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  • Writer's pictureLazarus Crow

String choices – it’s personal

I've got blisters on my...

Strings…so many choices, what’s a player to do?

7, 8 and 9 String Guitar, Baritone Guitar, Bass, Lap Steel Guitar, Resophonic Guitar, 12 String, Classical, Acoustic, Electric, Octave Guitar, Tenor, Banjo, Pedal Steel, Headless Guitars...

I’m running out of breath!

Let’s not forget the many manufacturers, just to name a few:

Aquilla, Cleartone, Benedetto, Black Diamond, D’addario, D’Angelico, Dean Markley, Dunlop, DR, Ernie Ball, Elixer, Fender, GHS, Gibson, La Bella, Luthier, Newtone, Oasis, PRS, Pyramid, Rotosound, SIT, Smith.

Do you want round wound or flat wound? Nickel? Bronze? Extra light, light, medium or heavy gauge? Somewhere in between?

If you’re like me you’ve probably decided what strings work for you. And like me you’ve most likely mixed up gauges to experiment (tweak, tweak tweak).

I finally settled on D’Addario NYXL .09|.46. I like the slightly heavier bottom for tonal reasons when I’m playing chords and the .09, .11 .16 top half for melodic lines and bending.

I also play bass. On my Fender Squier I use D’Addario EXL170 (.45, .65, .80, .100). On a cheap Fender knock-off I use the same set, but added a .130 and got rid of the .45.

It’s still a 4-string, but I’ve tuned it down a fourth to B, E, A, D (baritone tuning. I had to sub on bass for a band and didn’t want to spend the $$$ on a 5-string. It’s a quick fix for de-tuning the low E). That bass still comes in handy when I’m recording!

Soooo… lots of string companies to go grazing in the grass for what best suits you. If you have a guitar you don’t use too much, don’t be afraid to experiment.

Mix it up a little, but don’t go to extreme in string gauges where you’re calling your guitar tech for help!

Lazarus Crow, out

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