Jump to content
Hamer Fan Club Message Center
Travis

Scale length/tuning/string gauge?

Recommended Posts

17 minutes ago, Studio Custom said:

He sounds so inspirational.  

Flawless technique should inspire anyone. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use 10-46 D'Addario EXL 110's on all of my electrics no matter the scale length. Have for decades.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the beginning, when dinosaurs roamed the Earth (the early 1970s), there was Black Diamond strings. Big, heavy, unforgiving Black Diamond strings on a budget-quality acoustic guitar.

Then my guitar-playing neighbor and I got electric guitars and discovered the joys of an .008 set. It was a beautiful thing. As my playing skills progressed (along with the frustration of constantly breaking the high E string) I moved to .009s, and stayed with .009s for a long time.

After I got to GIT and basically had a guitar in my hands the entire day, I decided to see what would happen if I moved to .010s. Hardly felt any difference. So I slapped a set of .011s on my '81 Special and didn't even feel it. That was in 1988, and even though I don't get to practice as much as I did back then, that's what I've used on that guitar ever since: GHS Boomers GBM, .011 - .050. 

These days, though, all other the electrics get .010s -- regardless of scale length or tuning: standard, open-G, open-A or open-D.

Well, except my Tele, which gets Fender 150M Original Pure Nickel .011 - .049. Maybe I'm just a glutton for punishment, I don't know.

The Strat gets Fender Super Bullets (.010 - .046).

I used GHS Boomers (GBL .010 - .046) on several guitars for a long time but I started having some weird buzzing problems with the .026 (4th) around the 5th fret. I could replace that one string with something else (say, Ernie Ball) and the buzzing went away.

Since then I've tried a lot of different string brands. Dunlop Rev. Willy's Mexican Lottery Brand seem to go well with P-90s (although in the very un-Gibbons-like gauges of .010 - .046). I recently got some Dunlop Nickel Plated Steel (Med, .010 - .046) and those seem to be working all right.

Ernie Ball Nickel Regular Slinky (.010 - .046) is always an old standby. My Shishkov came with D'Addario XLs (.010 - .046), and I've continued that tradition on that guitar. The electric 12-strings get D'Addario EXL150s.

 

The bottom line is, I really don't notice all that much difference - with two exceptions:

-- .011s on the Tele sound huge but make it a bit of a beast to play, so if I'm planning on doing any Albert King-style bending it's not the guitar I go for. But it's great for nasty, Hound Dog Taylor-style tones (or if I'm playing a Johnny Cash song). And I can beat it like it owes me money and it doesn't go out of tune.

-- If I'm playing slide on a 24.75" scale guitar with .010s I have to use a slightly lighter touch with the slide.

 

I have a friend who's an amazing guitarist, but his field of expertise is metal: 7-string Floyd-equipped guitars with at least 24 frets, lowered tunings and ultra light strings practically laying on the frets. The other day he picked up my Duo-Tone: "Man, I can't even play this thing! There's only six strings, they're too heavy, they're tuned too high, the action's too high and there's not enough frets!"

  • Like 3
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Studio Custom said:

He sounds so inspirational.  

To be fair he became a good friend and eventually asked me to join his band so I guess he could talk to me like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

11-49 on all electrics, no matter the scale lengths, both in regular tuning and Eb.

12-54 on all acoustics. 

Too much hassle with different string gauges ;)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know what I play. I send my teenage daughter into the music shop (its right by her school) and she says, "my dad want some guitar strings" the guy says "what type of guitar does your dad play" and she says "a loud one" he then decides for her, and she gives them to me. I better ring him and ask what I've been playing all these years.

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

24.75" fixed bridge guitars get NYXL  11 - 48

25.5 fixed or wiggly bridge guitars get NYXL 10 - 46 unless they're tuned Eb. That gets the 11 set.  

This works well for me even with open tunings.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

10-46... I may drop to 9’s tho, the arthritis isn’t getting any better, and I don’t play as much anymore.

  • Like 1

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

×