String gauges

Hi there!

I’ll ask something that probably is a silly question…
…but I don’t know the answer, nor found a thread with it, so I’ll ask anyway :rofl:

I always went with the factory gauges when changing my strings (to avoid nut adjustment/problems).
Does that makes sense, or is it safe to use a non-stock gauge?

Btw, please ignore it if I ‘write funny’, because I’m not a native english speaker


Non-stock shouldn’t be a problem for the nut (they don’t differ THAT much). They definitely feel different though. Lighter is easier to play with a brighter and less boomy tone, while heavier is a little more effort with a slightly looser feel and deeper tone.


It is okay to use non-stock gauges. I do it quite often. If there is a large difference you may have to widen a nut slot but usually that isn’t necessary.
Also, there are a lot of non-native English speakers on here. I think most of you use better English than I do. :grin:


Yeah, I had to file the nut when I went to BEAD but going from light to medium while still in EADG wasn’t a problem.


I have 45-105 on my Fender and 40-100 on my G&L but I want to try some thicker flats or maybe some 60-115 tape wound


Usually I stay on the stock gauges and play with different materials (nickel, chrome or regular stainless strings)
Then I’ll see if I can get some thick tape wound here (in Argentina strings are kinda expensive and there isn’t that much variety available)


Even if the strings are slightly too big they may work down in to the nut groove without filing. Advice I was given was to put them on and if they didn’t fit in fully, leave them and play a bit and see if they settle themselves in. If it is too tight it may be difficult to tune though.

Filing the nut a little is not difficult though. It just sounds scary and the first time is a little freaky. Just go slow and do very little at a time.

Decent video here:


Thanks for the advice @howard!