#1
I just bought a used guitar just to have a 2nd guitar.

My main guitar is an Ibanez RG340 with LOW action and pretty small frets and I use 9's on it....obviously it is easy to play

So the used guitar I bought is also an ibanez but it has bigger frets and higher action and heavier strings.

So should I do most of my practicing on the guitar with heavier strings etc? I practiced on it for several hours this morning and then picked up my regular guitar and of course it felt weird lol. I can definitely feel that my left hand had to work way harder on the used guitar
#2
It's really up to you. There are really two schools of thought:

(a) Yeah because it'll make the other guitar seem easier and will strengthen your fingers. Analogous to basketball players using a smaller basket.

(b) Use what you're used to and intend to use, because the effect in (a) is at least partly psychological and will stop (the psychological bit) when you stop doing it for any length of time, plus it might actually confuse you and get you used to the feel of the other strings. Not to mention, if it's harder you might not practise as much.

I prefer (b). It's really up to you, though, and depends on which works better for you. Neither is really "right".
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I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

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Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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#3
As long as you practice regularly on both to the extent that you can play both fine you shouldn't have a problem.
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#4
Yeah definitely the more different guitars you play regularly the less you notice the differences.

Does that mean GAS is a good thing?
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#5
I had SRV weight (.012" - .058") GHS Rocker strings on one of my Strats. I struggled to play a couple of SRV songs for about a year and a half. I never even tried the songs on another guitar.

Then, one day, I tried one of the songs on a guitar with standard strings, and it was much, much easier to play, and I played the song better than I ever did before. I was really surprised. All of the heavy lifting my fingers had been doing with the heavy strings made the bends and tremelo's and riffs much easier.

I bought a used Squier Strat for $50, put some heavy strings on it, and use that just to exercise my fingers. I've put medium weight strings on the "SRV Strat", and will wait until my fingers are stronger to go heavier.
#6
im thinking these are .11s but might just b .10s

when I picked up my regular guitar the .9s felt like human hair or something. I can really tell it on the D string too.

I didnt even realize the guitar had 24 frets till I read it online lol
#7
Up to you. Completely up to you. I used to think that one must practice on a difficult setup, but it turns out after 1.5 years I've become used to the setup (10s, 2.5mm action, 0.3mm relief) so much that I could not play a normal setup guitar lol.
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#8
If you really like that weird feeling of being able to bend 9's like they're butter because you've been practicing on 10's, then stick with it. Personally I just choose the string gauge based on the sound vs. playability thing. I use 10's because when I strum a chord it sounds like a guitar instead of a rattle trap like it did with 9's. And once you get used to them for a couple of months they feel just like the 9's did anyway.
#9
^ I dunno. It took me years to be able to feel like I wasn't tying one hand behind my back playing with 10s. And I can still feel the difference.

Actually bass and acoustic strengthened my fingers much more than using heavier electric guitar strings. On guitar it didn't seem to help me all that much (well, a little, but not enough really).
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#10
I don't think you can compare playing the guitar to weight lifting.... In that lifting the heavier weight makes you stronger for your daily activities...
Playing the guitar is a skill activity, and it's a basic principal of exercise physiology that we use resistance for training "core strength", but not for skill training. We don't run the 100 meters with a 200 pound barbell on your back... You use the barbell to do squats... Then you work on your sprint.

When we play with heavier strings, we get used to playing with heavier strings. The technique and feel is different than that with light strings.
There is a difference in sound... Well understood. So choose your strings depending on the sound you want, rather than as exercise.
#11
Agreed. It's music, not a sport. Plenty of guitar players say they don't play fast "because it's not a sport", but yet are perfectly willing to roll their eyes when you say you use 9s. Why would I make it harder than it needs to be? Especially if I like the tone of 9s?

Plus I've heard plenty of guitarists say, "I hate 9s, they feel like elastic bands and I overbend." Obviously that's anecdotal, but it would suggest that using heavy strings for too long will just get you used to heavy strings, rather than making it that much easier to play with 9s. It may do if you do it for a little while, but done for too long and it may actually make 9s seem harder...
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#12
Quote by Dave_Mc
Agreed. It's music, not a sport. Plenty of guitar players say they don't play fast "because it's not a sport", but yet are perfectly willing to roll their eyes when you say you use 9s. Why would I make it harder than it needs to be? Especially if I like the tone of 9s?

String gauge elitism is one of guitar playing's stranger spawn. Personally, I play light top/heavy bottom not because I have stronger fingers or think the tone's better, but because I play so sloppily the open E gets pushed out of tune for a second when I strum with 10-46s on a Gibson scale length.

The important thing is to be able to play the guitar's you're going to be playing.
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#13
^ Yeah. I'm a little better than I used to be, bass and acoustic have got me to the point where I can play 10s and not be totally hating it (especially on a shorter scale length, where I now find 9s a little slack), but I agree with using what feels comfortable, and not worrying too much about what other players think. If you feel comfortable you're going to play better, which should lead to better perceived tone anyway.

Just to clarify, if some players genuinely like thick strings (i.e. aren't just doing it because they think using 9s makes you a wuss), I have absolutely no problem with that. It's the "You use 9s? Those are beginner strings!" thing I don't like. An awful lot of pro players use 9s.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#14
Basically, being able to play properly is far more important than the tone difference a couple thousandths of an inch of steel wire. So whatever floats your boat.
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
Youre officially uber shit now.

Quote by StewieSwan
3d9310rd is far more upset than i 

Quote by Bladez22
I'm a moron tho apparently and everyone should listen to you oh wise pretentious one
#15
Agreed, that's what I always say. There's no improvement in tone you can get from thicker strings which will compensate for your vibrato sucking or bends being out of tune etc.. IMO.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#16
Recently I was watching an episode of "Live from Daryl's House" (an excellent show featuring Daryl Hall jamming with luminaries from across the musical spectrum) and there was an interesting comment made by one guest.

Billy Gibbons (of ZZ Top fame) tells the story of how he once had the privilege of playing with BB King, and they were backstage talking before the show. King had the idea of swapping guitars, and of course Gibbons being a huge fan jumped at the opportunity. The first thing he noticed was that King used thin strings. Up to that point, Gibbons was of the opinion (as are many others) that thicker strings give a "fatter" sound. When asked about why he used such thin strings, King replied matter-of-factly: "Why would you want to work harder than you have to?"

From that point forward, Gibbons has used thin strings, and I don't think anyone who has heard him play could accuse his sound of being tinny or anemic.
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#17
I use 9's which i find most comfortable and enjoyable to play.I do have 10's on one of Tele's though for playing blues,I like the strings being a little harder to bend for the blues,Feels like i'm putting more into it somehow.
#18
I use 10s, but I know how to setup my guitars, so 10s on my Ibanez feels like 9s on an off the shelf Charvel.
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#19
I've played with 11s for years, chose them cause they work in D and E Standard, without really losing tension. Can't play with 9s or 10s now, but that's probably cause I've got used to 11s or 12s depending on how I feel on acoustic. I guess it's just a matter of choosing the strings that you're comfortable playing with and give you the sound you want, rather than trying to make it harder for yourself.
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Gibson Les Paul Studio
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Blackstar HT20
Roland Micro Cube
#20
You should play on whatever instrument and strings you intend to make music on.

Regarding strings:

1) Finger "strength" is hardly an issue. It doesn't take much force to bend the strings, literally just a few pounds of pressure. You probably grip a doorknob harder when you turn it. The challenge is applying the pressure efficiently so you can use less energy. Endurance is also a thing, but you will build that no matter what you're playing on.

2) There IS a tone difference on similarly gauged strings. Strike a big open E on a set of 9s, and you're likely to get an awful "sagging" sound on the low open string. The tone is also lighter, while 10s and higher have a more punchy, steely sound. Nothing wrong with any gauge, but it does affect your guitar's tone.

3) Your guitar makes a difference. The different neck lengths also mean the tension is different for the same gauge strings. A shorter neck means you need less tension to get the same pitch. I play a Fender scale neck and every time I pick up a Gibson, the strings feel extra loose because the neck is shorter.

I would base my string decisions on tone and comfort, rather than trying to get a workout from them. Practice itself is the best way to build coordination and endurance, there really isn't a shortcut (without getting tendinitis).
Last edited by cdgraves at Jul 16, 2014,