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Thread: how to determine string gauge

  1. #1
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    Default how to determine string gauge

    I have a tenor guitar and I have been using the strings that came with it. I want to get new strings but I don't know how to determine the string gauges. Is there a way, or do I just to a store and say "give me some 11/52's" and start the process of hunting and pecking until I find the gauges I want?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    I have a tenor guitar and I have been using the strings that came with it. I want to get new strings but I don't know how to determine the string gauges. Is there a way, or do I just to a store and say "give me some 11/52's" and start the process of hunting and pecking until I find the gauges I want?
    If you have a digital caliper you can measure the diameter of the existing strings and start from there. What make and model is this tenor guitar, how long is the scale length, measured from nut to saddle. I have had a few tenor guitars and most do use the string set you listed, you can go up to 12s or 13s depending on the instrument.
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  3. #3
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    My guitar is a Blueridge BT-40 and its scale length is 23 inches. The first two strings are unwound and the latter two are wound. The strings are good and bendy and they need to be that way because, like Paul Gilbert, I feel if I'm not bending my strings I may as well play a harpsichord.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    My guitar is a Blueridge BT-40 and its scale length is 23 inches. The first two strings are unwound and the latter two are wound. The strings are good and bendy and they need to be that way because, like Paul Gilbert, I feel if I'm not bending my strings I may as well play a harpsichord.
    I have a Blueridge BT-40 as well. What do you have yours tuned to, I have mine DGBE, like the first four strings of an acoustic guitar. There are many different "tenor tunings" and that will influence what string gauges you can use. You can change the tone from bright to warmer by increasing string diameter, just like with uke strings, fatter is warmer.

    I started buying regular guitar string sets and using the first four strings. I have also bought individual strings from Strings by Mail, a great way to tailor the sound to what you like. Currently I have the first four strings on mine from a package of D'Addario EJ11 which are Light Gauge .012-.053
    Last edited by DownUpDave; 10-27-2018 at 06:14 AM.
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

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    I use the DGBE tuning. I went to StringsbyMail and I went to the Ernie Ball section because when I was growing up all the cool kids were using Slinkies. Based purely on the website's descriptions of the strings it seems I would like some .10-.52's. However, like a common belly-crawling saurian, I believe everything including strings should be as warm as possible. So the 12's you mention have their appeal as well.

    Now I am as conflicted as before. Which should I try?

    Also, I have never changed strings on a bridge that has pins. I am a little intimidated by that as well. I would figure that you just put the string down the hole and then smoosh the pin into the hole as well.

  6. #6
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    Those 10-52 will be much brighter then what you have now. These instruments are easy to make bright, hard to much warm. Physics wins every time, short scale, small body and only 4 strings. If you want warm go Phosphorous bronze in 12s or even 13s. I had 13s with no issue but the string tension under finger was too much back then. Might be ok now, started to play full size six strings about 5 months ago.

    Careful as these Blueridge are a gateway drug to six string acoustics.
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

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    If using a pick, they also have an influence on the sound. Thinner= brighter and lighter attack to the string. Thicker=more mellow and stiffer attack to the string. Material type of a pick also help determine sound. I play a lot of bluegrass and use either a Bill Stokes (showcase) pick because it gives off a sound much like the old tortoise shell picks had or a Jim Dunlop 1mm pick for a Doc Watson type sound..

    Daves right about a steel string being the gateway to a steel string acoustic. I bought a Pono UL4-40 because I missed the steel string sound. That led to me missing the bottom two strings of a guitar which led to a custom steel string parlor guitar. It also made me realize a baritone sound was too small in some way so have a tenor guitar sized body with a 21.88" scale 1 3/8th wide nylon string jumbo baritone almost finished being made.

    For strings I use either the Ernie Ball Earthwounds light/med set or the John Pearce lightguage. The scale on the parlor is 24.75 so if using a 23" scale, I'd go to the next larger diameter (mediums) to compensate for the scale length difference.
    Last edited by Patrick Madsen; 10-27-2018 at 10:29 AM.

  8. #8

    Default Tenor guitar strings

    Quote Originally Posted by ripock View Post
    I have a tenor guitar and I have been using the strings that came with it. I want to get new strings but I don't know how to determine the string gauges. Is there a way, or do I just to a store and say "give me some 11/52's" and start the process of hunting and pecking until I find the gauges I want?
    I have an ibanez tenor guitar tuned dgbe. I an using elixer nanoweb string gauges 12, 16, 22, 30. Very good tension and balance.

  9. #9
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    thanks for your thread i suggest you please search this on YouTube last week i also face this issue and after watching video my issue is resolve so please try any video guide for this

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