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String gauge vs. type of music ?

This is a discussion on String gauge vs. type of music ? within the Ernie Ball Strings forums, part of the Gear Talk category; I recently bought a Jackson "Warrior" electric guitar and wanted to ask a few questions about string gauge vs. type ...

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    Riverwarrior is offline Registered User Newbie
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    String gauge vs. type of music ?

    I recently bought a Jackson "Warrior" electric guitar and wanted to ask a few questions about string gauge vs. type of music that I usually play.

    The guitar came with NPS (9 gauge) strings, but I wanted to replace them with Ernie Ball strings. What gauge should I get for playing hard rock rhythms (no soloing.....yet)?

    Also, what gauges are usually used for rock, blues, metal, jazz, etc.?

    I have only been playing for 6 months, so please excuse the "newbie" questions.

    Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    RW

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    The Rodg's Avatar
    The Rodg is offline Registered User Junior Member
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    If your mainly playing hard rhythm, a heavier gauge would sound beefier and would also stay in tune better. IMO 9s are favored for soloing, 10s for soloing and rhythm, and 11s for fat rhythm. Of course opinions WILL vary.

    If you are currently using 9s, I would suggest trying 10s before jumping straight into 11s. Could be a real shock to both you and your guitar. It takes a mighty strong left hand to do solo bends with 11s in standard tuning. Steve Ray Vaughn used a heavier gauge and tuned down a half-step to get a real fat tone wether soloing or rhythm.

    I love using 11s flat wounds on my 79 Gibson 335. Very Jazzy and warm .
    On my 90 American Standard Fender Strat I use 9s (round wound) for bright punchy solos.
    On my 96 Martin Acoustic I use Acoustic Roundwound 10s for a good rhythm tone as well as the occasional acoustic solo.

    A hard rock rhythm on an electric guitar would IMO beg for atleast 10s. As always, when you change string gauges you should re-check your intonation/strobe on your axe .

    also -
    I am not familiar with Jackson guitars, but if you did decide to go with 11s I would consult a good guitar tech to assist you as the tension will be considerably more on your neck than the 9s.

    Good Luck -
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Rodg
    If your mainly playing hard rhythm, a heavier gauge would sound beefier and would also stay in tune better. IMO 9s are favored for soloing, 10s for soloing and rhythm, and 11s for fat rhythm. Of course opinions WILL vary.

    If you are currently using 9s, I would suggest trying 10s before jumping straight into 11s. Could be a real shock to both you and your guitar. It takes a mighty strong left hand to do solo bends with 11s in standard tuning. Steve Ray Vaughn used a heavier gauge and tuned down a half-step to get a real fat tone wether soloing or rhythm.

    I love using 11s flat wounds on my 79 Gibson 335. Very Jazzy and warm .
    On my 90 American Standard Fender Strat I use 9s (round wound) for bright punchy solos.
    On my 96 Martin Acoustic I use Acoustic Roundwound 10s for a good rhythm tone as well as the occasional acoustic solo.

    A hard rock rhythm on an electric guitar would IMO beg for atleast 10s. As always, when you change string gauges you should re-check your intonation/strobe on your axe .

    also -
    I am not familiar with Jackson guitars, but if you did decide to go with 11s I would consult a good guitar tech to assist you as the tension will be considerably more on your neck than the 9s.

    Good Luck -
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    Thats a great rule of thumb, thats been my experience for the most part(though what do I know, I've only been playing for a year and a month), but Stevie Ray Vaughan played both lead and rythymn at the same time practically, and he played with 13's. String gauge is another way to define your tone, just gotta experiment and find your own 'sound', at least thats what I think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Rodg
    If your mainly playing hard rhythm, a heavier gauge would sound beefier and would also stay in tune better. IMO 9s are favored for soloing, 10s for soloing and rhythm, and 11s for fat rhythm. Of course opinions WILL vary.
    The other variable that needs to be considered is scale length. While the rule of thumb above is good for Fender scale instruments (25.5"), Gibson scale instruments (24.75") need to have the gauge bumped up a bit to counteract the slackening of tension you get tuning a shorter string to the same pitch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dlloyd
    The other variable that needs to be considered is scale length. While the rule of thumb above is good for Fender scale instruments (25.5"), Gibson scale instruments (24.75") need to have the gauge bumped up a bit to counteract the slackening of tension you get tuning a shorter string to the same pitch.
    I ought to add that the Jackson Warrior has the Fender scale length.

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    Ernie Ball strings

    The corresponding Ernie Ball strings:

    Gauge 8=Extra Slinky
    Gauge 9 = Super Slinky (also Hybrid Slinky)
    Gauge 10 = Regular Slinky
    Gauge 11 = Power Slinky (also Beefy Slinky)
    Gauge 12 = Not Even Slinky

    the "also" ones mentioned are strings that have the same gauge high 'E' (1st) string, but heavier low strings than the 'normal' strings of that gauge. I hope that makes sense.

    For example, Hybrid Slinkys are identical to Super Slinkys for the 1st three strings, then the Hybrid set uses heavier strings for the last 3.

    Power & Beefy have only the 1st string's gauge in common.

    Hope this helps.

    I've always used 9's myself, but I'll be using 10's on my Petrucci guitar when it arrives, since that's what Ernie Ball recommends.
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    Fretsandstrings is offline Registered User Newbie
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    Cool

    I PERSONALLY use 10s. They are fat enough for rhythm and bendable enough for soloing. If you are switching from 9s (which are pretty standard for new guitars) the 10s might feel a little weird at first but you'll get used to it.

    I know this topic is a little old but I wanted to say something!



    (Oh...don't forget to ignore everything else and use EBs)

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    Sliver is offline Registered User Newbie
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    I use Slinky Hybirds, I play mostly rock and grunge stuff

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    jta1978 is offline Registered User Newbie
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    why is 9 the standard elxtric guitar gauge?

    I agree with the reply to this post. I can hardly play on anything under 10. I would advise any young guitar player who is playing on 9s to move up to 11s to build strength. The theory is that playing on heavier strings in practise than if you want move to a lighter gauge when you are performing. That way you never compromise the strength in your fingers. I personally like playing on 11s all the time because they do provide a more solid sound. On my acoustic I currently have 13s. I am thinking about moving to 12s. The heavier the strings the less ring you get out of the sound. I myself like a little ring so that is where the lighter gauge comes in. Thanks

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    Talking



    I'm surprised there was no mention of 8's!

    Back in 1976 there was a band in the Wild Goose in Bethel, Alaska that came in from Anchorage, Alaska. I used to play in a band in that nightclub. I was only 20 years old.

    When it came time for their break, my band went up and filled in the break time.

    The guitarist that night had 8's on his Telecaster. Man; it was like walking on the floor that still had mop water on it. Absolutely no control. He was some man of an African descent.

    Yes, I'm a 9 man on my Strat. I have a Squier Strat with excellent intonation now and I am yet to try restringing it with 10's since I use it mostly for rhythm or when I break a string while I'm playing my Fender maple fretboard strat. I simply unplug then replug with the other.

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    Last edited by super slinky; 02-12-2007 at 11:46 PM. Reason: wrong age

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    Fitzy46 is offline Registered User Newbie
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    Well when it comes to strings, obviously it depends on what style you play. If you like to play music like Led Zeppelin, ACDC, Aerosmith, etc you are most likely going to play a lighter gauged string because there is not as much raw tone as metal guitar players. If you wanted to play heavy metal or metal guitar such as Metallica, System Of A Down, Avenged Sevenfold things like that, you would probably play a heavier gauge because of the more raw tone vs. the not-as-raw-tone as classic rock or regular.

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    BrettSD is offline Registered User Newbie
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    Smile I think heavier guage strings suck

    So I've played ernie balls for a while , I've always loved how they felt , but theve never lasted i was snapping 9s and 10s (depending on what guitar I was using ) 3-5 times a week , in July I decided to buy some extra slinky 8 guage strings , they lasted for 3 months , and kept a fresh feel , I personally now don't believe people when they tell me heavier strings last longer , because the time I did buy 12s and put them on my strat , I broke every single string within 5 mins of stringing the guitar !



    8 GUAGE FOR THE WIN!!!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jta1978 View Post
    I would advise any young guitar player who is playing on 9s to move up to 11s to build strength. The theory is that playing on heavier strings in practise than if you want move to a lighter gauge when you are performing. That way you never compromise the strength in your fingers.
    I agree, although l use 9's on my Luke's, but l practice on my acoustic which has 12's on them, if l can play a lick on my acoustic, it's easier on my Luke.

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    MartyGuitar is offline Registered User Newbie
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    12's all the way

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