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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Silk and Steel strings for sore fingers?

Contributing Member


Five is enough!
Oct 9th, 2019 10:30 AM   Edit   Profile  

I put away my guitar to focus on banjo these last few years and now find that my fingers have lost their toughness and I've also acquired a touch of arthritis so now it hurts to play my Gibson SJ.
Looking for specific brand and type recommendations on which strings are easiest on the fingers? At this point I'm not concerned with tone or volume, just want a songwriting tool that is not too painful.

Contributing Member

The older the violin

the sweeter the music.
Oct 9th, 2019 10:43 AM   Edit   Profile  

I use LaBella Silk and Steel Lights on my little Martin, and my little Santa Cruz before that.

They feel great, and sound even better. My wife had to tell me to turn up the TV last night while I was playing that Martin, as the thing is LOUD! Gorgeous tone too.

Give 'em a try, you'll like them. Not very expensive either. $8, maybe?

Contributing Member


Five is enough!
Oct 9th, 2019 11:15 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks Ragtop, that is exactly the specific info I need. Banjo has steel strings but do nothing to preserve guitar fingers!

Contributing Member

Wichita, KS USA

Retired April 26, 2019
Oct 11th, 2019 04:51 AM   Edit   Profile  

I use Martin FX Flexible Core Silk & Phosphor strings. They are the easiest I have found on my fingers. I'm currently using them on my J-45, 000-28EC and Taylor T5z. They are .011-.047 and sound pretty remarkable for as light as they are.

Contributing Member

USA / Saint Paul, MN

Oct 11th, 2019 06:47 AM   Edit   Profile  

This thread reminded me of how much I liked the Martin Silk and Steel strings I used in the past. they are much easier on my tired, old hands and I like the slightly mellower tone. Taking jhawkr's advice, I just ordered a couple of sets of the Silk & Phosphor strings.

Contributing Member

North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Oct 11th, 2019 07:41 AM   Edit   Profile  

Recently I’ve been picking up the Classical more often. Going between the various nut widths takes a minute though.

Chris Greene
FDP Host

Idaho, USA

Buy your virtue signal here
Oct 16th, 2019 09:03 AM   Edit   Profile  

I usually keep one or two dreads strung with lights and one strung with mediums. Lights make a huge difference when your fingertips have gotten a little soft. I also keep lower action than some acoustic players like. Never tried silk and steel strings and, knock on wood, have no issues with arthritis.

Contributing Member

El Californio

Oct 16th, 2019 11:43 AM   Edit   Profile  

I put a set of D'Addario Silk & Steel 11.5s on my Guild M20 parlor after a bout of hand numbness resulting from a neck injury. The sound is uber-mellow and you lose some volume, but they are easy on the hands/fingers and sound great.

FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Silk and Steel strings for sore fingers?

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