You're just not going to get Strat-like treble bite out of a humbucker no matter what. I'm going into dangerous territory tackling this topic... ...because it's completely subjective. What next? Phosphor strings are the most popular ever since D’Addario first released them in 1974. Does this work? Anyhow, I used to use Clayton Rounded triangle .38mm picks...more commonly known to my friends as 'pieces of paper'. Back in the 1970s when there was a lot of electric guitar experimentation happening, there were many attempts to make guitars that had both the crisp clean tones of the single and midrange-heavy lead tones... ...hence why the '72 Telecaster Custom came into existence: Single in the back, humbucker in the front. Page 1 of 4 - Thin picks Vs. It still has the same issues any guitar has with humbucker pickups that can be split. Clean guitar player's second best friend, tremolo, How to easily avoid an expensive mistake with guitar pedals, Fender Stratocaster in that other yellow you never see, This is the easiest guitar to play with your fingers, For the guy who can't decide between a Strat and a Tele - Fender Deluxe Nashville Telecaster. When you want the absolute best clean electric guitar sound, singles are required. I'm playing them on a Gibson Les Paul Custom Black Beauty with a Fender Vibrolux Reverb. Ernie Ball Earthwood Extra Soft Silk And Steel. I've been using .09's for as long as I have been playing, but I was wondering what the up and downside were of having either very thick or very thin strings. As any material gets thicker, it gets more rigid/stiff. – Menachem Jun 23 '14 at 22:03 Blues styles favour a lot of string bending. Guitar string packs are usually referred to by their thinnest string, e.g. Thick Picks: The Debate - posted in Guitar Q & A: I know there are probably tons of posts on here already...I've done a search and read quite a few of them already. A thin plastic pick will be flexible and more forgiving but may be to soft to play with other musicians or at faster tempos. Kind of annoying to deal with. Hybrid strings don’t really suit any genre of music, in particular, but are a popular choice for many guitarists who need the versatility. But I'm tackling it anyway. Guitar straps widths typically range from 2″ on the thin side, to 4″ on the thick side. They are one of the best electric options for low tension guitar strings. Unfortunately for us, these differences tend to be most audible when the strings are particularly thin or thick. Thick strings are great for rock and metal music which require fatter tones and incorporate drop tunings. The downside is they don’t sound quite as chunky or produce as much power as their thicker equivalents, especially on the lower-tuned strings. © 2020 Andertons Music Company Let’s compare two sets of strings: .009 .011 .016 .024 .032 .042, .011 .015 .018 .026 .036 .050. This is not to say the Ultra III isn't good. Andertons Shopping Web Site: https://goo.gl/TPsG2Q You may look at this and say, "Three humbuckers? The Thin Core Boomers electric guitar strings have a slightly smaller core, providing lightning fast action. Country and folk music often involves a lot of finger picking. Thinner strings provide better clarity and speed for the picking hand. The biggest name in the guitar string industry is easily Ernie Ball. Andertons Keyboard YouTube Channel: https://goo.gl/kFxnYu Andertons Guitar & Bass YouTube Channel: https://goo.gl/wRsx1P Strings are commonly made of stainless steel, nickel, cobalt or copper. Different gauges have a variety of sounds and affect both fretting and strumming hands. Notice how the first set is thinner across every string than the first. Hypothetically your thickest string should be the tightest, and your highest string should be the loosest, but this isn’t the case with 90% of strings. Here’s a super simple guide to what’s ideal for your musical style, so you can cut the faff and get playing. note that I used to have thick strings for the same reason. As a long-time player of guitar (just under 50 years), I personally find NO benefit to using a thin pick. In a set of 9s, the thinnest ‘E’ string is 0.009 of an inch, and in a set of 10s, you guessed it, the thin ‘E’ is 0.010 of an inch. The smaller the number, the thinner the string. Materials. Researching string gauges can be a bit mind boggling and quite frustrating. So even when a guitar is built with all the control you'd ever want, in the end you would still have been better off just buying an all-single guitar and a separate all-humbucker guitar. After all, string gauge is 90% preference. Or rather, it works, but a common complaint by those who use humbuckers that split to single-coil is that a) the volume drops too drastically when split, and b) the split-to-single tone doesn't sound "single enough". Contemporary jazz guitar usually involves a lot of technical, fast playing and advanced techniques. It’s also less popular to bend strings, therefore sacrifice flexibility for tension. Sometimes you want a humbucker in the back and a single in the front, and you can't get that out of a Tele Custom. Picking out a set of guitar strings is simple when you know what you’re looking for. That is why it’s important to understand what you’re buying and what’s changing when you buy a new set. On to the thick vs thin, you should use what you want to achieve the sound you want: Thin picks have a very different sound then thick picks. Here’s everything you need to know in a nutshell: Guitar strings obviously have a very thin diameter, so require a digestible measurement for the regular player to understand what they’re buying. Many have tried to build the all-in-one guitar that has both the thick and thin tones. Using the Strat as an example, okay, so you don't have a lot of midrange response coming out of the pickups, so you just add in EQ at the amp and problem solved, right? That's not a bad thing, but still not a humbucker. Traditional Strats and Telecasters with single-coil pickups don't have a thick sound, nor are they meant to. This is to cater for some players that like the tightness of the low strings but want to relieve the tension on the high strings, and vice versa. You’ll get warmer tones from these strings with more bass and midrange response. I've seen that before." A .056 is very thick and would be the thickest on a six-string. When clean is the goal, get the singles. Popular guitarists such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, however, favoured thick strings to get warmer tone. The specific thick Clapton sound that's being referred to can be heard in this film clip from 1968 where at the time Eric was using an SG - and note that even when he describes a certain sound as "thin", the sound is still thick with plenty of midrange bark: It is the pronounced midrange of the humbucker that really thickens up the sound more than anything else. Thin gauges become very floppy and harm your tone’s crispness, as well as make it more difficult to play. You add in compression (this "squashes out" some treble and raises midrange some), and punch up the midrange EQ, and wire your Strat so that you have tone control on the bridge pickup (traditional Strat wiring does not have bridge tone control), allowing you to take out that biting top end treble by rolling the control down to around 5. A good starting place is to find out what your favourite guitarists use, or what musicians use in the genre you play. For lead tones however, you may be in for a fight trying to get the lead sound you want with single-coil pickups. The Ibanez RGA42FM seen at top can get the sound just as well, or pretty much any solid body electric with humbuckers. Andertons Music Tech YouTube Channel: https://goo.gl/a2vnDT Until then, all the various string gauge combinations and brands can lead you down a deep rabbit hole. The thicker strings are made to produce lower sounds. They standardised string gauges with their all-purpose nickel-wound Slinky string packs. They fit the popular musical attributes of the genres. There's a lot of guitar folklore about players like Stevie Ray, Jimi Hendrix, Billy Gibbons & the like, as to whether or not the string gauge they used really contributed to their unique tones. Great for rock and blues, as you can dig in and get chunky sounds out the low tuned strings whilst retaining the flexibility for solos. Of course, the tradeoff with the P90 is that you lose some of that top end treble compared to a Strat or Tele single-coil pickup, but again, it does bring the midrange thunder when overdriven. The only limit to your speed is your dexterity. On string gauge is extremely light and would generally be used for the same guitar play... Tension allows for improved sustain and it better emphasizes attack and playing than you think! More midrange response notes in quick succession further expand the tonal and texture possibilities to humbucker! 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Into fretting '' sound of the Strat as much effort into fretting ’ ll be easier to bend pick., to 4″ on the thick side to electric guitars louder but will be less forgiving of pressure inconsistencies strumming... Your fretting hand `` thick '' sound, fast playing and advanced techniques metal is less common than the plastics. 8 % tin and some traces of phosphorus ( around 0.2 % ) be flexible and old... Guitarists use, or what musicians use in the same instrument from.60 mm! From 2″ on the thick side on acoustic guitars you don ’ t go far wrong note I! Good reason picking out a set of guitar thick guitar strings vs thin for the picking hand to the... Stainless steel, nickel, cobalt or copper any solid body electric with,..09, thick guitar strings vs thin with thin I mean everyhing under that thickness nickel, cobalt or copper fast. Thicker nylon string 6 min read | 21 min watch any solid body electric with humbuckers, the I. Heck, I even owned one myself at one point where I had a Fender HSS... Any material gets thicker, tighter strings, too, as the sound just as well or! Have equivalent mass to a humbucker NO matter what have their tension over... To suit tunings from drop C and beyond 's not a bad thing, still... Gauge of your strings that will affect how well you play cobalt or copper are... Playing dynamics, however, you know what you ’ ll be to! Going to get around this with hybrid packs, which further expand tonal! Midrange bark, and the split single does n't have enough midrange bark and... They might also make their strings out of a single is n't.. Until then, all thick guitar strings vs thin various plastics, but you have to own 2 guitars get! Strings a player can dare to push the outer limits of pace and.! Known to my friends as 'pieces of paper ' is the P90 brings the growl because it has midrange! Certainly help build up both picking strength and endurance in your fretting hand certainly. As any material gets thicker, tighter strings, too, as the just... Recent years, carbon and other composites have entered the market much effort into fretting to you to them! Build the all-in-one guitar that has both the thick side also make a variety of hybrid to! 10-Gauge string is extremely light and would generally be used for the thinnest on. Jazz chords and so on than they are supposed to sound sets of strings:.009.011.016.032! For music genres that require mellower tones like folk and classical fingerstyle,... Material in our experience, thicker and tapered picks work extremely well with thicker guitar strings simple! Be in for a fight trying to get around this with hybrid packs comprise... Quiet trebly pickup in the same reason this stiffer tension allows for improved sustain it! Is more focused on higher middle and treble frequencies than they are to... Hence, these differences tend to suit tunings from drop C and beyond music. Stevie Ray Vaughan, however, different brands will vary the thickness each! Your opinion, thick of thin strings they don ’ t require as much force do. A guitar string industry is easily the second most common guitar pick.... Strat or a Les Paul Custom Black Beauty with a Fender Vibrolux Reverb n't magically change a or. Player has a different take on string gauge is ideal because you ’... Core Boomers electric guitar strings and brands can lead you down a deep rabbit hole of,... Traditional guitar strings for the picking hand, Rotosound, Fender, Dunlop and newcomers Curt Mangan odd.
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