Author Topic: Lighter guage strings on Yamaha f310  (Read 1099 times)

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Offline jhob

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Lighter guage strings on Yamaha f310
« on: April 11, 2019, 10:42:39 pm »
I started learning guitar (after a decade on ukulele) in a January and am up to beginner level 7.  My acoustic is a Yamaha f310 which I absolutely love.  The action seems to be set up pretty much spot on and the tone isn't very pleasing to my ears. 

I am starting to use barre chords a lot more now and am finding them significantly harder on the f310 than on my squire strat, when compared to the difference I find in fretting open chords between the two instruments.  I would expect it to be harder, just not sure how much harder as I have no real point of reference.

I was wondering if putting a lighter guage of strings on might help, or even just changing the strings.  It currently has the strings it came with on at the moment which I think are .012 guage.  I have a set of d'addario ej16 .012 ready to put on but wondering if I should try out .011 guage in the hope that it would make barre chords easier.  Putting .011s on would likely also mean a bit more faff with having to adjust the truss rod.

My other thoughts are that I could just put the d'addario .012s on as they are likely better quality than the stock strings which might make them easier to play - I have no idea how much truth there is in that statement.  Do better strings just sound/last better or is there much of a difference in how they play? Logically the tensions must be pretty similar for the same gauge across different brands.

Also I might just need to play more and give time to develop the strength required as it's only been a month before I first started tackling F.

So I'm looking for some advice as to what I should do.  Just wait and build up strength, change the strings to the d'addario .012s or try out something lighter?  Any thoughts?


Offline close2u

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Re: Lighter guage strings on Yamaha f310
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2019, 11:19:03 pm »
Change the strings 100%.
If you have a spare set already use them.
11s would be a little easier on tension but you already have the set of 12s.

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Offline Loefgren

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Re: Lighter guage strings on Yamaha f310
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2019, 08:19:45 am »
Hello jhob. I changed from 12's to 11's on my Yamaha FG 720 and it made barre chords a little easier  (still tough though). So I would recommend changing to 11's.

My experience is that are very small differences between different string brands when it comes to how easy they are to play. The tension is pretty similar as you suspect.  Playing guitar is difficult with both cheap and expensive strings.


Also I might just need to play more and give time to develop the strength required as it's only been a month before I first started tackling F.


Yes. I'd say change to 11 and then keep on practicing. Gonna take many months and possible even years to be able to play barre chords properly (change fast betwen bar chords and open chords and making them sound good etc). Change strings every 3 months if you play daily. New strings sounds better and are much nicer to play.

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Offline jhob

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Re: Lighter guage strings on Yamaha f310
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2019, 09:40:53 am »
Change the strings 100%.
If you have a spare set already use them.
11s would be a little easier on tension but you already have the set of 12s.

I'm still torn as I could just keep the 12s for when hands are stronger and put 11s on now.  Although playing with 12s is probably going to strengthen my hands faster!

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Thank you  :)

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Stage 7 in 3 months is fast. Make sure to consolidate. And learn songs learn songs learn songs.
About five per stage.

The 10 years on ukulele have definitely helped a lot - the rhythm sections I've had little problem on and quite a few open chord shapes are familiar.  I've got a reasonable basic grounding in music theory too which also helps.

I've generally moved on when I could do around 60 1 minute changes for that module, it's not felt rushed.  I go back and play my favourite songs from each stage quite regularly to consolidate and add a bit more colour too (particularly now that I'm looking at sus chords).

I have slowed down a lot now, probably spent a month on stage 6 before F started coming to me a bit more naturally (Being able to play it as part of House of the rising Sun has been my barometer of progress!).

It's a fun journey!

Offline jhob

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Re: Lighter guage strings on Yamaha f310
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2019, 09:44:07 am »
Hello jhob. I changed from 12's to 11's on my Yamaha FG 720 and it made barre chords a little easier  (still tough though). So I would recommend changing to 11's.
Thanks, that's good to know.  I'm slightly torn again now as it occurred to me earlier that if I keep playing with 12s my hands should strengthen up faster.  What were your reasons for changing to 11s?

My experience is that are very small differences between different string brands when it comes to how easy they are to play. The tension is pretty similar as you suspect.  Playing guitar is difficult with both cheap and expensive strings.
Thanks, that's really helpful to know - exactly one of the questions that I was asking myself.


Yes. I'd say change to 11 and then keep on practicing. Gonna take many months and possible even years to be able to play barre chords properly (change fast betwen bar chords and open chords and making them sound good etc). Change strings every 3 months if you play daily. New strings sounds better and are much nicer to play.

I'm probably about due a string change then!

Thanks for your helpful response.

Offline J.W.C.

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Re: Lighter guage strings on Yamaha f310
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2019, 11:49:49 am »
I'd put on the D'Addario 12s. It'll be a little harder, at first, but your hand will strengthen quickly. A set of 12s isn't really that heavy: on acoustic guitars, 12s are usually consider "lights."

Offline sairfingers

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Re: Lighter guage strings on Yamaha f310
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2019, 03:01:07 pm »
I’d stick with the 12’s. I started with 11’s but felt I wasn’t getting the tone my guitar was capable of. I changed to 12’s and to be honest I didn’t feel any difference under my fingers but the difference in tone was night and day.
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Offline jhob

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Re: Lighter guage strings on Yamaha f310
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2019, 09:10:25 pm »
I check tonight and it is 12s that it came with.  Think I'll just stick the spare set on for now. 

I also checked the action at the 12th, it's 5/64ths on Low E and 3/64s at high E, so in the right ballpark for an acoustic.  Action at the nut is as low as it will go

Offline Loefgren

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Re: Lighter guage strings on Yamaha f310
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2019, 02:20:13 pm »
Thanks, that's good to know.  I'm slightly torn again now as it occurred to me earlier that if I keep playing with 12s my hands should strengthen up faster.  What were your reasons for changing to 11s?

I changed from 12's to 11's after I have played for about 6 months, to make the guitar a little easier to play. Playing bar chords on acoustic is really tough for a new player, and I didn't wanna make it more difficult than necessary. It was quite a while ago I changed, but my memory is that bar chords is a little easier with the 11's compared to the 12's.
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Offline Borodog

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Re: Lighter guage strings on Yamaha f310
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2019, 02:39:43 pm »
Some crazy people like me put 10s on our acoustics.
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Offline sairfingers

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Re: Lighter guage strings on Yamaha f310
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2019, 04:06:14 pm »
Bottom line with all this is you’ll need to try out different strings for yourself. Only you can decide what suits you best. A set of strings only costs about £5-£6 so there’s not much to lose! Good luck and enjoy!
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Offline OrangeDog

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Re: Lighter guage strings on Yamaha f310
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2019, 09:14:31 am »
In the real world I am a paddle sport coach. With beginners, we make new techniques as easy as possible to start with. Only when they've got the basic technique down do we change things to "stress" the technique a little and then make it stronger.

Apply this to your guitar technique. Learn barre chord technique on your easy to play electric. Once you've got it nailed, try switching it to a slightly harder to play guitar (in this case it might be your low action acoustic with light strings). Once that is solid, go to heavier gauge and build it up again.

Build on success. Make it as easy as possible to start with. Spend more time getting things right. You will develop more quickly.

Cheers


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Offline jhob

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Re: Lighter guage strings on Yamaha f310
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2019, 07:20:12 am »
Just to update on this, I went with the 11s and really happy that I did.  Yes the volume is noticeably quieter, which is actually no bad thing given that this is just for home practice.  But it has made playing the acoustic that little bit easier and really opened up what I can play on it.

I think that I will eventually move back to 12s but for the sake of progression 11s were a good choice.

Thanks everyone for their input to this thread. :)

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