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Old 11-23-2021, 10:23 PM
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TBman TBman is offline
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Default Thinking about going to lights/extra lights

My fingers are beating me up tonight. Sore, some pain, apparently for no other reason except they are 66 years old. Maybe I have to read the writing on the wall and drop my string gauge down a notch or two. I hate to give in to it though. I love the sustain of mediums.

I'm wondering if I should have one "sissy" guitar, for those nights like tonight

I'm afraid I would give in and play it too much though

Some nights everything sounds like magic and it seems as though I can play forever..... Not tonight though
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Old 11-23-2021, 10:24 PM
Rosewood99 Rosewood99 is offline
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Have you thought about tuning down a half or full step down? That will give you less tension and might make it easier for you to play.
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  #3  
Old 11-23-2021, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosewood99 View Post
Have you thought about tuning down a half or full step down? That will give you less tension and might make it easier for you to play.
I'm in DADGAD and lower tunings. but thanks for the suggestion.
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2016 Avalon Ard Ri L2-320C sitka/rosewood
2021 Furch Yellow cedar/rosewood
2015 Guild D-120C all mahogany
2003 Martin D-16GT sitka/mahogany
2022 McIlroy A20 sitka/black walnut
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Old 11-23-2021, 11:01 PM
wisedennis wisedennis is offline
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Short scale 24" to 24.875" would help.

Also, some "light" strings actually have similar/higher tension than other "medium" brand.. please remember to check the actual tension before you experiment with them


Quote:
Originally Posted by TBman View Post
My fingers are beating me up tonight. Sore, some pain, apparently for no other reason except they are 66 years old. Maybe I have to read the writing on the wall and drop my string gauge down a notch or two. I hate to give in to it though. I love the sustain of mediums.

I'm wondering if I should have one "sissy" guitar, for those nights like tonight

I'm afraid I would give in and play it too much though

Some nights everything sounds like magic and it seems as though I can play forever..... Not tonight though
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Old 11-23-2021, 11:09 PM
perttime perttime is offline
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Give them a try, but yes, look at the tension specs.

You might have a guitar that really likes lighter strings.
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Old 11-23-2021, 11:24 PM
bufflehead bufflehead is offline
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A nice compromise might be custom lights, especially on long-scale guitars. For me, custom lights hit the sweet spot.
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Old 11-23-2021, 11:29 PM
donlyn donlyn is online now
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Thinking about going to lights/extra lights

Septuagenarian here.

Was having hand problems a few years ago, and bought a short scale guitar (Taylor 412e-R), played it exclusively for about six months, and had a complete turnaround concerning problems. Came strung with Elixir PB HD Light gauge strings (.013 - .053), but did not find it necessary to make a gauge change. Still use that gauge extensively across my six-string guitars.

Also tune 12 stringers down to D#, one of which is in DADGAD intervals starting with C#. Always tuned 12 string guitars down since the 60s anyway. Old habits die hard.

One six string tuned to DADGAD. One six string tuned down a semitone to D#, to play along with the 12 string guitars. Currently the rosewood Gibson J-200, which sounds amazing in D# on it's own too. Bought new and have had it for over 35 years, and always treated it well.

Fingerpick everything using my nails as picks. Fingers free to roam loose instead of being clamped down on a pick. A bonus to fingerpicking for many decades.

Just sharing what worked for me.

Be well,
Don
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Last edited by donlyn; 11-24-2021 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 11-23-2021, 11:42 PM
jpd jpd is offline
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Thumbs up hmmmm....

66 huh? Just a youngin'. Wait till you enter the 70's..11's will be your go to
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Old 11-24-2021, 12:01 AM
Rick Shepherd Rick Shepherd is offline
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Hi Barry,

I never considered using light gauge strings as less desirable. Also, I never thought it meant less sustain, however it did mean it was harder on my fingers. After I bought my D-41, I switched out the strings to lights, thought it sounded and played much better. So no, I canít think of any reason why switching to lights would be a negative. Besides, you have multiple guitars, right? How about mixing it up a bit and have a guitar or two strung with lights.

BTW, I have had discomfort in the past with finger joints and shoulder, but was able to overcome the problems through stretching and making adjustments to how I play. I was worried that the longer scale length and increased string tension of my new Ryan Nightingale would be a problem, but there doesnít appear to be any problem so far, and I play for hours each day. One thing I learned was to apply only the necessary force to depress the strings, no more than that. Also, apply force which is most direct against the fretboard, not at an angle which may place stress on the the joints. Not sure if any of this is of value in your situation.


Best regards!

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Old 11-24-2021, 12:05 AM
donlyn donlyn is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpd View Post
66 huh? Just a youngin'. Wait till you enter the 70's..11's will be your go to
Crossed that bridge a few years ago. Now ad-libbing my own personal "70's Show", with or without an audience.

Don
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06 Alvarez AJ60S englmn/mpl lam med Jmbo
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  #11  
Old 11-24-2021, 12:36 AM
Glennwillow Glennwillow is offline
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Hi Barry,

I use light gauge strings on everything. For me, I think light gauge is about as light as you can go for DADGAD.

I have used custom lights (11s) in the past, but they get really plinky; light gauge (12s) sound better to me.

What I notice these days is that if I am not playing enough, my calluses are not tough enough. There is a kind of happy medium between too much and too little playing. You need to play enough to keep strong calluses but not so much that you cause trauma to your finger joints. When I play enough, I don't hurt so much.

So maybe you just need to use light strings and play a little more to toughen up your finger tips. Just a thought.

Hang in there...

- Glenn
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Old 11-24-2021, 04:58 AM
EZYPIKINS EZYPIKINS is offline
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You can call my guitars, sissy guitars. If that's the way you see it.

But I can play my sissy guitars for hours on end.

Though I'm not 66. I am 60. And have been gigging since the 70's.

Do my fingers hurt? Arthritis is a fact.

But when a guitar plays as sweet as mine.

Becomes less of an issue.
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Old 11-24-2021, 06:17 AM
tbeltrans tbeltrans is online now
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Forget the sissy guitars and really wimp out as I have been doing recently.

I purchased an American Showcase Fender Telecaster and Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb amplifier. My setup is completed with a Boss RC-500 looper and Boss GT-1000 Core effects pedal. For me, the looper is for instant recording of myself and then playback instead of having to fiddle around with a recorder and the GT-1000 Core provides nearly every pedal that Boss (Roland) makes in a convenient small package. It has great effects for acoustic as well as all that other stuff for rockers.

This guitar is incredibly easy to play and sounds quite good. Of course, we play very different styles, so there is that for consideration. I play chord melody and have discovered more and more jazz players using Telecasters. The open tuning stylings you play may not come across convincingly on a Telecaster. The best way to know is to go to a guitar store and try one.

For my acoustics, I will be watching this thread to see what you come up with as a solution since I pretty much face similar issues. By the way, I am 68 years old.

Tony
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Old 11-24-2021, 07:00 AM
guitararmy guitararmy is offline
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I have been tuning down a half step with light or medium/light strings, or a whole step with medium strings.
I like what it does to the bass strings, and my fingers appreciate the decreased tension.
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Old 11-24-2021, 07:22 AM
llew llew is offline
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This time of year with the weather changing and getting cooler you might need a setup re-evaluation. I actually have a couple of guitars that I have a summer and winter saddle for. Sounds crazy (and they are in a controlled environment) but it does work well and can be an inexpensive "fix" for issues such as this. Just a thought?
I'm 65 and have hand issues as well. Psoriatic Arthritis and psoriasis that flares on my hands. I believe with the right setup 13's are very doable. Remember...that same "weather" that affects our guitars also affects our bodies/hands...best of luck!
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Last edited by llew; 11-24-2021 at 07:46 AM.
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