Skip to content
string guage on sho...
 
Notifications
Clear all

string guage on short length guitar

9 Posts
6 Users
0 Likes
2,476 Views
almann1979
(@almann1979)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1281
Topic starter  

i have recently practiced a lot of hybrid picking and i genuinely think i will never go back to just soley using a pick.
to help with that i am thinking of using thin guage strings (8's?) so it is easier for my hybrid picking fingers.

However, i mainly use a les paul copy and somebody told me that using thin strings on short scale guitars is a no no.
They didnt say why, and as it was just a conversation in passing with a guy in a guitar shop, i dont know the guy to ask him why.

is he right - or this all just nonsense?
thanks, Al

"I like to play that guitar. I have to stare at it while I'm playing it because I'm not very good at playing it."
Noel Gallagher (who took the words right out of my mouth)


   
Quote
gnease
(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5038
 

I agree with him assuming you are using standard tuning. it comes down to tension more than gauge. to start, shorter scales will require less tension than longer scales (given same note, same gauge). furthermore, a light gauge string requires less tension to tune up to the same pitch as compared to a heavier gauge string. if tension is too low there are a number of potential problems and compromises. strings that are too loose are not necessarily easier to pick (wider swing increases positional uncertainty); they can suffer tonally (harmonics shift relative to fundamental); they are more likely to buzz as that wider "swing" is more likely to slap frets; they are easier to inadvertently "bend" out of tune by over-fretting; they cannot support the same dynamics as higher tension strings (which can be played louder, as well as just as softly).

-=tension & release=-


   
ReplyQuote
almann1979
(@almann1979)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1281
Topic starter  

thanks gnease - that all makes sense. i think i will stick to thicker strings and keep going until the strength in my fingers increases. :D

"I like to play that guitar. I have to stare at it while I'm playing it because I'm not very good at playing it."
Noel Gallagher (who took the words right out of my mouth)


   
ReplyQuote
dogbite
(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

I agree with gnease.
playing lap steel and often tuning to other open tunings (out of curiosity)
I find that when the strings have the proper tension they vibrate (sing) in a noticeable way.
lap steels are short scale. I definitely feel and hear it when I have the proper string gauge for the tuning I choose.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
ReplyQuote
bfloyd6969
(@bfloyd6969)
Estimable Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 91
 

Ha ha, I have .09's on my 22.5" scale Squier. I like them because I can bend almost a full octave!! :D

Still, the others are right. Use a slightly heavier gage than what you are used to for shorter scale guitars.

Why do we have to get old...


   
ReplyQuote
TRGuitar
(@trguitar)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3709
 

I sure hope Tony Iommi doesn't read this. He uses 8's on his SG's and they are 24 3/4 scale. :twisted: However I do agree with the logic and physics of using heavier strings with a short scale. :roll:

"Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard,
grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em."
-- The Webb Wilder Credo --


   
ReplyQuote
gnease
(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 5038
 

Mr. Iommi has some special needs.

-=tension & release=-


   
ReplyQuote
bfloyd6969
(@bfloyd6969)
Estimable Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 91
 

Mr. Iommi has some special needs.

...and gets a special sound that is very signature of him 8) (big Iommi fan here).

Why do we have to get old...


   
ReplyQuote
Moonrider
(@moonrider)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1305
 

The main thing about string gauge is what you like the sound and feel of on the guitar. It's a subjective thing, and other people's opinions don't matter much. What sounds and feels "right" to you is what you should use for that guitar. That's something that will probably change over time, also. Experiment with different gauges and brands until you find the one that clicks. Then do it again every two years or so. There's no "best" string brand or gauge, just the one that works best for YOU.

One other thing to consider on electrics is using a wound third string. On "vintage style" bridges like the Telecaster 3-barrel, and LP Jr. wrap tails a wound third string can help improve intonation. Also, if you have pickups with a "vintage stagger" to the pole pieces, a wound third will give you a more balanced sound. I'm personally finding that I also like the slightly softer feel of a wound third, and I'm playing with them on the various planks that I own to see how I like the sound.

Playing guitar and never playing for others is like studying medicine and never working in a clinic.

Moondawgs on Reverbnation


   
ReplyQuote