In this article we run you through the Dovetail 'Tone-Meter' that features on our product pages; giving a run down of our purpose and intent behind the visual aid.
If you're an experienced guitar player, most likely you know what you're after in terms of strings and what benefit and/or drawbacks each option present. The Tone-Meter is aimed more at the entry to intermediate players to help make a decision on what strings are best for them.
Speaking from experience ourselves, we've spent many a time changing gauges in search for a holy grail but what we tend to find is it's a matter of what you require in a particular situation or where you're at with your playing, for example, if you spend all your time learning blues solos and trying out 2-tone bends, a lighter gauge string will be easier on the fingers when fretting and bending notes. On the other hand, if all you enjoy playing is jazz and beebop lines, a fatter gauge string will be tougher on the fingers but is one of the easiest ways to naturally enhance your overall tone.
If you're just starting out, the lighter option is generally the best option but after time, exploring heavier options can impact your tone & style of playing greatly.
So in regard to the Tone-Meter, we start on the far left with our sets that are most flexible with their tension so in turn, are better suited to lead playing & not recommended for drop tuning as the looser tension means more tuning instability. These characteristics apply in full to our featherlight set on the farthest left but as you move up through to our Hybrid & Classic sets, the meter is showing the shift in characteristics and sonic qualities, shifting to a more balanced & versatile set.
Right in the middle of the meter is our popular Heavyweight set, as it uses light higher strings & beefy wound strings, it is certainly the most popular option for players who are looking to play a range of styles with the same guitar; rhythm, lead, drop tunings and a nice tone boost are all present.
If you're a fan of the Heavyweight option but don't want to stop there, moving into the right half of the Tone-Meter shows an increase in tension with these string sets. Although the extra tension can be real tough on the fingers and adapting your bending and vibrato can take a long time, the benefit of this is increased tuning stability; giving the option to de-tune but most of all, thicker strings will give your tone an overall boost, bass will sound punchy and harmonics will pop much easier.
We're aware of all the paralyzing options available when it comes to guitar. Every aspect of it can be boiled down to the technical details but really, none of it should hold you back from creating and feeling great about progressing. Our hope and aim was to simplify the basic rules from the consensus of what drawbacks and benefits come when choosing what strings are right for you!
We hope this helps & happy playing!
Our first in our lesson series runs through the technique Economy Picking, providing some starting insight and exercises into a technique that's beneficial for any guitarist.