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Old 08-30-2010, 01:48 AM
DoeZer DoeZer is offline
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Default strings for lead acoustic.

hi all..

im in an acoustic blues 3 piece. playing the lead stuff.
so that means lots of bends and fast playing (well fast for me anyway ).

i use .010s on my acoustic... but i cant get anywhere near the speed or pitchbend level that i can using .010s on my electric.

in fact i have taken to using my line 6 variax electric cos it has a very passable acoustic sound and is SO much more playable....

but its not the same as pure acoustic... any tips on how to get the guitar more "playable" from a blues lead perspective..??

moving to .009s for example?? or is that just too light for acoustics?? do they even do them?

any tips would be very welcome.

thanks
D
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Old 08-30-2010, 06:02 AM
Cue Zephyr Cue Zephyr is offline
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I'd choose something like either the 80/20 from D'Addario as I expect them to be VERY bright and cutting through a band. OTOH, flatwounds to reduce sustain for playing notes in rapid succession.

I think D'Addario does 9s?

But I don't know anything - it's just my logic trying to process it.
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Old 08-30-2010, 06:57 AM
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rmyAddison rmyAddison is offline
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I used 9's and 10's for 30 years playing electric, When I went strictly acoustic I started with 12's that felt like cables and went to 13's eventually with my dreads.

It's about a good setup and building finger strength, even after 30 years of electric I had to build up my fingers. One recommendation is round core strings like Dr Sunbeams, to me they absolutely bend easier than hex cores, try some DR Sunbeam 12's.

Another "solution" as I still bend a lot in my acoustic playing is hybrid gauge sets. I really like Martin Bluegrass light-mediums which have lights on the high strings and mediums on the low (12-56) so you get playability up top and rich bass on the low strings.

Real light strings are going to sound thin and that is not a Blues sound to me. Don't know about your guitar but short scale 000's would also help with playability and are known as blues boxes.

All about paying dues, but once you can play smooth and clean with an acoustic you can kill an electric and play your fingers off. I know a lot of electric players who practise with acoustics just for that reason, good luck!
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:28 AM
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You didn't say what kind of guitar you are using. You've probably already addressed the issue as long as you've been playing but playability, in terms of fast leads on an acoustic, has more to do with the guitar's ergonomics (especially neck shape and distance between the strings at the nut and saddle) and setup than with the strings.
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:32 AM
GibbyPrague GibbyPrague is offline
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While i personally dont like them for rhythm DR Rares apparently are designed for electric players moving across to acoustic. They seem easy to fret but as i said, i find them somewhat bland for rhythm.

On the other hand I love DR Sunbeams for rhythm playing.
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:36 AM
kwakatak kwakatak is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldrocker View Post
You didn't say what kind of guitar you are using. You've probably already addressed the issue as long as you've been playing but playability, in terms of fast leads on an acoustic, has more to do with the guitar's ergonomics (especially neck shape and distance between the strings at the nut and saddle) and setup than with the strings.
^ this. Has the guitar been set up recently? I find that string height and the condition of the frets has a great effect on a guitar's playability. You also didn't mention what model guitar this was? Is it a bigger body, i.e. thicker in the middle and with a deep body. Is there a cutaway? How slim is the neck? Regardless of any of this, there are ways to hold the guitar and position your wrist that could make it easier for you to get around the fretboard.
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:12 AM
DoeZer DoeZer is offline
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Default thanks

thanks all.
it is a washburn. about 10 yrs old not sure how else to describe it im not very up on all the different types of acoustic..

i am aware that .010s are already pretty light for an acoustic... but it still is pretty tough to bend the strings. perfectly doable but not nearly as easy as the electric...

it wouldnt have been setup for a long long time.. like never! but its a real nice guitar to play and sounds pretty good.. just could do with more playability in terms of string bending and lead play in general.

as for me , i dont think any need for flat wounds to reduce resonance for fast playing.. im not that fast.. just blues fast (not shredder fast!)
cheers
d
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Old 08-30-2010, 12:05 PM
BULLSPRIG BULLSPRIG is offline
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I'm in the same boat with you, my friend.

I think some of the advice given so far is very correct -- you (or I) could put the ideal set of strings on our acoustics, and that may help a great deal, but as I become more experienced, I notice you have to be very careful and deliberate about "which" acoustic you choose, and "what" you plan to play on it. If it is fast interchanges/lead scales, bluesy in nature (bending), you probably need to inspect your nut width, like others said. I'm very naive and uninformed about the shape of a guitar's neck and its nut width. I should have that down to a science by now. But I don't. I think NARROWER is good. But I'm not certain about that. Just seems like over the years when I come across an acoustic which allows me to boogie around and bend notes, it has a narrower nut width (strings are closer together).

Could just be my own preference. My Taylor has wider spacing than I typically prefer. Has certain advantages, but also some disadvantages.

good luck
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Old 08-30-2010, 07:11 PM
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DR sunbeams/ Newtones or other round core strings will play easier and sound excellent, the diameter appears smaller for each given size as well. I would go with the lights which are 10's but very light, and they also do custom sets-
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