Do a lot of people use 9's on Telecasters?

Wrighty

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I used 10s on everything for years. My guitar teacher used 9s. Played his Strat, swapped mine and my Tele to 9s. Jury’s still out. Have 11s on one Tele for (learning) slide work. Playing it normally feels good. Don’t bend chords or fretted notes out of tune and quite like the resistance. No idea what to do now, could be changing strings for ever!

Still on the 9s guys! So far, not a massive positive but neither negative enough to change back!
 

Brent Hutto

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Ah yes. Transitioning to electric was rough. Not only did I press down as hard as I do my acoustics, which just makes every string sound out of tune, the thin strings made it heart for me to properly nuance my playing. I didn´t necessarily dislike 09-42, but 10-46 feels just nicer due to a tad more resistance
Just this morning I spent a few minutes playing a three-note crosspicking pattern on the D-G-B strings over and over and over at a medium-slow speed trying to see how little of the pick tip I could brush across the strings and how lightly I could let my left hand finger rest behind the frets.

After several minutes both the picking and the fretting hands got super, super light and my tone sounded almost like a good guitar player's :cry:

I need to do that for a minute or two every day just to remind myself. But it's maddeningly hard to keep that up when actually playing a tune. The more I concentrate on the tune, the more that pick wants to just dig in and hammer the strings into submission.
 

Terrygh1949

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I decided over the past week or so that I needed a Telecaster, notwithstanding the fact I already another perfectly fine guitar that I like a lot. Go figure.

When I went shopping I was somewhat surprised to find that they come from Fender with 9-42 string gauges. Do a lot of people actually use 9's on their Tele? And if so, if that a new(ish) trend?

My previous exposure to Telecasters was more than a decade ago and my memory may be tricking me but I thought they used to come with a 10-46 set from the factory and that 10's or 11's where what 90% of players used.

Not sure why I'm asking other than curiosity. I bought one and left the factory 9-42 set on there and it plays really nicely. Sounds good although I still need to figure out pickup heights, amp settings, which pick to use, etc.

On my other guitar, also a 25-1/2" scale length, I use a 9.5-44 set. It's an Ibanez and came with 10-46, then I tried a 9-42 set on there and it felt flabby, sounded thin and plinky and just generally made me think 9's kind of stink (for my playing). But my new Player Tele seems to love the 9's.
10 46 is all I ever use. Tried 9 42 too light.
 

chamas

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My rule of thumb…9’s for 25.5 scale length and 10’s for 24.75 scale length, though recently 9.5‘s have been feeling better on the Gibsons.
 

Auherre756

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10s on my Tele and Strat
10s and 11s on my Gibsons
and heavier gauges on the guitars having open tunings for slide.
I recently came upon a wonderful Aussie guitar crafted by Cole Clark (see pic) that's equipped with 9s. I'm finding it difficult to put it down🤔
 

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AnthonyThomas

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I’ve been a 10’er for ages on my Strat and LP but my recent foray into Tele’s (bought 2 at once) showed me that 9’s might work. One had 10 the other 9. Having my 2015 Squire CV50 fret dressed and setup for 9. Will still stay with 10s on Strat and LP for now.
 

johnny k

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I used 10 46 for a long time, and switched to 11 56. The guitar sounds better but is harder to play. Actually, everytime i play it live i am thinking why did i change the gauge ?
 

dougbgt6

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I've a Squier Affinity which came with 9s, for me, thin, weedy and too easily bent when not intended. So I put on 10s, perfection!

I just bought a Squier mini Stratocaster for No.2 Grandson, it's a lovely thing and a proper guitar. 22.5" scale, but it has 9s! I'm told that's what it comes with new? The solid strings are OK but the wound strings can only be described as floppy and rattly. I've read adults who buy them put on 11s or even 12s but for a kid I'm gonna try 10s.

Doug
 

Brent Hutto

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I'm three weeks into life with Telecaster, pretty sure there hasn't been a single day I haven't play it although a few times it's been more like a few minutes of hit-and-run noodling.

Anyway, I still haven't had anything other than 9's on it but I've been waffling back and forth on the exact set of strings to use. On the one hand I bought the guitar because I liked it a LOT so obviously the Fender 250 Super Bullet strings feel and sound just fine. But on the other hand, I always have a case of "grass is greener" when it comes to strings and new guitars.

I think the waffling is finally over (for the time being). And it sounds silly but I'm really, really digging the sound of those ridiculously expensive D'Addario NYXL strings. Like $12.99 a set versus half that much for the Fenders or for plain old D'Addario XL's. In just three weeks I've switched to NYXL, then back to Super Bullet and now back to NYXL and it's not my imagination. They have a different sound.

The idea behind NYXL is mostly about being more durable when stretched back and for with a whammy bar. That's what justifies the high price, apparently. But the wound strings use an alloy that supposedly gets higher output from the pickups and has a slight boost in the 1.0-3.5K frequency range.

I've got to say with the stock Fender strings (even a fresh set) the bottom strings on my Telecaster are not the most resonant and "piano like" that I've ever heard. More like polite, well balanced with more of a punchy sound than a sustaining one. So a big-sounding E-major or A-minor chord with open strings is just sort of "nice", not amazing.

With the NYXL's on there a chord like that is truly amazing sounding. And even single-note runs on the low-E string have a nice timbre and rings out just like the higher strings.

So I guess I'm doomed to spending 13 bucks every few weeks when I change strings. I'm done with trying to convince myself the Fender strings sound "fine" in hopes of saving a couple bucks.
 

Chino

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My AVRI came with 9-42s. I bought it used, but it was apparently owned by a collector and felt like it had never been played. I had to open the bag of case candy to get the capacitor to change the wiring to modern. Therefore, I’m assuming it came from the factory with 9-42s. Plays like a dream. I had a Tele that I bought used back in ‘74 (for $150!) and I always used 9-42s on it. Some of my modern guitars just don’t feel right with 9-42s but I use them on my more vintage guitars. I think they sound best. If 9-42s don’t cut it on a guitar, I use 9-46s whenever possible.
 

IowaTeleGuy

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I use the D'Addario XS 9-42 strings but swap out the 9 and 11 for a 10 and 13. The 9 and 11 don't feel like enough material to grab on to and they seem to skate all over the place on mirror finished frets.
 

Larry F

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In my early 20s, when gigging several nights a week, I managed to go up from 9s to 11s on my strat. Hell, yeah! That was beautiful. After a 39 year gap, when I picked up guitar again, I settled on 9s, not for comfort per se, but for quickness and nuanced control of bends.

For several reasons, I was breaking a lot of Es during my comeback. It contributed to my flinching on some bends. Cannot have something like that becoming a habit, so I've stayed with 9s. Around the same time, I had a refret to stainless, in addition to using GHS cryos. Since my main purpose was to regain confidence that I wouldn't flinch, grimace, or squint, I have stuck with cryos ever since.

It's a 2-way street. Loosey goosey gives a more emotional presence with 9s, but can be sloppy and mushy. 10s and 11s speak quicker and hit the pitch sooner.
 

misterdontmove

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I like my 10-46’s. If I’m feelin crazy I’ll go 10-52. I don’t see the need to do any crazy bends or anything like that, just a little vibrato here and there. 10-46 is just a good middle of the road in my eyes, and even if I do want to do bends, I can do it no problem. Anything higher than a full step bend is just silly in my opinion, and I’d rather have a heavier string that doesn’t go sharp so easily when playing with gusto

I used to use 10's on my fender scale length and 11's on my Gibson scale length, but switched to 10-52 on everything a few years back, just to simplify my life.
 




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