I’m enjoying using the new ten-gauge strings that my teacher Jim Goelitz installed on my guitar. I don’t find that they make bends harder, but they seem to require more pressure to do barre chords correctly (without buzzing strings). I need to practice those a lot more. I’ve gotten out of shape lately.
My Fender Squier Strat originally came with nine-gauge strings, the lightest and easiest to play gauge. The first time they were replaced, Jim recommended D’Addario strings and installed D’Addario EXL120 Nickel Super Light strings. Strings are referred to by the gauge of the lightest string (.009, .011, .016, .024, .032 and .042).
Jim has told me that heavier strings produce a better tone, but they are also not as easy to play. He uses “tens” on his Strat and suggested I try them. On October 30, 2009, he installed a set of D’Addario EXL110 Nickel Regular Light strings (.010, .013, 017, .026, .036, and .046).
On Friday (11/6), I tried the first couple of riffs in Chris Hunt’s Blues by the Bar, a book and CD on how to solo. It seemed too intimidating when I first got it on March 16, 2009. I hope it will help me develop some more interesting patterns.