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Using .008's

Discussion about guitar playing from a diverse group of people with different tastes and levels of experience.

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Postby Cat » December 22nd, 2011, 1:30 am

Back a week and have toured GN like a newbie. Geez, you guys are asleep! So, okay...my brain is back in my head now so I figured I post something that has flown by unanswered on GN lots of times.

I love LIGHT strings. Others HATE 'em. This thread...okay, why your particular preference?

My use:

Ernie Ball "extra slinky"...#2225...8/11/14/22/30/38
Ibanez Artist thru Arp Avatar into board

Ernie Ball "12 string slinky"...#2230...8-8/10-10/8-14/11-24/17-32/22-40
Firebird 12 string into board

Acoustics: 2 Epi dreadnaughts...with .009 sets...and one CFMartin...with a .01 set.
/
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Postby s1120 » December 22nd, 2011, 3:23 am

Well I tryed the thinner strings. Back when I was younger all the people I knew played "9's" so when I repicked up the guitar about 4-5 years ago, thats what I started with. At the time I was playing a MIM strat. I just did not like the feel... Not the tone so much.. but the feel was off. I just did not like them. Swapped to 10's on it and that felt good to me. Well the Strat left when the LesPaul came home to play... Started out with 10s on that... same way as the 9's on the strat... just didnt feel right.. So i swapped up to 11's on it... So I have been running them for the last few years and mostly happy... but the last string change, I could not find the strings I normaly buy, and got a hybrid set.. 11's but with thinner wound strings... I LOVE them!!!!!!! So far in my playing level, skills, [granted... still rooted in begener] they are great. I loved the 11's but the wound strings were a little thick... these are the ones.

OK.. so the accustic... I got a Epi accustic for free a few years ago. it looks nice enough... but its been abused for years buy past owners. Ive had to put a ton of work into it to get it playable. Neck was wooped REAL bad, and action was sky high! I first put 13's on it, and liked the sound, and feel, but it was realy stressing the neck/soundboard a lot. After a wile I went down to 12's and that was better... but sounded very dull.. So I was kinda tied... do I get the sound, and tear it up... or save the guitsr...and hate the sound.. So just for giggles I swapped to 11's on it... I tell you it just came alive!!! Much clearer and awake now... Much less stress on the guitar also. So... wile its still a dud of a guitar... and the action is still a little high, and has a dead spot here, and there.... its SO much more enjoyable to play!!!!

Lastly my resonator.... Well I havent got a lot of time behind this one yet. Right now its set up for bottleneck playing, and im spending my time learning the basics still, so I just tune it in standerd tuning, and pull it out once in a wile when I went to play around. I had 13's on it and it sounded good, but tryed 12's to see if the action would go down any. Well the cone rides higher with less string tention.... ya, so that didnt help. :D Im thinking of recutting the biscut to lower the action for now for fretting better. We will see how that goes. Santa is bringing me a set of nut files, so it will be a project to work on. :D
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Postby Crow » December 22nd, 2011, 3:41 am

I think .010s are about as thin as I could stand on any guitar. I didn't learn on guitars with real low action & super-slinky strings, & I don't like them now -- the feel or the sound. Would have to re-learn the instrument to make .008s sound good. Mostly I put .012s on everything, electrics and acoustics. They let me fret and slide easily on the same instrument, and they improve tone a LOT. Plus the feel is similar when I switch from instrument to instrument. (I do have a Charvel superstrat with .010s, a concession to tendinitis & arthritis.) The 12-string Takamine acoustic wears .010s & is tuned down to C standard or CGCEGC.

I prefer D'Addarios because they are perfectly consistent from pack to pack, but right now I'm using Darcos because they're cheap.
"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa
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Postby Liontable » December 22nd, 2011, 5:14 am

I personally really dislike Ernie Ball Slinkies. I find them too smooth to play properly, which may sound pretty stupid. I assume it's just not being able to get a really good grip on the strings that annoys me, along with the very metallic sound of your strings for a while.

GHS Boomers are my favorites. I really love the grip on them and they sound really nice to me as opposed to the longlasting metallic sound of Slinkies. It's probably all very personal, so maybe I should try out some other brands to see if there's anything that would be even better. Might give .008's a shot, only ever played .009's.
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Postby Cat » December 22nd, 2011, 12:36 pm

Crow wrote:Would have to re-learn the instrument to make .008s sound good.


Paraphrasing...

Bingo! That old mathematical equation again: Re-Learn = Sound Good...

Indeed, it certainly IS a chore getting used to them. There's no doubt about that. The comments I read so far all deal with the way the strings feel and not what feeling can be translated to your ears. Like a race car...you are ALWAYS close to losing tire adhesion...but don't...by the skin of your teeth...so you stay out in front.

Hold lights too tight...and you go sharp. Too loose, and you buzz. There are also issues with volume across the fretboard, too. They break, don't throw out as much volume and go dull quickly.

But, the advantages way outpace the disadvantages...
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Postby TRGuitar » December 22nd, 2011, 1:40 pm

I play 9's. Tried 8's once. Too thin even for me. I've bought many a new guitar with 10's on them. Just don't like the feel. It's OK to use different sizes, thats why they meke them.
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Postby Crow » December 22nd, 2011, 2:09 pm

Cat wrote:...the advantages way outpace the disadvantages...


...and that's where we must agree to disagree. It depends on what the meaning of "advantages" is, doesn't it? :P
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Postby Cat » December 22nd, 2011, 7:24 pm

True, quite true. But a least NOW we're all talkin' about something!

Merry Christmas/Happy Hannukah from Meow Man
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Postby NoteBoat » December 22nd, 2011, 7:27 pm

I'm with Crow - I really don't like anything lighter than 10s. It's not the technical side for me; I have no trouble getting on pitch without buzz... it's the consistency of tone across the set. The overtone distribution - and hence the tone - differs a bit with string mass, and part of the difference (the increased 'speaking length') can be solved with setup, but part of it (lower inertia and increased string flexibility) can't.
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Postby Cat » December 22nd, 2011, 7:42 pm

Of course I'm talking electric sixes, here...and some rare twelves. If you use them on an acoustic...and you play and strum lightly...heck...you won't hear anything!

I keep my volume way up...but nothing is loud until I pick hard (VERY thin pick and picking) or slam a finger down...so I know the dynamics are always lurking. Just landing your fingers on the strings play notes...and overtones are always "in yer face". For me...and I write for a living...bringing these overtones blatantly out in front of me really helps me get on with constructing material...AND...where vocals best lie. In essence, what you pick and what is inadvertant...are all up front and obvious.

If you are trying to forge more introspective feel from the guitar (meaning NOT running off quick riffs) you can bend all six strings where you want them. With the high volume lurking there...and your fingers generating heaps of noise (scrapes/slides/fret farts/détache) all these "pops 'n squeaks" are evident...you just gotta have 'em all in tune!

There's a rather thin line between sloppy and freakin' awesome...

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Postby Gotdablues » December 22nd, 2011, 9:34 pm

Cat wrote:If you are trying to forge more introspective feel from the guitar (meaning NOT running off quick riffs) you can bend all six strings where you want them. With the high volume lurking there...and your fingers generating heaps of noise (scrapes/slides/fret farts/détache) all these "pops 'n squeaks" are evident...you just gotta have 'em all in tune!

There's a rather thin line between sloppy and freakin' awesome...




I tried .008 strings on my Tele a long time ago, didn't like it, But, I'm playing on a different level now and perhaps I can work with some of the dynamics of which you speak....I'm thinking killer vibrato/bends



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Postby Cat » December 23rd, 2011, 2:09 am

Hey, Pat. Good luck drivin' the Ferrari...maybe it's high time you're done with the 18 wheeler!

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Postby Xplorervoodoo » December 24th, 2011, 4:49 am

I tried a bunch of different gauges. Went as high as 13s on my electric at one point (although to be fair, I was tuning to Open C or half-step down at the highest)

I think I've settled on 11s for my electric, and 11s on my acoustic. The lighter gauge on the acoustic really makes it a dream to play, plus it still sounds great, and there's less stress on the guitar (and my fingers!)
Tone is subjective.
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Postby Cat » December 24th, 2011, 5:23 am

All these posts...'cepting Pat's...are telling me how the STRINGS feel. How does the stuff yer playin' feel, matey? How does it come off? If yer content to play with gloves on...okay. Cool.

Please read what's ALWAYS been below my posts.

Merry Christmas!

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Postby NoteBoat » December 24th, 2011, 6:47 am

Um... I didn't talk about how the strings feel at all - only about how they sound. That's really the only thing I care about in equipment: the result it gets. If something is easier to use, but doesn't sound as good, I'd rather do the work to get the sound I want.
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