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Discussion Starter #1
Does anybody play 8's on their electrics? I'd like to try but can't find them at the local stores I've looked. I don't mind developing a lighter touch and on my one guitar that always stays in standard, it think it may be worth it. I know and somewhat agree with the SRV theory trying out as high as 13's back in the day, but for higher gain and not playing everyday like I used to, I figured why make it harder?


Also, for bass can you go too thin? My step dad has arthritis that is getting worse and even going to a regular XL has helped his hand a great deal even though he never even considered it before. He plays in a typical R&B boomer dance band, 4 and 5 string.
 

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The SRV thing has been blown out of proportion. He did not play a standard .013 gauge - like everything shifted over one. His string set was:

.013 - .015 - .019p - .028 - .038 - .052 (or maybe .058)

so not as excessive as lore would have us believe. Townsend was also known for fairly heavy strings to withstand the windmills, I believe.

But some tone-monsters did just fine with very light strings, like Page and Beck and May and Gibbons.

You may find this interesting: String Myths, Part 1
 

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Bass - anecdotally, lighter strings don't hurt tone, according to many on talkbass. I grabbed a set of my fave strings in .095 instead of my normal .105 (4 string). It sure is easier to play, but I haven't used it enough yet to say if I'm happy with the feel or tone.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It seems that every time I have a chance to take a look no shops carry 8's, and the bass string selection is lacking. I want to find some .095's or something for the step dad and send it to him as its hard to teach old dogs new tricks and he's set in his ways :)

Is it just me or is string selection getting worse even at L&M. I order my usual's in bulk, but to try new stuff its hit and miss.
 

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I tired 8's once--didn't like it--felt like I was going to break the string.
On different guitars I use 9s, 10s or 11s (Last one for slide)
But use what suits your guitar & your style...
 

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When I was a kid, my dad would take me fishing. We'd be trolling in one of our best spots on the lake and find some pickerel. Pickerel swim in schools, so if you pull one in and circle around, you'll probably get another. Or maybe two more if you do it a third time. Invariably, another fisherman would come along when they saw you pulling all those fish in. Every time, the standard greeting was 'catch anything today?'. And every time, my father would answer 'nope, nothing'. Even though they other guy just saw us catching fish.

The thing is, he didn't want to give away his good luck, or let anyone else in on his secret fishing hole. And that the same mentality that I think Billy Gibbons has with his strings. I mean, he has the heaviest sound in rock and roll, come on. My ears think he plays a set of twelves. With a set of 7's, a string would break if you picked the guitar up wrong. :)


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When I was a kid, my dad would take me fishing. We'd be trolling in one of our best spots on the lake and find some pickerel. Pickerel swim in schools, so if you pull one in and circle around, you'll probably get another. Or maybe two more if you do it a third time. Invariably, another fisherman would come along when they saw you pulling all those fish in. Every time, the standard greeting was 'catch anything today?'. And every time, my father would answer 'nope, nothing'. Even though they other guy just saw us catching fish.

The thing is, he didn't want to give away his good luck, or let anyone else in on his secret fishing hole. And that the same mentality that I think Billy Gibbons has with his strings. I mean, he has the heaviest sound in rock and roll, come on. My ears think he plays a set of twelves. With a set of 7's, a string would break if you picked the guitar up wrong. :)


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His signal path is also highly processed. There's a reason he can play a Tele into a Marshall pre and power amp and sound like his Les Paul into a dimed Tweed fender.
 

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When I was a kid, my dad would take me fishing. We'd be trolling in one of our best spots on the lake and find some pickerel. Pickerel swim in schools, so if you pull one in and circle around, you'll probably get another. Or maybe two more if you do it a third time. Invariably, another fisherman would come along when they saw you pulling all those fish in. Every time, the standard greeting was 'catch anything today?'. And every time, my father would answer 'nope, nothing'. Even though they other guy just saw us catching fish.

The thing is, he didn't want to give away his good luck, or let anyone else in on his secret fishing hole. And that the same mentality that I think Billy Gibbons has with his strings. I mean, he has the heaviest sound in rock and roll, come on. My ears think he plays a set of twelves. With a set of 7's, a string would break if you picked the guitar up wrong. :)
Guitar and pop music foldlore is rife with misinformation. Did Eddie increase the voltage or decrease it for the 'brown sound'? Which Supro did Page use? And on and on .......

But I don't think, with the amps and pedals of the last 3 decades, string gauge isn't that directly related to size of the tone. To wit, see 'May, Brian'. Massive tone!! Maybe it was the tupence pick?
 

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Bass strings - I have started using bassstringsonline.com owner is Jason, he has a superamazing reputation, gives good service, good pricing, and ships cheap to Canada. If you call, he'll either answer or call you right back, will check stock while you're on the phone, etc etc.
 

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When I was a kid........


Surely you're not insinuating the man is lying?! Well, what with being a Reverend and all. !!!!

A lot of customers seem to like them. And while the may be easy to break, I believe the touch required to use them is what would make it so they don't.

When I had my Epi Nighthawk I restrung with a set of super slinky 9's. I swear that pack must have been 8's because even with 25.5 inch scale it was the 'slinkiest' guitar I ever played.
 

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Billy Gibbons, Rick Neilsen, Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, etc. are notorious for providing misleading info concerning gear and their setups. I remember reading an article in Guitar Player in the early '90's where BFG claimed that the "secret" to his tone was 6 Expandora pedals chained together (hee hee - good one as that's a recipe for pure muck).

Also recall a gearhead-type backstage video interview with Rick Neilsen where the interviewer asked him what kind of pickups he had in one of his guitars. "Humbuckers" was his response. Nonplussed by that and knowing that Rick was a world class collector and an absolute detail freak he enquired again whereupon RN responded with a big shit-eating grin "They are the humbucking kind". RN was also notorious for putting up a huge back line of stacks/half stacks of various brands of amps while what he'd actually be playing thru was either a SF Fender Deluxe or a MusicMan RD head.

And then there's guys like Keith Richards and the Edge (Jimmy Page and EVH likely fall into this category too) who clearly just can't remember what gear they used on any given session as their responses have changed many times when asked on separate occasions over the past several decades.

Bottom line is this - take the "gear of the stars" info you read, see or hear with a huge grain of salt.
 

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Yes, yes and yes and I didn't like them! Just too pliable for my liking. I went straight back to 9/42's! I will never change them again! 9/42's are perfect for me.
 

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SRV also tuned down a 1/2 step.

IIRC EVH did as well in order to accommodate Diamond Dave's vocal range. If he actually used 9-42 in Eb that must've felt like overcooked spaghetti.
 
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