Different string gauge for different guitars

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  1. jazzacast55

    Hi guys,

    This maybe obvious to some of you but I've been finding out lately that I have to have certain gauge strings on my guitars as the string tension differs.
    I always use D'Addario EJ21 (12-52) on my guitars, I have a hollow tele and jazz box which they feel fine, but on my semi hollow 335 style I have to change down to 11-49 because they feel way to tight and was worried about hand problems. Slight loss of tone but the tension feels much better, much more similar to 12s on my other guitars.
    Anyone else have this before? I noticed on Scofields site that he has different strings for each if his guitars.

  2. Joxo


    Its because your guitars have different scale. The Tele is 25.5 and the 335 is 24.75. So the shorter scale will make he strings tighter.
    Also the way the neck is set up will have a inpact.

    I have this problem on 2 guitars with the same scale. One is nice while the other one is like wrestling a bear !

    Dont vorry about your hands if u dont have actuall problems with them already.

    My big issue with strings is to find a string tension that suits the actual guitar. Some guitars sound greate when u play singlestring stuff but you have also have to hit the string hard to get tone. That makes chord playing with the pick hard becouse it much harder to control the dynamics when u have to play hard to make it sound right.

  3. david6strings

    i'm trying the adam rogers set up which is a set of regular 011 daddario but the first is a 013 and the second is a 016 on a 335, if you don't bend the strings it must be ok with the hands

  4. jorgemg1984

    I have 013-56 on my 335 and 013-56 on my archtop but I change the first two strings to 015 and 019 on the archtop only. It feels great on both and I can change between them without problems! On my two acoustics I can handle a little lower tension - maybe around 012-52 and still feel fine. My main problem are "rock guitars" like my Gibson Les Paul where I have a custom La Bella Blues Hard set but it's still too light for my taste - but I think it's kind of stupid putting 013-056 on a Les Paul. I am not sure what to do with the guitar actually since I can't play it...

  5. TruthHertz

    Sure, I have a few different guitars, different feel and response for them. I never know what's right, there's no rule, no correlation of scale, no rule of thumb, but I know that if something feels weak, I increase, if it's not lively, I drop a gauge. Then I note it so I know what to replace. My gauge changes as my feel for action does too. I'm always changing my feel and technique, and string gauge goes up and down with where I am.

  6. gleepglop

    Shorter scale makes the tension lower, not higher. Different string makers have different recipes for the wound strings, which result in different densities and therefore tensions.

    D'addario is sort of middle of the road. Their "pure nickel" strings a slightly lower density if I recall correctly. Thomastik are on the lowest density electric strings I know of. Pyramid is the highest density that I know of. So if you want light gauge strings with a heavy feel (say for a les paul or tele), Pyramid might be a good choice. If you want heavier strings with a light feel, Thomastik is a good choice.

  7. gleepglop

    Also, the "break angle" of the strings at the bridge affects the perceived tension. A stop tail generally has a more extreme break angle than an archtop tailpiece, and will have a higher perceived tension.


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