String gauge

Lhdr

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Anyone go lighter gauge strings later in life due to wear and tear?
 

CB91710

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I used to run 10s on Gibsons and 9s on Fenders because the tension was comparable with the different scale lengths, but in the last year or so, I've gone to 9-46 for everything except the jazz box and have been very happy with them.
9's just get a little too "floppy" on a Gibson tuned to DADGAD or drop-D
 

Duane_the_tub

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This is a pretty interesting video about string gauge. I switched to Primo Slinky strings (9.5-44) after years of 10-46 and I love them.


ernie-ball-2212-nickel-primo-slinky-electric-guitar-strings-9-5-44-1.jpeg
 

TXOldRedRocker

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I have serious hand and wrist issues.
6 Guitars:
1 Strat has 11 - 54
1 Strat has 9 - 46
1 LP has 10 - 48
1 LP has 9 - 42
1 LP has 8 - 38
1 SG has 9 - 46

The 9 - 42's are my favorite, 9 - 46's second, and the 8 - 38's and 10 - 48's tie for third.

My hands hurt less with the lighter strings, so I play them the most by far.
 

Injector

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9-46 for me, a hybrid set of 9s with 10s on the bass strings. I used to use 10s on Gibsons but my '19 Trad came with 9s and I liked 'em.
 

jc2000

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I always did 10's on my LP and 9's on my strat. I found myself enjoying playing Strat more? So I tried 9's on the LP for the first time about a month ago.... WOW! never going back to 10's..
 

jbash

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I also have issues with my hands. Arthritis, CTS and joiint damage. In recent years I had migrated down to 9s and even 8s on one guitar.

My recent acquisition is very playable however, and I've been able to stay with the stock 10s. I have also limited my playing to once , maybe twice a week at most, whereas I used to play nearly every day.
 

Dan18

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I’m in a similar boat, had 9s put on mine both because of a little arthritis and just seriously learning to play over a year ago. Thought that fretting and bending would be easier for a newb. Well it is, but I find I have to be precise with fingering or you push strings out of tune easily. So I’m going back to 10s or maybe 9.5. Also working on the precision part.
 

1all's Pub

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I used to play 9s when I was younger and was too frequently breaking the high E. So I switched to 10s and solved that problem. Then as I got older and better and my touch softened a bit I tried 8s and even 7s (BFG fan :))... but they were just too light. I kept pushing too hard and causing chords to go sharp. So I switched back to 10s. Might try some hybrid 9-46 (or even those 9.5-44) someday though. We’ll see. :cheers:
 

Red Beard

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I had some left hand issues few years back
Felt like someone had my hand in a vise
So i put together a scalloped Strat strung with 8’s and after some mental adjustments i forced myself to just play that guitar and i built my muscles back and worked around the issue i had and in the process got rid of some bad habits ive had for 30yrs
The lighter strings really forced me to slow down and use proper technique and finger placement
I really tightened up my picking and vibrato

Theres no hiding mistakes and improper playing with light gauge strings,,,you have to do it right or itll never sound right
After a while the loose feeling and low tension feeling becomes normal and it made a huge impact on my playing,,,as a result my finger placement and over all movement on the fretboard has tightened and improved
Im not only much quicker im more accurate and the notes ring out better

After a while i worked back into 10’s on my 24.75 scale guitars and 9’s on my 25.5 scale,and im better player cause of it
 

1all's Pub

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After watching Beato’s video above (and listening through my admittedly crappy iPad speaker), I have to say I preferred the 10s and 11s. The 9s and 8s definitely lost bottom end to my ear (which is also my personal experience when experimenting with string gauges).

That said, again my iPad is definitely not a great analysis tool! And were I in the studio with them I might have reached a different conclusion. And I am a bedroom player completely unconcerned with cutting through the mix and only trying to maximize my own personal tone for me and only me. :)
 

Lhdr

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Thanks guys. I think I’m going to step down to 9’s. It’s time for retirement. I’m sure I will get used to them. My joints will thank me In the long run.
 

Roxy13

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I also used to use 10s on shorter scale and 9s on longer Fender scale, but a couple of years ago I went to 9s on all of them. Arthritis decided that for me. I'm also using extremely low action now.
 

framos

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10-46 for years on Gibsons, now 9.5-46.
11-48 for years on Fenders (tuned half step down), now 10.5-48.

Basically reduced half a gauge on the lighter strings, feels great!
 

CB91710

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I also used to use 10s on shorter scale and 9s on longer Fender scale, but a couple of years ago I went to 9s on all of them. Arthritis decided that for me. I'm also using extremely low action now.
I don't have issues with arthritis... except something going on in my ankle.
But my fingertips have become very sensitive as I've gotten older, probably thinning skin.
 

lpfan1980

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I like 10-46 on all my guitars comfy for my little hands suprisngly.
 

tazzboy

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I am giving the Jimi Hendrix 10-38 set a try to see if I like it or not.
 

Lhdr

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I dont really callus anymore on fingertips at age 58. Weird.
 


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