ok im probally gonna soun d noobish for asking but what are the difference in gauges for, i never worried about i usually just go to guitar center and they give me a pack for 5 bucks and i go on my merry way, but i just got even more serious into playing the guitar and i wanted to no so yah.... thanks for helpin
thickness of string i think
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yeah and dont buy higher gauge strings unless you wanna mess up the guitar neck without proper adjustment
Yes, it's the thickness of the strings, for example .010-.046 and .011-.050, the thinner being the top high e string and the thicker being the bottom low E string.

The heavier the gauge, the more manly you are. Also, lighter strings are easier to bend but have thinner tone. Heavier strings have better tone, and stay in tune better, but are harder to play on (until you get used to them).
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it all depends on what style of music you play, and what your sound needs. like i play a lot of extreme metal so i use all different kind of tunings and for the lower tunings i actually have my Les Paul just for the lower tunings and there for i have a set of 12's, which im replacing with a 7-string shortly. heh.

and i have a strat....yes a strat that i use for other things like Death, Behemoth, and some Emperor.

the higher the numbers, the thicker the strings.
the thicker the strings, the fatter, chunky and crunchy your tone is going to sound.

but on the other hand, lighter strings give you more warmth and a soothing sound.
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Thats probably some of the best advice I've ever received on here.
honestly it doesnt make that much of a difference
I have always been a fan of heavy strings but I've been using lights lately and they arent that much different, just easier to bend on and slightly thinner sounding but its not that noticable plugged in.