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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

String Gauge and Telecasters

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by TokyoPortrait, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. warrent

    warrent Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Sep 15, 2009

  2. pcasarona

    pcasarona Tele-Meister

    Mar 27, 2013
    Auburn, AL
    I play Blues with 10's on all my guitars. How the hell do you guys bend 12's? My fingers couldn't handle that for very long. Maybe I'm just a wimp.
    William SantAna likes this.

  3. Kayle McGuire

    Kayle McGuire Tele-Meister

    Jul 31, 2017
    I play D’Addario Half Rounds, 10-46 (EHR310)

    I find them PERFECT for my Telecaster. Just the right tone and feel, get that sweet vibe every time.

    They’re not flat wound, but not entirely round wound. IMG_6186.JPG
    Tonetele likes this.

  4. PCollen

    PCollen Tele-Afflicted

    May 7, 2010
    Man of the World
    10's...D'Addario EXL-110
    dustoff likes this.

  5. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    The necks on the Squier Classic Vibe are very nicely done, but they're thin and they're fragile, compared to most any other Fender style 6 string electric.

    Changes of string gauge on a 50s Baja, may require no truss rod adjustment, but adjustments are standard on something like a CV.

  6. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    When I think of blues, I think of BB King. I think of guys who do a lot of bending - lots of it.

    The thin Ernie Ball gauges, the nines, then eights, then even sevens, were best intended for them. Before Ernie Ball, when strings were thick as wire, slide guitar was what you might hear up and down US 61.


    Anyway, 11s, 12s, 13s are for "slitherers" who slip up and down the fretboard and who spend much less time on bends, IMO. That's what I do - not much bends.

    Let's talk about what gauge BB King used. Was it 8s? It for sure was not 11s, 12s, etc.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
    qblue and William SantAna like this.

  7. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    Dean, sounds like a Molehill morphed into a Mountain.

    Yes, for similar string tension, you would use a set of 10s on a Strat, and a set of 11s on a Les Paul. You basically go up one gauge size to compensate for the shorter scale length on the 24.75 scale guitar.

    The maple is strong enough, for sure. The bolt on connection is stronger IMO than the typical crappo Gibson neck join. And one thing is for Absolute Sure. If you set up 10 Strats with 11s to fall and hit the headstock, there'd be some kind of damage on 1-2 of them. A dent - a bent tuning peg. If you set up 10 Les Pauls with 11s to fall and hit the headstock, 9 of the ten would sustain damage. The vulnerability of the Gibson tilt back headstock design is Legendary I would say.

    So, I would say there's more of a safety margin with the Strat or Tele, and this is amplified by the reality that many, many guys who own both, use about 1 gauge thicker string on their Gibsons than on their Fender design guitars.

    If the bolt neck concept is so sketchy, how come it works so well on Precision and Jazz basses?

  8. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Friend of Leo's

    Dec 13, 2014
    Northeast PA
    Wow... NOT true, unless you're making the most broad of statements, like a single coil still sounds like a single coil...

    The whole fundamental/overtone relationship of the sound changes as you change gauge.
    Piggy Stu likes this.

  9. picker77

    picker77 TDPRI Member

    Dec 20, 2017
    James burton plays very light and low strings while some others guys such as Kenny Vaughan do the opposite and they all have a great great sound. Just do what you like as long as you play comfortably and get a good or great tone
    Nick Fanis, bigbean and Praxis like this.

  10. William SantAna

    William SantAna Tele-Meister

    Aug 22, 2017
    :D:D you not a wimp, I also play with nines, and, to be honest, I think it heavy, to do, for example, a 2 tone bend.

    When I think blues, I remember SRV and his extremely heavy string gauges. I've noticed he played with a 0.13
    caliber :eek::eek::eek:

  11. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    Player preference.
    I play 11's and sometimes 10's on electric and 12's or 13's on acoustic. Any electric guitar is weaker than an acoustic box guitar is junk.

    When Tele's and Strats were invented what we now consider heavy strings were the lightest available. 11's, 12's, and 13's were common and the guitars worked well enough to become legendary. Any recording from the 40's, 50's and early 60's probably had 11's or 12's on the guitar. Most strings back then didn't have the gauge of the string on the package, just B, 2nd or E 1st etc...


    bigbean and ndcaster like this.

  12. Sconnie

    Sconnie Tele-Holic

    May 1, 2017
    Denver, CO
    11s all day, EB Power Slinkys on everything I own and they all sound great. I've been using them exclusively for over a decade and never once thought "maybe I need to try different strings." Plus, the shorter scale on the SG makes the strings "fight back" more, which makes me work harder and ultimately play better, then switching to the Tele (longer scale) is like taking the donut off a baseball bat.
    Piggy Stu likes this.

  13. qblue

    qblue Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 12, 2009
    Clarks Summit, PA
    I agree with Boris. I think BBKing convinced Billy Gibbons to go from 12's to 7's or 8's.
    jvin248 likes this.

  14. pcasarona

    pcasarona Tele-Meister

    Mar 27, 2013
    Auburn, AL
    SRV had Polish sausages for fingers as well, and he tuned down a half a step. I'm a mere mortal with normal sized hands. An you know what they say about a man with normal size hands. That's right, light gauge strings!

  15. jvin248

    jvin248 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI

    Tele bridge saddles have a lot more intonation range than an LP tune-o-matic to handle light to heavy string swaps.
    Acoustic guitars get 12s and 13s at the same scale as a Tele and are much more fragile instruments. Scale length changes string tension so 10s on a Tele feel like 11s on an LP

    I think the BBKing:Gibbons string discussion retelling is in this video "Why you working so hard?" BG went back and rethought his drive to 12s and 13s "for tone" on his Tele back down to 7s and 8s for easier bends and kept his tone.
    pcasarona and Thin69 like this.

  16. TeleTucson

    TeleTucson Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    Aug 6, 2016
    Tucson, AZ
    I think you've got this backwards. For the same string gauge, the shorter scale length on the SG requires the string tension to be about 6% less. This also makes the bend force required to achieve the same number of semitones about 6% less.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
    flatcat, Manual Slim and Thin69 like this.

  17. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    Heavy top for me on Teles,, get that snap.
    It doesn't seem to help the Gibbys much.

  18. Sconnie

    Sconnie Tele-Holic

    May 1, 2017
    Denver, CO
    Then why is my SG harder to play and bend than my Tele (and strat)!?!?!

  19. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

    I once tried half-rounds in a 13 gauge ("jazz medium") and the bass E string was closer to round wound that flat wound, for my liking. The 10 gauge is probably a different story.

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