Custom string set for beginners


DavesGuitarJourney
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DavesGuitarJourney
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06/05/2020 2:41 am

Here is an interesting idea to help beginners get through the initial stages of finger pain and difficulty pressing the notes. Gentle string setup for beginners

For the four low strings you use Silk and Steel strings (such as the Martin M130 or M1400 standard gauge strings) that have a thin layer of nylon coating. Then string the B and high E with extra light electric strings. I might give this a try and see how it feels. I have the callouses and am able to play all of the open chords reasonably well but I won't say it is entirely without pain. Plus, I wonder if barre chords might be a tiny bit easier.

Any of you have any experience with the Silk and Steel?


It takes as long as it takes unless you quit - then it takes forever and you will never get there.

# 1
William MG
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William MG
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06/05/2020 11:36 am

Hi Dave

as you know I am a bit of experimenter myself when it comes to strings. I did try the S&S early on, but didn't stay with them for long - ending up installing light gauge electric strings.

However, as a side note, today I find the strings I like the most are 11gauge flat wound strings. I have them on a couple of guitars and find them very comfortable.

In fact, reading your post, I decided to order another set, but in my Amazon search I came across 10 gauge[u] half round[/u] strings. I have never tried these, so I thought for $15 I would give them a try. They should be here Tuesday, and I will probably do a short review of them


This year the diet is definitely gonna stick!

# 2
mjgodin
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mjgodin
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06/05/2020 12:00 pm

I put Ernie Ball Earthwood Extra Light 10 gauge on mine. Seemed to be working out pretty good. Unfortunately I still deal with some finger soreness but I think it's mostly related to inconsistent practice intervals. Light one day heavy the next and for some reason when I'm trying to learn something completely new, I find myself pressing down harder than necessary to make a good sound. Once I kinda get the hang of things I'm more relaxed and don't pressed down so hard. I've been playing for 6 mos. now and still getting soreness but I'll work with it. Let us know how that solution works out for you. Be curious to give it a try.

Moe


# 3
DavesGuitarJourney
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DavesGuitarJourney
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06/06/2020 1:01 am

I know what you mean about inconsistent practice, Moe. Lately I've been the same way, work has been too exhausting. Even on a bad day I try to practice enough to keep the fingers in shape and not to regress. [br][br]

William, I figured if anyone had tried this it might be you! Let us know what you think about the half rounds.

I have ordered my strings and I will let you guys know how it works out. This will be the first time I have put strings on myself, so I am a little nervous but I don't think I should have any trouble with it. What's the thing that I am most likely to get wrong as a first timer.


It takes as long as it takes unless you quit - then it takes forever and you will never get there.

# 4
William MG
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William MG
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06/06/2020 12:14 pm

I will post on the strings for sure Dave, anxious to try them out.

Only advice I have from my own mistakes, is make sure the strings are being wound around the tuning heads the right way round and not backward (see pic) and I keep either my thumb or finger as close to the tuning head as possible trying to keep the string flat on the head stock when winding the string. A rule of thumb I saw on the internet is before winding, pull the string through straight through the tuning head and cut if off at the 2cnd tuning head above it, should leave you about 3 1/2" or so to make your windings and cut the rest off. So that is what I do.

Should also mention I rarely save strings, so once I have the slack off, I cut them with my pliers. I bought a really small set of wire cutters that lets me get a really tight cut to the tuning head so there isn't much string left sticking out when I am done. Those little buggers can cut! Ouch!

Its pretty simple, a winder is nice, but I don't always use it. I don't change strings that often.

Let us know what you decide on for strings.


This year the diet is definitely gonna stick!

# 5
William MG
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William MG
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06/15/2020 2:13 pm

I got the half rounds in and installed on the weekend Dave. Not a fan at this point. They have a very rough texture. I kept my old strings and will likely put the old ones back on if I can't get used to these. I installed them on my favorite guitar, so I will have to make my mind up soon.

I have flatwounds on other guitars and they feel great, very smooth and mellow. These feel like sand paper.

The ones I installed are D'Addario EHR310s.


This year the diet is definitely gonna stick!

# 6
DavesGuitarJourney
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DavesGuitarJourney
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06/15/2020 2:34 pm

I'm still waiting for my Silk and Steels to get here. Nothing ventured, nothing gained on the half rounds. It's the only way to find out if you like them or not!


It takes as long as it takes unless you quit - then it takes forever and you will never get there.

# 7
DavesGuitarJourney
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DavesGuitarJourney
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06/16/2020 1:43 am

Ok, Martin MA 130 Silk & Steel arrived, finally. If you 'll recall, I was going to put very light electric strings on the high E and B strings, and the Silk & Steel on the bottom 4 strings. Well, I abandoned that right away because I broke the Ernie Ball Extra Slinky 8 right away! To be honest, it felt too "slinky" anyway, and obviously not strong enough to handle the tension on my acoustic. I'm not blaming the string here, I am sure it was my fault I broke it. Anyway, after that I just used the whole set of Martins (11 - 47).

My first impression is pretty good. I think they have a nice, bright sound and I think I like the way the silk coating feels. The 6th string has less buzz than what I had before. I was really getting a buzz anytime I had to play a note on 6th string, especially with my pinkie, unless I hit the fret just exactly right (and even then, well, didn't sound good). So, Am pentatonic sounded like crap for me most of the time even when I thought I was doing ok.

The idea was that this hybrid setup using super light high strings combined with the silk wrapped low strings might be easier for tender beginner fingers. I think the silks might be a little easier, but can't say on the high strings. I may try again with a lighter gauge than the 11s but not as extreme as the electric 8. That was too far. I will post another update in a few days after playing these more.


It takes as long as it takes unless you quit - then it takes forever and you will never get there.

# 8
faith83
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faith83
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06/16/2020 6:16 pm

I put Martin Silk & Steels on my acoustic last week and I'm smitten. Love everything about them -- sound, feel, just overall vibe. They feel...snuggly? And at the same time, kinda slinky/sexy. Love em!

PS, Christopher Schlegel has a really good set of lessons on GT about changing strings -- taught me a bunch of things I didn't know before.


"I got this guitar and I learned how to make it talk."

# 9

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