Tips for stringing up a strat for slide?

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Tips for stringing up a strat for slide?

Postby redblues » Sun Apr 23, 2006 6:12 am

Hi all, new here, just introduced myself in the other forum, so this is my 1st ligitimate post.

I'm looking to get into slide, and have a clapton strat that i want to use for this purpose. Any tips on how i should set the strings?

High action is preferable as far as I know, what about strin gauge? Im on 10s now, should I go up to 11s for a beefier sound?

what about string type eg roundwounds etc? makes a difference?

regards,
kelvin
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RE: Tips for stringing up a strat for slide?

Postby slickcat » Sun Apr 23, 2006 9:43 am

Im using 13's and just raised the saddles a hair...didnt need to adjust the nut. If your trem floats (able to bend notes up or down) you may want to block it with a piece of wood. Mine was dive only so no need to.
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RE: Tips for stringing up a strat for slide?

Postby bluzeluvr » Sun Apr 23, 2006 1:01 pm

13's would certainly work, but I would try 11's first. That would make it physically easier to fret and bend in between the slides. I guess my philosphy is to go no higher than really necessary. With an electric, the string gauge isn't as crucial for getting good tone or volume (obviously) -- nor is hard strumming, which would also require a thicker gauge. I use 11's on a shorter, "Gibson" scale electric, and it works fine. With the longer scale of a Srat, the 11's should work even better.

Another suggestion...Try taking your open tuning, and tune up a half step -- e.g. D#-G#-D#-G#-C-D#. That will give you the approximate tension of 11's in Open G. If that works, then you'll know. Still to slack? Than go up another half step to approximate the next gauge up.
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RE: Tips for stringing up a strat for slide?

Postby redblues » Sun Apr 23, 2006 1:38 pm

thanks for the suggestions guys. I may just tune up to see how it feels like. I think a jump to 11 would be the most I can do for now. will also experiment with the mid-boost that's on board the EC strat.

Will see how it goes, this is gonna be interesting.

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RE: Tips for stringing up a strat for slide?

Postby ricochet » Sun Apr 23, 2006 2:06 pm

Well, you've heard the recommendations for 11s and 13s. I've got 12s on mine. So there. :)

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RE: Tips for stringing up a strat for slide?

Postby oleman » Sun Apr 23, 2006 2:39 pm

If you can afford an EC strat; why not buy a cheepie and dedicate it strictly to slide. Tuning back and forth is sometimes a pain and playing in standard with 12s or 13s can be a little rough.
I always leave my strat in standard with 10s. but a cheepo hollowbody set real high action w/dobro strings [16s] usually in G. Whenever I feel like a particular style, I don't have to retune. Welcome BTW!
Great forum, great group, lots of knowledge to help you over the rough spots.
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RE: Tips for stringing up a strat for slide?

Postby redblues » Sun Apr 23, 2006 2:54 pm

>If you can afford an EC strat; why not buy a cheepie and
>dedicate it strictly to slide.

Hey oleman, the EC was actually my first 'nice' guitar, had it for about 10 years or so i think, was gigging with a squire before that!

the strat doesnt see much action nowadays cos i've come to love the P90 voice, and have been playing that alsmost exclusively nowadays.

So, i do plan to use the EC solely for slide - so no tuning back and forth, but of course, would still like to be able to play press the strings down comfortably :)
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RE: Tips for stringing up a strat for slide?

Postby rustyslide » Sun Apr 23, 2006 3:28 pm

I have a strat set up for slide like so:

.011s
blocked vibrato (aka Fender 'tremolo')
saddles adjusted to give a flat radius so I can easily hit chords (taste thing)
open E (or A)
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RE: Tips for stringing up a strat for slide?

Postby bluzeluvr » Sun Apr 23, 2006 5:33 pm

Another thing to consider is the particular tuning you intend to dominate your playing. If playing with Open E for instance, I would think 11s' would provide plenty of tension.
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RE: Tips for stringing up a strat for slide?

Postby slickcat » Sun Apr 23, 2006 7:30 pm

> I would think 11s' would provide plenty of
>tension.
Ditto...My strat is tuned to open D...and I use it mostly slide and very limited fretting. Thats why I use 13's. If you use a light touch with the slide 11's should be fine especially tuned to open "E"
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RE: Tips for stringing up a strat for slide?

Postby ricochet » Sun Apr 23, 2006 8:31 pm

Yeah, I've had several guitars tuned to Open E with 12s for years, but lately I've been tuning down to Open D and G like I do on my reso, and they work just fine like that.

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RE: Tips for stringing up a strat for slide?

Postby jellyroll baker » Sun Apr 23, 2006 9:27 pm

This stuff is way to sophisticated for me! I just string it up with a bunchof .11s, make sure they fit the nut alright, check the saddles sit alright and make sure the neck doesn't warp. I don't raise the action anywhere - the tension form the strings usually sets the action jsut right wthout my having to actually try.
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RE: Tips for stringing up a strat for slide?

Postby maxx england » Mon Apr 24, 2006 8:17 am

13s in open E, plain 3rd. Round wound, flats lose the snarl. High-ish action, 5 springs wound down tight to control the bridge. But then that's just me.
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RE: Tips for stringing up a strat for slide?

Postby lpdeluxe » Thu Apr 27, 2006 10:25 am

My virtual $.02: use the heaviest strings you can comfortably play with. Heavier strings = better tone (IMO, especially on a Strat, but then my main electric slide guitar is a Les Paul). Heavier strings also reduce fret rattle, so you can get away with lower action for fretting.

An old lap steel player's trick is to take a set of Slinkys (.047-.010), throw away the .010, buy a .021W for the G, and move the original G to B and the B to E. That gives you a heavy top end and a relatively light bottom end, which to some people balances well for slide playing.

I specified a wound .021, because you'll find that a suitably thick plain string is both hard to find and pretty dmn stiff.
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RE: Tips for stringing up a strat for slide?

Postby ricochet » Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:16 pm

So far as tone and string gauge, the main difference I notice, being used to heavy strings, is that when I'm playing on lighter ones the bass strings go way out of tune when plucked hard, crazy sharp. They come back in tune as the vibration dies down and they're not swinging so far to each side, which stretches them more tightly. You don't notice that so much with heavier strings, which have to be strung more tightly to get to the same pitch. I didn't notice it when I was a new player, either, but I've gotten a lot more pitch-conscious.

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