I'm a beginner and im thinking of getting thicker gauge strings and a guitar store employee told me that if the thicker string doesn't fit around the nut I'll have to go and get my guitar a setup. If I get strings with thicker gauge that does fit without getting a setup is there any potential damage to my guitar?

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    Electric, acoustic? Truss rod or not? The answer is going to be 'it depends'. tbh, someone would have to see it before & after to really be able to give a 'correct' answer. Actual damage is unlikely, but playability may suffer. – Tetsujin Aug 31 '19 at 17:24
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    Without actually holding the guitar and whchever strings you want, and trying them, there's no knowing.The guitar guy may have erred on the safe side, may be ignorant, or may be drumming up business. We can't help. – Tim Aug 31 '19 at 17:43
  • I think the employee mean that the slots in the nut may be too narrow for thicker strings and the guitar will be hard to tune until the slots have been filed wider. – ojs Sep 1 '19 at 11:09

Thicker strings engage more force. I've heard of a case where the guitarist changed strings to thicker ones, and the neck couldn't support the force needed and hence doubled.

I suggest you take your guitar to a luthier who can inspect it and advise you on your specific case (guitar/string gauge).

Hope this helps!

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