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NJ Tom

String advice for J-35

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I'm in the process of re-starting guitar, long story, won't bore you with it. Just got a '13 J-35 and have been attempting barre chords all week long, something I gave up on the first time around 14 years ago when I first began playing in my early 50's.

 

Today I tried a set of Martin Retro Custom Lights (11-52) figuring the softer alloy and thinner gauge might make it a bit easier on the fingers. I made a little progress but at the expense of tone. It was like hearing Pink Floyd on a cheap 60's AM transistor. I pretty much put the guitar down after two hours...it was tough to listen to. Very distracting...no, make that annoying.

 

I have no idea what the previous strings were but the guitar sounded a helluva lot better whatever they were. I probably should have just tuned down a full step to relieve string tension.

 

Any string brands/thinner gauge suggestions that won't make my guitar sound like a cat caught in a fan belt?

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