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  #1  
Old 02-04-2019, 12:15 PM
numb fingertips numb fingertips is offline
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Default Please educate me on strings.

Hello everyone. I started thinking about changing strings on my electrics and it hit me that I have no idea what I'm doing. The actual process, I figure I can look up on youtube, but the kind of strings to get, I have no idea. For acoustic I prefer 11's but can live with 12's. I like PB in general. I liked Martin Lifespan. I like Martin Retros on some guitars. I can live with D'Addario. I have no idea what to go with on electric. Do I go with a thinner guage like 10's? Please some help in pointing me in the right direction. Also, is it harder to change strings on electric vs. acoustic?
Thanks for the help.
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Old 02-04-2019, 01:12 PM
maxtheaxe maxtheaxe is offline
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I think you want strings that are made for electrics...ie steel strings, since these react better to the pickups than bronze alloy. Gauge can be whatever you're comfy with, although most electrics are set up for lighter gauges and if you want to go heavier, some adjustments to the neck, action, etc., may be called for.

My own favorites are GHS Boomers, typically .10s although I have a Strat that likes .11s better. These are also available in half increments, such as .10.5, 11.5, etc.

As to ease of changing compared to acoustics, they're quite easy...just run the string through the hole or notch in the tailpiece and then through the post. I've also found that locking tuners are easier to deal with, especially if your electric has any kind of vibrato tailpiece.
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Old 02-04-2019, 02:24 PM
Marley Marley is offline
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assuming your tuners are the same (standard), changing on acoustic or electric will be the same.


10's are the typical electric gauge, what I use and what many people use. I think I've tried em all and for whatever reason I continue to come back to D'Addario for both acoustic and electric.
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Old 02-04-2019, 02:25 PM
YamahaGuy YamahaGuy is offline
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Without knowing the guitar you're playing, the type of bridge it has, the style of playing you do, it is hard to offer much more help than the previous poster.

For me, I use 12-53 on my acoustics and also 12-52 with a wound g on my electrics. But, I do not do string bends. With most pickups on electric guitars, you're going to have to get steel strings for the pickups to work right.

As for difficulty, some bridges make string changes a nightmare. (Wraparound, floyd rose, floating bridge).

Really light gauges like 9 or 8, I find difficult to work with the high e string and not get slippage.

My 2c.
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Old 02-04-2019, 02:29 PM
paulp1960 paulp1960 is offline
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I think 9s are most popular on electric guitars. I prefer 10s myself and of course you can go higher but string bends may get trickier.
You definitely want steel or steel/nickel strings on an electric guitar.
Bronze wound strings will give a lower output through a magnetic pickup.
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Old 02-04-2019, 02:50 PM
numb fingertips numb fingertips is offline
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Thanks for the help. I wanted to dabble in electric. I was considering a new MIM strat but decided to go used and picked up a squier strat and fender modern player tele. Forgot to mention I'm a beginner.

Last edited by numb fingertips; 02-04-2019 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 02-04-2019, 04:03 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by numb fingertips View Post
Thanks for the help. I wanted to dabble in electric. I was considering a new MIM strat but decided to go used and picked up a squier strat and fender modern player tele. Forgot to mention I'm a beginner.
You'll most likely want 9s or 10s electric guitar strings. Just checked the specs for a new fender modern player tele and the string gauge is 9-42. How do you like them? You can go up a gauge but then you may (or may not) need a truss rod adjustment and possibly need to re-intonate.

If you're a beginner and you like the 9s I say stick with them. Buy any of the major brand of electric guitar strings (not acoustic), i.e. Ernie Ball super slinky or D'Addario, etc.
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Old 02-04-2019, 04:11 PM
numb fingertips numb fingertips is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dru Edwards View Post
You'll most likely want 9s or 10s electric guitar strings. Just checked the specs for a new fender modern player tele and the string gauge is 9-42. How do you like them? You can go up a gauge but then you may (or may not) need a truss rod adjustment and possibly need to re-intonate.

If you're a beginner and you like the 9s I say stick with them. Buy any of the major brand of electric guitar strings (not acoustic), i.e. Ernie Ball super slinky or D'Addario, etc.
The fender modern player is suppose to arrive tomorrow.
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Old 02-05-2019, 06:15 AM
imwjl imwjl is offline
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I ended up liking round core strings for acoustic and electric. You do need to follow instructions. They have a nice feel, nice tone, and last a long time.

My preference for my Telecaster is .010 set. They still feel easy compared to an acoustic with .012 set and unwound strings have a tonal strength or best tone for cleaner sounds.

If there's any educate you or advice for your request it is to try a bunch of stuff. Do homework on setup basics at same time. It was a lot of fun for me to learn and trying different strings including flat wounds plus being aware of setup got me knowing what I like vs what some told me I should like.
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Old 02-05-2019, 06:44 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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I've always used 9s on my Tele. Try a set of these Fender Super Bullets: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/det...-009-042-light
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Old 02-05-2019, 06:51 AM
ras1500 ras1500 is offline
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For my electrics, I prefer flat wound 11's with a wound G string. I use Pyramid Gold on my Strat and Thomastic-Infeld Jazz Swings on my Guild Starfire. flat wound strings seem to last forever and there's no finger squeak when sliding down the fretboard.
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Old 02-05-2019, 06:55 AM
Steve DeRosa Steve DeRosa is offline
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My experience:
  • Experiment - strings are one of the cheapest hacks for customizing both tone and playing feel
  • Use the heaviest strings you can handle compatible with your preferred style, especially if you've got a "classic" electric (Tele/Strat, LP/SG, any hollow/semi-hollow) - more vibrating mass + higher tension = "bigger" tone, and you won't need to sink a couple hundred bucks into upgraded pickups down the line (My '86 MIJ Squier Strat has the original PU's and flatwound 12's, and it can - and has - go toe-to-toe with some of the best USA stuff)
  • Consider a wound G - I've found better tuning stability and more consistent tone/string-to-string balance (an unwound G can generate strange harmonics with certain guitar/pickup and hardware combinations), and the transition is easier if you play both acoustic and electric in the same set, particularly if you go with a similar gauge (11's/12's) on your electric
  • If you're a speed player - in whatever style - flatwound strings will let you set your action lower than comparable-gauge roundwound/half-round, without rattle or fret buzz (something the '50s Bop-era jazzers and rockabilly cats understood), and there's something very seductive about that sweet, mellow tone (try a set on your LP, and you'll see why it was originally conceived as a jazz guitar with increased sustain)
YMMV...
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:50 AM
perttime perttime is offline
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There's been highly successful electric players using whatever string gauge you can find. Stevie Ray Vaughan used ridiculously heavy strings. Billy Gibbons says that he went light gauges (.007 or .008) after BB King asked him: "Boy, why you working so hard).

Right now, I enjoy .011 to .049 strings on strat length guitars. Most seem to prefer sets that begin from .009 or .010 high E strings.

When going for a different gauge, it is highly likely that you need to adjust truss rod tension and intonation, at least.
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:15 AM
grayback grayback is offline
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I'm a new player too. I have 10s on both of my electrics, I've tried Ernie Ball Slinkys and D'Addario XLs. Inexpensive and work well.
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Old 02-05-2019, 03:45 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by numb fingertips View Post
The fender modern player is suppose to arrive tomorrow.
Sweet. Post a NGD thread when you get it.
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