When I got "my" "first" real guitar on a christmas like 6 years ago it was actually really a great guitar..... i thought... over the years of playing other guitars, ive bought, maybe a few friends guitars, ive realized that that guitar is almost painful to play and im not sure exactly why, because at the beginning i didnt find it so.... even though i find the tone of the guitar quite nice, and even more so year after year... but I had switched my strings(12s) which might possibly be why, and ive also raised my action just a hair which will only add to the fact, but my question to you guys is that why does this occour on some guitars more than others? And why is it that im having this problem with my guitar? i under stand this is only a $200 guitar, and you get what you pay for but my brother had a similar price ranged guitar and its quite easy on the hands to play...
Well, in raising the action, you've essentially shot yourself in the foot, with respect to ease of play.

I have an Ibanez which I find difficult to fret, and I've managed to convince myself that the frets are too shallow. It works wonders for the intonation, but you have to hold on for dear life to stop the buzzing.

The shape, (profile), of the neck may be at issue. Over the road tractors have thick steering wheel rims to combat hand fatigue. If you were to drive all day and night with the thin rim of a passenger car, your hands would mostly be shot way before bed time. So, an extremely thin neck may work speed wonders for shredders, but a thicker one places your hands in a better position to apply the extra leverage needed with an acoustic.

If a guitar is hard to play, one is hesitant to play it. That exacerbates the situation, since you never really get "in shape".

I generally don't see a whole bunch of difference in my guitars in playability, provided they're all set up the same with the same gauge of strings.

So, have the guitar set up properly.

There's only a little shame in going to a lighter gauge string set.

Or, buy a new guitar. It's possible it might be every bit as difficult to play as the one you have now, but it will energize you to try harder and play more.

Another member suggested tuning to D - d, instead of E - e. That will reduce the effort as well. You can always capo up to the 2nd fret, if you need concert pitch.

If your problems are strictly down near the 1st fret, the top nut grooves may not be deep enough. A lot of instruments were, or are, shipped with this condition.

TAKE NOTE, you don't get a "do over" without replacing the nut, if you cut the grooves too deep. Plus, the other two factors of set up, need be done before attacking the top nut. First you set the relief, then you set the action height, and THEN you can ponder your top nut situation.

As the carpenters say, "measure twice, cut (file) once".
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jul 28, 2014,
You mention both changing to 12s and raising the action - if you were using lighter stirngs preveiously, its possible your neck's truss rod needs to be tweeked a bit, too, as you may be getting a little bowing, making the action even higher. Why and how did you raise the action?
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2012 Taylor 310ce
2011 Fender CD140SCE
Ibanez 12 string a/e
73 Epi 6830E
72 Fender Telecaster
Epi Dot Studio
Epi LP Jr
Chinese Strat clone
Washburn Mandolin
Luna 'tatoo' a/e uke
antique banjolin
Squire J bass
The geometry of all acoustic changes over time, some more than others, depending on luck and how they are built in the first place; it hasn't got much, if anything, to do with price. Things like string gauge and the environment it is stored in will affect how quickly these changes occur. The overall effect is to cause the action to get higher - the neck bows, the upper bout collapses inwards and the lower bout develops a hump. All this is quite normal within reasonable limits. The routine fix is to redo the neck relief and lower the saddle - which many learn to DIY. When you run out of saddle to lower, the next step is a neck reset. This isn't cost effective, even if feasible, on inexpensive guitars, unless you do a hack-job fix yourself -which I have done.
You raised the action and you're using 12's... ! That's what's making it hard