Choice of strings

22nd April 2008 – 8.04 am

Along with the new guitar I ordered an extra packet of strings. The guitar will have its own strings, and I am fairly sure I have a packet or two of strings lying around, but I wanted to practice with something different. When I first started playing guitar Ernie Ball Super Slinky strings were recommended to me, which have a .009" high E string going down to a .042" low E. They were good enough, I don't really know much about strings really, but the top string did tend to be the first to break and I got to wondering whether the light gauge didn't suit my preferred rhythm playing over lead. Understanding that a heavier gauge can give a better tonal quality, as well being good strengthening practice for bending, I bought some Regular Slinky strings, which range from .010" to .046". Another benefit is that a guitar tuned down to E♭ retains a fuller sound with heavier strings but because of the lower tension they can feel like lighter strings.

I have been using Regular Slinky strings ever since. As I am now aiming to be practicing techniques more than just learning and playing along to songs I thought I could use a more forgiving gauge for my strings than normal, particularly as I haven't being playing regularly for a while. With my guitar order I also ordered some Super Slinky strings again, thinking that they will help me get along with the fingering techniques more quickly. They will probably feel quite light to start with and I may need to hit a local shop to see if I can get an assortment of plectra to try out to see how they feel with the different strings. I may end up using Regular Slinky strings again once I get more comfortable with playing, or I may just prefer the feel of the lighter Super Slinky strings. It's an option I think is worth exploring.

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