#1
Hello,

I just went out and purchased a Gretsch 5120 the other day from Guitar Center. Really dig the guitar itself, thought it played really well at the store. The fellow at the store recommended I throw some thicker gauged strings on it so I purchased the .011 D'addario's he recommended.

I spent some time setting the bridge for intonation and restrung the guitar with these thicker strings. The problem I'm having is playing this thing is all of the sudden a really big challenge; getting my G and D strings in my barre chords to ring out, below say the fourth fret(an F7 barre is absolutely not going to happen) is requiring a lot of deliberate force.

Do I just need to man up and continue to practice with these new gauges and everything will be peachy? I'm coming from playing a Les Paul with light gauges and was always really comfortable barring my chords anywhere on the neck.

Any recommendations, advice?
#2
I play in Eb with 11s but I feel like its a little stiff for my taste in E. Take some time and you'll probably get used to it fairly quickly, but until then your barre chords and bends will probably suffer a bit It doesn't hurt to experiment, and if you don't like it, just switch back to 10s.

do you play acoustic much? That would probably help to adjust you to the stiffer strings faster.
#3
I unfortunately I do not own an acoustic. My root position minor 7th chords with the root based off string 5 (A) are god awful, the 7th is non existent. Stressing me out lol.
#4
Use the strings you prefer, not the strings a random guy in a shop prefers.
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#5
Quote by GaryBillington
Use the strings you prefer, not the strings a random guy in a shop prefers.


See this is what I'm thinking, but I have so little experience with strings, I've always just used the same Slinky's over and over. And it appears like 11s on a hollowbody is a rather popular idea for the tone you get out of a thicker string, which I could see. But seriously, I want my barred 7th chords back. This wound G is pissing me off. I actually just broke it (the high E of the set broke last night) detuning to adjust the floating bridge.
#6
Quote by GaryBillington
Use the strings you prefer, not the strings a random guy in a shop prefers.

the guy in the shop probably recommended a higher gauge for practical reasons more than anything else. with lighter strings, when bridge is mounted onto a rosewood base that isn't fixed to the top of the guitar, it can move around a lot more easily and cause a lot of tuning problems.

there are ways of fixing the bridge so that it can't move/won't fall off when you loosen all the strings, but you have to make sure the bridge is in exactly the right place before you do that - a job best left to a tech/luthier, imo.

how high are the strings off the fretboard at the nut? if you're only having trouble on the first few frets, it probably means the action at the nut is too high - either because it's just not slotted low enough, or wide enough to fit the thicker strings. this is the sort of thing you'll notice a lot more with heavier strings.
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#7
Quote by Blompcube
the guy in the shop probably recommended a higher gauge for practical reasons more than anything else. with lighter strings, when bridge is mounted onto a rosewood base that isn't fixed to the top of the guitar, it can move around a lot more easily and cause a lot of tuning problems.

there are ways of fixing the bridge so that it can't move/won't fall off when you loosen all the strings, but you have to make sure the bridge is in exactly the right place before you do that - a job best left to a tech/luthier, imo.

how high are the strings off the fretboard at the nut? if you're only having trouble on the first few frets, it probably means the action at the nut is too high - either because it's just not slotted low enough, or wide enough to fit the thicker strings. this is the sort of thing you'll notice a lot more with heavier strings.


Thanks for the feedback here. I'm looking it over and the strings appear to rest in the grooves pretty well so far as I can tell, perhaps they need to be a bit deeper; action doesn't seem too high to my eye. But the feel of it is another story. I'll be going back into Guitar Center to ask some questions and hopefully get some ideas on a possible resolution. I kind of like the idea of using the thicker gauges but the playability of it really became an issue after stringing these bad boys up.
#8
Quote by wafflesyrup
This wound G is pissing me off.

This could be my inexperience speaking here because I've never gone above .10s on an electric (so feel free to correct me), but don't you only get a wound G string on acoustics? Are you sure you got sold the right strings? I know we're talking about a semi here, but you'd still use electric strings, not acoustic ones.

Quote by wBlompcube
with lighter strings, when bridge is mounted onto a rosewood base that isn't fixed to the top of the guitar, it can move around a lot more easily and cause a lot of tuning problems.

True, although I've used lighter strings on guitars like that in the past without problems.
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#9
Quote by GaryBillington
This could be my inexperience speaking here because I've never gone above .10s on an electric (so feel free to correct me), but don't you only get a wound G string on acoustics? Are you sure you got sold the right strings? I know we're talking about a semi here, but you'd still use electric strings, not acoustic ones.


True, although I've used lighter strings on guitars like that in the past without problems.


This is something to consider. It was indeed a wound G though.
#10
Like I said, it's a bit of a guess & very possible it's just a setup I haven't come across because I've never gone that heavy with my strings, but it's not impossible that you got sold the wrong thing.
Gibson LP Traditional, LP GT, LP Studio, SG Standard x2
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EVH 5150 III LBXII
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#11
Well here's to hoping I'm not going to have to file down my nut string grooves to comfortably play a thicker gauge.