chords and I'm curious as to the best size string for the job. I have just recently switched from 9s to 10s on my electric and I'm kind of liking it, but I'm worried it may affect my ability to successfully bar the chords with my fingers.
Maybe I'm just stupid but I think there's a difference, if anyone has any experience with power chords and playing faster rock and punk with higher/lower gauge strings and want to help me out it would really be appreciated.
Anyway, I just really hope I'm not double posting or being an idiot or anything, thanks.
#2
It is basically a preferance-thing, its what YOU like best, for what I've experienced 10's do get a greater powerchord sound, but its definately not nessecary, on my ibanez ive got 9's and they handle them just fine.

Edit: But when you want to drop tunings you need thicker strings or you'll be playing wet noodles.
#3
I don't think you'll have too much of a problem going from 9s to 10s. After a few days you probably won't even notice a difference.

What is best really depends on your preference and what you're trying to do with the guitar. I have a Les Paul with 13s on it, tuned a step down. Has the thickest and clearest tone ever. My Ibanez (in standard) has 9s and sizzles a lot more, and it's a lot easier to play. Just depends, really.
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#4
^this

But next time just the essentials three paragraphs is a little much for a simple question
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#5
If you really don't know...
You can choose a mixed string-set.
.09-.046 ftw!
#6
It's all preference. If you're still playing in standard tuning, 10s (light) are a safe choice. 11s (Medium) work pretty well too, but you need a bit of hand strength and muscle endurance to play them easily in standard tuning... They've gotten me into the habit of using all three fingers to perform precision bends, as the extra tension requires more effort when bending.

If you drop tune, mediums are worth a try, and I personally use them is standard and drop D as well, but I personally like my strings to be set fairly tight.
#7
I use 8-40 (roughly) on a longer scale and there are no problems when playing anything in standard tuning. Going 9 to 10 won't really change much, but as suggested you could try a hybrid 9-46 gauge to have lighter higher strings. It really depends on how you want the strings to feel (loose, tight?) and whether you like the tone of light or heavy strings. You'll have to experiment to find what you like.
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#8
Me and most guitarists I know use .10s, so I'd recommend those.
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#9
Personally, I use .9's on my electric because they're effortless to bend. Figuring out which gauge (or even brand) of string you like will take several changes, and maybe even a few years of trying out different kinds. Be patient, keep trying out different kinds, and you'll find the right string for you.
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#10
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to string gauge. People like to spew large numbers thinking it makes them look cool. But,some of the heaviest music ever recorded was played on 8 gauge strings.
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#11
No right or wrong answer...but just remember that you don't need those boomers
(.70) to play Drop C or Drop D tunings. Its just overkill. If you prefer a .70, there's nothing wrong with that...but you can get a heavy tone in Drop-c/Drop-D without it.

Ernie ball Hyrbid slinky.. .56-.09 are my faves. I like unison bends so I use .09's
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Last edited by Washburnd Fretz at Apr 11, 2011,
#12
All good advice here.

My personal preference is for Ernie Ball Skinny Tops / Heavy Bottoms but I've been thinking of just going up to .11s for fatter tone.
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#13
It's preference, useally for standard tuning, I go with 9's, just because I like the tension those give me on my guitars, BUT, seeing as I only have one guitar in standard, and I'm selling it, my other 2 electrics are lower tuning, as such, it's more so the kind of tension you like. I like a nice tight string, but has some give.
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#15
Quote by rawkandrowl
All good advice here.

My personal preference is for Ernie Ball Skinny Tops / Heavy Bottoms but I've been thinking of just going up to .11s for fatter tone.


I switched over to Ernie Ball skinny top heavy bottom and I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE it they run me $5.80 a pack and can take the C standard tuning well, I can actually get a good bend while in C standard its nice. Not to mention I was buying gibson strings for my explorer but they seemed to break frequently as I was down tuning the guitar so I scrapped them since they were about $2 more a pack.

I want to try a set of Elixir or DR strings, the coated guys but I have heard lots of mixed reviews on them, kinda scared of paying $12 for a set of strings I wont like.
#16
slinky's 9's for standard/drop d and 10's for drop c/drop c#/Eb, one way or another its completely preferance. thicker strings will sometimes make for better tone. but its a give and take, sacrifice bends for better tone. 9's are totally fine for standard
#17
Quote by ne14t
I switched over to Ernie Ball skinny top heavy bottom and I LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE it they run me $5.80 a pack and can take the C standard tuning well, I can actually get a good bend while in C standard its nice. Not to mention I was buying gibson strings for my explorer but they seemed to break frequently as I was down tuning the guitar so I scrapped them since they were about $2 more a pack.

I want to try a set of Elixir or DR strings, the coated guys but I have heard lots of mixed reviews on them, kinda scared of paying $12 for a set of strings I wont like.


Coated strings are the way to go, and dr's and slinky's last a wicked long time. i have elixirs on my acoustic in 12's i think and the tone on them is crazy good. coated strings just feel good
#18
Quote by Bhaok
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to string gauge. People like to spew large numbers thinking it makes them look cool. But,some of the heaviest music ever recorded was played on 8 gauge strings.



I'd like some examples of that, not saying you're wrong, but I'd like to know what bands made some of "the heaviest music ever recorded" with 8's


To TS:

Basically the higher you go up, the more playability you sacrifice at first yet you gain different qualities to your sound. As mentioned, you get clarity, a punchier sound(great for power chords) and the strings get this "bounce" that you really can't get with lower gauges. Personally I use 11's in standard and they take a while to get used to, but I prefer the tone of them. For power chords any gauge will do you well, in a few months after you're completely used to the 10's...try out 11's see if you like em more or less.

really no one here can tell you what you like, you have to decide yourself
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