With solid-body electric guitars, the difference in tone between heavy strings and light strings is not as pronounced, but it still makes a difference. If you’re playing on an electric guitar, it might be a good idea for you to consider using these strings before you try out sets that are either lighter or heavier. Acoustic guitar strings are sized by gauge--the higher the number, the thicker the string--and are sold in sets. Nylon Strings – designed for Classical and “Flamenco” guitars. For those reasons, it’s important to take your time with a certain gauge of strings before you rush to replace them. All Gibson guitars, as we mentioned above, carry scales that measure 24.75” long. If you’re going after the best tone that you can achieve from your axe, heavier strings are a good way to get there without spending too much money and without needing to make any costly modifications to your instrument. If you’re used to playing with strings that are nines or lighter, switching immediately to twelves or thirteens might be a big shock! Standard electric guitar strings have a thickness of between 0.009 to 0.010 inches for the high E string to 0.042 to 0.046 inches for the low E string. The heavier your strings are, the louder a sound they can produce, and the more full, balanced tone you can get out of your guitar. — Exert more tension on the guitar neck Electric Guitar String Materials. The following are other types of common string materials for the electric guitar: Bronze is the most popular string type amongst acoustic guitarists, although they tend to have a short lifespan. It was classical guitarist Andrés Segovia, who was having trouble finding guitar strings, who encouraged the Dupont Corporation to first supply nylon strings in the late-1940s , which were then refined and manufactured by Augustine. Once you get used to the slightly thicker feel, you shouldn’t have any long-term issues with bends. They can adapt easily to almost any genre, particularly songs with plenty of bends and fast, precise solos. The most common hybrid string sets incorporate single strings from sets that would ordinarily be in nines, tens, and elevens. You can find sets thicker than .013 but they are usually flatwound sets or for baritone guitars. Many acoustic guitars come equipped with "light" gauge acoustic guitar strings. So that’s a gauge 9 high E string, an 11 for the B string, gauge 16 G string and then gauges 24, 32 and 42 for the D, A and low E strings. Light gauges are often chosen by fingerstyle players and singer/songwriters. By mixing and matching different gauges, they allow you to get a different feel and find the exact right tone for each string on your axe. Guitar string gauges are measured by the thickness of each string in inches. There are both advantages and disadvantages to using lighter/heavier gauge strings. Of course, how much this heavier, louder output will matter depends on your pickups and the sound that you’re aiming for. With that in mind, it’s essential that you find a high-quality guitar store near you, which carries hybrid strings from multiple different brands in order to give you the freedom to pick and choose. Using the right pair of strings here can definitely help you improve your guitar solos! Most of the hybrid string sets that you’ll find utilize the top strings from a lighter set and pair them with heavier strings on the bass end of your axe. Thicker strings, particularly sets starting at .12 and higher, require a lot of hand strength to bend beyond a half step or more. If you bend strings a lot in your playing, lighter sets will feel much easier underneath your fingers. Some playes even say that playing 11-52 strings on a 24” scale Jaguar compares very evenly to playing on 10-46 strings on a guitar, like the Fender Stratocaster or Telecaster, that includes the longer scale length. If you’ve always used nines, you might want to take some time to try out 10s before you make the move all the way up to 11s. Nickel-plated steel strings are probably the most common choice for use on electric guitars, because of their volume and resistance to corrosion. Your options absolutely depend on the tone you desire, but they also depend on the string gauge you prefer for the genre of music you play. In general, it’s always a good idea to get your guitar set up and adjusted if you switch multiple gauges of strings at a time. Heavy strings can actually make players who have a tendency towards a “nervous” vibrato and over-bending sound more controlled. Note though that different manufacturers include slightly different string gauges in their sets of strings. If you’re looking for the best set of strings for your specific axe, you’ll also want to check the nut and bridge of your guitar: depending on how the string slots are cut, you might need to alter or replace your nut to accomodate a different string gauge. A big dreadnought or jumbo will generally sound better with medium-gauge strings that take fuller advantage of their relatively larger sound chambers. Even the brands that do produce hybrid sets might not distribute them to all of the stores near you. The method used to wind the strings leads to differences tone and also impacts the playability of your guitar. However, they’re still the favored string gauges for a select few genres, particularly jazz and certain subgenres of blues. If any other issues crop up with facets like the nut or bridge of your guitar as a result of the string change, a technician will be able to fix them without any issues as well. Even though they require more string tension than nines, tens are still very slinky, and are the string gauge of choice for plenty of guitarists across all sorts of models. You’ll find the lighter sets easier to bend at larger intervals (like a step and a half, or even up to two full steps), and easier to keep in tune as you bend them. You’ll still get all of the great benefits of the heavier strings, like the increased sound output, but you won’t need to deal with the side effects as well. These gauges of strings are by far the most popular sets for players across all genres. If you’re having trouble bending, look at our guide to bending notes on your guitar! Smaller grand auditorium and parlor guitars will sound better with lighter gauges. A truss rod adjustment can be a quick fix, but depending on the setup of your guitar you might need to take the neck off of your axe in order to get at the truss rod. Hybrid string sets combine different individual gauges from various traditional string sets to make up sets that are completely unique in both sound and feel! And while some players prefer extra-light strings because they find them easier to bend, most players don’t have trouble performing wide bends with 10-46 strings. With that being said, though, heavier strings are more difficult to play with, and particularly to bend. Most new electric guitars tend to ship pre-strung with "super light" guitar strings. The gauge of your strings refers to their size: strings with a larger gauge have a larger diameter, which affects their sound and feel under your fingers. On both electric and acoustic metal-strung guitars: 0.009 sets are considered very light. This video from Anderton’s compares light and heavy string gauges to help you decide which sound you like better! Even lighter sets, like sevens and eights in particular are popular in certain genres like metal and speed rock. 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