The Washburn Guitars Forum

Washburn Acoustic Guitars Forums => D10 Series => Topic started by: SweetSerenade on March 15, 2010, 01:00:40 AM

Title: best string's for a beginner?
Post by: SweetSerenade on March 15, 2010, 01:00:40 AM
I have a D10M acoustic. I have heard nylon strings are good to start with. Any suggestion?

~Jinna~
Title: best string's for a beginner?
Post by: Pike on March 15, 2010, 04:12:04 AM
A decent brand of lights (12-53 guage) would be good to start out with. Many of us prefer phosphor bronze. As important as the strings is a good setup, ensuring that the action is as good as it can be, definitly worth the money spent. Nylon strings won't work on a steel string guitar.
Title: best string's for a beginner?
Post by: marllr on March 15, 2010, 07:58:47 AM
I started learning a few months ago with light phospher bronze.  The second guitar I purchased (search for GAS references) came with mediums which seemed ok for me (after couple of months of playing), but will probably stick with lights for a while as my wife and kids are flirting with playing.

Listen to Pike... I just had the guitars set up by a profesional and wish I had done that in the beginning... it is a whole different instrument... less effort, less buzz, better feel, more enjoyment!

Welcome / Enjoy!
Title: best string's for a beginner?
Post by: SweetSerenade on March 15, 2010, 09:25:26 PM
I went today and had my guitar cleaned and re-strung with some Martin SP Phospher Bronze light strings. It sounds so much better! It does seem like one or two of the strings are a little buzzy though?

~Jinna~

Title: best string's for a beginner?
Post by: marllr on March 16, 2010, 07:32:32 AM
New strings go a long way!  A setup is more than cleaning... my understanding is it includes adjustments to neck/truss rod, frets, bridge, and other parts to optimize playability (string height) and intonation.
Title: best string's for a beginner?
Post by: DontTreadOnMe on March 16, 2010, 07:50:14 AM
do they buzz when the string is open, or when you are playing a chord?  Like if you are playing G, do the low E and A strings buzz? It may be you're not getting the string properly fretted, or could be the setup.  As marllr says there are several adjustments that can be made.
Title: best string's for a beginner?
Post by: Quinn Spalpeen on March 16, 2010, 02:06:15 PM
Welcome to the forum Jinna, and welcome to the world of guitars.  The advise above about getting a proper setup is very good.  If you don't mind I'd like to add a comment on that.

First, just because a person here or there says they can setup your guitar, doesn't mean that they will do a great job of it.  Now don't let that scare you off, it's not really rocket surgery or brain science, so you should be able to find someone qualified without much trouble.  Ask around, seek out opinions from other players who have no stake in your business.

I would also suggest you read up on setting up a guitar and then you'll know what to ask and what to look for in results. Here is a very good primer on guitar setup. Knowledge is power, and in a short time, you may even finding yourself wanting to do most/some of the setup work yourself,,, there is a lot of satisfaction in that. Pike also has some good informative links you'd find worthwhile.

http://thbecker.net/guitar_playing/guitars_and_setup/setup_page_01.html

Anyway, welcome aboard and visit over on the Acoustic Players Post Comments and Other Absurd Stuff page.



Nothing under the sun is new Watson. .... Sherlock Holmes

I have some of this, and some of that.
Title: best string's for a beginner?
Post by: Junior88 on March 17, 2010, 11:24:21 PM
quote:
it's not really rocket surgery or brain science


[:D]
Title: best string's for a beginner?
Post by: marllr on March 18, 2010, 12:49:29 PM
Thanks for sharing the setup primer.  Is fret work (adjusting/replacing) not a typical part of a set up or do you suppose they intentionally left out?  Also, I expect play and care are factors... how often will a guitar typically need a setup?
Title: best string's for a beginner?
Post by: Quinn Spalpeen on March 18, 2010, 02:35:51 PM
Other than dressing the frets, I wouldn't think it would be included in a basic setup. It's probably easier to do than setting up the action.

Leveling the frets is more technical than adjusting the relief and action.

Replacing the frets would be cost prohibitive on a cheaper instrument, I would think. (Unless there was something more than it's intrinsic value being considered.)But I'm not sure, it's never come up on one of my instruments.

Nothing under the sun is new Watson. .... Sherlock Holmes

I have some of this, and some of that.
Title: best string's for a beginner?
Post by: radenshirinji on May 16, 2010, 11:24:15 PM
I have tried electric guitar strings on my acoustic guitar. They felt easier to use and does not hurt my fingers so much.
Title: best string's for a beginner?
Post by: Rocket on May 17, 2010, 01:46:15 AM
quote:
Originally posted by radenshirinji

I have tried electric guitar strings on my acoustic guitar. They felt easier to use and does not hurt my fingers so much.

Huh?... What?... Ugh!
Dude, you are out-of-sync and should think twice before doling out nuggets like that lest people looking for solid info begin to take stuff like that seriously!

I can't conceive the circumstances that would drive the odd choice to put electric strings on an acoustic, but the tone will suffer. Electric strings on an acoustic will give you a very small, twangy, ultra-hi terrible treble sound.

Electric strings aren't made to sound good acoustically (without amplification), they are made to interact well with magnetic pickups. As such, they feature zinc (among other metals) that affect how they interact with pickups.
Electric strings sound good via amplification.

Acoustic strings are specifically designed to sound good via pure vibration through a solid non-ferrous bridge and wooden top plate... they aren't designed to work with magnetic pickups. They're usually treated with phosphor and/or bell-bronze to give it an acoustically pleasing sound. This is why most acoustic strings are a golden-yellow color.
In short... acoustic strings sound best on acoustic guitars.

Secondary to all that, acoustic guitars are designed to a specific range of rebound tension resistance built-in to the neck with a small range of adjustment through the torsion truss rod. Use of lighter tensioned electric strings may require adjustment out of that range a put undue, (and possibly permanent,) stress on neck or truss rod.

To address the original question about putting nylon strings on a steel-stringed guitar: Do what you wish with your guitars... but for all of those same reasons, I'd recommend springing the $5 for a pack of proper strings.
Title: best string's for a beginner?
Post by: tico59 on May 18, 2010, 01:52:39 PM
Found this thread and as a beginner I have the same question as Jinna (SweetSerenade). I have been learning with a classical guitar (nylon strings, of course) for a year more or less and last saturday I bought a brand new D10S. My issue is that I feel it really hard to play. Honestly I am not sure if it is that I have to get used to the metal strings or that these are indeed hard to play. The guitar comes with Vinci strings Phosphor Bronze Light 12-53. I read yesterday about string types, construction, gauges, etc. to learn a bit more about. Now I am thinking to try another brand (D'Addario EJ16 or EXP16, both 12-53) but after reading all the good advices given here, now I have several questions (but I am going to make only three...):

1. Should I have the guitar taken to a pro in order to set it up although it is new? or,
2. Should I try to get used to metal strings first? (before making any changes to the guitar)
3. If I decide to re-string it, changing the gauge to a 11-52 will make it easier to play? (This question is because someone told me that gauges 12-53 are very hard to play) I understand also that if I change the gauge it is mandatory to set up the guitar again.

Thanks for your time.

Pura vida!

PD Last one... What about Elixirs 11-52?
Title: best string's for a beginner?
Post by: Junior88 on May 18, 2010, 02:37:04 PM
quote:
1. Should I have the guitar taken to a pro in order to set it up although it is new? or,
2. Should I try to get used to metal strings first? (before making any changes to the guitar)
3. If I decide to re-string it, changing the gauge to a 11-52 will make it easier to play? (This question is because someone told me that gauges 12-53 are very hard to play) I understand also that if I change the gauge it is mandatory to set up the guitar again.

1) Get it set up
2) Get use to the metal strings. You calluses will need to thicken up.
3) Stick with 12's.
4) Play the crap outa her man!

Washburn N2, Washburn F10S
I've got some other stuff too.. Everything from guitars to a Balalaika.
Title: best string's for a beginner?
Post by: gregjones on May 18, 2010, 07:20:41 PM
J-16
Title: best string's for a beginner?
Post by: tico59 on May 18, 2010, 08:26:48 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Junior88


1) Get it set up
2) Get use to the metal strings. You calluses will need to thicken up.
3) Stick with 12's.
4) Play the crap outa her man!



Thanks for the advice. I will get it setup and stick with the 12's and be sure I will start playing her as you said! When it needs a string change I will try the D'Addarios EJ's or EXP's 16, but that will be sometime in the future.


Title: best string's for a beginner?
Post by: dracona on May 19, 2010, 09:02:34 AM
quote:
Originally posted by tico59


Thanks for the advice. I will get it setup and stick with the 12's and be sure I will start playing her as you said! When it needs a string change I will try the D'Addarios EJ's or EXP's 16, but that will be sometime in the future.



My 2 cents worth

I have a D10SCE, i put a set of Elixir Polyweb strings on it, they cost ($15) a little more then other strings, but in my opinion they are well worth it. these strings are supposed to last 3-5 times longer, still testing that one out.
I am very impressed with the sound these strings have.It was almost like playing a new guitar.

Dracona
Title: best string's for a beginner?
Post by: Rocket on May 19, 2010, 09:20:36 AM
quote:
Originally posted by dracona

I have a D10SCE, i put a set of Elixir Polyweb strings on it, they cost ($15) a little more then other strings...

A little? That's at least 3x... almost 4x the cost.
That's like saying a Audi R8 V10 Spyder is a little more than a Ford Taurus.
Title: best string's for a beginner?
Post by: dracona on May 20, 2010, 10:03:46 AM
they are about double the cost of regular strings at the local music store here.  $8 for a set of fender,D'Addarios or $15 for a set of elixirs. if they last 3-5x longer then it would be worth it. to me it would anyway.
Title: best string's for a beginner?
Post by: Pining on May 21, 2010, 07:05:53 AM
Elixirs are good. I've just been thinking my D10 is sounding more dull by the day to the other guitar. It's Elixirs versus D'A's. I will be putting them on the D10.
Title: best string's for a beginner?
Post by: Junior88 on May 21, 2010, 10:18:57 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Rocket

quote:
Originally posted by dracona

I have a D10SCE, i put a set of Elixir Polyweb strings on it, they cost ($15) a little more then other strings...

A little? That's at least 3x... almost 4x the cost.
That's like saying a Audi R8 V10 Spyder is a little more than a Ford Taurus.



Damnit! A pack of regular D'Add's are like $10 on average up north here..

No wonder I don't change strings all that often!

Washburn N2, Washburn F10S
I've got some other stuff too.. Everything from guitars to a Balalaika.
Title: best string's for a beginner?
Post by: YerDugliness on May 21, 2010, 12:41:40 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Junior88
Damnit! A pack of regular D'Add's are like $10 on average up north here..

No wonder I don't change strings all that often!



There can be value in long lasting strings, as I have found with the Dean Markley Alchemy Gold-Bronze acoustic strings.  I have found that they last incredibly long (I guess my fingers don't produce much sweat or acid).  Sure, they are expensive (around $13 a set in a B&M), but my WD32S is going on 3 years now with a set of .012-.054's and it still sounds bright.  These Dean Markleys' hold a tune like you wouldn't believe--despite some fairly significant shifts in temperature where the WD32S is stored, I seldom have to retune when I pick it up (I use a chromatic tuner to check the tuning) and as I have said their tone is still spot on.  Had I used D'Add's I'd suspect I would have had to change them out every 6 months and had to endure that stretching in period every time....I'll spend the extra $$ for the Markleys and enjoy good tone and no need to retune every time I pick it up.

As for the OP's original question, I'd suggest light gauge strings for quite a while.....until the beginner develops adequate callouses on his fingers and adequate fretting strength.  I remember that took about 6 months when I started with a steel string guitar.  After that, I liked the tone I got with medium gauge strings better (although that can be and IS different from guitar to guitar....my WD32SW really sounds best with .011-.052's, but it's fairly extensively mod'ed).

Dugly [8D]

YerDugliness, Esq./Post No Bills
Guitar Playin' FOOL, retired & attempting to age disgracefully!!
Washburns: WD32S, WD32SW. D61SW, and C124SW
Other fine acoustic guitars by Breedlove (custom shop Revival Series 000), Darren Hippner (#506), Takamini (2005 LTD), Epiphone (Masterbilt AJ500RC), and Yamaha (G231-II)

Title: best string's for a beginner?
Post by: marllr on May 22, 2010, 11:54:13 PM
Once you find strings you like you may be able to purchase them in a multi-pack (3, 10, 12) at a significant savings.  For instance D'Addario Phospher Bronze Light EJ16-10P goes for ~$45.  While my kids and I are learning I think we're best served keeping strings fresh.  Aside from dirty kid fingers, when they're done I usually need to tune anyway.

Saving on strings means we're that much closer to everyone having their own guitar ;-)  For instance this latest addition – B52SW, for my girl.  She wanted something her size.  It is a second… but for a starter at $113 it fits the bill.

(http://marllr.net/WB-B52SW.jpg)
(http://marllr.net/WB-B52SW-back.jpg)
Title: best string's for a beginner?
Post by: Junior88 on May 23, 2010, 04:29:23 PM
A B52SW?! Your daughter is extremely lucky!

Washburn N2, Washburn F10S
I've got some other stuff too.. Everything from guitars to a Balalaika.
Title: best string's for a beginner?
Post by: DontTreadOnMe on May 23, 2010, 07:28:49 PM
+1 on Junior's comment - I also have a B52SW, what a sweet sounding 'little bomber' she is, and you got an awesome deal on her too!