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Rick Beato on string gauge

electronpirate

Moderator
Moderator
Funny how some guitars love gauges. I've been using 10's for years, and on my LP, they seem hard (not hard per se, just more effort) to play, but on my Silver Sky, 10's are like butter.

All I know is that occasionally when I go back to 9's, I have a 'honeymoon' period where I can do anything...until my fingers adjust and I go back to the piss poor playing I did on 10's.
 

Rex

Legend!
Funny how some guitars love gauges. I've been using 10's for years, and on my LP, they seem hard (not hard per se, just more effort) to play, but on my Silver Sky, 10's are like butter.

All I know is that occasionally when I go back to 9's, I have a 'honeymoon' period where I can do anything...until my fingers adjust and I go back to the piss poor playing I did on 10's.
That's why I practice on 11s and play on 9s.
 

Lionfeather

Inspired
I've used 11 to 50 most of my life. Largely because I feel there's more tuning stability with heavier strings. I have recently changed my top 3 strings down a gauge 10, 14, & 17, leaving the lower 26 36 & 50 as they were. As I age (currently 64) I would rather change to preclude hand problems than because I've injured myself. It didn't take long to get used to the change. It was a good move. Perhaps in a few more years I'm move some more...
 

RB2021

Inspired
Yeah, I'm gonna have to disagree with this. If you use a heavier string, as I do (I like 10s), you need to lower the bass side of your pickups. I used 9s for decades and then switched to 10s when I started the 3-piece band I was in. The fuller low end and less buzz of the 10s was important in that context.

Playing clean or slightly dirty stuff with 9s sounds anemic. Put a set of 10s on and it's powerful and helps fill out the spectrum. The other problem with light strings is when you first hit the strings the thinner strings will deflect more causing fret buzz. The heavier the string the less deflection is needed to cause the same magnetic flux. So I like 10s with high action and big frets. Lots of power and clarity.

Tough on the hands though. Got tendinitis a few times and had to go back to 9s temporarily.

Very interesting. I agree with you but didn't even consider this on a set up level but on a technique level.

I think the reason Beato sounded "better" on 8s is because he picks lightly and is used to playing on 8s. Your ear will inform your technique and so Beato's technique suits the 8s that he likes to use. I typically fit my strat with light top heavy bottoms and I think it sounds way more full for the kind of music I play which is mainly distorted rock stuff. On my 7 string guitar I like to go for modern metal tones and tend to pick very hard to get that periphery djent sort of thing going. With heavier strings you are rewarded for putting the energy in but with 8s/9s it all goes no where. I recently watched a rig rundown with periphery and they use 11s (though they do tune quite low which should compensate for the tension).

I am not great at physics but my guess is that more mass allows for more momentum to be stored in the string leading to more output and sustain. If beato dug in on the 10s and lowered his pickup I think he'd be able to do a much better comparison.
 

Wolfenstein98k

Power User
Last year went back to 9's on all my Fender guitars, cant tell you why, just felt right and sounds good. Tried with my Gibson's also but in the end went back to 10's (felt good but wrong all at the same time on the Gibson's). I knows makes no sense but that is the only way to describe it.
However I did like the overall sound.
Makes perfect sense - Gibsons are shorter scale, aka lower tension, so a gauge higher string set roughly balances out.
 

Clockwork Creep

Power User
This is how I view it: For the most part, the thinner the string, the better it sounds.
However, the scale length has to be long enough so that those thin strings hold enough tension for them not to go out of tune on attack or flap/buzz everywhere. So for me, it isn't that much of a question on what string gauge sounds the best, as it is whether the guitar can handle this string gauge.

Here's how to look at it: What sounds better? The D string on the 19th fret, or the E string on the 5th fret? I'd say the E string.
Especially on bass - I avoid high frets, because they don't sound as good as low frets (longer scale) on higher strings (Thinner).

Here's another example: I never played a Five string bass that can handle a Drop A tuning well on regular strings. The thickest string just feels so flappy and sounds so unclear... When in Standart B - way better.
So... Imagine if the Bass was 2 frets longer. When in drop A, the "B" on the thickest string would have the same tention and scale length as it is designed for.
 

Gordon-

Member
I thought it was an interesting video, especially in regard to tone; however, I’ve tended to change gauge for feel. In the 80’s and 90’s I dropped from 9s to 8s because I played songs with several 2 tone bends and was using a floating bridge (and changed strings at least weekly). Now I don’t gig and only play for fun or to record. I’ve still got the old handmade custom strat from the 80’s it it doesn’t get much use. It still gets 8‘s fitted. I now mainly use either a Gibson 339 with 10s or a Suhr GG modern with 9s. Also lets just say these guitars don’t get the same abuse as in the old gigging days and that the string are usually well... let’s just say quite a bit older than a week’.

The variation in gauges seems to suit both me and the guitars.

After watching the video I’m sure the tone is effected; however the feel is more important to me and after all... I’ve got the mighty Fractal Axe fx III to address any tone issues I might hear.

Each to their own I say.
 

BaronVonGrim

Experienced
just switched to 9's on a guitar... because the OP got me thinking. Working out well... on the right guitar...a 24 fret jumbo fret. except it's on a floating trem... and it's been a bitch adjusting everything.. since it was set up for 10's
 

unix-guy

Legend!
just switched to 9's on a guitar... because the OP got me thinking. Working out well... on the right guitar...a 24 fret jumbo fret. except it's on a floating trem... and it's been a bitch adjusting everything.. since it was set up for 10's
Just loosen your trem springs (back the screws out)... You just need to rebalance the tension.
 
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