SG String Guage

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by losador, Oct 2, 2020.

  1. losador

    losador Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2020
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    27
    Hi everyone, new here and this is my first post, hope everyone's good..

    I generally use 11 guage strings on my guitars (Jazzmaster, Tele, old Fernandes strat) but my fave guitar is of course an SG (it's a 1973 SG standard). However, on my SG for some reason it always feels better to me with 10s rather than 11s. Of course string guages are always personal and different per player, but I was wondering if anyone else used different strings for their SGs compared to their other guitars?

    Interestingly as well I like D'Addarios on my guitars apart from my SG on which I prefer Ernie Ball Super Slinkys. The Jazzmaster and Fernades have rosewood boards, the Tele is maple, and the SG is ebony - no idea if that has something to do with it.

    Cheers!
     
    Hymi Chapstick, VSG and arcticsg like this.
  2. arcticsg

    arcticsg Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2018
    Messages:
    938
    Likes Received:
    1,561
    Location:
    Far Side of the Sun
    Howdy, and welcome to the board! :smile:

    I use mostly Custom 9’s on my SGs, either Gibson Brite Wires or EB Hybrid Slinkys (copper pack). I’ve been known to use EB Super Slinkys 9s (pink pack) on a couple of them. Most all my strats use the Super Slinkys as well.

    Also, I frequently use D’Addarios with my accoustics, 12s and 13s in both phosphorous bronze and 80/20 bronze.
     
    losador likes this.
  3. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,509
    Likes Received:
    3,888
    Location:
    London, sitting in the garden
    Because of the shorter scale length, you are always likely to want lighter gauge strings on a Gibson than a Fender. I use 8 on my Gibsons, 9 on the Fenders and 10 on acoustics.
     
  4. losador

    losador Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2020
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    27
    Thanks! Great to be here, can already tell there's a lot of knowledge on these boards!
     
  5. losador

    losador Member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2020
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    27
    Thanks for the info! Regarding the shorter scale length, would the lighter strings be recommended to reduce tension on the headstock?
     
  6. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,509
    Likes Received:
    3,888
    Location:
    London, sitting in the garden
    They would have that effect, but headstock tension is not an issue you should worry about.
     
  7. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    3,362
    Likes Received:
    4,250
    Shorter scale on Gibson more likely to use heavier gauge, not lighter.
    Fender longer scale more likely to use lighter gauge strings.

    10's on a Gibson will feel similar to 9's on a Fender.
    Longer scale length = more tension.
    Shorter scale length = less tension.
     
  8. NMA

    NMA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2012
    Messages:
    879
    Likes Received:
    854
    That is not true at all. Shorter scale requires heavier gauge. My Ric 325 has a scale length of just 20 3/4 inches. You know what strings come stock on that guitar? 12s. Yes, 12s. And they play like 9s.

    Cerebral gasket's post above explains scale length/string gauge ratio accurately and simply enough.

    9s on the big guy, 12s on the little guy

    [​IMG]
     
    madhermit, Kozmyk, BenTobith and 3 others like this.
  9. everdying

    everdying Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    1,828
    Likes Received:
    270
    i used to use ernie ball power slinkys 11-48...but as u get older u dont want to fight the guitar much...so its 10-46 now :p
     
    Darryl Fisher and losador like this.
  10. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,509
    Likes Received:
    3,888
    Location:
    London, sitting in the garden
    Yes I got that backwards sorry all
     
    Kozmyk and Rusty Chops like this.
  11. ezypikins

    ezypikins Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2019
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    53
    BG and Iommy play 7's According to Rotosound Hendrix used 7's and sometimes 6's
     
  12. Bad Penguin

    Bad Penguin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2018
    Messages:
    478
    Likes Received:
    386
    I have used 10-46 on practically everything I have owned in the last 40 or so years. The current exception is a D'Angelico jazz box using 12-56 flats.
     
    Rusty Chops and koaguilds like this.
  13. MetroGMP45Head

    MetroGMP45Head New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2020
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    2
    10-38s on both Strat, and Gibson scales. Used these since 1971. My Fender is a 4 Bolt 71 Oly Wht Strat I got new... Fender stopped making them for a bunch of years, they still made them in Bullets, but Im not much on them, so I switched to 10-38 Boomers, and like them just as much.

    While I dont have an SG, I dop have a Gibson scale 59 burst replica thats same scale as an SG.

    I do have my eyes on a Dicky Betts Custom Shop SG though. Ive wanted one since they came out, but put money into another Amplifier, and Speaker Cabinet/Speakers.


    I did try 12-56-13-58s years ago, tuned to pitch, with my gorilla grip, and did more damage to the frets in 3 months, than I had in 30 previous years. Chewed the livin crap out of the frets. Very damaging if you have a heavy grip, and do alot of heavy Vibrato , and alot of bending.

    I can see how SRV chewed up frets. It dont take long, with heavy strings, a gorilla grip, and hours and hours of playing.

    I also have grooves worn into the board, but thats probably more of a product of hours of usage, along with alot of bending, and vibrato.

    Duane Allman used 10-38s. Hendrix used 10-38s.
     
    Sootio and Rusty Chops like this.
  14. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Messages:
    11,796
    Likes Received:
    9,917
    Location:
    -
    I use 9-42s on most of my Gibsons and 7-38s on my longer scale guitfiddles.
     
    jbat, koaguilds and Rusty Chops like this.
  15. Rusty Chops

    Rusty Chops Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2014
    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    424
    Location:
    California
    On this one I’m using GHS Eric Johnson Nickel Rockers, in 0.010” - 0.050” which are nickel wound. They seem great to me.
    I’ve used anybody’s 10 - 46 forever though, on everything.

    My other SG has the pole piece magnet P-90 looking pickups.
    Since the pole pieces don’t adjust on these particular pickups (and most Fender type design pickups), I use nickel plated STEEL for more even response (they’re 10-46). DB4A2448-F2B5-4616-941C-9AE7FF6C455F.jpeg
    6EB51BBE-239B-4F0F-A382-27ECF8479652.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2020
    koaguilds likes this.
  16. BenTobith

    BenTobith Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2020
    Messages:
    62
    Likes Received:
    32
    The most important stat is a wound 3rd.
     
    ScottyB likes this.
  17. Bbr6704

    Bbr6704 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2015
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    France
    The relation between gauge and feel are related to many factors : gauge, but also brand, string material and core, and guitar scale lenght. That said, the best string set for you is the one you prefer to play with, and suits to your playing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
  18. Kozmyk

    Kozmyk New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1
    I was thinking of trying 11's on my SG.
    Most of my thin-string guitars are 25.5" and I'm interested to see how the feel might change or improve by fitting 11s to compensate for the shorter scale.
    I've bought the 11s, I just haven't changed 'em yet ...
    I Know there's a popular current of opinion online for lighter gauges but being a Bass Player by trade I'll pull the strings out of tune if I go too light ;)
     
  19. Bbr6704

    Bbr6704 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2015
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    France
    sorry double post.
     
  20. neoclassical

    neoclassical New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2020
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1
    I have to use 8's on all of my standard tuned guitars because of my arthritis and left arm pain (my SG is one of them) for the band I use 9's in D on my LP.
     
    Kozmyk likes this.

Share This Page