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9s or 10s on your Les Paul?

Cliff Gress

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Joined
Aug 26, 2004
Messages
3,332
The only strings I use. I get them from a cool member here, Toneman. (not to be confused with some other site that calls themselves Toneman.)

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I use their Nickel Classics. Fine strings. TM1.
 
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Jethro Rocker

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Joined
Nov 6, 2022
Messages
287
Does anyone here know why the same gauge strings might feel stiffer on my newly acquired R9 as compared to my two LP standards? I have been using Ernie Ball Hybrid slinkys (9 to 46) for years and they felt very good to me on my standards. I got this R9 a couple of weeks ago and it feels stiffer and I have noticed my fingers getting a bit more sore, and I play every day for at least an hour. I measured the action and they are all very close, so just wondering why it feels different. I am considering doing a hybrid of 8s for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, and 9s for the 4th 5th and 6th.
Not sure. Same setup? Tailpiece raised the same amount?

I use 10s on most but going hybrid 9 -46 on some LPs. My fingers cramp at gigs on some songs. I play hard and tend to clamp too hard.
 

SpacePaul

New member
Joined
Apr 15, 2024
Messages
1
I had 9s loved it buy maybe a bit too loose, so put 10s on. 10s feel more right, for double stops, chords, and ok with most bends, but I do miss bending beyond one whole stop. What rest think of this? Thanks.
.10-.38s
 

Happy Tree

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Joined
Apr 1, 2024
Messages
27
I've used 8s on every guitar for the last 40 years. Started with a Strat, then loved the extra bendiness of the LP scale. Major 3rd bending a breeze!
 

Greywolf

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Joined
Oct 2, 2023
Messages
163
I've run 10's on my '79 Custom since new 45 years ago . I've only had my
'55 CS Special for a few months and while great for slide the 10's with the wrap bridge were just a bit stiff , D'addario makes a sweet 9.5 set I'e been using for the last year on my PRS's , I gave them a spin and it was night and day. WAY easier on the fingers and REALLY brings out the single coil and maple neck sparkle.
 
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Johnny Q

Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2003
Messages
512
Almost always 10s on my two Les Pauls. For a while, I used Ernie Ball Skinny Top/Heavy Bottom strings (10 to 52) on my R9.
 
Joined
May 10, 2024
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68
For me it depends on the tuning.

E standard 10-46/48
Eb standard 11-50
D/C# standard 12-52/56 wound 3rd
C standard 13-64 wound 3rd
B standard 14-68 wound 3rd
A standard 15-70 wound 3rd

Once I get to D/C# on some guitars I want extra snap and punch from the low strings, and intonation across the string's length seems to benefit from added thickness
 
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Steven K

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2022
Messages
93
I use the lightest upper strings possible as I am old and arthritic and love bending and wish to use my finger vibrato. I make my own hybrid sets, and use 8's.
 
Joined
May 10, 2024
Messages
68
I use the lightest upper strings possible as I am old and arthritic and love bending and wish to use my finger vibrato. I make my own hybrid sets, and use 8's.
That is the wonderful thing about stringed instruments. They lend themselves so well to the purposeful utilization of differentiated setups which speak to the abilities, needs, purposes, and preferences of each individual player.

For me I play in many tunings, yet most of my string gauge selections are tailored to provide uniform feel and responsiveness across the range of tunings I utilize. I personally like snap and a percussive thump with minimized string noise and buzzing. My string choices are catered to that desire.
 

Dave P

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 13, 2001
Messages
1,006
None of the rocknroll is played on thick strings.
It is all 8 and 9s.

Please show me a good thicked string song.




I did not understand that magazines had this much impact.


Jimmy
Peter
Frank
Jimi


No more fat tone killer strings!
Alex Skolnick from Testament plays 11-49 on both his metal guitars and his jazz boxes.
 

Wilko

All Access/Backstage Pass
Joined
Mar 11, 2002
Messages
20,900
None of the rocknroll is played on thick strings.
It is all 8 and 9s.

Please show me a good thicked string song.
Tons of great Rock and Roll was played on heavier strings than .008-.009.

Most popular string gauge is 10-46.

Stevie Ray Vaughan .013 (.013 - .052)
Jimi Hendrix .009 - .038 (also .010, .013, .015, .026, .032 and .038)
Chuck Berry .008
Jimmy Page .008, .009
Jeff Beck .011 - .049 (also .009 - .052)
Brian Setzer .010
Eddie Van Halen .009 - .040
James Hetfield .009, (also .011 - .048)
Billy Gibbons .008
Kirk Hammett .010 (.011 set for bottom three string)


Buddy Guy .010
Slash .011 - .048
Dimebag Darrell .011 (.009 for standard tuning)
Gary Moore .009 (also .010)
Eric Clapton .010 - .046
David Gilmour .010 - .048
Malcolm Young .012 - .056
Al Dimeola .010
Zakk Wylde .010
Randy Rhoads .009 (also .010)
Steve Vai .009 (also .010)
Robbie Kreiger .010
Vernon Reid .011
Marty Friedman .010
Joe Bonamassa .011 - .052
Albert Lee .010
Alex Leifson .010
Keith Richards .011 - .042
Yngwie Malmsteen .008 - .048
Brian May .009 - .034
Trey Anastasio .010
Brad Paisley .010
Mark Tremonti .010 (.011 on bottom three)
Jerry Garcia .011
Kenny Wayne Shepherd .010, .011, or .012
Jerry Cantrell .010 - .046
Alexi Laiho .010 - .056
Eric Johnson .010 - .046
George Lynch .009, .010, or .011
Lenny Kravitz .010 - .052
Adrian Smith .009 - .040
Dave Murray .009 - .040
Nancy Wilson .010 - .046
John Frusciante .010
 
Joined
May 10, 2024
Messages
68
Tons of great Rock and Roll was played on heavier strings than .008-.009.

Most popular string gauge is 10-46.

Stevie Ray Vaughan .013 (.013 - .052)
Jimi Hendrix .009 - .038 (also .010, .013, .015, .026, .032 and .038)
Chuck Berry .008
Jimmy Page .008, .009
Jeff Beck .011 - .049 (also .009 - .052)
Brian Setzer .010
Eddie Van Halen .009 - .040
James Hetfield .009, (also .011 - .048)
Billy Gibbons .008
Kirk Hammett .010 (.011 set for bottom three string)


Buddy Guy .010
Slash .011 - .048
Dimebag Darrell .011 (.009 for standard tuning)
Gary Moore .009 (also .010)
Eric Clapton .010 - .046
David Gilmour .010 - .048
Malcolm Young .012 - .056
Al Dimeola .010
Zakk Wylde .010
Randy Rhoads .009 (also .010)
Steve Vai .009 (also .010)
Robbie Kreiger .010
Vernon Reid .011
Marty Friedman .010
Joe Bonamassa .011 - .052
Albert Lee .010
Alex Leifson .010
Keith Richards .011 - .042
Yngwie Malmsteen .008 - .048
Brian May .009 - .034
Trey Anastasio .010
Brad Paisley .010
Mark Tremonti .010 (.011 on bottom three)
Jerry Garcia .011
Kenny Wayne Shepherd .010, .011, or .012
Jerry Cantrell .010 - .046
Alexi Laiho .010 - .056
Eric Johnson .010 - .046
George Lynch .009, .010, or .011
Lenny Kravitz .010 - .052
Adrian Smith .009 - .040
Dave Murray .009 - .040
Nancy Wilson .010 - .046
John Frusciante .010
Nice list. My realization that it is indeed Malcom's tone that I love in AC/DC's sound was one of the major things that got me into using heavier gauge strings. That pedal tone riff on "Whole Lotta Rosie" would not hit with the wicked punch and grind it does with a set of nines. Also his use of Filtertron's opened my eyes to the grind of Filtertrons and other vintage non-PAF derived pickups. I'm a huge fan, and his tone opened my ears to other possibilities.
 
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Steven K

Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2022
Messages
93
The Beatles also used 11 and 12 high e strings


Let's not forget, a few of the famous guitarists that used heavier gauge strings tuned down half a step and also the string gauge varied in accordance with alternate tunings

It always hurt me using 11's on a Fender


SRV's fingers would bleed and he used skin patches with crazy glue.
 
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gitmohair

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2024
Messages
79
It's an interesting list, but doesn't unfortunately (as noted above) take account of things like scale length, tuning or simply what were available "packaged sets" at the time (the Hendrix 10-38, for example, was the then common Fender F150 set) - at the end of the day a lot of these (variables allowed for) are going to come out at the sort of tension you'd get with 10/11 high E sets on a standard Gibson scale I suspect.
 
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