Author Topic: lighter gauge strings on acoustic?  (Read 4093 times)

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asp1124

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lighter gauge strings on acoustic?
« on: August 22, 2007, 06:55:38 pm »
if this has been done before, my apologies. I was just wondering if it would be detrimental to my future playing skills in any fashion by using .10's on an acoustic (labeled extra light) because my hands are kind of small and just not very strong. i often also find that playing certain barre chords, one of the strings sort of gets "stuck" in the ridge of my finger, under the knuckle. like, not pressed down, but muted in that crease.

any advice on the strings? pros/cons?

aging_bimbo

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lighter gauge strings on acoustic?
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2007, 12:33:24 am »
I use extra lights - can't see that it would be detrimental to your playing except for not requiring so much finger strength, but you can work that up gradually, too. I plan to graduate to heavier gauges in time.

For the barre chord I have similar problem  (can only just get all the strings to ring clear with just my first finger down, soon as I try placing other fingers to actually make the chord it all goes to pot, but I'll get there in the end). You just have to experiment with finger and thumb positions and work up your finger strength. If one of the strings sits in the crease, try moving your finger up or down a tidgy bit. And try rolling your finger over a little so it's a bit on the side - less crease there. And try moving your thumb so it's right behind the string you're having trouble with for extra leverage.

asp1124

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lighter gauge strings on acoustic?
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2007, 03:38:15 pm »
thanks for the heads up. i guess this comes down to what most problems do - more practice. ill definitely try some lighter strings if it doesn't affect the sound too much. thanks for your input!  :D

aging_bimbo

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lighter gauge strings on acoustic?
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2007, 03:45:48 pm »
Quote from: "asp1124"
thanks for the heads up. i guess this comes down to what most problems do - more practice. ill definitely try some lighter strings if it doesn't affect the sound too much. thanks for your input!  :D


didn't say it wouldn't affect the sound - it will, lighter strings don't seem to me to have the guts of heavier strings - just don't think it will be detrimental to your skills in the long run...

Offline suzidownunder

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Re: lighter gauge strings on acoustic?
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2016, 11:02:05 am »
Had anyone tried light strings on a GS mini?

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Offline stitch101

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Re: lighter gauge strings on acoustic?
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2016, 05:14:11 pm »
Quote
playing certain barre chords, one of the strings sort of gets "stuck" in the ridge of my finger, under the knuckle.

If your index finger is straight try bending it slightly.

Offline close2u

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Re: lighter gauge strings on acoustic?
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2016, 06:46:33 pm »
8 year old topic
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Offline derek.knight

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Re: lighter gauge strings on acoustic?
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2016, 07:09:37 pm »
@suzi. I have Martin silk and steel. They are 11.5s sound nice and easier to play than the standard 13s


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Offline suzidownunder

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Re: lighter gauge strings on acoustic?
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2016, 08:29:17 pm »
@suzi. I have Martin silk and steel. They are 11.5s sound nice and easier to play than the standard 13s


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Ahh thanks Derek. Is the sound any more mellow? Finding it a bit bright and rasping for my taste with the original strings.

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Offline derek.knight

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lighter gauge strings on acoustic?
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2016, 03:41:50 am »
Um you might have got me there. I changed my strings a few weeks ago, but my advancing years are having a deleterious effect on my memory. I think the answers yes but I can't remember just how better


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Offline suzidownunder

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Re: lighter gauge strings on acoustic?
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2016, 04:57:24 am »
Haha ok. I have bought 3 different types to try...

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Offline Mellow22

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Re: lighter gauge strings on acoustic?
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2016, 03:16:31 pm »
@suzi. I have Martin silk and steel. They are 11.5s sound nice and easier to play than the standard 13s


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Very interesting feedback, Derek. I was in Nazareth, PA, getting a repair at Martin factory and I was adamantly told that silk/steel strings are intended for fragile vintage guitars as the tension rating for light silk/steel is around 130 lbs whereas Most light gauge steel strings are up around 180 lbs tension. They feel very strongly that silk/steel strings should not be used on modern Martin guitars- they are not "optimal" for sound or performance. I'm still not sure what to believe- just reciting what I was told.

As to my own experience with different string gauges (different post) I find that I just don't get the tone or projection I want with extra lights. I'm usually quite happy with lights. As to going to thicker gauges e.g. medium- be careful and make certain with the manufacturer that your guitar was built for higher tension strings. Most acoustic guitars are issued with light strings and even medium gauge is getting high for most acoustic guitars and Martin's stand is that medium gauge are the absolute highest that should be used for any of their acoustics.

Responding to a different post, as a guitar teacher, I have found that many students mistake hand strength and technique. From a teaching standpoint, I am against students using extra light gauge or custom acoustic strings because it's "easier". Just like Justin is always saying, learn proper technique from the beginning because bad technique can be hard to shake later on, and I've seen this as a teacher. So I advise jumping in at light gauge steel on acoustics. It will be harder in the beginning but better in the long run. I do not consider myself as having strong hands- and my hands are quite small -but I can handle any guitar with any neck profile, neck width or strings without a problem because I was luckily taught good technique 40 years ago. Technique, not hand strength, is the most important factor.

Offline Cue Zephyr

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Re: lighter gauge strings on acoustic?
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2016, 04:06:51 pm »
Had anyone tried light strings on a GS mini?

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I thought they came with lights until I got a GS Mini myself. I do think the action could be lower on mine so maybe it's like that on yours as well. I'll have to go by the local Taylor service center to have that looked at.
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Offline suzidownunder

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Re: lighter gauge strings on acoustic?
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2016, 09:39:48 pm »
I thought they came with lights until I got a GS Mini myself. I do think the action could be lower on mine so maybe it's like that on yours as well. I'll have to go by the local Taylor service center to have that looked at.
I've lowered the action considerably and fitted  Elixir12-53 strings at the cost of a bit of base I fear. I'll probably put the original 13s back on. I've found the gsm to be better for plucking and fingerstyle or strumming without a pick.

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Offline suzidownunder

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Re: lighter gauge strings on acoustic?
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2016, 08:05:52 pm »
So, I lowered the action and put the 13 s back on. After a long weekend of playing I'm not noticing them any more and the gsm sounds OK. I've always played pop and rock on electric so now I'm learning fingerstyle to complement the nice tone that the gsm has.


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