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Old 02.12.2011, 02:32 PM   #1
Decayed Rhapsody
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What strings do you use? I'm planning to knock around on a shit Washburn acoustic and I want a deep, rich sound, so I'm assuming I should get a heavier string. Or maybe bass strings? Does anyone know what gauges SY have used over the years? I heard Ernie Ball is supposed to be a good brand.
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Old 02.12.2011, 02:40 PM   #2
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http://www.sonicyouth.com/mustang/eq/gear.html

most of the guitars list the gauges they use. they usually use really heavy gauges.
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Old 02.12.2011, 02:48 PM   #3
Decayed Rhapsody
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Durr, silly me for not checking. Thanks.
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Old 02.12.2011, 03:07 PM   #4
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You're not going to go all SY tribute artiste on me now, DC, are you?
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Old 02.12.2011, 03:17 PM   #5
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No. But I want to try out different tones that they have utilized at one point or another and see what works for me and what doesn't. I am 100% unlearned on the guitar, at least I will be until I start playing regularly in a few days. My budget is small so I relish the idea of making something out of crap gear.
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Old 02.12.2011, 04:21 PM   #6
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No probr. Kidding. Would love to hear what you come up with.
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Old 02.12.2011, 08:09 PM   #7
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I just use light strings. 46-10.

I do lots of weird chords, but also traditional bar chords and lots of stuff that your hand would cramp on heavier strings. But also do some weird bending that is also lost on heavier strings.

It depends on what kind of guitar you use tho...

They tend to break on my les paul, but on my strat, they are perfect. I can abuse the hell out of em
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Old 02.12.2011, 09:19 PM   #8
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for an acoustic I use extra light as well, usually .09-.10 but .12 standard I believe and its light enough. I used to use .22 (not on my acoustics) on my electric but my brother introduced me to the joys of light gauge and I never went back. I do miss the extreme heaviness to sound and resonance of such heavy strings, but it was deadly for my fingers, my hands were sliced up perpetually..

If you don't have a light hand but still want a versatile acoustic sound, go for some phosphorus Bronze acoustic specific .12 gauges, and if you need a bit heavier kind of sound for your acoustic, grab the .16 set..
 

I just discovered these, I am quite pleased with the result on my spurce wood guitar, it had a nice heavy resonance with a light, airy feel and lightning smooth action, good life too, perhaps a solid month of nice sound.

I actually used to swear by Ernie Balls on my electrics, then I switched to whatever was cheap for a while when I was gigging because if you change em every week or two, most brands are decent D'Addario, GHS, Dean Markley, for the electric they all do the job.

I also used to prefer electric strings for my acoustic, but then I discovered the resonating joy of specifically acoustic strings..
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Old 02.13.2011, 09:19 AM   #9
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Geek thread, yeah!

I rarely go lower than 14 on my electric. It's absolute bollocks that you can't bend, and you get a much better response on left-right vibrato. The problem is that most people have bad left hand technique - too many people watching Hendrix's thumb barres and not noticing that he has hands the size of Belgium. If you've got your thumb properly behind the neck, you should be able to bend through three semitones with minimal problems.

I struggle to trust guitarists who use thinner gauges, to be honest. Learn to play, don't sacrifice tone. That's my motto.

Also, breaking strings means you have bad technique or a badly setup guitar. Unless you're twatting it with a drumstick, but that's a different matter.
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Old 02.13.2011, 12:21 PM   #10
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I use thin strings and have a great guitar tone.

Amp and EQ settings are most important.

Good tone is also relative to taste.

Breaking strings just means you play hard.

I throw my guitar around quite a bit though.
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Old 02.13.2011, 12:26 PM   #11
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I use 12 or 13 -sets on my electrics, but I also pretty much always tune down to BEADG(or F#)B or EEADGB. Thinner strings tend to get too slack, which kinda sound nice when played through lots of fuzz, but most of the time I can't be fucked to plug in my guitar.
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Old 02.13.2011, 12:33 PM   #12
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I like the way Torche does it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc_A0F5vUKc
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Old 02.13.2011, 02:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadDiscoDildo
I use thin strings and have a great guitar tone.

Amp and EQ settings are most important.

Good tone is also relative to taste.

Breaking strings just means you play hard.

I throw my guitar around quite a bit though.

Amp/ EQ is important, certainly, but I really think that how you attack the string makes a massive difference. I play really fucking hard but I never break strings. Honestly, it's to do with how you attack a string. It's like drum cymbals - you can hit them really fucking hard, but there's ways of hitting them so you get a bigger sound for less stress on the surface. My guitar's been dragged around enough stages, over the years. It's a bit fucked, but not from string attack. Tone is definitely relative to taste, but thinner gauges will always sound tinny and crap, to my ear.
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Old 02.13.2011, 02:45 PM   #14
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I don't care at all about my string gauge, it doesn't affect my playing at all nor do I notice a difference in my tone.
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Old 02.13.2011, 08:25 PM   #15
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I use .11s, mainly because I like the feel of them. I broke .9s fairly often, and now they just seem like toy strings.
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Old 02.13.2011, 08:53 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glice
Geek thread, yeah!

I struggle to trust guitarists who use thinner gauges, to be honest. Learn to play, don't sacrifice tone. That's my motto.

.
I actually like the crisper tone I get out of .9 setup, it is a bit refreshing after spending so many years in the dark realms of the .22 setup..

and I don't use the light gauge for the bending, its for the action, it is smooth as silk to run through scales and leads on light strings, and the chords just melt out your hands. but again, I used to use such heavy strings I might just appreciate the exaggerated effect.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent Dan Speaks
I broke .9s fairly often, and now they just seem like toy strings.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glice

Also, breaking strings means you have bad technique or a badly setup guitar.


I agree, I use .9 and I rarely if ever break a string, in fact I have to consciously remember to change em out often enough because I haven't broken them (accidents aside) in years..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glice
Tone is definitely relative to taste, but thinner gauges will always sound tinny and crap, to my ear.


You have to adjust the EQ settings accordingly, I use the light gauge for a lighter sound, particularly clean channel work, but I still naturally play the heavy stuff I used to use .22 for, and to keep the same dark tone I just adjust the EQ to match, and I get a satisfactory sound even with the light gauges. its as you said, a matter of taste.
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Old 02.14.2011, 12:54 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glice
Amp/ EQ is important, certainly, but I really think that how you attack the string makes a massive difference. I play really fucking hard but I never break strings. Honestly, it's to do with how you attack a string. It's like drum cymbals - you can hit them really fucking hard, but there's ways of hitting them so you get a bigger sound for less stress on the surface. My guitar's been dragged around enough stages, over the years. It's a bit fucked, but not from string attack. Tone is definitely relative to taste, but thinner gauges will always sound tinny and crap, to my ear.

Yeah I see what you're saying. Time helps too, figuring out what works.

I do lots of bar chords and strum everystring, I have a real primal kind of style, rather than a delicate jazz/or referring to classic rock george harrison style. Only guitarist in my band, so Im always playing.

Now I do lots of breaks where I just play the E, A, and sometimes D string...for droney kind of stuff.

But what kind of picking technique are u referring to, when hitting it hard but without 'really' hitting it hard?

Like when you downstroke, letting the pick kind of move with each string rather than holdin the pick stiff?


Just curious.

Good thread.
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Old 02.14.2011, 12:58 AM   #18
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Also, I think you are correct to an extent about guitar set up, but different electric guitars HAVE to be set up a certain way, to bring out the best tone...or depending on how you like to play...

Like I got heavy strings once and it just seemed to stifle the tone on my strat. It's a good strat, an early 90s japanese paisley strat. I do lots of bending but dont use a whammy bar. So I keep the bridge loose so I can bend it with my hand, I just like grabbing the bridge or doing it with my wrist/palm of my hand while I pick...

When I tried heavy strings on it, it just sounded crappy, thinner more flexible strings sit perfectly...but maybe I would have had to re-adjust the bridge for the heavy strings?

I dunno, I took one year of guitar lessons when I was 15...that's the extent of my knowledge haha




Dick Dale sure loved super heavy strings tho...but I feel like my guitar tone is about the same as his...and he didnt even use a strat....

I think I just got lucky and got the best sounding strat ever.
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Old 02.14.2011, 08:51 PM   #19
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No, but I tend to tune down a third (at least) to avoid strain on the bridge. There are guitars that can cope (my ex-) but not my current one. I have used thicker high strings and thinner low ones in the past, but I don't really see the point now - if I'm solo, it's not a problem; if I'm not solo, it'll be improvised, and I'm fine with transposing on the hop.

Welcome, by the way.
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Old 02.14.2011, 09:57 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glice
Geek thread, yeah!

I rarely go lower than 14 on my electric. It's absolute bollocks that you can't bend, and you get a much better response on left-right vibrato. The problem is that most people have bad left hand technique - too many people watching Hendrix's thumb barres and not noticing that he has hands the size of Belgium. If you've got your thumb properly behind the neck, you should be able to bend through three semitones with minimal problems.

I struggle to trust guitarists who use thinner gauges, to be honest. Learn to play, don't sacrifice tone. That's my motto.

Also, breaking strings means you have bad technique or a badly setup guitar. Unless you're twatting it with a drumstick, but that's a different matter.

Hendrix used light gauge 10 - 38s.

Although, those Fender strings he used had the tension of regular 10 - 46s.
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