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What Are Guitar String Gauges? Understanding Guitar String Gauges

Updated on June 27, 2013

If you've had no prior experience or education in guitar string gauges, changing guitar strings etc. It might come as a surprise to you that guitar strings, although packaged individually, are not specified by the order that they appear on guitars, e.g E A D G B E, but by gauge instead, .10 .13 .17 and so on.

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The strings I use, Ernie Ball Super SlinkyRotoSound SuperiaStagg Medium Acoustic Bronze
The strings I use, Ernie Ball Super Slinky
The strings I use, Ernie Ball Super Slinky
RotoSound Superia
RotoSound Superia
Stagg Medium Acoustic Bronze
Stagg Medium Acoustic Bronze

What are String Gauges and what are they for?

Guitar string gauges are essentially the diameter of any given string, measured in thousandths of an inch, they're necessary as depending on the weight of the string, the tone when played will differ, and the larger the diameter of the string, the heavier the string will be, with heavier strings offering a bit more of a bass 'kick'.

Guitar String To Guitar Gauge Conversion

For convenience sake I've created a guitar string to gauge conversion table below using the Ernie Ball string charts, these consist of mostly custom gauges.

Type
Explenation of Type
E
B
G
D
A
E
Skinny Top Heavy Bottom (10-52)
Light Trebel To Heavy Bass
.10
.13
.17
.32
.42
.52
Power Slinky (11-48)
Heavier Trebel With A Slightly Lighter Bass
.11
.14
.18
.28
.38
.48
Regular Slinky (10-46)
Regular, Still Relatively Light
.10
.13
.17
.26
.36
.46
Hybrid Slinky (9-46)
Regular Slinky With Slightly Lighter Treble
.09
.11
.16
.26
.36
.46
Super Slinky (9-42)
Hybrid Slinky With Slightly Lighter Bass
.09
.11
.16
.24w
.32
.42
Extra Slinky (8-38)
Very Light Treble And Bass
.08
.11
.14
.22w
.30
.38
Not Even Slinky (12-56)
Heavier Treble And Bass
.12
.16
.24p
.32
.44
.56
Beefy Slinky (11-54)
Not Even Slinky With Slightly Lighter Strings
.11
.15
.22p
.30
.42
.54

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    • profile image

      Larry Parker 

      20 months ago

      Sorry, I was wrong, they are gauges so no decimal.

    • profile image

      Larry Parker 

      20 months ago

      These should be .0xx not .xx

    • profile image

      Kenny 

      4 years ago

      It's not fully obvious from the chart which strings are wound and which are not - 'w' appears on only two instances - but I don't think all other instances are plain strings!

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