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009s on a Tele...

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

  1. MiniMig

    MiniMig TDPRI Member

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    There's a great story about the composer Mozart. When he was 7, he accompanied his governess to the bazaar in Vienna. There was a band of street performers playing slightly out of tune. Overcome, young Mozart fainted.

    I can't claim to have such insufferably perfect pitch, but (perhaps because I play mostly clean) I am constantly "sharping out" any strings lighter than 11's - at least to me even if nobody else can hear it. I confess to playing a lot of acoustic and can't get away from the tonal qualities and lower action with 13's on those, so strength isn't an issue.
     
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  2. pippoman

    pippoman Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    You’re one of the few I can relate to. Light gauge strings and jumbo frets - that’s the only way to fly. I have large fairly strong hands from all my years in the manual work force (auto upholstery) and playing guitar comes down to muscle control like you said. I used to use 11s on my Gibsons, now 9s work just fine. I’m not trying to prove how strong I am and if I was, playing guitar is a poor way to exhibit strength. I’ve got jumbo stainless on my Strat and it is so enjoyable to play.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2021
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  3. pippoman

    pippoman Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    It took me a while to realize my tone was actually better and cleaner with 9s. That’s probably because I was playing too aggressively at first after using 10s or 11s all those years and my attack was too harsh. My acoustics still have 11s, but I do very little bending on them.

    Now that I’ve learned to control my picking attack and no longer bend my strings out of pitch accidentally, my Teles and Strats sound better than ever. I’m gonna try 9s on my 2 Gibsons in coming weeks. They’re both sporting 10s at the moment. I tried 10s on one of my acoustics and hated them. Horses for courses.
     
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  4. pippoman

    pippoman Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    That’s interesting. Listening to someone playing out of tune is annoying to me; I guess it was torture for Mozart. What a wimp! (JK)
     
  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    We read all the time that players can't play lighter strings or taller frets because they squeeze everything out of tune and the frets feel like railroad ties.

    All we can do is shake our heads.
    It's not the guitar!
    Lighten up!
     
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  6. gimmeatele

    gimmeatele Tele-Afflicted

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    Just tried these on my 50's Baja, and with 10's I preferred the neck pick up up only, its, to me, has brought a good tone throughout all the pick ups, I am a convert
     
  7. Frank Roberts

    Frank Roberts Tele-Meister

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    “JAMES BURTON STANDARD TELECASTER
    When James started out, he replaced his strings with banjo strings because they didn’t make the strings he wanted for guitar players. He was the first to do so. Until this day, James uses these unusual gauges: .009, .010, .012, .024, .032 and .038. James doesn’t only pick with a guitar pick, but he also uses a metal fingerpick on his middle finger.“
     
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  8. preacherjayk

    preacherjayk TDPRI Member

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    I tend to balance my strings by tension, due to the number of alternate tunings I use, mine range from 8's to hybrid, 13's they all feel more or less the same, I guess ,over the 19 teles I travel with, Latley I've been playing more in standard tuning , cause it get complicated at time to keep up with, for standard tuning I use 10's
     
  9. preacherjayk

    preacherjayk TDPRI Member

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    I got flats on one of my thinline teles, they work great for Jazz, not great for bending, but it can be done.
     
  10. pippoman

    pippoman Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    I didn’t know he was the first, but he certainly wasn’t the only one who did that. Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and a few other British players did that. They would start by taking the low E string out of the set and discarding it, then start with an 8 or 9 gauge banjo string and go up from there. The string meant for the A, or 5th string was now the low E or 6 th string.

    So they were essentially playing 8s or 9s and there wasn’t this talk about them sounding thin. They developed a lighter touch I suppose.
     
  11. Frank Roberts

    Frank Roberts Tele-Meister

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    Billy Gibbons tells the tale of early in his career meeting BB King and trying each other’s guitars. At that time Billy was using heavy gauge strings and was surprised at how light BB’s were. BB said, “Why are you working so hard?”

    Billy went light after that. He uses .007’s!! Has quite a reputation for great tone nonetheless. YMMV.
     
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