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#2910340 - 02/17/18 02:04 PM Ultra light strings.
picker Offline
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I just got a set of Rev Willy's Mexican Lottery Strings, gauges 7-38. I have never used strings lower than 9-42 before, but I saw a video on You Tube about them, and I weas curious. I figured "Hey, you only live once, go for the gusto!", and spent a few bux I didn't have. I'm not sure what kind of guitar to put them on, single coils or 'buckers.

Oh, the trials of being overprivileged....
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#2910348 - 02/17/18 03:42 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: picker]
Larryz Offline
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I remember Bluesape liking those super light gauges...probably running 8's...let us know how those 7's work out? I quit running 9's and now I like 10's on electrics. I do not bend a lot so the lighter strings don't appeal to me...keep us posted once you try those 7's on for size! cool
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#2910354 - 02/17/18 03:56 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Larryz]
whitefang Online   content
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Wow, that is light.

So, if you don't like how they sound, you can always use them for thread. wink
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#2910367 - 02/17/18 05:24 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: picker]
hurricane hugo Offline
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Originally Posted By: picker
I just got a set of Rev Willy's Mexican Lottery Strings, gauges 7-38. I have never used strings lower than 9-42 before, but I saw a video on You Tube about them, and I weas curious. I figured "Hey, you only live once, go for the gusto!", and spent a few bux I didn't have. I'm not sure what kind of guitar to put them on, single coils or 'buckers.

Oh, the trials of being overprivileged....


From what I remember, Brian May's always used an .007-.039 set with Queen. Got a Burns guitar lying around?
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#2910376 - 02/17/18 05:45 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: hurricane hugo]
CEB Online   content
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Instead of pickup type scale length might be my biggest consideration. Longer scale lengths will give you more tension on pitch.
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#2910393 - 02/17/18 08:25 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: CEB]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Billy Gibbons is a fan of .007s, on Les Paul scale necks.
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#2910402 - 02/17/18 10:21 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Scott Fraser]
skipclone 1 Offline
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Steve Vai also uses very lights-starting at .008 if memory serves. Not my thing personally. I started on .009-42. Tried .010-46 and was sold.
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#2910469 - 02/18/18 12:13 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: skipclone 1]
CEB Online   content
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Billy don't have much choice.
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#2910587 - 02/19/18 04:02 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: CEB]
whitefang Online   content
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Originally Posted By: CEB
Billy don't have much choice.


Why not, pray tell?
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#2910613 - 02/19/18 06:23 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: picker]
Fred_C Offline
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Might as well be playing cobwebs...
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#2910691 - 02/19/18 11:03 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Fred_C]
Bluesape Moderator Offline
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Luv my 8´s. Used 7´s years ago on my Fenders, but it was a pain cuz ya had to configure your own sets back then. Had a 6 on my Tele for a short spell. Roto-Sound made them, but nobody stocked them. There was no intonating those...
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#2910737 - 02/19/18 02:28 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Bluesape]
p90jr Offline
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As a kid I played .008s on a Gibson scale guitar (a Yamaha with 3 single-coils like a Strat), then used 8s on Strats and Gibsons... worked my way up to 10s on Teles when I was gigging or rehearsing and playing every day.

Now, with a kid and a wife, I don't get to play guitar every day... I'm going back to 8s on Fenders from 9s these days and 9s on Gibsons from 10s.

I had a gig the other night and my Tele is about as a heavy as your average 70s Les Paul, for some reason, so I picked up the Jazzmaster, which I think is strung with 10s or 11s... and it was a song where I have to do big bends to play a recurring lick... listening to a clip of that song is killing me... I couldn't quite bend up to the note I needed. I'm sure some of that was muscle-memory hitting more resistence than it's used to...

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#2910758 - 02/19/18 04:01 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: p90jr]
CEB Online   content
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Arthiritis. It's pretty bad. All his stage guitars are built or modded by John Bolin to be feather light. He has such great touch and he loves playing so much that it is working for him.


Edited by CEB (02/19/18 04:02 PM)
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#2910764 - 02/19/18 04:42 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: CEB]
DocPate Offline
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Originally Posted By: CEB
Arthiritis. It's pretty bad. All his stage guitars are built or modded by John Bolin to be feather light. He has such great touch and he loves playing so much that it is working for him.


I can sympathize. Heavies (11s) play heck on your fingers when you have the early stages of arthritis. But, with the ultra-lites it's hard to get that great bass out of an acoustic. And I don't like the overtones of the lights on electrics. Too "tinny???". Don't know if that's a word.

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#2910870 - 02/20/18 06:03 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: DocPate]
picker Offline
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Here's the news. I put them on a strat style guitar(thanx for the advice, CEB!) I had to adjust the truss rod because the tension was much much less than with 9s, my usual string gauge. I also raised the strings at the bridge a touch, and it allowed the G & B strings to ring out a bit better. Finally, I loosened up the whammy bar springs a good bit. I don't have the bridge on that particular guitar set up to float, but the action on the whammy was stiffer than I like.

Having made all these adjustments, I took it to a jam last night, along with a new amp I wanted to dial in. That was a mistake. Too much unfamiliar stuff at one time, and I struggled through the first few songs, too loud, too soft, too distorted, too clean, not enough this or that, yada yada...

I got the amp squared away to a reasonable degree, and had time to concentrate on the guitar.

Well, it was, in a word, weird, I liked it well enough, but the difference was noticeable. Initially, was concerned that I might bend the strings out of tune if I grabbed a chord too hard or hastily, but I didn't notice any problems there. The tone was good, especially on the neck pickup, but then I always think the bridge pickup on a strat sounds thin. The string tension was much less than I'm used to, but not so much less that I couldn't deal..It is gonna take a much lighter touch picking and fretting. By the time I left the stage, I had a handle on the new feel,

Overall, I liked it. I am getting to an age where "arthur" is a valid concern, and I have thought maybe I should be proactive in avoiding too much strain on my finger joints.. So, I can say they felt and sounded pretty good, and seem to be a good idea for extending the amount of time I can expect to keep playing. .I may try going up to the 8-40 set to see what that's like. I have a feeling it might be an acceptable compromise between what I used to use and what I need for the future. I do have a concern that if I go with the super lights long enough, I may not be able to play 9s or 10s again ("once you go "slack", you never go back...") But maybe it will be for the best. Guess we'll see...
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#2910902 - 02/20/18 07:42 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: picker]
Larryz Offline
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Great review Picker! If the ultra light string are good for combating "Athur" I may have to go that route some day. If I go below 9's I know I will bend them out of tune though LOL! Let us know if you give those 8's a try! cool
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#2911080 - 02/21/18 04:25 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Larryz]
Bluesape Moderator Offline
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Just keep at it every day. Gets easier all the time. I love playing fast passages with some rather extreme bends, and the 8 facilitates that like no heavier strings can.

https://youtu.be/BKn65OXdXvs?list=FLhWVl1K0w8G4wf__J0xXXqA

G&L SC2 running 8´s....
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#2911140 - 02/21/18 09:46 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Bluesape]
Danzilla Offline
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You are wailing on that thing, and not a hint of it bending out of tune that I can tell!
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#2911222 - 02/21/18 11:02 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Danzilla]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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#2911382 - 02/23/18 04:12 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
whitefang Online   content
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laugh
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#2911554 - 02/23/18 10:05 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Danzilla]
Bluesape Moderator Offline
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Originally Posted By: Danzilla
You are wailing on that thing, and not a hint of it bending out of tune that I can tell!



They stay in tune as well as any other guage. No locking tuners on that axe....yet! grin
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#2911569 - 02/24/18 03:21 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Bluesape]
picker Offline
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Rock on, Ape! Smokin'!!!
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#2911775 - 02/25/18 04:44 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Fred_C]
bbqbob Offline
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I remember an interview with Billy Gibbons I read and he said he used to use pretty heavy strings until he played with B.B. King and when the subject came up, B.B. told him he was working too hard. Since then, plays very light strings on his electrics.
It should be noted that Tommy Iommi uses .010, .012, .021w, .026, .030, .035 strings on his ACOUSTICS!

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#2911799 - 02/25/18 09:05 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: bbqbob]
Larryz Offline
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https://www.stringjoy.com/stevie-ray-vaughans-guitar-string-gauges-3/ <---here's an interesting article on Stevie Ray Vaughans's light 13's string gauge while mentioning a few others LOL! cool
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#2911820 - 02/26/18 04:51 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Larryz]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Originally Posted By: Larryz
https://www.stringjoy.com/stevie-ray-vaughans-guitar-string-gauges-3/ <---here's an interesting article on Stevie Ray Vaughans's light 13's string gauge while mentioning a few others LOL! cool


A great quote from that article:

Originally Posted By: Scott Marquart on Stringjoy.com
Still, as much as guitarists analyze guitars, amps, and pedals—down to the core wood and circuitry—it’s surprising many players don’t put the same effort into finding the right strings. After all, that’s where it all starts.



Many seem to forget that while Stevie ray played heavy gauge strings on his Strats, he also tuned down a half-step, or maybe even more at times. This makes 13's much more forgiving!

Try 11's on a Strat, tuned down to Eb; it's a wonderful feel and tone! The tension seems to be right in-between that of 9's and 10's, the tone is fat, and the thicker plain-strings feel less cutting to the fingertips.
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#2911833 - 02/26/18 07:08 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Larryz Offline
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Here's another great quote from the article: "Now does this mean that if you string up your strat with these gauges you’re going to sound like SRV overnight? Probably not. As with most guitarists, the secret to tone often lies in the fingers." Hope you watched the video. Even though it covers the same material as the article, there is a little more info in it.

I always wondered if SRV drop tuned a half step for bending or for his vocals? I wanted to play Route 66 in G#/Ab as I think my vocals sound better a half step down from A. My harmonica buddy doesn't have the right harp for it and refused to buy another harmonica (he has a ton of them) just so we could play in G#. I told him that's like giving up the black key on a piano LOL! I also told him he could never play with SRV as he plays everything a half step down...so now I just sing it in the key of G just for him LOL! The 1st time I tried to play along with a SRV CD, I was lost until I figured out they were a half step down on all their songs LOL!

Playing on 13's is probably the reason SRV dropped down, although the article does mention a concern with his high register vocals. A lot of old guys like me like dropping down in key as it relaxes the vocal chords [pun intended]... cool
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#2911864 - 02/26/18 11:05 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Larryz]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Originally Posted By: Larryz
Here's another great quote from the article: "Now does this mean that if you string up your strat with these gauges you’re going to sound like SRV overnight? Probably not. As with most guitarists, the secret to tone often lies in the fingers."


Indeed! twothumbs



Originally Posted By: Larryz
I always wondered if SRV drop tuned a half step for bending or for his vocals? I wanted to play Route 66 in G#/Ab as I think my vocals sound better a half step down from A. My harmonica buddy doesn't have the right harp for it and refused to buy another harmonica (he has a ton of them) just so we could play in G#. I told him that's like giving up the black key on a piano LOL! I also told him he could never play with SRV as he plays everything a half step down...so now I just sing it in the key of G just for him LOL! The 1st time I tried to play along with a SRV CD, I was lost until I figured out they were a half step down on all their songs LOL!

Playing on 13's is probably the reason SRV dropped down, although the article does mention a concern with his high register vocals. A lot of old guys like me like dropping down in key as it relaxes the vocal chords [pun intended]... cool


I imagine that it was a little of both, but he also believed that guitars tuned down to Eb sounded better by making his tube-amps work a little harder and differently. And, Jimi did it.
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#2911951 - 02/26/18 09:45 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Larryz Offline
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thu
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#2912703 - 03/02/18 12:49 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Larryz]
d Offline
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[1]
I've not tried strings as light as what Picker or BApe.
9s are fine for me & even then I must be careful of my attack but such things are not that hard to manage if one is really in control of their playing.

Having started young & w/medium to heavy strings on acoustics before starting to play electric, it did take a while to realize that the effort to play electric gtrs was completely diff & that, logically, the electric offered a much less physically stressful option.
Eventually my opinion became that, despite what some prefer or even insist is necessary in the use of heavier string gauges, those sonic qualities can be delivered by careful use of tone controls, etc.
More importantly, not only yer hands but yer gtr will have fewer probs & need less maintenance if you stress it less.
[Consider this recent thread = orums.musicplayer.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2907515/Lots_of_sharp_notes_on_the_fir#Post2907515 ]

[2]
As for lowered tunings (which at one time was almost a standard practice for blues/rock bands), the generally accepted notion is that it's to make singing higher notes easier or to make bending easier.
While there's some truth to the 2nd idea, I think it really doesn't change vocal pitch by enough to be a real factor there...it is only 1 semitone.
I think the actual origin of the 1/2 step lower thing is for easier matching the gtr to horns (Eb & Bb) in R&B combos.
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#2912721 - 03/02/18 02:33 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: d]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Originally Posted By: d
I think the actual origin of the 1/2 step lower thing is for easier matching the gtr to horns (Eb & Bb) in R&B combos.


Interesting notion. I always thought Hendrix did it to get a deeper, heavier texture, like the current metal guys who use baritones or play 7 strings. But, Hendrix did his dues paying in R & B bands on the Chitlin circuit, so he may possibly have picked it up there & then kept it because he liked the added low end thump.
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