11 String Guitar – Is it Worth to Play?

If you’re a guitar enthusiast or a musician looking to expand your musical horizons, you may have heard of the 11-string guitar. But is it worth playing? Here, I’ll delve into the world of the 11-string guitar and explore its unique characteristics and benefits. 

From its extended range to its versatility in various musical genres, I’ll discuss why this unconventional instrument might be worth adding to your collection. So grab your pick, tune up your strings, and let’s discover the world of the 11-string guitar together.


Advantages Of 11 String Guitar

Tuning Stability

The first thing that comes to mind is improved tuning stability, which is the most talked about. It’s not that strange of a concept. You may want your guitar to stay in tune after you tune it. 

Tuning strings instead of playing strings is not something anyone enjoys. Guitars are generally used for playing. It’s better to spend less time fiddling with knobs and things.

A heavier gauge string will hold its tune more effectively than a lighter gauge string if all other factors, such as how the strings were made, how they were stored, how long they have been on your guitar, and how heavily they have been played—all of that sort of stuff—are the same.

More Output

Next, heavy gauge guitar strings generally give you more output. If all other things are equal–you’re using the same wrap alloy, same brand, etc. A heavier gauge guitar string set will have more output than a lighter one.

A higher-mass guitar string will displace and engage your pickup’s magnetic field more, resulting in more output when you plug your guitar into an amplifier. When you play heavier gauge strings on an acoustic guitar, you’ll drive the top more, resulting in more volume in the room.

More Tension

Heavy gauge guitar strings also give you more tension. Many guitar players now see tension as something to avoid. When you’re doing two-step bends without breaking your knuckles, it is. 

However, high tension also has advantages, such as better pitch stability. The tension created by heavier gauge guitar strings prevents you from fretting a string too hard and pulling it sharply when you fret a string with skinny strings.

Slide players need to maintain this tension. Many slide players working with us, like Reverend Peyton, Ariel Posen, and Joey Landreth, use heavy guitar strings because if you have low tension on your strings, even with high action, you can easily knock a fret. Low tension lets you easily knock a fret or create buzz by pushing your strings down.

Faster Attack

Heavy gauge guitar strings also allow you to get a faster and more powerful attack from your guitar, which needs to be discussed more. It takes longer for a plucked string to rebound when you play thinner strings.

Something that happens when you use heavier gauge guitar strings. Heavier gauge strings will make picking fast and trilling easier if you play metal or other styles that require quick picking.

There should be more discussion about this. Most people think metal players play heavy gauge strings just because they have a higher output or they’re tuning down. 

The improved attack of heavier gauge strings is one of the most significant benefits these players receive. The attack will be almost nonexistent if you tune in to Drop C and use a 46 at the bottom. Metalcore, djent, and similar genres require faster attacks to play more complex rhythmic structures without your strings flopping around.

Disadvantages Of 11 String Guitar

  • If the strings are too large, they are mushy and flabby.
  • To control the unwanted resonance of the additional strings, you must put more effort and concentration into it.
  • This Requires A Sensitive Ear And Technical Solutions To Block The Strings With Both Hands.

What is String Gauge?

The diameter of the guitar strings is minimal. Our regular players need a quantifiable measurement from string manufacturers to understand what they are discussing. Strings are thinner when the number is smaller. It is thicker when the number is higher.

String packs are often referred to by their thinnest string. In most cases, you’ll encounter 9s, 10s, and 11s. Some brands give their string sets generic names like light, medium, or heavy.

Nevertheless, equivalent strings vary in thickness between brands. For instance, Ernie Ball makes a set almost identical to D’Addario, but one has a third string measuring .018mm while the other is .016 mm. Therefore, knowing what you’re buying and what’s changing when you buy new strings is essential.

What Are 11 Gauge Guitar Strings?

11 gauge guitar strings refer to the thickness or diameter of the strings used on a guitar. The term “gauge” measures the thickness of guitar strings, with smaller numbers indicating thinner strings and more significant numbers indicating thicker strings. 

In the case of 11 gauge guitar strings, they are considered medium-heavy or thick strings. These strings balance playability and tone, providing a fuller sound with increased sustain and volume. 

They are commonly used by guitarists who prefer a heavier feel and enjoy playing genres such as rock, blues, and metal. However, it’s important to note that guitarists’ string gauge preferences can vary based on personal playing style and musical preferences.

When Should I Use 11 Gauge Strings?

Thick strings of 11 gauge or higher will keep tension at bay when tuning down from EADGBE to D, D standard, drop C and lower, or more extended-range guitars. Due to fluctuating pitch, low tunings are challenging to play on a thin gauge.

You need excellent finger strength and dexterity to bend and inflect heavier gauge strings. You do your guitar hero a disservice by using a specific string gauge. Since last year, it has been a popular trend to wear top-sleeved hybrid 11s (11-60). Billy Gibbons has the best tone in the business, and he uses instruments with seven or eight gauges. Other well-known names include Tone Monster and Light Strings.

Ultimately, deciding what is best for you is up to you. For the treble, 009 and 046 were used. I prefer fattens in my bass to those I prefer, but I can still play fast licks and massive string bends. I always hear Billy Gibbons as thick, no matter what he does. 

Playing Les Paul right away will keep them thick. Unwound strings have a more assertive tone when they have a lot of weight, regardless of how much weight they have. I enjoy various options because variety is a spice of life.

Banky created Banky (played by Jason Lee in the film Chasing Amy). Nic is a Detroit native. Here, you can purchase my hand-wound Great Lakes guitar pickups. Over time, bottom-end strings become Bouvier. The simplest and most cost-effective method for changing your guitar strings is to change the strings. If you add strings, Joe or Eric won’t notice a difference in how you sound. As a general rule, @GC made it clear that this would happen.

Make sure you play for the right reasons. There was no need to adjust the Truss Rod or the trumpet’s intonation. EJ uses 014s on his two-tone Strats and 011s on short-scale guitars, so there is little difference between them. It is worth what you paid, but I hope my experience and yours will help.

Final Words On 11 String Guitar- Is it Worth to Play

Playing the 11-string guitar can be a unique and rewarding experience for musicians looking to expand their repertoire. With its extended range and rich, resonant sound, the 11-string guitar offers new possibilities for expression and creativity. 

While it may require some adjustment and practice to adapt to the additional strings, the effort is well worth it for those seeking to explore new musical horizons. Whether you are a seasoned guitarist or a beginner, don’t hesitate to give the 11-string guitar a try and see how it can enhance your playing. You might discover a whole new world of musical inspiration waiting for you.


How long should I play a 6-string guitar before starting an 11-string?

It’s a different time to learn an 11-string, but you should be comfortable with a 6-string before moving to an 11-string.

Are 11 gauge strings hard to play?

No. 11s are much easier to play than 12s or 13s, but that comes with a price. You will also notice substantial differences in the appearance of your guitar if you choose 11’s.

What are 11 gauge guitar strings suitable for?

In drop D tunings, D standard tunings, drop C and lower, or for extended range guitars, 11-gauge or thicker strings maintain tension when tuned down from standard EADGBE tuning. When plucked, thin gauge strings fluctuate in pitch and become challenging to play at lower tunings.

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