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The Benefits Of Heavy vs Light Strings?

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  • The Benefits Of Heavy vs Light Strings?

    Why would one choose heavy over light or vice versa?

    In general, which way do rockers go? Shredders? Lead vs rhythm?

    Thanks.KY
    Skill Level: Beginner (3 years in)

    Style: Hard rock / metal

    Guitars

    * SG Standard
    * Jackson Soloist SL2HT

    Amps

    * Marshall tube DSL 401

  • #2
    Heavier strings:

    Greater dynamic and timbral range
    Better-defined attack
    Quicker pick release/less pick noise
    Better intonation
    Less buzzing
    Clearer chords


    Lighter strings:

    Easier bending
    Easier hammer-ons/pull-offs
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    • #3
      Ok thanks.

      So I've got some D'Addario exl110s lying around. I"m guessing those are lighter strings?

      Also, for the novice, is there a way to tell what size strings you have already strung? I haven't restrung since I picked this thing up at the store and totally forget what strings I'm using.

      Thanks. KY
      Skill Level: Beginner (3 years in)

      Style: Hard rock / metal

      Guitars

      * SG Standard
      * Jackson Soloist SL2HT

      Amps

      * Marshall tube DSL 401

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by kyoun1e
        Ok thanks.

        So I've got some D'Addario exl110s lying around. I"m guessing those are lighter strings?


        I don't know offhand; what are the gauges of the strings in that set?

        Despite what the packaging says, .008 and .009 sets are what I'd call 'light'....010 would be 'regular' or 'medium'... .011 and .012 would be 'heavy'. For a shorter scale guitar (Gibsons, etc), I would shift them all one notch toward the 'light' side (ie, .010 would be light, .011 would be regular or medium, etc).

        Also, for the novice, is there a way to tell what size strings you have already strung? I haven't restrung since I picked this thing up at the store and totally forget what strings I'm using.

        Thanks. KY


        Got a micrometer?

        9-42 is the most common gauge found on guitars in stores, so the odds are that's what you've got on there now. Until you've settled in on a particular gauge, always remember to keep the outer wrapper from the string packaging in your case so that you won't have to just guess what you've got on the instrument.
        My guitar books (and website) are currently unavailable. Please listen to some MUZAK while you wait.

        If you don't *yet* own a metronome:www.metronomeonline.com

        Comment


        • #5
          For thrash and aggressive playing you really need no skinnier than 11s.

          Hybrids are good because you still have the 9s for more appliable lead, but you also have the chunky 52s for machine gunning or scratch palm mute etc.
          "1 death is a tragedy, 1 million deaths is a statistic"

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          • #6
            I don't agree with that. Unless you go for lower tunings then 9's will do anything.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Moggo
              I don't agree with that. Unless you go for lower tunings then 9's will do anything.


              It's not me with which you disagree; it's physics, pure and simple.

              9's will not do for everything...and of course, neither will 12's. Choice of string gauge is always a compromise, and every player must weigh the pros and cons for himself.
              My guitar books (and website) are currently unavailable. Please listen to some MUZAK while you wait.

              If you don't *yet* own a metronome:www.metronomeonline.com

              Comment


              • #8
                I switch off between Lights and Semi Lights. The Semi Lights are inbetween Extra Lights and Lights.

                With Lights, I can't bend near as much as I want, and with Semi Lights I miss the power of the treble strings of the Lights. So, I alternate between the two.

                Overall, I'd say I prefer the Semi Lights, but that may be because that's what I have on right now. I love 'em, and the same set has been on since November, and still sounding good though I know I'll pull them off in the next couple of weeks.

                Pyramid Phosphor Bronze...they're great.
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                • #9
                  Yngwie uses 8's (with a 48 low E) and tunes down a half step...and i dont see how LOL i can barely play on 9's because theyre just too slinky.

                  my string gauges are in my Sig...i use 10's for the first three for bending ease and decent tension on a standard guitar (strat scale) and 11s on downtuned axes (whole step...) ive got my PRS in B right now with those 11's and its too slinky, but im dealing with it right now

                  i would say if you solo a lot, stick in the 10's range, maybe even 9's depending on your technique...more rhythm oriented player get some heavier gauges. if youre like me and do both, make custom sets at JustStrings.com...LOL i like heavy bottom strings, and 10 tops...so thats what i made, and it works for me!

                  good luck!
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                  • #10
                    I find thicker strings sound better, especially when playing clean on the higher-up notes. Thinner strings are easier to play and allow you to do vibrato and add your own quirks easier than thick strings.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Auggie Doggie
                      Heavier strings:

                      Greater dynamic and timbral range
                      Better-defined attack
                      Quicker pick release/less pick noise
                      Better intonation
                      Less buzzing
                      Clearer chords


                      Lighter strings:

                      Easier bending
                      Easier hammer-ons/pull-offs


                      You paint a pretty biased picture.

                      I find heavier the string is, the less prescence you have. Darker tone results. So I don't agree with more range. It's shifted is all.

                      lighter strings give a lot more snap and articulation. Listen to those country shredders. They use light strings, not only for the pedal steel bends, but tone too.

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                      • #12
                        It has nothing to do with bias; it has to do with the physical fact that a heavier string differs in its vibration from a lighter one. What kind of sound you prefer is a matter of personal taste.

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                        • #13
                          Wow, even on issues like string size, people just love to argue in this forum. Even with physics
                          "1 death is a tragedy, 1 million deaths is a statistic"

                          J. Stalin

                          "My God! He just walked right off the edge > Of course he did. Christians don't believe in gravity"

                          Family Guy

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                          • #14
                            I guess I should have asked another question.

                            KY
                            Skill Level: Beginner (3 years in)

                            Style: Hard rock / metal

                            Guitars

                            * SG Standard
                            * Jackson Soloist SL2HT

                            Amps

                            * Marshall tube DSL 401

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I think I saw this on a forum here before.
                              It ended like this:

                              Light Strings = Pussies
                              Heavy Strings = Real Men

                              I use 9's. Everything sounds great to me. I use D'Addario which again, suck by some peoples standards. If you place 10s+ on a Floyd you might as well go buy 2 more trem springs and/or lock the bridge because you are going to end up with a ton of pull being required. That alone is all the reason I will never go above Hybrid sets of strings.

                              Go get a set of 12s. If you can her the musical improvement, and its better, keep using them. I personally think this is all about as relevant as what color pick you use.

                              People will argue this into the ground but if 9's and 8's sounded so bad, they would be the standard strings on most all electrics out the factory would they?
                              typedeaF

                              "All I ever wanted was for someone to say, "He was good...He could really play"" .Willie

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