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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Going back and forth with mediums and lights

Previous 20 Messages  
larryguitar19
Contributing Member
*****

South Florida

larryguitar
Oct 23rd, 2017 10:11 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

A couple of things to consider.

You can get away with Mediums on a Gibson or Martin tuned a 1/2 step down to D#. The Mediums give more thump and you get playability.

However I do play in bluegrass bands and need to be in standard on the Martin so I go with lights.

On Taylors the tops are so thin I"m alway using Lights. Same on 12 strings.

It also depends upon your style. That Tony Rice flat picking stuff really needs lights. But the heavier Rev Gary Davis stuff needs mediums.

Also you have to think about how the UST works. Tuning down a step does result in some small bit of loss of volume to my ear but the medium strings will make up for it.

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride
Oct 23rd, 2017 10:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Honestly, I can play mediums on my Martins at standard tuning. I do sometimes tune a half step down rather than capoing and I often play in double drop d tuning as well. For me, it's as much a tone thing rather than playability so long as my fingers are in shape. I think part of the reason I kept one strung with lights and the other with mediums was so I'd have something to play when I had laid off for a bit. That's sorta what made me wonder about medium-lights, happy compromise?

twangdoodles

michigan usa

Oct 24th, 2017 05:35 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My experience is that a well set up guitar plays just fine with mediums unless you like to bend a lot.

The new D-18 I bought earlier this year came with, and was evidently designed for, lights...

5Strats
Contributing Member
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Edmond/OKC

GospelBilly!
Oct 24th, 2017 06:36 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I use 10's on my Gibson acoustic. I like to play lead and rhythm and I primarily play electric guitar so heavier strings are too much work.

I already have some hand/finger issues that I get treatment for and I don't want it to become a real problem.

kego
Contributing Member
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**********

Houston, TX

Give me a second to think of something..
Oct 24th, 2017 08:05 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

twangdoodles has a great point in his comment about a well set-up guitar being easy enough to play with mediums. I'm often appalled at how badly a lot of player's guitars are set up. Bending strings and "that Tony Rice stuff" are perfectly doable on a well set-up guitar with 13's on it, at least for the acoustic music and bluegrass stuff I typically play. If it's to far to bend I use different technique anyway. For sure you're not likely to do much Buddy Guy-esque 3-step bends, but those are pretty uncommon in most acoustic music...lol

The main reason I use 12's on my 000's and OM's is that I don't like putting that much strain on the smaller bodied guitars. The dreads are built to take the strain of medium strings so I don't worry about that at all.

I feel for those of you who have finger issues and can't use bigger strings. I know the tendon on my index finger hurts until it gets warmed up and is always sore as heck the day after a bluegrass jam (I'll never be Tony Rice, but I do play a lot of solos). I just hope it doesn't progress to where I can't play at all eventually..

(This message was last edited by kego at 10:11 AM, Oct 24th, 2017)

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Nine mile skid on a ten mile ride
Oct 24th, 2017 09:18 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"The new D-18 I bought earlier this year came with, and was evidently designed for, lights..."

All modern Martin dreads are designed to use mediums and come with mediums standard. Check their site for proof.

twangdoodles

michigan usa

Oct 25th, 2017 05:58 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Well, maybe I remembered wrong. I just pulled out the booklet that came with it and it just says that they're designed for no heavier than mediums. I remember there being lights on it when I bought it but maybe I'm wrong.

Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Going back and forth with mediums and lights




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