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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 Offline
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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 Offline
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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 Offline
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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 Offline
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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 Offline
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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 Offline
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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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#2912731 - 03/02/18 03:10 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Scott Fraser]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Originally Posted By: Scott Fraser
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.


Good call, both o' yez.
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#2912737 - 03/02/18 03:49 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Larryz Offline
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Here's a question you guys can answer for me: On the light gauge strings 7 8 9 10 11 13 18 etc., in a set of stings, are they all the same material i.e. plain steel? The wrapped strings could be wrapped in different materials like stainless, nickel, bronze, etc. Are the plain strings in a set made of the same materials or are they all just plain steel? And, do they coat the plain strings in a coated set like Elixirs? Anyone? Anyone? Beuller? idk

P.s I have noticed a difference in some sets where they have a goldish finish hew...like Thomas-stik probably an alloy...
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#2912786 - 03/02/18 10:28 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Larryz]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Originally Posted By: Larryz
Here's a question you guys can answer for me: On the light gauge strings 7 8 9 10 11 13 18 etc., in a set of stings, are they all the same material i.e. plain steel? The wrapped strings could be wrapped in different materials like stainless, nickel, bronze, etc. Are the plain strings in a set made of the same materials or are they all just plain steel? And, do they coat the plain strings in a coated set like Elixirs? Anyone? Anyone? Beuller? idk

P.s I have noticed a difference in some sets where they have a goldish finish hew...like Thomas-stik probably an alloy...


Originally Posted By: Larryz
...are they all the same material i.e. plain steel?


Usually; probably. Almost always, unless otherwise stated by the brand.

Originally Posted By: Larryz
I have noticed a difference in some sets where they have a goldish finish hew...like Thomas-stik probably an alloy...


Funny you should mention that- I just ordered a couple sets of Thomastik-Infeld Jazz bebop 12's, a "round-wound Jazz string" double-wound on round-core wire, that also includes brass-plated plain treble-strings. This is to protect against corrosion, and allegedly make their tone "project" better and balance with the wound-basses. Word is that the brass-plating wears off in spots, particularly against the frets, and that this is also the same of more common tin-plated plain-strings, except that it's more visually noticeable with the brass-plated strings.

(Here's what their Bebop double-wound round-core round-wound Jazz strings look like, unwound:)

_________________________________

Originally Posted By: Larryz
And, do they coat the plain strings in a coated set like Elixirs? Anyone? Anyone? Beuller? idk


Some do, some don't, some use a different kind of coating material and process altogether; varies with the brand and type.
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#2912814 - 03/03/18 06:45 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Larryz Offline
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Thanks for the info Caevan! You have confirmed what I suspected. I quit using Thomastik as they just got too expensive. The plain strings did have a gold hew and did seem to last as I think they keep the acid hands syndrome in check LOL! They are a great string company with great quality control. I was using their nickel wrapped flat wounds then went to D'Addario Chromes which are stainless steel wrapped. Then I quit using flat wounds and found some Helix wrapped nickel strings by Dean Markley that I like very well. Only problem is the plain strings in the set are too heavy of a gauge, so I order a cheap set with 10 13 17's plain strings for $4 bucks which is cheaper than buying singles...

I suspect that the stainless strings to include the plain strings in the stainless sets, may cause premature fret ware unless you have stainless frets...any thoughts on this? cool
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#2912820 - 03/03/18 07:09 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Scott Fraser]
d Offline
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Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite
Originally Posted By: Scott Fraser
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.


Good call, both o' yez.

Retuning to a lower pitch didn't originate w/ Jimi & in fact may not be restricted to R&B/rock styles.

When I switched to electric gtr in the late 1960s it was already common amoungst many I played with.
It was also common then for many garage bands not even to pay attention to standard pitch if there was no kb or other set pitch instrument involved.

I'd say if we were to investigate this there'd be a slew of players who've done this.
I reiterate that the actual effect on pitch is only 1 semitone so, while there is some shift in harmonic weight &/or pitch range, that effect is as minimal as it could be...hence the idea that key shifting is a more logical explanation.
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#2912827 - 03/03/18 08:10 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: d]
Larryz Offline
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@ d et al, I have a chord book "Elvis Presley The King of Rock and Roll" which has many of his early songs with the tab and sheet music of Scotty Moore's leads and guitar work (and other newer tunes like Jerry Reed's Guitar Man D A D G B D 1967). There are several tunes where Scotty used drop tuning. He dropped a whole step to D tuning. For instance Don't Be Cruel tuning was D G C F A D...1956 and Wear My Ring Around Your Neck 1958 was D A D G B E.
and a half step to Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb for Jail House Rock 1957 and Too Much 1957.

Brian Setzer likes dropping the E string down to D. He also likes playing and singing in the key of Eb as well, so if you like his stuff and want to use open chords, you might also consider dropping a half step to Eb. I think SRV did it for his vocals as all of his stuff in any key is dropped a half step by using Eb tuning. But, it could also be for bending those heavy strings LOL! cool

ps. When started playing guitar around '63, I used to tune my guitar to the piano in our living room. Some guys used a tuning fork to get a string in tune and then tune the rest to it. We had those old pitch pipes that had a pipe for each string that they sold in guitar stores that we kept in our cases. Also, if one guy sounded more in tune than the rest, we would tune to him LOL! I have a buddy that still insists on tuning to his harmonica... crazy


Edited by Larryz (03/03/18 08:31 AM)
Edit Reason: ps.
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#2912887 - 03/03/18 01:50 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Larryz]
Winston Psmith Offline
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Originally Posted By: Larryz
I suspect that the stainless strings to include the plain strings in the stainless sets, may cause premature fret ware unless you have stainless frets...any thoughts on this? cool



@Larryz - I've heard some back-&-forth about stainless steel strings, and fret wear. The general opinion seems to be that they do cause more fret wear than plain nickel; I can't swear to this, myself, and I'm not sure that nickel plating makes much difference? FWIW, I used D'Addario EXL 110's for years, which are nickel-plated steel, then I switched to DR Tite-Fits, which are also nickel plated.

Currently, I use DR Pure Blues (pure nickel), .010-.046 on most of my Electric Guitars, with D'Addario Chromes, .010-.048, on my Epi Dot. Been very happy with the sound and feel in each case.
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#2912898 - 03/03/18 02:29 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Winston Psmith]
d Offline
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[1]
Larry's post just above adds to my belief that lowered tuning ( I deliberately avoid the use of the term "dropped" since it has connotations of altered tuning rather than simply lowered pitch overall) is neither new nor just in the realm of rock/R&B.

[2]
As far as the physical properties of diff materials, that's an important consideration in terms of stress on yer instrument &/or the functional life of the string but I'd suggest that we look beyond the comments of manufacturers, users, etc, in a field where endorsements often have nothing to do w/ what players really use when not tryna save money while touring, to what the demonstrable properties of the diff materials as evaluated by independent experts....if there even is such a category anymore.
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#2912904 - 03/03/18 03:13 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Larryz]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Originally Posted By: Larryz
...I suspect that the stainless strings to include the plain strings in the stainless sets, may cause premature fret ware unless you have stainless frets...any thoughts on this? cool


I think that just how hard one presses the strings down will have a lot to do with fret-wear, as well as stainless steel vs nickel-plated vs pure/solid-nickel vs silk-lined marshmallow... wink
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#2912949 - 03/03/18 08:45 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Larryz Offline
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@ Winston, According to the Dean Markley package "pure nickel strings are easier on the frets and gentler to the touch." I guess the nickel plated ones cost less than pure nickel. I liked the D'Addario Chromes as they are stainless and the wound strings are brighter than the Thomastik nickel flat wounds and they cost half as much. The brighter the better when it comes to flat wounds. But, the fret wear of the stainless steel strings concept has always concerned me, even though it may or may not be true. I've read that it's pretty hard to cause wear on stainless steel frets but I've never tried them yet... cool

@ d, I think of "altered tuning" when you tune to a chord like A tuning, G tuning, etc. and change the tuning from standard. "Drop tuning" for me, is when you remain in standard tuning and drop all of the strings down. "Lowered tuning" may be a better way of describing it. I've heard many players (including Setzer) refer to "drop D" tuning where everything stays in standard but the E 6th string is dropped down to D. I don't know how far back in time these concepts go. +1 it was being used in rock and roll in the 50's and many of the old blues players used altered tunings long before the rock and roll boys came along... cool

@ Caevan, +1. I have noticed my fret wear occurs in many of the same places at the same string locations on different guitars! So it can be from the way we put pressure on the strings. I think it's mostly due to bending and playing in my favorite keys...and bending those favorite notes...if you look at some of the old guys acoustics (including my beginning days), we would wear out the fret board in the 1st 3 or 4 frets. You can see the C F and G gouges in the fret board from a distance LOL! When they have used the guitar for many years and just play in those open chord positions putting all the pressure in that location...the rest of the neck is like new. Much like the guys who seldom play above the 12th fret... cool
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#2912964 - 03/04/18 04:16 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Larryz]
whitefang Offline
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I imagine any steel string can contribute to some amount of fret wear. And of course the frequency and method of play. I don't know if any studies were done as to which string material causes the greater amount of wear on which particular fret material or not so it's probably a waste of time worrying about any of it.

and, "Tomayto, to-mah-to": What you call any particular method of tuning doesn't change what it basically is or make it better.(or the person any smarter). I suppose it IS safe to say that ANY tuning that differs from "standard" is "altered" tuning. That each "altered" tuning has it's OWN particular name is what might confuse the issue.

BTW: "Drop D" tuning is the first "Altered" and "alternate" tuning I've ever used. Figured out it was what a lot of old "folkies" were doing on many old folk tunes. wink DYLAN used it a lot.

The only flatwounds I ever used were FENDER strings that came out back in the late '60's and really didn't sound all that great. I wasn't aware some manufacturers still made 'em though, and I guess I can imagine they've improved some over the decades.
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#2912985 - 03/04/18 07:09 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: whitefang]
Scott Fraser Offline
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Originally Posted By: whitefang
The only flatwounds I ever used were FENDER strings that came out back in the late '60's and really didn't sound all that great. I wasn't aware some manufacturers still made 'em though, and I guess I can imagine they've improved some over the decades.
Whitefang


They are still made & fairly common. A lot of jazz guys really like flatwounds. The Good: they pretty much totally eliminate string squeak when changing position. The Bad: I think they sound dull & thunky, & sustain far less than round wound strings.
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#2912992 - 03/04/18 08:03 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Scott Fraser]
skipclone 1 Offline
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If I really want to, I can greatly reduce or eliminate string squeak when changing chords. But it`s exhausting, and an added burden if one is singing too. There`s no big secret, basically it`s a matter of changing positions more vertically than is common.
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#2913012 - 03/04/18 10:40 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
d Offline
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Originally Posted By: Caevan O'Shite
Originally Posted By: Larryz
...I suspect that the stainless strings to include the plain strings in the stainless sets, may cause premature fret ware unless you have stainless frets...any thoughts on this? cool


I think that just how hard one presses the strings down will have a lot to do with fret-wear, as well as stainless steel vs nickel-plated vs pure/solid-nickel vs silk-lined marshmallow... wink

Hmmmm....
Does the material of the fretboard know how hard or how intensely yer pressing ?
I don't think so.
The intensity of that press may have an effect over time but no more than the cumulative effect of repeated pressing any number of times over any time period.
[Seen ?]
There may be an effect of metal against metal & any alloys but how hard one presses is, I think, assigning a value that goes beyond whatever the material itself can "recognize" or effect.
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#2913014 - 03/04/18 10:47 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Larryz]
d Offline
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Originally Posted By: Larryz
@ d, I think of "altered tuning" when you tune to a chord like A tuning, G tuning, etc. and change the tuning from standard. "Drop tuning" for me, is when you remain in standard tuning and drop all of the strings down. "Lowered tuning" may be a better way of describing it. I've heard many players (including Setzer) refer to "drop D" tuning where everything stays in standard but the E 6th string is dropped down to D. I don't know how far back in time these concepts go. +1 it was being used in rock and roll in the 50's and many of the old blues players used altered tunings long before the rock and roll boys came along...

So ?
Yer attempted explanation only points up why I avoided that term in the 1st place.
There's a def diff between "dropped tuning" as a general term for altered tunings involving various strings & overall lowered pitch.
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#2913016 - 03/04/18 11:02 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Scott Fraser]
d Offline
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Originally Posted By: Scott Fraser
Quote:
The only flatwounds I ever used were FENDER strings that came out back in the late '60's and really didn't sound all that great. I wasn't aware some manufacturers still made 'em though, and I guess I can imagine they've improved some over the decades.


They are still made & fairly common. A lot of jazz guys really like flatwonds. The Good: they pretty much totally eliminate string squeak when changing position. The Bad: I think they sound dull & thunky, & sustain far less than round wound strings.

Relevant & accurate response but pointless b/c that cat in the 1st quote has no actual musical experience but only the desire to comment on whatever he can.
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#2913017 - 03/04/18 11:11 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: skipclone 1]
d Offline
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Originally Posted By: skipclone 1
If I really want to, I can greatly reduce or eliminate string squeak when changing chords. But it`s exhausting, and an added burden if one is singing too. There`s no big secret, basically it`s a matter of changing positions more vertically than is common.

"Exhausting" ?
While I generally agree w/ Skip, who, like several here is a very active & skilled performer, I would suggest that the effort to alter that doesn't require more than the effort to alter any other aspect of playing.
Practice makes perfect.
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#2913038 - 03/04/18 02:30 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: d]
Larryz Offline
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Originally Posted By: d
Originally Posted By: Larryz
@ d, I think of "altered tuning" when you tune to a chord like A tuning, G tuning, etc. and change the tuning from standard. "Drop tuning" for me, is when you remain in standard tuning and drop all of the strings down. "Lowered tuning" may be a better way of describing it. I've heard many players (including Setzer) refer to "drop D" tuning where everything stays in standard but the E 6th string is dropped down to D. I don't know how far back in time these concepts go. +1 it was being used in rock and roll in the 50's and many of the old blues players used altered tunings long before the rock and roll boys came along...

So ?
Yer attempted explanation only points up why I avoided that term in the 1st place.
There's a def diff between "dropped tuning" as a general term for altered tunings involving various strings & overall lowered pitch.


Basically we are saying the exact same thing. The difference in what most call altered tuning is that you tune to a chord...as in A tuning G tuning D tuning E tuning , etc. When doing drop tuning we are describing you lower the pitch of all 6 strings one half step from where they are tuned at 440 or to a piano in concert tuning. The difference is when doing altered tuning all of your intervals change for the most part, while doing drop tuning all of the intervals stay the same as if you were in standard tuning. The guitar just has a lower register. Many people will drop tune a half step and the capo the 1st fret. Thus they can play in standard with the capo on and drop a half step with it off. I have played with a buddy that likes SRV and also likes playing everything a half step down. So we each bring two guitars (as I hate using a capo). One guitar in standard 440 and the other 1/2 step down. We do about 5 of his songs in the lowered tunings and switch guitars back to the normal tuning for my next 5. It has more to do with our vocals than it does with the guitars. I'll drop it [pun intended] for now...
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#2913040 - 03/04/18 02:43 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Scott Fraser]
Larryz Offline
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Originally Posted By: Scott Fraser
Originally Posted By: whitefang
The only flatwounds I ever used were FENDER strings that came out back in the late '60's and really didn't sound all that great. I wasn't aware some manufacturers still made 'em though, and I guess I can imagine they've improved some over the decades.
Whitefang


They are still made & fairly common. A lot of jazz guys really like flatwounds. The Good: they pretty much totally eliminate string squeak when changing position. The Bad: I think they sound dull & thunky, & sustain far less than round wound strings.


+1 Scott, flat wounds are easy to find in most guitar stores and on line as many companies like Pyramid, Thomastik, DAddario, Bella, etc., have them on the market. They are super silent for string squeak and are very comfortable on the fingers. Jazzers love them. I have used them for quite some time, but they are thumpy and dull on the bass strings IMHO. But mellow is the name of the game in the jazz world and the lack of string squeak adds to the ambiance...

I have switched back to round wound nickel as I like the brighter bass sound that I get. The coated strings like Elixir can soften the squeak a little but I don't care for the coat fraying on coated strings down at the bridge area where I pick. I find I can get the same squeak result (maybe a little better) with the Helix wound nickel from Dean Markley. I also switched to using a plain 3rd instead of a wound one. It gets rid of a lot of squeak too, much like my nylon stringed guitar does. Polished wound strings get rid of some of the squeak too in nylon sets. Unwrapped strings don't squeak at all...cool


Edited by Larryz (03/04/18 02:46 PM)
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#2913044 - 03/04/18 02:55 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Larryz]
d Offline
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Originally Posted By: Larryz
Originally Posted By: d
Originally Posted By: Larryz
@ d, I think of "altered tuning" when you tune to a chord like A tuning, G tuning, etc. and change the tuning from standard. "Drop tuning" for me, is when you remain in standard tuning and drop all of the strings down. "Lowered tuning" may be a better way of describing it. I've heard many players (including Setzer) refer to "drop D" tuning where everything stays in standard but the E 6th string is dropped down to D. I don't know how far back in time these concepts go. +1 it was being used in rock and roll in the 50's and many of the old blues players used altered tunings long before the rock and roll boys came along...

So ?
Yer attempted explanation only points up why I avoided that term in the 1st place.
There's a def diff between "dropped tuning" as a general term for altered tunings involving various strings & overall lowered pitch.


Basically we are saying the exact same thing. The difference in what most call altered tuning is that you tune to a chord...as in A tuning G tuning D tuning E tuning , etc. When doing drop tuning we are describing you lower the pitch of all 6 strings one half step from where they are tuned at 440 or to a piano in concert tuning. The difference is when doing altered tuning all of your intervals change for the most part, while doing drop tuning all of the intervals stay the same as if you were in standard tuning. The guitar just has a lower register. Many people will drop tune a half step and the capo the 1st fret. Thus they can play in standard with the capo on and drop a half step with it off. I have played with a buddy that likes SRV and also likes playing everything a half step down. So we each bring two guitars (as I hate using a capo). One guitar in standard 440 and the other 1/2 step down. We do about 5 of his songs in the lowered tunings and switch guitars back to the normal tuning for my next 5. It has more to do with our vocals than it does with the guitars. I'll drop it [pun intended] for now...

Sounds like a pointless fan's approach to me.
1/2 step change ? To what real diff ?
I suggest you try what I do w/ a second gtr. Tune down a full step.
That allows one access to diff chord shapes/voicings that allow the effect of altered tunings but requires no rethinking of the fretboard + it has the added kick, to me, of confusing those tryna figure out what yer doing ! grin
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#2913045 - 03/04/18 02:55 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: skipclone 1]
Larryz Offline
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Originally Posted By: skipclone 1
If I really want to, I can greatly reduce or eliminate string squeak when changing chords. But it`s exhausting, and an added burden if one is singing too. There`s no big secret, basically it`s a matter of changing positions more vertically than is common.


+1 Skip...when I first picked up a nylon stringed guitar the bass strings squeaked like a big dog while the trebles were silent. I found a polished set by D'Addario for recording that greatly reduced the squeak factor. Not as bright but not as squeaky either. I learned to lift my chord fingering hand a little before proceeding to the next chord instead of sliding into it. That little technique took a lot of the squeak out of my playing.

But, I like sliding so much, I had to go to the polished strings. Pyramid makes a polished steel string set and I thought I found nirvana, but in two new sets the 6th strings broke and unraveled before I could even get them on the guitar. So I found a set of unpolished nickel Dean Markley Helix wound that are getting the job done for me and are much brighter on the bass notes... cool
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#2913048 - 03/04/18 03:08 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: d]
Larryz Offline
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Originally Posted By: d
1/2 step change ? To what real diff ?
I suggest you try what I do w/ a second gtr. Tune down a full step.
That allows one access to diff chord shapes/voicings that allow the effect of altered tunings but requires no rethinking of the fretboard + it has the added kick, to me, of confusing those tryna figure out what yer doing ! grin


I just got rid of the guy and haven't had the problem since LOL! I'm not good enough to play with Double Trouble and SRV anyway! But it is true that when someone drops to any key or uses altered tunings, I can keep up with them by using scales and noodling. They can't figure out why they can't lose me LOL! It's only when chording that the guys using the lowered tuning chords can simply play a C Am F G pattern while you have to adjust, invert, etc. to play along with every song pattern they come up with. It has more to do with the lead vocals and accompaniment. My capo buds will never understand the horrors they put me through. They don't even know what key they are playing in. They'll call out keys like F+3 or G+1, etc. On C+2, I'll ask them: "Why don't you just play the F***ing song in D?" cool
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#2918072 - 03/29/18 01:39 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Scott Fraser]
Tommy Ritter Offline
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I used those Mexican lottery 7's for a week on my R8. They made the tone a tad thinner, but not as bad as I worried it would. But they did make it sound more "boingy", if that makes sense. And there was zero feel to it. I found I have way to heavy of a touch to use light strings. These 7's made my guitar feel like it had a scalloped fretboard!

And whenever people talk about light strings and tone, they always mention Billy Gibbons using 7's. True. But when he recorded the tone that made him famous, he was using really thick strings. 11's or 12's depending on the source. I much prefer 11.5's, big core, pure nickel Dunlops. Those fit me best.

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#2918098 - 03/29/18 04:15 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Tommy Ritter]
Larryz Offline
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WELCOME ABOARD TOMMY RITTER! I like pure nickel 10's... thu


Edited by Larryz (03/29/18 04:19 PM)
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#2918136 - 03/29/18 10:29 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Larryz]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Originally Posted By: Tommy Ritter
I used those Mexican lottery 7's for a week on my R8. They made the tone a tad thinner, but not as bad as I worried it would. But they did make it sound more "boingy", if that makes sense. And there was zero feel to it. I found I have way to heavy of a touch to use light strings. These 7's made my guitar feel like it had a scalloped fretboard!

And whenever people talk about light strings and tone, they always mention Billy Gibbons using 7's. True. But when he recorded the tone that made him famous, he was using really thick strings. 11's or 12's depending on the source. I much prefer 11.5's, big core, pure nickel Dunlops. Those fit me best.
Originally Posted By: Larryz
WELCOME ABOARD TOMMY RITTER! I like pure nickel 10's... thu


b]Yes, welcome to the GPF, Tommy Ritter.

While I am all for anyone who likes really light strings enjoying what works for them, and I recognize that they do have their own unique part in a tonal recipe, I personally prefer medium to heavy strings, myself.

If you like those Dunlop big core pure nickel 11.5's, you would probably also like the DR Pure Blues 11's that I love; round-core basses wound with solid/pure nickel.

I will soon be trying out some Thomastik-Infeld BeBop Jazz-Wound double-wound solid/pure nickel on round-core strings, on a hollowbody Jazz archtop; larger than usual core wire, with a double-layered wrap of finer than usual winding-wire. I'll let everyone know how I like them when I get them on that guitar...


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#2918168 - 03/30/18 06:21 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Scott Fraser Offline
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I just saw an interview video with Robin Trower, who's using 12 - 48's on his signature custom shop Strats. He can get away with it because he's tuned down a whole step.
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#2918171 - 03/30/18 06:29 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Scott Fraser]
Winston Psmith Offline
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Originally Posted By: Scott Fraser
I just saw an interview video with Robin Trower, who's using 12 - 48's on his signature custom shop Strats. He can get away with it because he's tuned down a whole step.


Also, IME, bolt-on necks are more stable with higher string tensions.
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#2918218 - 03/30/18 11:16 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
Tommy Ritter Offline
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Thanks for the warm welcome! Yes, those Dr's are my other go to string. Very similar in tone and feel. I like the heavier low E string on the GHS, so that's my only reason to switch. Both great strings.

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#2918220 - 03/30/18 11:20 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Tommy Ritter]
Tommy Ritter Offline
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I made a mistake above. Not that it matters, but my favored string is the GHS big core nickel rockers in 11.5. I highly recommend them if you like a heavier string!

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#2918240 - 03/30/18 03:35 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Tommy Ritter]
A String Administrator Offline
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Round here, I'M the favourite string.

lol wink
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#2918267 - 03/30/18 10:42 PM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: A String]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Originally Posted By: A String
Round here, I'M the favourite string.

lol wink


In theory...


...see what I did there... ? wink
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#2922966 - 04/23/18 09:31 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
p90jr Offline
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Last night while watching the season premiere of Westworld and a few other things I got around to taking my favorite Strat down to 008s (D'addario NYXLs) from 009s. The guitar is still "settling" so I'll know if I need to tweak the truss rod, etc., but after a lot of stretching and retuning and stretching and retuning the strings got to the "consistently in tune" point (locking tuners on this guitar, and a Wilkinson trem I have set a little stiff and floating) and the intonation was where it should be... and, it felt natural to me. I used 008s on every guitar I had forever until 1) stores here never seemed to reorder them 2) I started playing mainly Gibsons onstage 3) I started using alternate tunings that were lower... and gigging constantly, so I worked up to heavy strings, and eventually the beginnings of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (the "frozen claw" in the middle of gigs).

For some reason, 009s on my Jazzmaster feel right... 10s were too stiff on it on the higher strings... weird guitars, maybe light top/heavy bottom sets are what that one needs? I'll see how the Teles like 008s, the Gibson/Gibson scale length guitars will come down from 10s to 9s...

Since I don't bend strings on the 12 strings and acoustics and the Jazz box, 10s are fine.

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#2923143 - 04/24/18 08:52 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: p90jr]
picker Offline
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I went back to 9-42s on my strat, and it feels a lot more like home to me. I had a lot of trouble keeping the 7-38 set in tune for some reason, and I don't with the 9s. The tone didn't really change that much for me. Maybe if I stayed with them for a while, they'd feel more natural.
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#2923166 - 04/24/18 11:59 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: picker]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
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Loc: The Great Spirit's Handprint o...
Originally Posted By: picker
I went back to 9-42s on my strat, and it feels a lot more like home to me. I had a lot of trouble keeping the 7-38 set in tune for some reason, and I don't with the 9s. The tone didn't really change that much for me. Maybe if I stayed with them for a while, they'd feel more natural.


The thing is, to find what is right for you, and the given guitar. It's great that we have so many options today- even though sometimes, it's a bit overwhelming and can seem like TOO MANY options! crazy grin thu

Originally Posted By: p90jr
Last night while watching the season premiere of Westworld and a few other things I got around to taking my favorite Strat down to 008s (D'addario NYXLs) from 009s. The guitar is still "settling" so I'll know if I need to tweak the truss rod, etc., but after a lot of stretching and retuning and stretching and retuning the strings got to the "consistently in tune" point (locking tuners on this guitar, and a Wilkinson trem I have set a little stiff and floating) and the intonation was where it should be... and, it felt natural to me. I used 008s on every guitar I had forever until 1) stores here never seemed to reorder them 2) I started playing mainly Gibsons onstage 3) I started using alternate tunings that were lower... and gigging constantly, so I worked up to heavy strings, and eventually the beginnings of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (the "frozen claw" in the middle of gigs).

For some reason, 009s on my Jazzmaster feel right... 10s were too stiff on it on the higher strings... weird guitars, maybe light top/heavy bottom sets are what that one needs? I'll see how the Teles like 008s, the Gibson/Gibson scale length guitars will come down from 10s to 9s...

Since I don't bend strings on the 12 strings and acoustics and the Jazz box, 10s are fine.


11's feel S0O0O0O0 GOOD to me on a Les Paul, especially in the brand and type that I prefer. It's hard for me to imagine myself ever liking 8's- or even 9's, and barely 10's! grin - but I'll never say never. Just the right guitar that they'd feel 'right' might just come along for me, who knows.
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#2923302 - 04/25/18 08:53 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: Caevan O'Shite]
d Offline
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Registered: 03/20/01
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Loc: no longer lexington, Kenfunky,...
"Airbody" gets to pick [ facepalm ] the strings they prefer but I wonder how often the choice is made for the tonal quality the strings impart compared to the physical aspects of the player's technique.
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#2923308 - 04/25/18 09:17 AM Re: Ultra light strings. [Re: d]
Caevan O'Shite Offline
20k Club

Registered: 04/05/02
Posts: 24837
Loc: The Great Spirit's Handprint o...
Originally Posted By: d
"Airbody" gets to pick [ facepalm ] the strings they prefer but I wonder how often the choice is made for the tonal quality the strings impart compared to the physical aspects of the player's technique.


That is every bit as much the reason I choose a given string brand, type, and gauge, as any other. The strings that I vastly prefer over any other that I tried for my Les Paul- my main squeeze sunburst, with hot ceramic humbuckers, and also my lamentedly long-lost P-90 "soap-bar" equipped Ruby- sounded AND felt 'just-right', an all-around solid slam-dunk Win-Win. Turns out, they sound great on many other axes, as well.

If I wanted to rrreally cop, say, Eddie Van Halen's or Jimmy Page's tones, I'd have to step-down (and pitch-wise, literally, a half-step, in EVH's case) in string-gauges from my favored elevenses. There's more 'yelp', 'yodel' 'n' 'yowl' from 9's than 11's or even 10's, and surely even more from 8's, as they react with a wider excursion going temporarily sharp or flat when picked hard; just a bit of intonation instability, which has its charms. Lighter gauges are also affected more by the magnets of a guitar's pickups, particularly by a Strat's slugs, pulling them downward. Furthermore, lighter gauges will yield more 'growl' on-demand as they buzz slightly against the strings when snapped or picked hard.

Besides their materials and gauges, the strings I like also have round-core wire under the wrap on their round-wound basses. Some players may prefer hex-cores for the subtle but definite difference in overtones as well as feel, and I might even want hex-core strings for some guitars; maybe a snappy, crisp, twangy Tele, for example.

Annnd then there are flat-wounds...

I'll soon be trying out some "Jazz-Wound" round-wound strings on a fully hollow-bodied archtop guitar, that have thicker (and round) cores than usual with thinner wrap-wire, and are also double-wrapped. They're definitely heavier gauges- 12's, as a matter of fact- but yet another example of different design, different feel, and different tone...

__________________________________ "Jazz-Wounds" un-wound... wink

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Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?

~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~
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