Metal Guitarist Forums banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,286 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since I injured my left arm I reaaly need to downsize the gauges I'm using.
Whenever I can pick up guitar again I will try:

0085 set for E standard (previously 009)
009 set for Eb (previously 0095)

Maybe lower if it still hurts my tendons.

Anyway. To boost my morale I wanna hear some kickass bands with super light gauges!

First off, Judas Priest with both KK and Glenn sporting 008-038 strings :flex:

Yngwie also has light high strings, but high action.

Brian May (not metal tho), Billy Gibbons (same here) and Tony Iommi (very much metal) are also known for thin strings.

I wanna know some more!
 

·
Señor Member
Joined
·
12,297 Posts
FWIW, I've been playing 8-38 for the last several years. I don't miss heavier strings at all, and being able to bend 2 full steps+ is a lot of fun.

EVH, at least at one time, used 9s which isn't particularly unusual in and of itself, but a few in the middle were smaller than usual (9; 11; 15; 24; 32; 40)
 

·
Sir Groove-A-Lot
Charvel So Cal & San Dimas
Joined
·
6,916 Posts
Dimebag obviously. 9-46 even in C# standard on a 24.75" scale guitar.
Ty Tabor of King's X using 9's no matter what tuning. Even drop B IIRC.

Both of whom have masses of control, and unmistakeable tone. I just can't go that light these days, 10's at least for me, 11's on 24.75". I hate heavy strings too though (anybody using anything more than a 46, maybe 49 on the low E in standard is a ham-fisted shit-cunt and needs to work on their picking).
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,927 Posts
Ritchie Blackmore uses 8-38, I believe.

Outside of metal, Frank Marino, Allan Holdsworth and Frank Zappa were all 8-38 users.

Judas might have even gone down to a .007 high E at one point.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,286 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
FWIW, I've been playing 8-38 for the last several years. I don't miss heavier strings at all, and being able to bend 2 full steps+ is a lot of fun.

EVH, at least at one time, used 9s which isn't particularly unusual in and of itself, but a few in the middle were smaller than usual (9; 11; 15; 24; 32; 40)
Awesome :) do you use 008s out of preference, or do you "have to"?

I dont get "weird gauge" or "light top, heavy bottom"... It would just feel awkward going from the lighter to heavier, or as in EVHs case, the opposite :lol:

Dimebag obviously. 9-46 even in C# standard on a 24.75" scale guitar.
Ty Tabor of King's X using 9's no matter what tuning. Even drop B IIRC.

Both of whom have masses of control, and unmistakeable tone. I just can't go that light these days, 10's at least for me, 11's on 24.75". I hate heavy strings too though (anybody using anything more than a 46, maybe 49 on the low E in standard is a ham-fisted shit-cunt and needs to work on their picking).
Hamfisted shitcunt, a bit harsch dont you think? :lol:

I know the 008s or 0085s I need to use now will be hard to get used to, but since I'm installing an Evertune in one of my guitars I will gave zero issues with "pitch-jumps" if hitting a bit too hard :flex:

Judas might have even gone down to a .007 high E at one point.
Yup, in 70s :)
 

·
המרחב וה
Joined
·
2,061 Posts
Billy Gibbons may not necessarily be "Metal" but he sure has his tone designed that way with his .07's.

I've heard that Yngwie J. Malmsteen at one point used .08's back in the day? Can anyone confirm that?

John Petrucci plays with .09's most of the time.
 

·
glass enthusiast
Joined
·
1,665 Posts
I believe Trey from Morbid Angel (who plays half a step down) plays 9-42 on 6 string and 9-56 on 7. That's pretty light by my standards
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,714 Posts
Once bought a set by mistake of 9-46 instead of 9-42 and I could feel the difference, prefer the 9-42 by far.

Andy Timmons use 10's and he says part of his tone comes from using them but Malmsteen seems to use 8-48 for years now and super high action. How can he play like that beats me...


On a GuitarPlayer Magazine (2011) interview he said:

“People have an illusion that heavy strings will give them more sustain—bullshitt,” he says. “I use a hybrid .008-.048 set because thicker unwound strings don’t make much of a difference, yet they’re harder to play. But thicker wound strings do make a difference for chunky low-end.

On a regular .008 set, the low strings are like spaghetti! What’s also important is making sure the guitar’s action allows the string to vibrate freely and breathe more. That’s where your sustain comes from, not heavy strings.

For picks, let me say this: to play fast your hands have to be synchronized,” he continues. “But if your pick bends, the sync between the two hands will be off. You need an instant attack. I started with Fender mediums, then I went to heavy, then they made extra heavy, which I used for years. But 20 years ago I switched to 1.5mm nylon Dunlop picks."
 

·
Sir Groove-A-Lot
Charvel So Cal & San Dimas
Joined
·
6,916 Posts
I watched an interview with Kenny Wayne Shepard just yesterday actually. I'm paraphrasing here, but he essentially says that he's tried all kinds of gauges and tunings, he's been all the way up to 13's, and as far down as 9's, and he's noticed that the magic gauge is 11's, inasmuch that there's a HUGE jump in tone between 10's and 11's, but the change from 11's to 12's, or 13's is very minimal, it's just about resistance preference from that point on.

I tend to agree. I did the same thing earlier this year. I had a guitar in Eb with a standard set of 10-46's on it (which is what I tend to use for standard/Eb on a 25.5" guitar) and needed to tune it down another half step to D. I upped the bottom 3 strings to 49, but kept the top 3 as a 10's set. After a while I decided that was too floppy for me so grabbed a set of 11's and threw them on there, and my god man what a difference. The acoustic volume of the guitar literally doubled. I noticed quite a jump back in the day when I went from 9's to 10's too, but not on this level. It really does pay off if you can handle the rigidity (though to be fair 11's in D standard is hardly rigid).

However, the bottom strings are another thing entirely. If they get too thick, in my experience, they actually lose sustain and attack. This is why I loathe hybrid sets, particularly 10-52. I'd much rather use standard sets and deal with the treble strings being a little thicker than I'd like, than deal with sets where the treble strings are ideal but the bass strings have no life in them.

I appreciate that for speed (gallopy rhythms especially) thick bottom strings are great, but you have to find a compromise. Work on technique so you can play fast but without having to exert any great force, and you'll find that you have awesome balanced tone across the whole guitar.
 

·
Is Actually Recording
Joined
·
32,765 Posts
String gauge may make way less of a difference for you than playing posture and wrist angle, so don't immediately assume you have to make a change here yet.

My experience has been it's not that heavier strings sound "better" or "worse" than thinner ones, they're just different. They tend to have a more pronounced attack, for one, so any time you play into a fairly dark, compressed amp, a lighter string gauge may actually cut a little better. I actually liked lighter gauge strings through my old Mark-voiced Mesa Rocket more than heavier ones, but I hit too hard and had some intonation problems so I needed heavier strings for intonation stability. I also think I tend to phrase a little better on heavier strings.

But, I went through a period of RSI problems, and while I'm on 10s today, for a while there was using 11s with no issues; wrist angle is way more important here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,275 Posts
I know for the longest time Dino was using 008's.
I think he went to a thicker gauge. Recent rig rundown said he uses NYXL .010 - .054s. He tunes down to like A standard. though. IIRC the lowest I heard he used was .09 - .52.

Didn't Ola use thin strings for a bit? Coula swore he used .009 - .052 on his S7G.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,927 Posts
I know the 008s or 0085s I need to use now will be hard to get used to, but since I'm installing an Evertune in one of my guitars I will gave zero issues with "pitch-jumps" if hitting a bit too hard :flex:
The hardest thing is fingering chords in tune. 8-38s reward a light touch with the fingering hand.

Also, string bending with 8s is so easy that you'll bend right past the target note until your ears and muscle memory get trained to bend precisely with them.

Nowadays, I find anything thicker than 9-42 unplayable on electrics--at least for the type of playing I do.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top