Jump to content
Hamer Fan Club Message Center
Travis

Scale length/tuning/string gauge?

Recommended Posts

Just out of curiosity, what do y’all string up with?

I used to go as heavy as 11’s cuz of the SRV school of thought. The heavier the strings the better the tone...

Currently, my 25.5” scale guitars I use 10’s tunes to E flat. 24.75” get 10’s tuned to standard. 

25.5” tuned to E flat with 10’s feels the best to me. Just the perfect tension. 

What say you...?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not typical.  I have a 24" scale in standard tuning with 9-46 strings.  Loose and bendy is kind to my sore fingers and wrist.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m more BB King/Billy Gibbons as far as string gauge is concerned and I’ve come to love the feel.

8’s on my Virt which is 26.25.

8.5’s on 25.5.

9’s on 24.75.

All regular tuning.  

When I first experimented with thinner gauge strings it took some getting used to, particularly with vibrato control, but I’d never go back.  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What an interesting question!

I've recently done a lot of math on this - trying to get my guitars of various scale lengths to feel similar when I switch around.  Here is where I landed:

  • 24.75" scale - 9.5s - 14.246 lbs tension (average)
  • 25" scale - 9.5s - 14.536 lbs tension (average)
  • 25.5" scale - 9 - 14.176 lbs tension (average)

I tune everything standard, and I'm probably not done fiddling around with this yet.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My, my, @Travis, you sure are inquisitive lately...

Writing a book or something? 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, kizanski said:

My, my, @Travis, you sure are inquisitive lately...

Writing a book or something? 

Ha!  No, just thought of something that my wife would have absolutely no interest in discussing. Y’all are my surrogates. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

25.5" :  9 - 42 tuned to various- E std., Eb std. , and D std.  I like having the variety. ;)

24.75": 9-42 at Eb std.

I've tried heavier gauge strings and while I like the tone in most cases, the loss of expressive capabilities via string manipulation was a detriment I'm not prepared to bear. I must have delicate meat hooks.  😂

 

 

  • Like 4
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

9's on my Ibby prestige (used in my 2 rawk bands) & Cort strat (that I leave at work),

10's on my kiesel HH2 (used for solo looper jazz gigs, and duo gigs). all in Eb and 25.5".

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was used to my own 10-54 custom gauge, but I’m finding it quite painful these days. 

Tried to move radically to 8’s. However, I’m having a hard time to adjust my bends. Curiously, when I go for a deep bend (more than a minor third), I cannot reach the target note, no matter how far I go. I guess there’s a limit to the elasticity of strings. When they are too thin, tension is too low and it’s therefore difficult to pull them with enough force in order to raise the pitch —I’m speculating here.

I might settle down to “normal” 9’s

PS: ETA the image below, which was basically what I used before, just discarding the two lower strings.

37A0FECF-175E-4F0B-8341-DAE40FC3D2A1.jpeg

Edited by zorrow
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

9 - 42 goes on most of my electric guitars regardless of scale length.  There are some that have 10 - 46.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

10s on everything for me, I tend to break 9s and below.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Too complicated to keep track of different string gauges for different guitars and mess with different pitches. I started off playing 11's until I got tired of waking up every morning after a gig with my hands on fire. I switched to 10's and have no problems. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
58 minutes ago, G Man said:

10s on everything for me, I tend to break 9s and below.

Me too. 10s on everything.

On another matter, I don’t think I like being a surrogate for Travis concerning things he cannot get from his wife....just sayin’...

  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/10/2019 at 2:25 AM, DBraz said:

I’m more BB King/Billy Gibbons as far as string gauge is concerned and I’ve come to love the feel.

8’s on my Virt which is 26.25.

8.5’s on 25.5.

9’s on 24.75.

All regular tuning.  

When I first experimented with thinner gauge strings it took some getting used to, particularly with vibrato control, but I’d never go back.  

Me too. 9s will be on everything that doesn't have 'em already.  Regular tuning.  Same school of thought - BB & Billy.  

Detuned only if trying to play KISS or working on something from the new Priest album.  Since I do that very infrequently, 9s it is.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One more for 10s on everything NYXLs). Easy to find in any music store, bendy but not too bendy. Tuned standard always, 'cept for a couple in drop-D. I like to keep it simple.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just stick 9-46 on everything and tend to buy in bulk and usually Ernie ball strings out of habit - I’ve ocasionally bought some packs of whatever they are making new and exciting - like the titanium coated ones or cobalt or something.

 

I had a dalliance with 8-38s in the early mid 90s but used to snap a load of top strings on my guitar which was a Patrick Eggle Berlin Pro - I’m trying to find some photos of that old thing.

 

Edited by Bennyboy-UK
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I only have Fender-scale Partscasters at the moment, so D'Addario 9-46 if I can get them cheap, otherwise 9-42.  I use either standard tuning or 1/2 step down, depending on what I feel like that day.

I'm still trying to sort out string gauges for my lap steels, I plan to tune to C6 at first for those.  It also depends on the scale length, my six-string lap steels are 22 1/2" scale which is pretty much standard for old lap steels, but my eight-string Alamo 1/2 dual-8 string Futuramic is 25", so it can make a difference.  If anyone is looking for a new hobby to keep busy with, finding the right string gauge and tunings for lap steels might just be the ticket:  :rolleyes: :lol:

http://www.steelc6th.com/strings.htm  (no affiliation with juststrings.com or GHS strings)

Then there's variations of tunings to consider:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lap_steel_guitar (see the 'Tunings' section)

http://www.scottysmusic.com/tunings.htm

Edited by crunchee
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

                                                                                                                        These work  well for me.jJk8Xjs.png

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Many years ago I had a guitar teacher that pretty much called me a pussy for playing 9s so I switched to 10 - 46 on everything and never went back.  Back then I didn't know anything about scale length and how that affected things.  Lately I've been experimenting with 9 - 46 on the 25.5" guitars and I'm liking the new feel.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

9s, though I do like the warmer tone of heavier strings. Everything is in standard tuning except the Cali which stays in Eb, because I'm a Van Halen fanboy.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must be a real outlier.....I almost always used 10s on everything historically. But I find myself leaning more towards 11s. Notwithstanding that I bend notes all over the place, even double stops.

Esp on a couple semi-hollows (one 24.75, the other 25.5) they really came alive when I bumped up from 10s.

FWIW, if a guitar is "built right", moving up to 11s is not so much a challenge as often feared.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, benjammin308 said:

Many years ago I had a guitar teacher that pretty much called me a pussy for playing 9s 

He sounds so inspirational.  

  • Like 2
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×