• Guys, we've spent considerable money converting the Les Paul Forum to this new XenForo platform, and we have ongoing monthly operating expenses. THE "DONATIONS" TAB IS NOW WORKING, AND WE WOULD APPRECIATE ANY DONATIONS YOU CAN MAKE TO KEEP THE LES PAUL FORUM GOING! Thank you!

9s or 10s on your Les Paul?

Steve Rose

Member
Joined
Jun 22, 2016
Messages
221
10s for me. It's what I'm used to. I've tried higher at times, but always come back to 10s
 

Bruce R

Member
Joined
Mar 2, 2007
Messages
942
.... But you heard how he struggled with those pointless strings.
I don't now Bonamassas music.


I don't think Free sold that much albums.... at least no bazziolonatoes.
I don't recall hearing that Koss "struggled" with his string gauge. He generally used heavy-gauged low strings (Gibson Sonomatic) but replaced the wound "G" with a heavy unwound string (.016/.017/.018) and lighter .013 "B" and 0.010 or 0.010 "E" string. He was also known to use slightly heavier high strings.

I am surprised that you are not familiar with Joe Bonamassa's music. He was very much influenced by Kossoff and an extremely successful guitarist today.

I was referring to the song (single) of "All Right Now." To be clear I was meaning that the song is still being played all around the world. Look it up.
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2006
Messages
619
For me it’s 10’s for Les Pauls, especially when I top wrap, tuned standard.

Tuned Standard I’ve even used the A and low E off an 11 gauge set when I got a bit of low E buzz across the saddle when top wrapped if the string break angle is too low across the saddle, from top wrapping, which could happen depending on the neck angle.

Does Joe B play tuned down 1/2 step incidentally? I think so, and tuned down and top wrapped on top of it would require going at least 11’s for many used to 10’s tuned Standard.
For 1/2 step down, I’ll go 11’s.

String tension that is too light also requires a lot of restraint when playing live! It’s easy to go sharp by fretting hard and over bend , and break strings even, if you become a worked up RocknRoll beast whilst on stage.

Speaking of that, SRV... tuned a 1/2 step down, AND had substances on board which probably made those 12’s seem like 9’s...I remember reading an interview with him in which he said that he went to lighter strings, I think 10’s or 11’s, when he sobered up... which totally makes sense!

I do want to try some 9’s or 9.5’s on the LP at some point though to see if I can get more snappy twang out of it...yep I just said that :).
 

Señor Verde

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Messages
502
Started with .009, but after the calluses formed I couldn't feel the strings under my fingers. I switched to .0095 for a few months and then to .010 and have been there ever since. Tried .011 on a couple guitars for a while but they were too much. .010 just work and sound best to me.
 

Iguana

Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2018
Messages
47
For those of you who prefer thinner strings, is it a question of hand/finger strength, callus thickness, or tone? No macho man posturing nonsense, this topic just kinda puzzles me.
 

c_wester

Active member
Joined
May 9, 2002
Messages
2,037
I don't recall hearing that Koss "struggled" with his string gauge. He generally used heavy-gauged low strings (Gibson Sonomatic) but replaced the wound "G" with a heavy unwound string (.016/.017/.018) and lighter .013 "B" and 0.010 or 0.010 "E" string. He was also known to use slightly heavier high strings.

I am surprised that you are not familiar with Joe Bonamassa's music. He was very much influenced by Kossoff and an extremely successful guitarist today.

I was referring to the song (single) of "All Right Now." To be clear I was meaning that the song is still being played all around the world. Look it up.
Of course, I know who he is. I just don't listen to the music that much. I know he's good just not my taste.
There are a lot of other guitarists also that I highly respect but don't necessarily listen to that much
 

aardvark

New member
Joined
Jan 19, 2021
Messages
4
I've always played with 10s or even 11s on some guitars, but my LP came with 009s - and I am loving the tone and feel. I intend to keep it that way - even wt the shorter scale, at least for now - because I love how they sound and behave. Never thought I'd be saying this! The 9.5s also sound like they might be worth a try.
 

Arkadian

New member
Joined
Nov 15, 2019
Messages
5
For many years, I used roundwound 10s on all my guitars, usually Ernie Ball, sometimes D'Addario. But I never found the sound I was searching for before I switched to flatwounds. So now I put Thomastik-Infeld JS112 (12–16–20w–27–37–50) on all my good guitars. I don't bend strings a lot anymore, but on the Les Paul I can still easily bend the upper strings a whole note, even the wound G string. The Thomastiks have lower tension than most flatwounds, and they're perfectly balanced, so every string feels equally heavy. Playing other strings now feels weird and awkward, and I really dislike the finger noise from roundwound strings. 9s or 10s feel like toys, really.
 
Last edited:

mdubya

Active member
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
832
For those of you who prefer thinner strings, is it a question of hand/finger strength, callus thickness, or tone? No macho man posturing nonsense, this topic just kinda puzzles me.

I gigged with 10s for years, practicing for a few hours before the gigs. My fingers were pretty beat up. I liked the security of the 10's vs light gauge and was shunning the shredder speed and high gain trend at the time.

Years later, no longer gigging, I started buying GHS 9's at the local Walmart, close by and easy tp get and all they had. Then I ordered a 12 pack of Slinky 10's and realized how much I liked the 9's. 🤔

After a while I just bought 9's and eventually went to Pure Nickel (from Nickel Plated), too. I play more than ever and I am happier playing than ever. Its been a good 12 years now since I went 9's full time.

Also, 9's sound more like the classic tones I am chasing. I was never going for "monster" or "brutal" tone.

Jimi
Jimmy
Angus
Iommi
Clapton
Beck

And by the end, SRV was playing 10's, shunning the heavy strings everyone attributes to his tone. You want to be like SRV? (or EVH - also 9's)? Practice 18 hours a day. String gauge won't get you there. (y)
 

Ccapilla

New member
Joined
Oct 7, 2018
Messages
12
I've been running 11s on my mid 90s USA LP DC and my newer SG for as long as I've had them. I've always like that feel on the Gibson scale length. I also play on the slow end on not super bendy, so it suits my cowboy chords and double stops just fine. I'm thinking about working a little lighter though on the next addition to preserve the neck a bit since it is going to be a bit thinner in profile.
 

vlxerdon

New member
Joined
Dec 28, 2020
Messages
7
Nines on all of my Strats and tens on my LP's and Mustangs. Started this practice in the seventies.
 

harleytech

Member
Joined
May 19, 2017
Messages
55
10's on my Gibson and Fenders and 11's on my ES...
2/21/21 - Edit : I might be going to 9's on the Gibson's soon...
 
Last edited:

rick c

Member
Joined
May 28, 2016
Messages
269
For what it is worth, I used 0.008"-0.032" for about 30 years then changed to 0.009"-0.042". I set my neck relief really flat, just a hint of relief, maybe 0.006" and action around 4/64" and 3/64". Sometimes, if I play for several hours, the neck warms up enough to straighten to flat and I get buzzing; leave the guitar for an hour and all is well.
 

Snakum

Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2017
Messages
31
I've always run 11s on my Strats/G&Ls and 10s on my Les Pauls and other TOM bridged guitars. You gotta fight a Strat a little bit to get the best out of them. :LOL:
 
Joined
Jan 11, 2020
Messages
83
I can tell the difference when I first pick up the guitar if playing 10's (I normally get 9's) but after about 20 seconds I do not notice anymore. I play acoustic and archtops with much heavier strings and rotate through several different types of guitars--so maybe that makes me different? But I cannot imagine that many guys play electric only? Surely most play both and use 12s or higher on the acoustic. For me personally, I get 9's for my LPs, unless I get 10s and they sound the same to me and I am functionally no different with either size. I do prefer coated strings, though.
 

SFW

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2005
Messages
362
10s if I'm in standard tuning. 11s if I'm down half a step.
 

MikeSlub

Administrator
Joined
Jul 15, 2001
Messages
14,715
I use 10's on Les Pauls but I'm not opposed to using 9's. In my youth, playing Strats, I was always going for the lightest strings available.
 
Top