I made the switch,

 After 30 plus years of playing GHS Boomers 10 - 46 I have switched to Daddario 9 - 42. 
I know big news, someone please alert the media....
But I thought I would share with the only people I know who might understand.
I always played tens but my style has changed radically in the last few years and I have felt for a while like I was fighting the guitar a little too much and not getting the results that I wanted. So being me I fought the idea as hard as I could, practiced as hard as possible and got some results but definitely not what I was hoping for. So a few months ago I put 9's on my Tele, but my Tele is a very different guitar than my Strat. My Strat has a neck like Louisville Slugger and my Tele neck is almost as thin as a Wizard neck. So I noticed but maybe not like I would on my Strat, but being me I denied that it was easier because I could not have been wrong for 30 years. Anyway so then I switched the strings on my PRS to 9's, now I used to play 11's on this guitar because of the shorter scale and with the 9's it not only played easier but the intonation which is really stunning on that guitar was even better. 
 So last month I decided to switch the neck pickup on my main Strat (which I completely regret, but more on that in another post) and while my guy had it I asked him to set it up with 9's. My tech looked like I'd whacked him with a hammer but he did it.
When I picked it up I think that we were both nervous but from the second I picked it up I was blown away. I love everything about the switch, playing is so much easier. I have so much more control over bends and vibrato, bending a Major 3rd or even a 4th is so easy comparatively. Also the tone!! Holy shit does it sound better, the notes cut a lot better and there is a lack of "tub" in the sound. I was something that I could never put my finger on all those years but now I see that there was a bass frequency in the strings that I was using that I didn't like but could not articulate. I cannot imagine myself going back, tonight I was playing my 335 which still has tens on it and it was so much more difficult than it needs to be so I switched it out. 
 Anyway just thought I would share. 

Comments

  • Dinosaur David BDinosaur David B Posts: 18,283
    edited December 2020
    Welcome to Team 9s.  Players older than you will always tell you that as you get older, lighter strings will definitely help you. Been saying that here since day one.
    Post edited by Dinosaur David B on
    I threw me guitar out. Why bother? Why bother? Use it as a coffee table. Because I can't play it like that. 
    -- David St. Hubbins.
  • BytorBytor Posts: 1,692
    I've been on D'Addario 9-42s or 46s for as long as I can remember. And in Eb :o
  • Tatosh GuitarTatosh Guitar Posts: 2,323
    edited December 2020
    I played everything I could get my hands on as a teenager when I was learning, and set on 9s when I was in college. In my mid 20’s I bought into the whole “ten’s is where the tone is”. I figured it wouldn’t be very difficult since I played nylon strings too and those are way thicker.

    i probably stayed like that for way longer than I should have. Close to ten years. I am a bit ashamed to say I moved back to 9’s due to the fact that one day I went to the store and that’s all they had.

    the difference was night and day. I can play faster, smoother and also my vibrato control increased drastically. I am never moving back.
    Post edited by Tatosh Guitar on
  • TravisWTravisW Posts: 1,047
    I made the switch early this year. I don't regret it one bit. Hadn't been on 9s since the 90's. I had to lighten my touch (which was the reason to go heavier anyway). My fingers like 9's a lot better and I no longer have to remove clunky low midrange from my distorted rhythm. 
  • StitselStitsel Posts: 2,190
    I think all this is fine, as long as you're playing in E standard.If you go any lower, as I sometimes like to do, heavier gauges are kind of a must....Iommi notwithsanding....I mean, to each his own really. I've tried the lighter gauge-downtune such as Iommi or whatnot & it simply doesn't work for me.I need heavier gauges just to keep it in better tune....& this is speaking of easier-to-keep-in-tune hardtail type  of bridges.....on my Strat that I keep in E flat, it's 11-49s.....that works well for me down a whole step to D also. On my V  in standard E , it's 10-46 pretty much always.I too love 9-42's, they work great & feel just right on most of my standard E tuned guitars.....but I think it's fun to have a few different guitars in different tunings, and for that I seem to have found different gauges that work best for those different tunings. Just my own trip, but I've definitely found I need to do it....
  • I've tried switching to 10s several times over the years and it just never worked out.  Too much work for too little return, at least in standard tuning.  10s or 9-46 gauge are fine for Eb tuning but bending 10s really fatigues my fingers and speed is always compromised.  There's nothing wrong with 09s!
  • I've tried switching to 10s several times over the years

    why?
    I threw me guitar out. Why bother? Why bother? Use it as a coffee table. Because I can't play it like that. 
    -- David St. Hubbins.
  • MelodicGritMelodicGrit Posts: 669
    edited December 2020
    I've tried switching to 10s several times over the years

    why?
    Why not?  It's an experiment in tone vs. playability.  Plenty of players in all genres get both excellent tone and speed playing 10s or 11s in standard tuning:  Kotzen, Eric Johnson, Gary Moore, Schon, Petrucci, Zakk, etc. and it's struck me at times that maybe I could upgrade or beef up my sound by going in that direction.  I've really liked the tone of the thicker gauges on any guitar I've tried them on, but my fingers hate them.  When I went back to trying the 10s, it was usually with a different brand of strings on a different guitar, and/or thinking "well I've been playing a whole lot more, maybe my fingers can handle it now" mentality.  Fact is it doesn't matter what brand, what guitar or how much I'm playing, bending the top 2 strings of a set of 10s will rip up my fingers in no time at all and slow me down a good 30%.  I'm happy with my tone these days using 09s and just tune down to Eb or D with 10s.  Case closed.

    Post edited by MelodicGrit on
  • MAdXMAdX Posts: 2,039
    I recently made the switch to 9,5. Tension wise I think it's probably the closest to having 10s tuned to Eb. D'Addario makes these and I really dig them! 
  • Gunner4LifeGunner4Life Posts: 6,344
    Only time I’ve ever been inclined to use 10’s is on a Gibson tuned Eb, everything else has always been 9’s.

    I notice more and more guitars shipping out with 10’s though. I find it funny that so many point out how SRV used like 12’s or 13’s, and they cry “Listen to that tone!!!”, and they run out to get suspension bridge cables to play on, meanwhile Page and Gibbons were just fine with 8’s... For me 9’s offer the easiest playability, with best bend control, cause I’m hack who tends to over bend.
  • Only time I’ve ever been inclined to use 10’s is on a Gibson tuned Eb, everything else has always been 9’s.

    I notice more and more guitars shipping out with 10’s though. I find it funny that so many point out how SRV used like 12’s or 13’s, and they cry “Listen to that tone!!!”, and they run out to get suspension bridge cables to play on, meanwhile Page and Gibbons were just fine with 8’s... For me 9’s offer the easiest playability, with best bend control, cause I’m hack who tends to over bend.
    I think I read KK Downing and maybe even Tipton use 8s as well. I would probably break those in a heartbeat. But still, there's a lesson there somewhere. 
  • M11M11 Posts: 867
    Gunner4Life said:
    I notice more and more guitars shipping out with 10’s though. I find it funny that so many point out how SRV used like 12’s or 13’s, and they cry “Listen to that tone!!!”, and they run out to get suspension bridge cables to play on, meanwhile Page and Gibbons were just fine with 8’s... For me 9’s offer the easiest playability, with best bend control, cause I’m hack who tends to over bend.
    Didn't Iommi go as far as to put banjo strings on his guitars to ease the tension? And you can't say the man has a wimpy tone...
  • cvansicklecvansickle Posts: 6,293
    I suppose I'm the odd man out. Lately I'm playing 10s on every electric six string, Gibson and Fender scale guitars.

    I used to like 9s for Fender scale, 10s for Gibson. A few years back I eliminated any Strats I had, and played only Les Pauls. Last year I got back into some Fender scale guitars with the Reverends, which are factory equipped with 10s and I had no trouble at all adapting. I can feel the difference when I'm playing and switching guitars, but it doesn't bother me. I also play a lot of acoustic, so my hands are used to the heavier strings on those too.

    My style is more rhythm than lead. Speed, sweep picking, etc., are not big parts of my playing. What I use is working for me.
    Death Or Glory - Who Dares Wins!
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