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

To those that tried Billy Gibbons string gauges how many of you still use them and gig with them ?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by bluescaster72, May 26, 2018.

  1. bluescaster72

    bluescaster72 Tele-Holic

    Mar 4, 2009
    Just curious as to how many kept with them. and how you adapted with with your gear to accomdate them?
  2. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    Ever feel you've been cheated?
  3. KyAnne

    KyAnne Tele-Afflicted

  4. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    One way to stay on top of your game is to make shure everyone else sounds worse.
    More metal reads better=more tone.
    Chunkocaster and KyAnne like this.
  5. bonedust

    bonedust TDPRI Member

    Apr 16, 2011
    Redlands Australia
    I was given a box of no.8s. I haven’t put them on anything yet and my brother-in-law didn’t open any either.
  6. Lobomov

    Lobomov Friend of Leo's

    Jul 15, 2013
    I never been near any of those, but there is a good chance that Mark Knopfler actually recorded Sultans of Swing with a set of 8s
    Wayfaring Pilgrim likes this.
  7. burntfrijoles

    burntfrijoles Poster Extraordinaire

    I think it has less to do about tone and more about feel. I don't mean comfort but rather the way the strings fight back and give you touch. Some folks play with a heavy hand and strum while others are less aggressive. If you play hard it would be loud mess with 8s bouncing off of the fretboard.
    Doctorx33, ianstrike, drlucky and 2 others like this.
  8. fabricator

    fabricator Tele-Meister

    Jun 29, 2012
    .009’s are the lightest gauge strings I can do. Anything lighter, and I have trouble with individual strings going sharp and it drives me crazy.

    I always thought that was kind of strange because BB played mostly single note runs (his frets were also pretty tall, as I remember).
    Also, if there was anyone who could easily bend heavier strings it’d be B.B.
    The man had bear paws for hands! I would think he’d have to work harder to not over-bend....
    Go figure.
    LocoTex likes this.
  9. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Nov 21, 2012
    I can't even get along with 9's anymore.:rolleyes:
    Kreepy, Tonetele and PCollen like this.
  10. grooveiron

    grooveiron Tele-Meister

    Mar 29, 2008
    Calgary, AB
    I thought B. B. used 10, 13, 17, 30, 42, 54. Did I misremember?
  11. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2009
    String gauge is something I think you get used to. I keep meaning to try lower gauge strings but never do. The lowest set I use is 10 to 38. But when it comes to tone I'm not sure it make that much of a difference. I know that Albert seems to use tens these days but in this video he states that he uses extra slinky's which are 8's with a slightly higher d string 24 versus 22. His tele sounds fine.
  12. billgwx

    billgwx Tele-Meister

    Nov 6, 2009
    Centereach NY
    How does anyone keep anything with less than 10's in tune? Had played 9's most of my electric guitar playing life, and recently noticed in a recording session (where time == $$ and people start making odd, unpleasant faces when momentum slows down for any reason never mind tuning), how bad my Tele's tuning stability was with 9's. Thinking the nut was at fault I had it replaced--better but the problem was still there. Switched to 10's and things are much better, with just a G string that occasionally goes flat. I realize might still be a nut issue, but still it's easier to deal with only one string giving me trouble rather than several.
    Last edited: May 27, 2018
  13. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    Pretty shure an .08 string would slice right thru my finger.
    What is gained by using spyderweb strings?
    Easy of playing, not better sound.
    10-52 for life, here.
    naneek likes this.
  14. adamsappel

    adamsappel Tele-Meister

    Jun 8, 2008
    I have a set of the 8's on my HK Strat. My ears aren't, uh, sharp enough to tell if I'm fretting them out of tune. I think the strings sound floppy and toy-like when strummed acoustically or at low volume. They don't offer any advantage to me over 9s, and I lean towards 9.5/10 anyway.
  15. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    9's hurt my fingertips too much and I was always breaking the high e string. 8's would be a problem. Went to 10's and never looked back.
    Billy said he got the suggestion from BB King. I find it hard to believe BB used 8's with his Diabetes and sore fingertips.
    black_doug likes this.
  16. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    I find it quite easy to believe Willie G is having us on, collectively.
  17. ultra80096

    ultra80096 TDPRI Member

    May 15, 2015
    Tried 9's once. I'm back to 10-46. Feel just right, Doing bends & all.
    aerhed and PCollen like this.
  18. kingvox

    kingvox Tele-Meister

    Mar 23, 2017
    CT, USA
    I use .008, .011, .015, .022, .030, .042, and have been using that custom set for a long time. I just order bulk single strings from and mix up my own sets.

    For standard tuning, I can't use anything heavier. I have a hypoplastic thumb (no muscle at the base of the thumb on my fretting hand), so I'm not sure if that has something to do with it, but...probably.

    Could also be I just have a very light touch. I have NEVER had an issue with bending or vibrato on super light strings. In fact, anything heavier impedes my ability to do accurate, in-tune bends and smooth, controlled vibratos.

    I was gigging for months with these strings, and I jam at least a couple times a week with them regularly. My sound is as big as a house, which I owe to the pickups I've wound for my Strat as well as the Sunn Spectrum II head and 4x12 bottom I'm fortunate enough to play through at jam sessions. I don't own it, it's the bass player's :)

    As for adjustments to my setup/rig:

    I do find that the Gotoh Vintage Staggered Tuners help. That little bit of extra break angle seems to favorably influence the string tension. I also shimmed my neck so I could raise the saddles a bit more, and not only get those pesky saddle screws down to where they don't dig into my hand, but get the saddles higher so there is more break angle on the strings, which also seems to favorably influence string tension, as well as tone/sustain.

    I had locking tuners and only switched back to the Gotoh Vintage because my strings kept breaking at the tuning post, because of the tension from the set screws. When I've used vintage tuners and this extra light string set, I have gone literally months without breaking a string. I just wipe them down with a Scotch Brite pad and they're good to go. I only change strings regularly when I'm doing paid gigs, which I haven't for a while now.

    I also assembled and wound some custom pickups for myself, with a custom pole stagger. Funnily enough, I tested out these pickups with a standard .009-.042, and they sounded just as good, and just as balanced. Example: on the Bridge pickup, I use a .688 rod magnet on the G and B strings, and a .710 on the high E. This helps a LOT with keeping the High E string in the mix, and not getting overpowered by those two other, thicker strings.

    The vintage stagger also uses a lowered B pole, but IMO the G on those sets is way, way too high, and I stopped using that stagger since I started making my own pickups and have never looked back. Anyway...if you're using a standard .008 set, it's probably not an issue, but if you're using a custom one like me, the .008 seems to get overpowered by the .011. I think the RATIO of the size of each string is more important than the actual string gauge itself, and is something to consider if you wanna use lighter strings.

    A really good setup and good fretwork is just as mandatory no matter what strings you're using. But I do find buzz to be more of an issue with lighter strings in general, so your fretwork game has to be top notch if you want really low action with really light strings. I think it's because the lower tension tends towards making the strings vibrate in a wider arc when picked, hence more potential buzzing.

    I do prefer a .042 for this reason. I've tried .040 and .038 and they just feel too loose to me. For my money, and .008 on top and a .042 on the bottom is just perfect.
    naneek and JayFreddy like this.
  19. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Tele-Holic

    Sep 26, 2015
    Maldon, England
    I have an arthritic saddle joint at the base of the thumb on my fretting hand, in conjunction with short fingers. Anything over a set of 9s seem to flare up the problem. I gave up barre chords as soon as I discovered the triads and inversions that cut down on grip pressure.
    Wayfaring Pilgrim likes this.
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