can someone please provide info on string gauges for a 3 string guitar.also,on a fretted neck where the strings are pressed down, does the saddle have to be compensated?

thanks, john

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The strings I have on mine are .032, .022, .016, I have mine tuned to open G (G, D, G). I like the sound I get from mine. To get the correct note when the string is fretted, you will have to compensate the saddle.
For my three stringers, I use strings 3, 4, and 5 from a standard set of strings, but that is personal preference. I also use light gauge strings to make it easier to play.

I am not sure what you mean by having the saddle compensated.
thanks leggy,just joined today and want to try to build one soon
Welcome to the Revolution!!

john malan said:
thanks leggy,just joined today and want to try to build one soon
john,... it all depends on the sound you are looking for.... If I'm looking for bassey/rythmn guitar sound, I like the 6,5,4 from a heavy set (52,42, 32 more or less).... tuned open D this just growls/nasty.... if I'm looking for something to accompany vocals and do some finger style, then I either go to a lighter set (electric 9s) looking for the 42,32,21 and tune open G.... ... if I'm looking for a "fiddle"/banjo-y sound, then you'd be thinking even lighter (maybe 32,21,13)... (note all string diameters are approximate)

buy a couple cheap sets of strings and mess around.... the most you have to lose is a few bucks in strings and you'll know from experience how string size/string tension affects sound...

let us know what you discover....

the best,

Wichita Sam
For my personal use I like the 12&3 string from whatever set I have. I don't concern myself with actual gauges. I buy whatever I get the deal on

Others like 2,3&4 but I don't like the squeak I get from wound strings

As far as compensated bridges
I don't glue my bridges down so I can move them around however I like to get the sound I'm looking for
But I don't notice any difference and neither have anyone that I know that has experimented with it
Hey John,
I'm a fan of the 3,4, and 5 strings from a standard set. The actual gauge is up to you. If you want more volume...go heavier (acoustic strings). If you have a magnetic pick-up, you'll want either plain steel or nickel plated. They also make "Zebra" strings that are acoustic but have nickel and bronze wound side by side for acoustic volume and tone but increased response with an electro-mag pup. These are obviously a bit more expensive.
As for compensating the saddle, this is dependent on the gauges of the strings. A floating bridge like an eye bolt or something works just fine for this. After you have your instrument fretted, play the harmonic at the 12th fret (just barely touching the string should give you a bell-like tone). This note should be the same as when the string is fretted at the 12th fret. Adjust the bridge either toward or away from the nut to get these pitches the same. You'll have to re-tune between each attempt. Its really easy to do. It just takes a bit of patience. Your saddle should be closer to the nut on the higher strings than the lower strings.
Hey John,
As you can see, lots of personal preference in the string department. I use the 4, 3, and 2 strings (.32, .25, .16) and tune GDg mostly, but that changes with whatever I feel like playing. You could use the 5-4-3 strings, too, for a sort of heavier sound.
As for the bridge, I let mine float so I can adjust it. The notes at the 12th fret should be one octave higher than the open notes (this is easy with a cheap electronic tuner. I'd be lost without mine!).
i use the A, G and B strings , tuned A E A (so that the G and B strings actually have a little less tension than normal.) works well for me. i prefer a mid-range, strummy sound to sing with.

just play around with cheap strings until you find something you like.

good luck!
Maybe this video may give you some ideas. Happy building! Enjoy.


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