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Electric Guitar Strings?
Old 7th February 2012
  #1
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Electric Guitar Strings?

I currently have an Epiphone Les Paul right now, but I am trading it in and buying a new Fender Strat at GC in a few days. I've always heard that strings make a HUGE difference on any guitar and new guitars always come with ****ty strings. Well, I'm willing to dish out some money to buy some good strings to go with my new guitar. I am a super noob beginner when it comes to guitars so I was wondering what strings should I buy? Should I buy from GC or online?

Also, I have a question relating to my playing. When I'm playing a lead that only involves the A and D string, my low E strings always seems to vibrate and makes noise. I never touch it, it just starts to vibrate because of my playing I guess. It makes noise, which makes my playing sound sloppy. How do I prevent this from happening? It seems the guitar is very sensitive, when I lift my finger off a note, it ALWAYS makes a sound.. I have to let off VERY VERY soft for it to make no sound.. how do ppl do that when they're playing at a medium/fast speed? I've been playing for about a month now. Any help?
Old 7th February 2012
  #2
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TYPHY ➑️
I currently have an Epiphone Les Paul right now, but I am trading it in and buying a new Fender Strat at GC in a few days.

Also, I have a question relating to my playing.
Don't buy a different guitar now. Learn to play the one you have. When you are a better player and understand more about playing and what affect the instrument will have, -then- search around and see if you need a new guitar. Quite a few very good players are perfectly happy with the Epiphone LP. You've been playing for a month? Keep at it.

I'm fond of Markley Blue Steel stainless steel strings, or the DR equivalent. They last a long time and sound great. But there is no shortage of good strings. I used DAddario strings for years, and before that I used Superwounds.

Your problem with ringing strings is a matter of learning how to control your instrument. Are you taking lessons?
Old 7th February 2012
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by TYPHY ➑️
I've always heard that strings make a HUGE difference on any guitar...
You have heard wrong. I wont say that there is no difference from brand to brand, but what ever difference there is, will be extremely subtle. There is, however, a discernable difference between brand new strings vs. old, worn, and dirty strings. The former will have more definition, be brighter and have a much better attack, whereas the latter will be leaning more towards being dull and lifeless. The sound - or tone - of the guitar cames from several things. It starts with the player, and also depends on the wood, the manufacturing, and - if an electric - the pickup(s) and amp.

Quote:
When I'm playing a lead that only involves the A and D string, my low E strings always seems to vibrate and makes noise. I never touch it, it just starts to vibrate because of my playing I guess. It makes noise, which makes my playing sound sloppy. How do I prevent this from happening?
Typically you would mute any unwanted strings with either your palm, the fingers that are not in use, or part of your thumb. For the situation you describe, it would be your palm on an electric. The top part of the heel of your palm will be resting ever so slightly at the point that the E str meets the saddle of the bridge.

For an acoustic/nylon string, what I do is have the inside of my thumb hit the E str. It's a small area about half-way inbetween the bottom of the nail and the joint. It's hard to explain and not show you, but basically after the pick hits one of the other strings, that part of my thumb hits the string softly to mute it, and then moves away from the string as I pick the next note on another string. If I am picking fast, that motion happens in a split second, but it makes the difference between the E str ringing out, and silencing it. i do a little of that with an electric too, but not to the same extent, as I rely more on the palm.

Be aware, what I describe above assumes you are using a pick. If you are using your fingers, that's a whole other ballgame - one that I personally would not be able to describe here.

Good luck!
Old 7th February 2012
  #4
Gear Nut
 
vedt's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
The other replies have been some great feedback, so I'll second a few things:

1. I've been playing for 15 years and I don't think there is a HUGE difference between string brands. That said, I really like D'addario strings. I guess some of my favorite guitarists used them when I was growing up, so that's what I ended up using.

2. You don't need a different guitar. An Epiphone LP is a great guitar to start out on.

3. The whole E string vibrating - muting that will just come with time and lots of practice. It might take you a few months to get things like that down, but keep at it.

4. I taught myself how to play guitar by listening to my favorite bands and then trying to learn their songs. That said, I would really encourage you to take a few lessons up front. Even just a few lessons to get you started. I wish I'd done that.
Old 7th February 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I'm self-taught too, and I do a lot of odd things as a player. (and maybe in regular life, too...) The BIG thing to learn from lessons is proper technique. It makes playing a lot easier. It doesn't hurt to learn to read music either, but most won't bother. It doesn't hurt to learn a little theory, circle of fifths and fourths, stuff like that. But the really big deal is to get the proper technique. I had to unlearn and relearn a bunch of stuff.. some I did, some I didn't. But when I watch a trained player, I see my flaws and why some things are harder to do than they should be.
Old 7th February 2012 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat ➑️
You have heard wrong. I wont say that there is no difference from brand to brand, but what ever difference there is, will be extremely subtle. There is, however, a discernable difference between brand new strings vs. old, worn, and dirty strings.
Apologies but to say that the difference between, for example, a new set of stainless steel strings and a new set of nickel plated strings on an electric guitar is subtle is false. The difference between them is as easily discernible as an old set vs. a new set of the same type of string.

What about flatwounds?

Different gauges change the tone as well, also not in a very subtle way.

I agree that there may be very little difference in similar string types from one manufacturer to the next, but all strings are certainly not the same at all.

I agree with the comment about hanging on to your old guitar. Why not spend $20 and buy a few different sets of strings as a learning experiment first?
Old 7th February 2012
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
nocoJack's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
I've been playing for 17 years... I use D'Addario XL110s on most of my guitars.

There are many components to your guitar system that contribute to tone. Your fingers, pickups, wood type, tuning, guitar cable length, amp type, power sources, etc. Learn to play as best you can with what you have, then see about tailoring your sounds and tones. A piece of gear won't make you a better guitar player--it will either obscure your sound to make you think you are better than you are or trick you into not learning more and starting a GAS problem.

If you still want a new guitar, go to GC and try out a bunch of different ones. See what feels right to you. Make sure you purchase the one that you played... they are all slightly different--even within the same brand. After you purchase, you should get new strings on your new store-bought guitar... get the store to do a full set up and string replacement before you take it home. Typically, you buy a set of strings to go on it. The whole thing should cost around $50 or so.

Your string vibrating concerns all will improve with practice and experience. You are probably playing too hard and fretting too hard right now. With time, you'll gain finesse and touch and get better.
Old 7th February 2012
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Silent Sound's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Bleh! You don't need lessons. I'd learn how to position your hands correctly so you don't wind up giving yourself carpal tunnel's syndrome later, but other than that, just learn the instrument. I hear so many guitarists who spent forever learning scales and chords and then get stuck playing the same boring scales and chords. The problem is, once you learn something, it's real hard to unlearn it. If you learn to play like everyone else, you'll sound like everyone else and one day struggle with defining your own sound. I'm completely self taught and my goal has always been to learn the instrument itself. I wanted to hear a sound in my head and be able to come up with it instantly on the guitar without having to translate it into what chord or scale it's in. I NEVER practice guitar, but I play the guitar often. I'm trying to learn to speak the language of my soul through a guitar, and not just speak in guitar terms. As a result, I have a very unique style that I would have never come up with had I learned the "proper" way to play the thing. Some people may say I'm a sloppy guitarist, some may say I'm amateurish, but no one says I suck. People are always asking me how I did something or how I came up with something that they hadn't seen or heard before, and I just tell them, "it seemed obvious to me at the time", and that's because it did. People say you should learn the rules before you break them. That's never made sense to me. If you want to play with complete freedom, then there can be no rules. Hell, sometimes I play dissonant chords and abrasive noise and you know what? Sometimes it sounds awesome! Contrast a short riff that's virtually unlistenable and run that straight into a beautiful melody... That melody will sound so much better than it did if you just started with it. Point is, don't be so eager to loose your innocence, cause once it's gone, you'll never get it again.

But as for strings, get whatever's cheap and in a gauge that you feel comfortable with. When you've played long enough that you find you want to experiment, you'll be ready to make your own decision on what kind of strings you want based on reasons that you'll understand then, and may not appreciate now.
Old 7th February 2012
  #9
Here for the gear
 
🎧 5 years
It might be worth it to get the stray If you really don't like the neck on the epiphone. Additionally, I find I play a lot better with well set up necks, having a note go dead can really put me off In the middle of a song.

Oh, and in response to the last guy, good knowledge of alternate keys and scales helps you sound unique. How many dimeadozen modern rock bands just fiddle around in minor pentatonic scales their entire career. They sound the same because they never expand their vocabulary.
Old 7th February 2012
  #10
Here for the gear
 
cyperx's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
i been playing for 20 years and i was trained in classical guitar

iv played just about every type (styles) of playing and i can say that strings make a huge difference especially the gauge almost to the point where i cant play on a really light gauge on the electric anymore cuz im too acustom to heavy strings , dont get a new guitar learn on wat u hav for the time being , start on a lighter guage and work ur way up also to the point where things feel comfortable , change ur strings often , theres nothing worse sounding than dead strings . the diffrence in tonality is amazing with new strings compaird if u really listen for it.

learn all u can but dont sit there mindlessly playing scales . learn them but also learn how to express the different notes in the scale in different ways and that will giv u ur own style cuz u will slowly learn wat u like to hear and instinctively play them more often =)

all the best with ur playing mate and yea get some new strings i use ernie ball but its all up to personal pref, dont paty big bucks ujst for strings cuz really u should be going through them like crazy neway if u playing heaps, i know when i was in my metal band i was ripping through them, just remember practice and then practice some more and most of all HAVE FUN doing it =)
Old 7th February 2012
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Bad Machinery's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
lol...information overload!

I like DR tite fit strings.
Old 7th February 2012 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Maniac
 
benherron.rrr's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silent Sound ➑️
Bleh! You don't need lessons. I'd learn how to position your hands correctly so you don't wind up giving yourself carpal tunnel's syndrome later, but other than that, just learn the instrument. I hear so many guitarists who spent forever learning scales and chords and then get stuck playing the same boring scales and chords. The problem is, once you learn something, it's real hard to unlearn it. If you learn to play like everyone else, you'll sound like everyone else and one day struggle with defining your own sound. I'm completely self taught and my goal has always been to learn the instrument itself. I wanted to hear a sound in my head and be able to come up with it instantly on the guitar without having to translate it into what chord or scale it's in. I NEVER practice guitar, but I play the guitar often. I'm trying to learn to speak the language of my soul through a guitar, and not just speak in guitar terms. As a result, I have a very unique style that I would have never come up with had I learned the "proper" way to play the thing. Some people may say I'm a sloppy guitarist, some may say I'm amateurish, but no one says I suck. People are always asking me how I did something or how I came up with something that they hadn't seen or heard before, and I just tell them, "it seemed obvious to me at the time", and that's because it did. People say you should learn the rules before you break them. That's never made sense to me. If you want to play with complete freedom, then there can be no rules. Hell, sometimes I play dissonant chords and abrasive noise and you know what? Sometimes it sounds awesome! Contrast a short riff that's virtually unlistenable and run that straight into a beautiful melody... That melody will sound so much better than it did if you just started with it. Point is, don't be so eager to loose your innocence, cause once it's gone, you'll never get it again.

Spot on!!!!!! I was beginning to think that I was the only one in the world with this ethos. You could know every scale in the world, but that could never even come close to how it feels when your jamming away and you feel your soul soaring through the strings, better than drugs IMO.

I use Earnie Ball's super slinky 9's on both my LP and tele, just because that was all the choice I had when I started out and just stuck with them over the years, I use martins on my acoustic. I find gauge quite important not only because it changes the tone of the instrument (however slight) but it changes how the instrument feels to play, and that can make a big difference.

But this stuff only comes with experience.
Old 8th February 2012
  #13
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
I like Ernie Ball Slinky strings so I'd recommend those. One of the first things I remember looking at when I started playing guitar was figuring out what gauge of strings I liked. I used to use .9's, now I use .10's... anyways it's worth trying out different gauges until you get something you like.

Also I remember thinking that changing strings was a big deal when I started out, and it's not. I change the strings on my main guitar roughly every month or so.
Old 8th February 2012
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Jose's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The string gauge makes a difference, if you are a beginner try 0,9 and 0,10 and see what do you like best.I'd put 0,10 in a Les Paul though.

If you can afford it , take some lessons to learn the basics or watch some youtube videos.Search for justinguitar, people say he is a good teacher.

Practice correctly and take it easy, guitar is a very demanding instrument.
Old 8th February 2012
  #15
Lives for gear
 
decocco's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
"They" don't always put crappy strings on new guitars. Play the guitar and see how it sounds and feels. If the strings sound dead or appear tarnished, replace them.

String material and string gauge make the biggest difference. Differences between brands aren't as obvious.

Since you are beginning you should probably start with nickel plated medium-light gauge strings like 10's or 9's. Get used to those and experiment from there in small steps.

If you play often you will need to replace your strings often, like every two weeks. You will know when to replace them because they'll start sounding very dull and lifeless.

Regarding your playing... Take some lessons from someone reputable so you can get feedback from an experienced guitarist in real time. That's something you can't do with lesson videos.
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