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009s on a Tele...

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by aadvark, Jan 15, 2021.

  1. pippoman

    pippoman Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I enjoy work, but not when I’m playing guitar. I know what you meant - 9s or 9.5s are fine. After watching the video that was posted above and listening intently with headphones I’m convinced that the lighter strings actually have more clarity. The last part of the video where he A/B’d the recording with 12s versus 8s was an eye opener. While the 12s sounded good (he’s a great player after all), they actually sounded muddy compared to the 8s. Anyone who thinks they’re getting more clarity because they’re using heavy gauge strings is absolutely mistaken.

    My friend, who’s been playing as long as I have (roughly 58 years), uses 8s and gets a great sound; he was a west coast session player in the mid-sixties, toured with the Jazz Crusaders, and his band opened for Jimi Hendrix on the West coast a time or two. 8 gauge is too slinky for me but works for him. I’ll never go back to 11s!
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2021
  2. pippoman

    pippoman Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    Nice observation Viking. Some players just have a natural heavy hand. I don’t know how long you’ve been playing, but usually players develop a lighter touch over time, but not always. Think back to when you were learning and your fingers were sore after a session of playing. It was partly because they weren’t used to pressing down steel strings, but mostly because when certain strings would buzz you would put more pressure than necessary on all the strings just to keep that one string from buzzing. Over time it became more natural and that pressure was no longer required. Now you can pretty much just rest your fingers on the neck and you’ve got a chord without even trying.

    It also depends on how often you play, and for how long. Overall I play about an hour on days we’re not rehearsing or playing a gig. We only did 4 gigs in 2020, but we rehearsed weekly while practicing safe distancing in a 1600 sf building with a 16’ ceiling. We’re ready to hit the ground running when things open back up!
     
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  3. Ricoblues

    Ricoblues TDPRI Member

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    I'm on the 10s side, I've tried a couple of time 9s but are like rubber bands for me (some brands are a bit better).
     
  4. Call Me Al

    Call Me Al Tele-Meister

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    I hardly notice the subtle differences in tone, and will ALWAYS pick strings based on feel first. Especially on an electric instrument, when I can tweak my tone 50 ways to Sunday.
     
  5. saleake

    saleake Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I use 10s on all my electric guitars, except my Collings 290, which requires 11s. I go back and forth between 10s and 11s on my Les Pauls so they will stay in tune better.
     
  6. Ronzo

    Ronzo Tele-Holic

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    9-42 on my 25.5” scale instruments like Teles and Strats, and 10-46 on my 24.75” instruments like LP and 335 types.

    I may revisit the 10s, though, because my new Flying V came with 9-42s, and that instrument plays like a dream.

    I try to keep the feel the same, so I can move between different instruments more easily.
     
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  7. 41144

    41144 Tele-Afflicted

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    Aardvark, all I can say is did that, even tried hybrids but and even for my old rheumatic fingers... my AV64 Tele needs 10s :cool:
     
  8. Bean1871

    Bean1871 TDPRI Member

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    EB Super Slinky devotee since the 70s here. On a tele, through a Vox, way up loud.
    Cheers.
     
  9. albatros

    albatros TDPRI Member

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    I went back to 010 because playing a JC 40 in clean channel made me understand that the pickups required it.
     
  10. RowdyHoo

    RowdyHoo Tele-Meister

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    I've recently (within the last couple of years) switched to 0.009s myself. My main reason was to help my old hands as I do a lot of bending (steel licks, rock, blues) as well.

    I don't love the sound of the 0.009 string. It's not terrible but it does, to my ear, sound thin to me especially when I play live (loud). But I do enjoy the playability.

    The most important string for me really is the G (3rd) string (the one that seems to cause me the most difficulty in bending). If I could find a set with a 0.010 bottom, 0.013 or 0.012 2nd, and a 0.016 or maybe even a 0.015 3rd/G-string that would likely be ideal. Possibly there's a set like that I've just not taken the time to research.
     
  11. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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  12. RowdyHoo

    RowdyHoo Tele-Meister

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    AWESOME! Thank you!
     
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  13. Southpaw Tele

    Southpaw Tele Friend of Leo's

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    I just bought a new Tele that came with the 9’s (after playing 10’s and 11’s on my Strat, Jazzmaster, and Thinline build) and I have to say, I kind of missed the lighter gauge. I’m sticking with 9’s on this Tele.
     
  14. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I keep flipping back from 9s to 10s and back. When I move to 9s I find them too slinky feeling - for about 10 minutes and then I “adjust” to them. Same when I go back to 10s. They feel too stiff for a short time then I adjust. I don’t know why I go back and forth on gauges once or twice a year. After about 10 minutes of playing, either gauge feels comfortable and sounds good to me.
     
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  15. Hey_you

    Hey_you Tele-Holic

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    10's on my Nashville Deluxe. I just placed 10's on my Strat yesterday after trying 9.5's for a couple months.I've been playing bass guitar more and think my fingers are just stronger. I did notice the sustain was longer right off.
     
  16. TheOtherNeill

    TheOtherNeill Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I had 10s on my tele/ASAT and strat/Legacy, and 11s (stock) on my semi-hollow. Recently switched to 9s on the solid bodies just to see how they felt and sounded, and I love 'em.

    ETA: similar to some other posters, the 9s initially felt very slinky, but I got used to them quickly--especially with bends.
     
  17. eddiewagner

    eddiewagner Poster Extraordinaire

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    009 all the time. And 008 for my homepractice tele
     
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  18. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    When I was younger I had more strength and less control, so I needed the strings to have more resistance.
    I was also playing acoustic with a .013 set so it made sense.
    Playing electric felt too loose at first but I got used to it.
    Those were just the standard gauges and what did I know?

    Only after almost 40 years playing guitar did I find that my control was greater than my strength, and try a .009 set.
    Strength being more worn joints than lack of muscle strength.

    I did many years prior, discover the more articulate bending afforded by jumbo frets, so my LH was not stuck on the vice grip setting.

    I think we can all learn and adapt, so there's no need to stick to the same old setup just because a new setup feels unfamiliar.
     
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  19. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    I never use anything but nines on Teles and Strats. They sound better, they play better. More twang and snarl, more mobility.
     
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  20. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Interesting.
    Did you have to adjust the setup for gauge changes, and also adjust pickup heights?
    Raising and lowering the pickups makes more difference through the amp, than going up or down .001 on the high E, or .004 on the low E.
     
    Ronzo likes this.
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