#1
Lately I have been getting into more shred style of playing and I want to know if using light gauge strings help aid with speed as opposed to heavier strings. Right now I have on 11 and was looking at 9s or maybe 8s.
#2
8's are for little girls
If you are playing with 11's, try 10's for a month, then re-evaluate. The difference between 11's and 8's is huge.
I can't play with less than 10's....the intonation goes wonky.
#3
ok im going to look into 10, but does lighter string gauges correlate with speed or is it just a matter of practice
#5
Lighter strings will make bends and chords require less effort. That’s not going to make you play faster, but it might make it easier to practice a couple hours a day.
#6
I don't think string gauge makes much of a difference. The Action on a guitar is the big factor imo.
#7
Think again. A lot of jazz players use 12's or 13's and some of them play pretty fast. It's mostly practice, and a fair amount is the set-up of your guitar. Many people find that a large fretboard radius and low action help more than anything. You can actually get a lower action with heavier gauge strings. Small gauge is simply easier to do bends and vibrato. Certain musicians use heavy strings and still bend and use vibrato like crazy (SRV comes to mind.)
#8
It has to do with hand strength. I am so used to elevens that I bend tens through the roof and have a hard time with control. In my opinion larger gauges give you a bigger sound, so I stick with those.
#9
Hey, I used to use 8's when I was staring out. Now I use 10's with extremely low action. I find that if your action is slightly high, it's easier to do bends. Otherwise your finger catches on the string and bending sucks. I might move back to 9's. But honestly, he difference between 8's and 12's are gonna be huge.
#10
String gauge has almost nothing to do with speed. SRV used to shred on 13s, so can you. Go to 10s. Difference between 11 and 10 is pretty damn big, let alone 11 and 8 (lol).
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#11
This shit is not objective at all.

Strings affect your tension (most easily measured by how hard it is to bend).

What will let you play your fastest, is simply what works for you. Some people like heavy gauges. Some people like their strings to fight back, and play best that way. Other people are the opposite.

Go try gauges and brands until you figure out what works for you, and what you like in your setup.
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#12
Quote by sonofgkex
It has to do with hand strength. I am so used to elevens that I bend tens through the roof and have a hard time with control. In my opinion larger gauges give you a bigger sound, so I stick with those.

+1. I need a bit of 'fight' from the strings to keep me honest. I couldn't think about moving down from 11s now.

As others have said, I can't see how lighter strings would have any real impact on speed of playing.

Also, playing heavier strings makes you more attractive to the opposite sex*.


*this may not be entirely true....
#13
Lighter gauges (like 9s) do make my playing feel more effortless. As Offworld stated, it's completely subjective though. There's a certain charm to playing with the added tension of heavier gauges though. Keep in mind there are also half-gauges (9,5s/10,5s) with which you might want to experiment. Scale length is also a big factor in the way certain gauges feel. 11s on a Les Paul will feel roughly the same as 10s on a strat due to the longer scale length on the Les Paul.
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Last edited by constructbot at Jan 15, 2014,
#14
Quote by constructbot
Lighter gauges (like 9s) do make my playing feel more effortless. As Offworld stated, it's completely subjective though. There's a certain charm to playing with the added tension of heavier gauges though. Keep in mind there are also half-gauges (9,5s/10,5s) with which you might want to experiment. Scale length is also a big factor in the way certain gauges feel. 11s on a Les Paul will feel roughly the same as 10s on a strat due to the longer scale length on the Les Paul.


I think you mean b/c of the longer scale length on the Strat.

I've always played 10's but lately been thinking about trying a 9.5 in place of the 10 on 52/10 LTHB set.
#15
TS, if you swap for way thinner, swap one string at a time, unless you are used to setting up your guitar.

if you take all the strings off then change the tension,
you might find you'll have a lot of setting up to do.
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#16
Quote by aiversen
8's are for little girls
If you are playing with 11's, try 10's for a month, then re-evaluate. The difference between 11's and 8's is huge.
I can't play with less than 10's....the intonation goes wonky.


both Billy Gibbons and Jimmy Page used 8's. So.
banned
#17
Quote by drop1337
I think you mean b/c of the longer scale length on the Strat.

I've always played 10's but lately been thinking about trying a 9.5 in place of the 10 on 52/10 LTHB set.


My bad, a strat's scale length is indeed longer!
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