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10 tips article...

PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 3:49 pm
by ONEbpm
7. Buy lighter gauge strings

It’s said all the time, but it’s worth saying again. Thinner strings are easier to play fast with than thicker ones. If you use 9’s, try 8’s. Listen out for your guitar tone though, as going too thin can make for a lousy sounding guitar.

I'm curious as to why. Let's take it to an extreme, when attacking something with a pic, which would be easier to hit...a fiber optiic strand or a redwood tree? If we're talking about picking efficiently, what advantage would swiping your pick across a thinnner string create?

Let's say we're talking about the "A" string. If I'm not mistaken, the A string vibrates at 440 cycles per second. It doesn't matter what guage string you use...they all have to vibrate at 440 to get that pitch. That being said, wouldn't it make more sense to have a larger guage string as a target for a pic than a smaller guage one? Even if strings DID vibrate in a smaller arc for thinner strings, the strings are vibrating so fast that it almost looks like a very large stationairy string. Again, in this case, larger strings would present a larger surface for the pic. I'm not talking about baritone guitars or low tunings, naturally the strings would vibrate more, but for your standard guitar, I don't see any compelling reason to switch to lighter guage strings. I use D'Adarrio 10's. They're the most popular brand and guage. If someone could enlighten me as to what advantage lighter guage strings give you as far as shredding, It would be appreciated. Thanks people!

Re: 10 tips article...

PostPosted: Sat Jun 12, 2010 8:30 pm
by TheWannabeMusician
Well, I'd say thinner strings have less "strengh" in them. Less resistance, because they're just, well, weaker. It's like comparing a little wire with giant cables of metal, though of course on a lesser scale.
And for some reason, I found it really hard to express myself in english on that one. Weird. The others will say it a lot clearer than me if it's not understandable I guess, but I hope this answers your question

By the way, I prefer thicker strings for their sound, and especially if you're tuned down in drop C or something, as I am with my old guitar with 9s, you'll notice that if you hit the strings moderately to hard, the pitch will bend up, which is... inconvenient :?

Re: 10 tips article...

PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 2:24 pm
by shredaholic
Less resistance every time you fret the note means that less exertion is required, which means you can move between fretted notes quicker on the fretting hand.

On the picking hand, although you're right that a fatter string is easier to locate, think about it in an exagerrated way. How long would it take a guy doing alternate picking, for his pick to travel across a string 1 inch thick, and how long would it take the pick to travel across one only 1/2 inch thick? The smaller gauge of string means that in alternate picking you can move back and forth across the string quicker and with less resistance.

That's why I think it's the case anyway, but the reason I said it in the article was because my own experience says lighter gauge strings are easier to play fast on, and everyone I've talked to about the same subject agrees. If it's different for you, stick with what you find is best!

Re: 10 tips article...

PostPosted: Mon Jun 14, 2010 2:39 pm
by ONEbpm
Thanks Man!

I was just looking for the reasoning behind it. Your response was something I never considered. I wouldn't change string guages at this point because of all the hour I've put in to getting my technique down ;) But if I didn't ask, I'd never know...ya know what I mean?

Re: 10 tips article...

PostPosted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:17 am
by shredaholic