Guitar Werks.com: What are guitar strings, and how gauges are used to measure them?
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Sunday, September 14, 2008

What are guitar strings, and how gauges are used to measure them?

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In its essence, the guitar string is wrapped around the arm of the tuning mechanism and it sticks out about a 16th of an inch out the end. Also, the guitar string is fixed at the bridge and neck of the guitar and hence each guitar string must have a node at these positions. Attaching guitar strings at the bridge or at the neck will place a restraint or boundary condition on the guitar string's movement. If you've played with the Slinky toy before, you will notice that the guitar string works just like it.

Also, the measure of guitar strings go by their gauge size. Gauges vary from really light 8s up to heavy 12s. Your choice of strings will depend on the type of music you play and what you feel comfortable with. Gauge classifications differ among manufacturers for electric guitar strings, but are generally divided into extra super light, super light, light, medium, medium heavy, heavy and super heavy. Once you find strings that suit you, note the dimensions of each string on the packaging. Usually, they are either heavy, medium or light. There’s no need to go through this procedure when ordering string sets in the family of Stick 4ths/reversed 5ths tunings, including Baritone Melody, Deep Baritone Melody (down a whole step), Matched Reciprocal, Deep Matched Reciprocal (down a whole step), and the Grand Stick equivalents for these.

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