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What String Gauge Do You Use For The Telecaster?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by RockNRollin_Nolan, Sep 11, 2017.

What's Your Favorite String Gauge

  1. 9-42

    72 vote(s)
  2. 9.5-44

    22 vote(s)
  3. 10-46

    168 vote(s)
  4. 11-49

    63 vote(s)
  5. 12-54

    10 vote(s)
  6. 13-62 (There's no way someone's going to use these on a Tele, right?)

    1 vote(s)
  1. RockNRollin_Nolan

    RockNRollin_Nolan Tele-Meister

    Aug 30, 2017
    Chandler, AZ
    I was thinking about maybe trying something like that, actually. I'll try it out and see how it goes.

  2. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    12-54 on 24.75 scale (Gibson) guitars;

    11-49s and 12-54s on Esquires;

    11-49s and some 12-54s and 10.5-46s on Telecasters;

    10.5-46s and 11-49s on Hardtail Strats; Squier 51s;

    Mostly 10-46s on Strats with floating trems. D'Ad EXLs, 9 times out of 10.

    I use these big 25 set Bulk Packs because anything else would be a budget buster. If these came in 10.5 or 11.5, I would be all over them.

    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
    RockNRollin_Nolan and Flaneur like this.

  3. admsx

    admsx TDPRI Member

    Sep 5, 2017
    I love the 9.5's on a tele. Been playing them forever on my stratocasters. I do feel like I can handle 10's on the strat these days, but 9.5s on the tele is just perfect.

  4. RockNRollin_Nolan

    RockNRollin_Nolan Tele-Meister

    Aug 30, 2017
    Chandler, AZ
    Wow, that's impressive. I really wish they'd make 9.5 bulk sets... Oh well.

    Yeah, the 9.5s are great. I do have a couple sets of 10s laying around so I'll probably try those, too.

  5. rooboo

    rooboo Tele-Meister

    Aug 18, 2017
    I think that one key issue here is the attack. I play with a lot of attack. Back in my metal days I used to play 9's and broke strings like crazy. I switched to 10's and that helped. About 7 years ago I switched to 11's and have never looked back. Because 11's suite my stye of playing with a lot of force digging into the strings. If you're a fast as hell shredder you problably have a lighter touch and thus are better suited for thinner strings. That's why I can't play Steve Vai kind of fast, I put too much force into it.

    In my youth I tried and changed my picking style so I could be that fast, but didn't like the tone I got. So I morphed back to my hard hitting style.
    I could never play 8's. And 7's? I cant even imagine how that'd be like. I'd break them by looking at them :)

    My point: I play and sound great with 11's that does not mean everybody do. I play like crap with 9's too scared to break them – yet some people get a marveolus tone with 9's. We're all different!
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017

  6. mgreene

    mgreene Tele-Holic

    Jan 27, 2010
    south carolina
    Doesnt it kill you when your favorite stuff gets discontinued? I loved those Guild "Reds" copper coated steel strings they had in the 80's. I couldnt believe it when they stopped making them.

    I am also still missing the white Fender celluloid picks from the 70's - they could wear out in one gig but they sounded and played the best of anything ever.

    Last week, I mistakenly put 9's on my tele; it sounds great except for the high E which is too thin sounding.

    The thing that bugs me though is that I need a little more resistance for my picking style - lots of flubbed notes with too light strings.

    I find 9's top be perfect on my strat though.

  7. qblue

    qblue Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 12, 2009
    Clarks Summit, PA
    I use bullets on both Strats. On the lower output 1970 Strat I'm using pure nickel hybrid 3150LR's and on the 1990 Strat Ultra I'm using nickel coated steel 3250R's. I feel the tremolo response is better. The strings are long lasting and justify the cost.
    RockNRollin_Nolan likes this.

  8. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    9.5/44s a perfect match for the tele IMO. I use 10s on my other electrics.
    RockNRollin_Nolan likes this.

  9. Syd Lennon

    Syd Lennon TDPRI Member

    Aug 21, 2016
    Imo, guages over 10-46 suck a lot of spank and snap out of telecasters, particularly the wound strings. I tried out heavy bottom hybrids, .11's, even some .12 jazz strings, hoping it would be deeper with a similar tonal character, like the switch from .9 to .10. There's such a big tone jump tho, to my ears. Louder and deeper, but also so wide, round and dark. It was cool for solo fingerstyle/classical stuff because it's a fuller sound, but it was strange with a band, plus I like the jangly tele snap too much. In my own mind 10-46 is the last guage for that dynamic. I'm contemplating making a set of heavy tops/light bottoms, like 10-42, then setting the pickups a bit higher on the bass side. There might be a reason I've never seen that combo in stores tho...
    RockNRollin_Nolan likes this.

  10. dustoff

    dustoff Tele-Meister

    May 23, 2005
    Glenview Illinois
    D'addario EXL110 10-46. Just switched over from Elixers and will never go back !

  11. grooveiron

    grooveiron Tele-Meister

    Mar 29, 2008
    Calgary, AB
    No. I like 10-52 super bullets but Fender seems not to make them any more…

  12. MadRocker

    MadRocker Tele-Meister

    Feb 19, 2017

  13. Flaneur

    Flaneur Friend of Leo's

    May 24, 2010
    I voted for 11s. 49, 52, 54..... whatever they have :cool:

  14. roknfnrol

    roknfnrol Tele-Meister

    Nov 16, 2004
    Louisville, KY
    11s sound so good with a tele. That said, I went to 10s because it's a bit easier without sacrificing tone. I absolutely despise 9s.

  15. Reggie77

    Reggie77 Tele-Meister

    Jul 16, 2017
    Exactly ... it's all down to comfort
    rooboo likes this.

  16. brogh

    brogh Super Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 26, 2010
    was on 11 49 for .. ever ? :p .. recently i sized the 58 down to 10/46 the 72 still on 11/49 feels different..and maybe more appropriate still.. next change it's gonna get 10/46 and see from there

  17. nicod98

    nicod98 Tele-Holic

    Jul 7, 2014
    I use different gauges. 9s and 10s but 11s have the perfect sound for me. Also, I've had a small problem with my left (fretting) hand which makes it difficult to feel the two thinnest strings on a set of 9s. 11s feel great though.

    I voted for 11-49, but I prefer 11-52 on a single coil tele, and 11-49 is OK and 10-46 is acceptable on a humbucker tele (don't care what everyone thinks, because I consider that a tele too)
    rooboo likes this.

  18. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    Electric guitar string brands: D'Addario EXLs, DR Hi-Beams. More and more of the DRs... Same construction as the EXLs, but have a little somethin' extra that I like. Sound great for a long time, too.


    Teles: 9.5-44, 10-46 (common), 10-52, 11-49.

    Strats: 10-46, 10-52

    Gibson, Collings: equally split between 10s and 11s. The archtops usually get heavy-bottom sets.

  19. stratguy23

    stratguy23 TDPRI Member

    May 16, 2013
    Salt Lake City, UT
    I use Ernie Ball Power Slinkys 11-48 primarily. I really like the cobalt ones. I use 12s on a Tele I tune down, and I have 12s on my Jaguar. I use 11s on everything else, Strats, Gibson, PRS, etc that I own. I might use 12smore but they are dark to my ear. Are the M Steels brighter? I have pretty strong hands and tend to over bend anything below an 11 set.

  20. admsx

    admsx TDPRI Member

    Sep 5, 2017
    The problem with 9's on a Fender, at least for me, is that they don't have enough bounce. By that I mean I can't play them aggressively and bounce off them. I am not really explaining that in the best way, but I'm sure most of you get it. D'Addario 9.5 guage, while I can't bounce off them as well at 10's, have enough tension where I still get enough bounce and can lay into them.

    That being said, do any other companies sell 9.5. Im sure they do online but I've never seen any 9.5 gauge at GC or Sam Ash. I really love pure nickel wound strings, like the blue box DR's, but never seen them in 9.5 gauge.

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