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Old 05-22-2013, 05:02 PM   #1
RekrapNoxid
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Acoustic guitar strings. Help needed

Recently I bought myself earth wood silk and steel guitar strings. I've been using them for a few months but I found them relatively rough and not so clean, and with me having smaller / gentler hands I find it difficult to play with them. I've been looking everywhere but I can't seem to find any help, message of the story, I need softer guitar strings but I have no idea what type to buy, any suggestions? Help would be much appreciated. Thank you. P.s. I like to play a softer style of music like jack Johnson
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Old 05-22-2013, 05:29 PM   #2
stepchildusmc
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softer or a lighter gauge? i'd try some extra lights if your looking for easier playing strings. D'addario makes a good set (EXP15's i think).
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:13 PM   #3
tuxs
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I think Stepchild is having a senior moment. (lightguage 15s) You don't say what size guitar.
Elixir 10s or 11s would be my choice. However string choice around here is like asking for trouble.

Have a read of the Sticky on the front page of the acoustic forum there is a lot of string info. Cheers
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:36 PM   #4
patticake
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softer strings? martin silk and steels. smoother, softer strings? elixer 10s.
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:52 PM   #5
stepchildusmc
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cool thing about having senior moments is that you don't remember having them !
darnit tuxs...you made me have to actually do some research ! i was right though, EXP15's are extra lights....only extra lights i could think of off the top of my flat-topped head( without having to actually do some searching....ughh !) not quite sure what our TS is searching for yet.
i had a fruit pizza for lunch and i keep gassing kiwis !! whooda thunk it?
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:20 PM   #6
Captaincranky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RekrapNoxid
Recently I bought myself earth wood silk and steel guitar strings. I've been using them for a few months but I found them relatively rough and not so clean, and with me having smaller / gentler hands I find it difficult to play with them. I've been looking everywhere but I can't seem to find any help, message of the story, I need softer guitar strings but I have no idea what type to buy, any suggestions? Help would be much appreciated. Thank you. P.s. I like to play a softer style of music like jack Johnson
I don't know if you're actually going to find "softer or gentler" strings than "silk & steel".

Of course that depends on the gauge of the strings you're using, and how well your guitar is set up.

TBH, assuming you obtain a lighter gauge set of silk and steel strings, and have the guitar's action height set correctly, and at that point you're still having trouble playing. You need to either suck it up and build up some hand strength and callouses, or decide to go for a nylon string guitar. No shame in that.
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Old 05-22-2013, 09:35 PM   #7
Captaincranky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stepchildusmc
softer or a lighter gauge? i'd try some extra lights if your looking for easier playing strings. D'addario makes a good set (EXP15's i think).
Usually there would be an in between number for "custom light" (.012 -.052) In this case the number for "custom light is out of sequence and is "EXP-26".

They go from EXP-15 (.010- .047) which is "extra light.

Right to EXP-16 "acoustic light", (.012 - .053)

Medium is EXP-17 (.013-.056)

So don't pay any attention to that darn Tux, he's just trying to start trouble. You were correct the whole time.

But then, I'd be pissed you to if you called me a "Hobbit". It's Karma Step, Karma.
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:24 PM   #8
stepchildusmc
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aww...no harm done...i love tuxs... like my favorite case of hemorrhoids !!
ahh... masochisitc tendencies..masochistic tendencies.
i was once married...now i can be right once in a while.
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Old 05-23-2013, 12:19 AM   #9
patticake
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RekrapNoxid - have you had your guitar set up? i thought for decades my hands were too weak to play guitar. turned out i just needed a lower set up and lighter strings.
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Old 05-25-2013, 02:41 PM   #10
HowlerMonkey
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I use whatever gives me the best intonation within the limited adjustability of the guitar in question.

After that, it's about tension and feel but I really can't stand moving up the neck and having chords sound bad.
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Old 05-25-2013, 05:56 PM   #11
tuxs
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Howler, strings don't set " intonation " lenght" does. Thats why bridges are as they are, and you will notice that the "B" chord is different. And as for playing up the neck and sounding bad. Either have the guitar "Setup" properly or change your technique. Cheers
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:30 PM   #12
HowlerMonkey
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String gauge surely does have an effect on intonation.

On an acoustic guitar, you have very little "compensation" you can do at the bridge...........but you can fiddle with string gauge to get proper intonation even with a straight bridge.
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:18 PM   #13
Captaincranky
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HowlerMonkey
String gauge surely does have an effect on intonation.

On an acoustic guitar, you have very little "compensation" you can do at the bridge...........but you can fiddle with string gauge to get proper intonation even with a straight bridge.
Perhaps a bit. The only way string gauge affects intonation is a more or less false effect, that of pitch change when fretting.

Different string gauge effects how much pitch change will be present when the string is fretted. So, when one string changes pitch 2% positive, and the string next to it changes 4% at the same fret, then it appears you have an intonation error.

OTOH, when you lower the action, strings change pitch much less when fretted, as the tension is changed less.

Theoretically of course, you could customize your string sets to balance tension and pitch change effects.

But, poor technique when fretting, especially with light gauge string sets, will come back to bite you in the ass real quick, posing as "intonation error". A lot of it comes from moving the string sideways a bit, a minor unintentional "bend". You have to be acutely aware of that with 12 strings, because with unison tuned very light strings @ e-1 & B-2, they have to be fretted at the same distance apart as they sit static. Because if you bend them a tiny bit, it turns into a big annoyance.

In any event, even with the individually adjustable saddles in your electric guitar bridge, true intonation is still a compromise.

I love to post these pictures of a truly compensated fret system:

A few big name guys are starting to use these, I suppose because the better your musical ear becomes, the more intonation errors will annoy you. Your average drunken audience may flat out not give a f***...

Last edited by Captaincranky : 05-25-2013 at 10:25 PM.
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