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FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / Changing string gauges

Next 20 Messages  
Contributing Member

Middle Tennessee

Too Much GAS
Apr 28th, 2019 08:16 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have used GHS Boomers GBCL string sets for probably 40 years on all my electric guitars. That is a light-top, heavy-bottom string set. They are;


Since the bottom half of the set is .026 to .046 that would be the same as a standard set with a .010 to .046 range. I'm going to try the heavier top half of the set on my SG just to see how I like it. If any of my guitars will tolerate a heavier string gauge it will be the SG with the short scale. It plays really easy.

I did a lot of experimentation with string brands and gauges back in my teens and settled in on what I'm currently using.

I have changed my playing style quite a bit since I was in my teens. Mostly due to my ability improving a vast amount. I don't do much legato stuff anymore. I tend to use either alternate or economy picking. As a result, the top end of the string set is feeling a little flimsy these days.

If I decide I can tolerate the heavier strings I will change all my short scale Gibsons to that. For now, I will leave the lighter strings on the Fenders. I don't play them as much and they always feel tighter to me. Probably because of the longer scale.

Contributing Member

Ocala, Florida

Paunchy and goatee'd
Apr 28th, 2019 08:57 AM   Edit   Profile  

I had been using EB Power Slinkys (11-48) forever during my gigging days. They just pushed back enough to counter the stage adrenaline. Since I'm now just an aging closet player with diminished testosterone and carpal tunnel I've settled into 10-46 (regular Slinkys). 11's still don't feel too bad on my Gibson scale gits.

Contributing Member

Planet Peegoo

Rhythm & Lewd Guitarist
Apr 29th, 2019 07:40 PM   Edit   Profile  

11s here on most of my guitars. Daddario XLs.

I'm starting to really like the 10.5s on my

yella Strat. I may switch all my Fenders to 10.5s

FDP Data Goon

She hath it all,

& hath no need of thee.
Apr 29th, 2019 11:47 PM   Edit   Profile  

I've stuck with string gauges and brand/version whenever possible - I had my 13 He Man phase and can set up a Kahler to run on 13s....something I advise for the less adventurous or even me these days.

But I just didn't have a noticeable sound difference with it when I started going down, and was at 11s when the guitar died in a stage accident.

The Mustang I bought to replace it came with...10s.

I stuck with those, and have used them on everything ever since.

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Apr 30th, 2019 09:38 AM   Edit   Profile  

I also have trended down over the years, now at 10s on Fenders and 11s on Gibsons. The only time I wish for something lighter is when doing pedal steel-style bends down near the nut. Still doing 12s and 13s on acoustics.

(This message was last edited by Te 52 at 11:38 AM, Apr 30th, 2019)

Contributing Member

Middle Tennessee

Too Much GAS
Apr 30th, 2019 03:19 PM   Edit   Profile  

I put the 010's on the SG. The G and the B strings don't bother me much but, after playing 009's for over 40 years the hi E gives me a little grief. I'm a wuss. I don't play much acoustic and when I do I have 010's on it. I'm going to try and tough it out but MAN, it feels so weird to me.

I left the 009's on the Les Paul so I'll pick it back up in a few days to see how it feels after playing the heavier gauge on the SG.

Contributing Member

U.S. - Virginia

Apr 30th, 2019 07:58 PM   Edit   Profile  

It's all what you are used to. It takes a while to get your hands up to new gauges. I wouldn't do it overnight.

I've got 12s on some electrics with wound 3rd for jazz, 10s and 11s on others. 12s and 13s on acoustics. I find on my short scale acoustic I cant go below 12s. 12s have a nice top end to them though, and are just right for finger style. 13s are a bit better for pick style and jazz on the short scale.

Archtops 12s and 13s. But I give a long warm up if I am going to be practicing or playing on one of those guitars. I can get used to 10s real quick lightening up the touch.

I have no doubt over the years big strings will have more wear and tear on the body, but they do sound great for some clean tones and electric archtops/acoustics.

On a solid Fender or Gibby, I don't find that it really matters that much. In fact, the lighter strings seem to not get so muddy sounding. YMMV

Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

I told you...

to go right.
May 3rd, 2019 05:24 PM   Edit   Profile  

11's on the Gibsons, 10's on the Fenders.

9's on the pointy ones.

Contributing Member


May 3rd, 2019 06:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

.010-.038 on all the electrics.

11s on the acoustics.

Contributing Member

Wichita, KS USA

It's all gravy from here on...
May 4th, 2019 07:37 AM   Edit   Profile  

009s on most electrics,

010s on the Guild Capri with Bigby,

011s on most acoustics..


Philly/NL, CT

Jun 9th, 2019 08:57 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have more or less worked out my string gauges for acoustic and electric guitars, basses, dobro, violin and mandolin.

Now I have to find the right gauge for plectrum banjo. Damn!

Contributing Member

American Patriot

About as ordinary as you can get.
Jun 10th, 2019 09:46 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have been using 10's on all electrics but may switch to 9 or 9.5 on all ele. except the B-bender.
12's on my acoustics.
Everybody's different or the same.


New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Jul 2nd, 2019 06:44 AM   Edit   Profile  

From an in-shop tech's point of view, unless otherwise requested, 10-46 on electrics and 11-52 on acoustics. I use Ernie Ball, GHS, or D'Addario without preference for one over the other. These are also the strings that I use for shop stock instruments that we sell and obviously I'd want these instruments to feel good to potential buyers. I depart from this for special situations such as shorter scale lengths. For instance, a Baby Taylor will get 12-54s.


Paris, France

It's just a guitar, not rocket science.
Jul 2nd, 2019 08:21 AM   Edit   Profile  

If the client doesn't have a preference, I stick with standard factory gauges, which tend to be 9-42 on Fender scale electrics, 10-46 on Gibson scale, and 12s on Acoustics.

Personally, that's what I play too, though with 11s on acoustics.


Nicoma Park, OK.

"Let the music do the talking"
Aug 6th, 2019 04:50 AM   Edit   Profile  

9's on all of my guitars.

Contributing Member

Manchester, TN

Ask me how I know!?
Aug 6th, 2019 05:57 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've gone back to 9's on everything, also. I was using 10's on the Gibsons for a few years, but....
It's easier to bend a .009 up a step and a half when necessary, and sometimes it is. ;)

Contributing Member

Middle Tennessee

Guitar Slave
Aug 17th, 2019 08:54 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'm going back to 009's on my SG. I just can't get used to the 010 high E string. The rest don't bother me. I'll be playing along just fine then hit that E string and it's like I stumbled over a piece of suspension bridge cable.

Contributing Member

U.S. - Virginia

Aug 17th, 2019 01:05 PM   Edit   Profile  

Nothing wrong with that. Everyone has their own touch.

I do believe the ceiling for fast playing is increased with lighter strings and lower action. You don't have to push the string as far or lift the finger as high off of the fretboard when weaving lines. Of course bending is a big deal, too.

I like them all, honestly. That's why I have so many guitars(partly). I like 9s for some things and 13s for others.

Contributing Member

olde New England

If you can't play good, play loud
Aug 19th, 2019 05:39 AM   Edit   Profile  

I'm too much of a ham-fisted player to play anything less than a .010" E string. I've tried to use .011's on my shorter scale (24-3/4) guitars but I only have a couple of those so I just keep it simple and stock only 10-46's.

Contributing Member


Home of the Goodyear blimp
Aug 19th, 2019 07:21 AM   Edit   Profile  

.010s on everything except my Gretsch that gets .011s. .012s on my 72 D35 and .013s on my D18.

Next 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Miscellaneous and Non-Fender Topics / Changing string gauges

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