Guitar Strings
February 20, 2004 3:04 PM   Subscribe

Guitar pickers - what kind of strings do you prefer for your acoustic and more important, what kind of string treatment do you use? (more...)

I use Fast Fret (silicone based) on my D’Addario phosphor bronze lights to help them last. However, it’s been so dry around here that I can’t find any that hasn’t dried out. I’ve tried spraying the applicator with silicone but it doesn’t seem to work as well. I like the stuff because it keeps the strings sounding new for about 3 times as long. Any suggestions for a substitute? As for strings, I’ve used D’Addarios forever and really like them but I’m game to try something new. I lean toward finger picking so I prefer light gauge.
posted by jabo to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total)
D'addario makes a set of acoustic strings called EXP that are coated with a sort of polymer to extend their life. They don't sound as bright as non-coated, but they last a lot longer. I like them. You might also want to try out Elixer strings too. They were, I think, the first acoustic string maker to come out with coated strings. Coated strings are more expensive (I think the last time I bought a set of Elixers they were close to $20.00), but you save money in the long run because you get a longer life per set. At least that's the pitch.

I was really into the coated strings for awhile cause i'm lazy and hate changing, but lately I've been using Martin SP's .12 to .56.
posted by eastlakestandard at 3:57 PM on February 20, 2004

I prefer to play with very hard picks - because I think I can control them better than light picks - so I also try to also find the heaviest strings possible.

Really heavy strings are hard to find, though, so I usually just get whichever brand sells the heaviest.

Heavy strings are louder and can put up with more of a beating, so that's why I like them. They break less often, and I think they sound generally brighter. I also like the way they feel on the fingers of my left hand. I suppose all sorts of individual preferences apply.
posted by interrobang at 7:34 PM on February 20, 2004

SRV also played with the absolutely heaviest guage strings available.
posted by Fupped Duck at 7:54 PM on February 20, 2004

one hopes you are taking care to adjust (or have a tech adjust) the truss rod in the neck if you are using heavier strings.
posted by quonsar at 9:08 PM on February 20, 2004

Much info at the International Guitar Seminar Forum. Very tolerant of newcomers, if a bit obsessively blues and national resonator guitar oriented (as am I.) Lots of past posts concerning strings. Bob Brozman and Woody Mann use this board to keep in touch with their students.

That said, don't attempt to fiddle with your truss rod if you can have a pro techie do it... and change strings often. If you get one of those cheap string winders at a guitar shop it makes it much less daunting. All technical questions answered here.
posted by zaelic at 4:21 AM on February 21, 2004

Treatment? I just wipe 'em down after a gig... had the same set on (dean markley phosphor bronze) on for six months, they still sound great.

i'm not a fan of the bright fresh sound though, prefer a bit of clunk, so ymmv.
posted by cheaily at 7:18 AM on February 21, 2004

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