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Strings To Use With An Acoustic Guitar | Teach Yourself Guitar Now

Strings To Use With An Acoustic Guitar

Many guitarists have a kind of a running battle with their strings, apart from the normal problems relating to keeping them in tune. The questions are rife for the new guitarist. It isn’t sufficient that we have to learn this complex stuff, but in addition, our finger ends are hurting and we aren’t even certain if we have fitted the right strings for the job! What kind of strings are best for playing acoustic blues guitar, for example. If you are fortunate enough (and rich enough) to have secured a professional teacher, then it’s a piece of cake. Just take his advice and rely on his years of experience. Nevertheless, if you purchase blues guitar lessons from the net, or on a DVD, you are generally left to your own devices, relying on advice from pals, or good old ‘suck it and see’ techniques.

First off, it depends on what variety of acoustic guitar you wish to play. Blue grass pickers like to use a medium gauge string, which run from 0.054 inch to 0.013 inch. Thicker strings are great for clipping with a plectrum held loosely between the thumb and forefinger, and don’t vibrate too much when hit. This is important if you own a great guitar with a nice low action. A string moving too much can catch the frets, causing a frightful buzzing sound. Also, they are a little tough on the ends of the fingers. Naturally, we need to build up those callouses, but heavier strings need a little more finger pressure to hold them firmly on the fret board.

For acoustic blues guitar, numerous players opt for light gauge, which run from 0.054 up to 0.011 inch. There might not seem much difference between the two sets of, but believe me – you will feel it! The difference becomes apparent when you try to bend a string across to elevate the note a little and produce that beautiful sorrowful blues sound. It feels genuinely hard – you just can’t push it over enough, easily enough. On the other hand, most guitarists find extra light strings a touch too skinny (0.052 to 0.010). They just vibrate a bit too much, and frequently catch the frets if hit too hard. Saying that, many superb foremost guitarists use lights, as it all depends how well you control your fingers.

String quality is not such a problem with modern strings and manufacturing methods. Great 80/20 bronze wound strings can be purchased relatively cheaply, but it’s a good idea laying out a bit more and buying phosphor bronze, which have a nicer tone and are more durable. Martin market a set called SP, which is hard wearing and perfect for that one off studio session, or important appearance. However, if you play on the street, don’t bother with the best quality – play them hard and replace them often.

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