Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

"Bluegrass" guitar strings - Med/light strings

I’m curious why someone would choose these med-light “bluegrass” strings over a full set of 13 gauge mediums.

Here’s a set in the Banjo Ben store

Is the logic that 12 gauge strings produce a good high end but not enough bottom end? Why not just switch to 13’s?


String gauge is ultimately a personal preference. Some people make up fully custom sets of various gauges to tweak the balance from string to string. I think medium-light was one of the more common tweaks from standard gauge sets, so they made it a set of its own.


Mike is right. It’s ultimately a personal preference. If you look at the Martin Retro guitar strings, Tony Rice’s choice gauge (which is the one we keep in stock) is a medium gauge but the B, D, and A strings are slightly lighter than the regular medium-gauge set. In banjo strings, there is typically even more variation. For instance, JD Crowe has two sets, one for stage and one for studio.


Hi @AdamAsh how do you keep track of all this info?


Hey Archie! Sorry about the delay responding!

I can’t always remember the exact specifics, but I usually remember enough to have an idea on a lot of those things and I know where to look it up if need be. Nowadays, as the “Gadget Guru” here at the General Store, I have to stay on top of it. However, I’ve always been one to try lots of different things, especially strings and picks.