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9s for Fender, 10s for Gibson, right?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by charlie chitlin, Jan 15, 2021.

  1. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Why do so many people say this?
    I've recently been playing my Gibson scale things more, and also an oddball guitar with 25 3/4" scale, and, for my money, longer scale guitars seem slinkier; shorter feels tighter.
    So why would one want lighter strings on a guitar where the longer scale would already make it feel floppier?
    Is it because you have to bend the string physically further to hit the target pitch on a longer scale?
    I would think, if you wanted the guitars to feel like they had similar string tension, you'd put 10s on the Fender and 9s on the Gibson.
     
  2. northernguitar

    northernguitar Tele-Holic

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    10s on everything for me.
     
  3. blue17

    blue17 Tele-Meister

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    I think most people would disagree and say that shorter scale length guitars feel slinkier. Think about it, stretching the string a longer distance is going to make it feel tighter. YMMV, but the extra resistance on a 25.5" guitar (Strat, Tele) is what makes it feel the way it does.

    For the record, I use 10's on all of my electrics.
     
  4. posttoastie

    posttoastie Tele-Afflicted

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    Longer scale requires more tension. 25.5 should feel stiffer with 10s than 9s. Gibsons at 24.75 have a looser feel due to less torsion to get to pitch. Think Ukulele guitar and how LOOSE the strings are tension wise due to short scale.
     
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  5. marshman

    marshman Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Over the first 4-5 years I was learning to play, I slowly upped gauges on all my guitars, eventually settling for 11s on "Fender scales", and tried 12s on my Les Paul, but could not find a G-string I could work with, so I went back to 11s. Wounds were off, and the plain steel were just tooooo thick.

    Maybe I should investigate some of those heavy top/light bottom sets.
     
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  6. Addnine

    Addnine Tele-Meister

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    I keep one Strat w/ 9's, one with 10's. Tele's get 10s, as do many others. Nearly half of my guitars have 11-gauge Thomastick- Infield flatwounds. I've never put those on a Tele, but it's worth a try. Might just do that later today. (I try not to think about how much I spend on those T-I flatwounds.)
     
  7. notmyusualuserid

    notmyusualuserid Friend of Leo's

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    Because many people are eejits.

    I put 10s on everything, even my Mustang.
     
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  8. Sconnie

    Sconnie Tele-Afflicted

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    11s across the board for me, Gibson and Fender scale lengths. First used them a dozen years ago and have never looked back, never felt compelled to try anything else, Power Slinkys all day!
     
  9. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    If this happens to your short scale guitars this means that they need a proper set up.

    Physics is physics.
     
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  10. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    I did the same thing. Ended up with 13s on the Gibsons and 12s on the Fenders. For a while I tried plain .020s for a G on some Fender guitars, wound .022 for others. Settled for plain .017 or .018 G string on Fenders and mostly wound .024 G on Gibsons. The plain .020 was too loud and wouldn't intonate.

    After about 20 years, I backed off about one digit in string gauges, just lightened up my grip and pick attack.
     
  11. blue metalflake

    blue metalflake Doctor of Teleocity

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    Don’t have any of those “other” guitars, but 9’s are sound on Tele or Strat.
     
  12. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    I never use 9's on fender or anything else.
     
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  13. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Thank you for your totally unsolicited expressions of string preference.
    I'd encourage you to try it for yourselves...logic and amateur physics aside...if I, for instance, grab a big G barre chord at the 3rd fret and shake some vibrato into it, the strings feel floppier to me on a Fender than on a Gibson, and floppier yet on the 25.75" Kay.
    And...I don't have any proof of it and am not convinced that a longer string requires more tension to get to pitch.
    It's an interesting question.
    A fatter string would require more tension in order to vibrate faster, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if a particular gauge string will reach a particular pitch at a specific tension irrespective of scale length.
    As for the Ukulele example, my logic tells me (and I could be wrong), that if one took those skinny nylon strings, put them on a 25" scale instrument and tuned them to pitch, they would be more floppy.
     
  14. Recce

    Recce Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    People say it to keep similar tension on the strings on the different guitars with different neck lengths.
    Your personal opinion may vary.
     
  15. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I have never heard anyone say that.

    Isn't the whole point of your post to solicit opinions?
     
  16. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    This is the science versus belief thing. Post #4 by @posttoastie is correct. But preference overrides calculations. I use 11’s not only on Gibson and Gretsch but on my Telecaster too. I use 10’s on my Stratocasters with a 0.11 high E string. 11’s just sound better on my Telecaster but don’t make a noticeable difference on my Strats. The 0.11 high E improves balance between strings on my Strats. It’s easier to play 11’s in tune because they have a little more resistance to being pushed sharp. This isn’t belief or physics. It’s my experience with my guitars but the math and physics support my preferences.
     
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  17. 57fenderstrat

    57fenderstrat Tele-Holic

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    Fender 10-48

    Gibson 10-52

    But that’s just what I like
     
  18. Audiowonderland

    Audiowonderland Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Your premise that a fender is "sloppier" is factually incorrect. That is your answer/reason why. With the same gauge strings on both, the shorter scale Gibson will have less string tension.
     
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  19. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

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    Here it's 10's for Fender, 11's for Gretsch, and who needs Gibson?
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
  20. Audiowonderland

    Audiowonderland Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    This isn't amateur physics. Its long established fact.. Its not open for debate. And I am pretty sure everyone here has tried different gauge string on their guitars. You might take 5 minute and google it before you start getting snotty with people.
     
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