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Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?

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thespionage 13 Mar 05 - 07:02 PM
Clinton Hammond 13 Mar 05 - 07:26 PM
The Fooles Troupe 13 Mar 05 - 07:30 PM
Seaking 13 Mar 05 - 07:55 PM
Wrinkles 13 Mar 05 - 08:33 PM
DrWord 13 Mar 05 - 08:42 PM
s6k 14 Mar 05 - 04:05 AM
Bee-dubya-ell 14 Mar 05 - 04:57 AM
Wrinkles 14 Mar 05 - 05:34 AM
s&r 14 Mar 05 - 05:38 AM
Big Al Whittle 14 Mar 05 - 06:14 AM
Mooh 14 Mar 05 - 06:16 AM
John Hardly 14 Mar 05 - 06:21 AM
Big Al Whittle 14 Mar 05 - 06:36 AM
John Hardly 14 Mar 05 - 06:40 AM
Leadfingers 14 Mar 05 - 07:00 AM
Nick 14 Mar 05 - 08:57 AM
breezy 14 Mar 05 - 08:59 AM
Paco Rabanne 14 Mar 05 - 09:07 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 14 Mar 05 - 09:08 AM
GUEST,Jim 14 Mar 05 - 09:16 AM
Big Al Whittle 14 Mar 05 - 09:32 AM
GUEST,Jim 14 Mar 05 - 12:14 PM
Pete_Standing 14 Mar 05 - 12:39 PM
thespionage 14 Mar 05 - 01:23 PM
Chris Green 14 Mar 05 - 01:35 PM
GUEST 14 Mar 05 - 01:51 PM
Strollin' Johnny 14 Mar 05 - 02:29 PM
Big Al Whittle 14 Mar 05 - 03:51 PM
thespionage 14 Mar 05 - 05:32 PM
Richard Bridge 14 Mar 05 - 05:51 PM
Bernard 14 Mar 05 - 08:08 PM
PoppaGator 14 Mar 05 - 08:15 PM
thespionage 14 Mar 05 - 10:46 PM
Eric the Streetsinger 14 Mar 05 - 11:32 PM
GUEST,leeneia 15 Mar 05 - 12:08 AM
DonMeixner 15 Mar 05 - 12:11 AM
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Subject: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: thespionage
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 07:02 PM

I was in Guitar Center yesterday and one of the employees said that 11s and higher will end up curling your hands and giving you problems. What do you think?

Thanks,
Russ


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 07:26 PM

I think I have no idea what you're talking about...

Heh


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 07:30 PM

... only if you take them without a grain of salt ...


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: Seaking
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 07:55 PM

I think you need to explain your question a little bit more clearly.


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: Wrinkles
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 08:33 PM

indeed, what does "11s" stand for?


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: DrWord
Date: 13 Mar 05 - 08:42 PM

The guy was a wimp.
To those of you who don't understand the question, the number refers to the diameter of the high E string, in thousandths of an inch. Look at your string packages.
I guess if your arthritis gets real bad, going for 10s [or lighter] might help some. It would take more tension off to tune down a semitone and capo at the first fret. Poor workaround, I know; but if it helps someone keep on pickin' ... :)

cheers
Dennis


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: s6k
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 04:05 AM

thats rubbish!! i use 12s on my acoustic, for about a year now, and I'm fine!

My old guitar teacher used 13's for 10 years!!!

so its all personal preference but 12's on an acoustic are amazing - much clearer tone and louder too. try it !


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 04:57 AM

Tens are okay for a small-bodied guitar like a 00, but large bodied guitars need heavier strings for optimum sound. Lighter strings mean less volume, less bass, less punch. If you primarilly play solo or if you always plug in, that's fine. But don't be taking a guitar with extra-light strings on it to a bluegrass jam and expect to be heard.


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: Wrinkles
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 05:34 AM

Gauges are Metric here in Yookay.

Anyone know how to convert US to UK sting mesurements?

However, if thick strings alone caused hand problems then every Bass guitar player would suffer from them; and this seems not to be the case.

Wrinkles


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: s&r
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 05:38 AM

If you want to bend notes, use light gauge strings. If you want an easy action, get a good setup. Light strings are often used to camouflage a guitar which needs the frets levelled dressed and polished, the relief adjusted, and the height (and contours) of nut and saddle set. I had a guitar which seemed ok but not a joy to play, and I'd put 10's on; after a setup from Eddie Green 12's are ideal.

Stu


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 06:14 AM

whatever you do, don't take the guitar strings internally.

otherwise be brave in the face of 11 gauge guiatr, remember who dares wins....


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: Mooh
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 06:16 AM

Based on what evidence?

Random sampling of my guitars: 12s (light guage) on two, 13s (medium guage) on one, 14s (heavy guage) on another though it's tuned down, 9s on the electrics, blah, blah, blah...

How then do we explain the 12 string with 10s, but doubled? Or the mandolin likewise? The bass?

Factor in scale lengths, hand strength and size, setup standards, string alloys, pitch, orientation of the planets, not to mention the illinformed nature of guitar council provided for free by mentally challenged store employees, and you end up with...hog wash. Is hog wash one word, two words, or hyphenated?

You think you've got problems? Try to find left-handed guitar strings these days...

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: John Hardly
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 06:21 AM

I haven't used 10s since I was a little girl.


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 06:36 AM

Ah you young 'uns can laugh, but Oiv'e been in places where the whole audience went down with yellow jack, and the ground was heaving, and the guitar strings were thicker than hose pipes - and not an intellituner in sight.

What'll we do Captain? What'll we do Cap'n, asked the crew

Why Black Dog, theres only one thing for it Mr Hands, its desperate strait we're becalmed on a lee shore and its goin' to blow up a hurricane

Every man to his station and we'll play the Wild Rover all night, these buggers won't notice. If it gets rough, we'll hold the course, or its keel haulin' for the lot of you...

Afterwards when we sent a deputation with the black spot for the pieces of eight, the bloke said, You're not free for Patrick's night by any chance?


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: John Hardly
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 06:40 AM

I've played an old Gibson guitar with the action so high that a six-foot man could hang, full length, from the E string at the twelfth fret, and he toes would barely touch the fingerboard.

Even 10s wouldn't help that. A luthier might.


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 07:00 AM

Thesp - Your guitar Centre oik is talking through his soundhole !!
String thickness depends entirelyon personal preference and guitar setup ! My D35 suits me fine with D'Addario J17's (13 thou first)
while my Cheapo Tanglwewood Earth is happiest with J16's (12 thou first) . Heavier guage strings on a decent banjo can result in a severe loss of tone , and both my 5 strings are happy with a 9 thou first (And Fifth)


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: Nick
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 08:57 AM

Read over the weekend that Stevie Ray Vaughan chose to play with 14 top E and a high action (usually tuned a semitone down) and had his frets made from bass fret wire as otherwise he would wear the frets out too quickly. Stronger fingers than me definitely.

Jimmy Page on the other hand sometimes used a banjo string as a top E because a 9 was not light enough.

Personal preference.

What is "curling your hands"? Curling the neck I understand (heavy gauge metal strings on a spanish should work nicely...)


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: breezy
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 08:59 AM

i use 008 on the top and tune it to G# to bring out the quality tone of my Brook tamar,007 snap ,too thin. 009 snap , too tight!

2nd string 011 tunes to D#

Its the 2nd finger on my plucking hand thats giving me concern at the knuckle joint, after 40 years, so regular useage I find useful therapy as I cant rest.


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 09:07 AM

Long ago and far away, I was once sat next to the jazz guitarist Tal Farlow in a club, and he said he used a sixth string in place of his fifth to beef up the tone. Respect!


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 09:08 AM

back in the days when i was a poor student and only owned 2 guitars..

i decided to string my acoustic
[ a shaftsbury.. probably out of the Eko factory ]
with 11s or higher [?]..


sounded great..

until a few weeks later i woke up one morning to discover
that suddenly overnight the soundboard had bowed sickeningly upwards
and the bridge had torn out leaving behind a mess
of fractured & splintered wooden laminate..

..one reason to be aware of the possible ill effects of increased string tension


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 09:16 AM

Toughen up those fingers and forget about arthritis. Learn to play all chords and inversions, go for flexibility/variety in your playing and 40 years down the line your fingers will be just fine - trust me........


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 09:32 AM

guest JIm, as ever was me hearty?


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: GUEST,Jim
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 12:14 PM

Still good for a bit of y'er owd fashioned leg spin an' all WLD


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: Pete_Standing
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 12:39 PM

that suddenly overnight the soundboard had bowed sickeningly upwards
and the bridge had torn out leaving behind a mess
of fractured & splintered wooden laminate.>

That happened to my friends Eko 12 string. Any other Eko owners similarly affected?

BTW, graduated from lights (11/12 up) to mediums (13-56) on my S&P6. Tone, volume and sustain all improved. I've also put 13 18 30 42 on my bouzouki - marvellous.


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: thespionage
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 01:23 PM

I think John's comments have the been the funniest. I'm not sure if the question about "curling your hands" was a joke, but that referred to the player's hands becoming warped allegedly due to strings that are two heavy.

I had forgotten that most of the mudcat users are from the U.K., but I was indeed referring to string diameter. The Guitar Center clerk claimed that after years of playing thick strings, his friends' hands had all sorts of trouble.

Because I saw that a certain group used 11s for a particular electric guitar and 13s for an acoustic, I thought I'd ask being that I had just bought the 11s.

Keep letting me know your thoughts on this! Thanks.

Russ


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: Chris Green
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 01:35 PM

Erm, it sounds as though he's talking out of his arse to me! I've been using 13s on my guitar since I was eight, and I've never had any problems. The thicker the string, the better the tone, IMO!


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 01:51 PM

Here's a link to metric conversion for the poster above .... 0.013inches = (approximately) 0.033cm or 0.33mm


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: Strollin' Johnny
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 02:29 PM

I'm in the Yookay and I've only ever heard string gauges given in thous (12, 16 etc.). I don't know anyone who refers to them in metric.

I've used 12s for donkey's years on my Lowden and Martin with no ill effects (to guitars or hands).


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 03:51 PM

Of course that's the trouble, you start off with 11, and then one of your so called folksinger friends, says why not try something stronger, come on you'll enjoy it......and in a moment of weakness followed by a lifetime of regret.....you're a slave to Martin Bronze Blue Packet.

Theres only one way that can end....in backrooms of music shops asking complete stranger to straighten your truss rod.

just say no


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: thespionage
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 05:32 PM

That's funny. (Were you suggesting that 11 and above are bad, or just kidding around?)

Russ


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 05:51 PM

UK gives string diameters in thou.

Acoustics:
13s will always sound bigger and stiffer than anything lighter.   Lower the string tension too much nd the strings sound "floppy" (think: bouzouki).
Most of the sound in an acoustic comes from the vibration and twist of the top of the guitar. Reduce guage and tension: result - less sound, less tone. If you want thinner and boinglier, you may prefer the sound of a lighter guage.
14s and over - definitely for people who play tuned down a semitone or tone (step or half-step). Called "heavies" and hard to find.
13="medium" - and what people always used to play when girls were men and there were none of this nanny state (mutter, mutter). Even my late wife used to play them until the arthritis got her hands and the emphysema got her lungs so grabbing a chord and gripping became a non-option (no strength left). Some modern guitars will not handle them (Daion is one), so check first, but I am surprised to hear of an EKO folding.
12s="light". Use if 13 is not an option. Less vibration of the top, see?
11s="ultra light". Played by rock guitarists who think an acoustic might sound nice.
Lighter - those using non-standard tunings or pitches higher than EADGBE.


Electric: Guages make less difference because there is almost no body resonance and it's all about electricity.
7s, 8s. Played by youngsters whose hands have yet to harden, or people with impossible setups. Hard to keep in tune, and a determined bend can break them.
9s. Teles: the Fender scale is longer than the Gibson.
10s. Normal for a Gibson in spanish tuning EADGBE and concert pitch.
11s. Some "butch" players and metal players who play single drop D and have not yet thought of putting a custom bottom string on.
12s, 13s - usually those who play Spanish tuning down to D or even C. (Metal bands)
14s. Drop D tuning in the above settings, or even those who play in B and have not yet gone to a 7 string.


Curly hands? Bollocks.


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: Bernard
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 08:08 PM

Some people will always speak before they've activated their brains... sweeping generalisations seem to be the stock in trade for salespeople... or is that a sweeping generalisation...?!! Hah!

I, too, am staggered to hear of an Eko folding - usually it's the player that folds under all that weight! My old Ranger 12, circa 1970, is fine - except that I had to have the back replaced after a motorcycling accident... awww, don't ask!! ;o)

On second thoughts... one reason why an Eko bridge could fold - if the string ball-ends aren't correctly fitted. The bridge pin doesn't hold the string in the bridge, it only is supposed to deflect the ball-end over so that it pulls against the underside of the belly. When I'm fitting strings I always push the pin in, then check that the string is still able to move freely with the pin in place.

I've often seen people jam the pins in with bits of paper - my bridge pins will usually pull out with my bare fingers (with the string at concert pitch!), and I've never had tuning problems.

Ask any guitar salesman... then again, perhaps not!!


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: PoppaGator
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 08:15 PM

The "expert" at your Guitar Center probably never played an acoustic in his life. Tens are called "light" for a reason!

My 36-year-old Martin has never been strung with anything lighter than 13s, and it hasn't snapped in half yet. I've got arthritis in my fingers, sure, but I've spent many more hours of my adult life typing on keyboards than I have playing on the guitar fingerboard. And I still wouldn't think of going to flimsier strings; I just take my glucosamine, suck it up, and play hurt.


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: thespionage
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 10:46 PM

Great, thanks!

Russ


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: Eric the Streetsinger
Date: 14 Mar 05 - 11:32 PM

Absolutely not. Fact is, if you are playing, as you should, with a delicate touch,
you can play even on heavy strings without much more than a little callousing- what
I call "soft leather" callousing- on your fingertips. Remember when you play that you
only need to touch the string to the fret- not down to the fretboard, and that you
need only use enough pressure to do that. I use a medium set of strings, with
the high "E" repaced by a .15- and actually find its easier to play these strings
now than it was playing with extra slinkys way back when, before Martin Simpson
taught me about using a light touch.


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 12:08 AM

Hey, weelittledrummer, I loved your post about the crew in desperate strait. Qualifies as poetry, if you ask me.

Meanwhile, all these years have passed, and I have never given a thought to what size my strings are. I just buy whatever package of strings looks appealing.

The sales clerk's statement is a good example of "post hoc" thinking. Someone used heavy strings and got arthritis. Well, people get arthritis and strings may have nothing to do with it. The main cause of arthritis is a long life.


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Subject: RE: Gtr: Are strings >10 bad for you?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 15 Mar 05 - 12:11 AM

I have played Martin Bronze lites or Darco New York Lites on my Yamaha 180, My Martin )-16 NY, and My Guild F-30 short scale for as long as I've played guitar, 34 years. Never complained of the sound, never complained of the action or tunability, and never damage a guitar.

I've damaged me in the meanwhile with a table saw and hydro electric governor wheel, but never with the wrong strings on a guitar.

Don


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