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J-200 strings -hey Its so hard to play on it


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Hey everyone.

I give up. I cant play on my j-200 with the Gibson j-200 strings (the strings that come with the guitar from the factory)

 

My fingers hurt so bad after playing.

What strings and guage would you recommend?

I really like the sound of the guitar and the store guy said that without these strings i will lose the sound. Are these strings really make the guitar sound best?

 

I play electric guitar for years. I really liked the sound of the j-200 so i bought it and thought that in time ill get used to these strings.

 

Please share you thoughts

Thank you

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You may need to get a professional setup on the guitar. Depending on the store you bought it from, they may have someone who can do this, or may be able to recommend someone. It is possible the string action is too high, requiring excess force to fret it.

If you are used to playing electrics, the transition to acoustics is not always easy, since electrics generally use much lighter strings. It may also take several weeks of playing, say, at least a half hour per day, to begin to develop the type of fingertip calluses  you often need to fret some acoustics.

The J-200 strings from Gibson used to be the same strings as the Gibson Masterbuilt Premium strings, except for a silk winding near the ball end.. They may be different today, and someone here may respond in more detail.

The setup is a good place to start in any case. It can make all the difference in the world to playability.

And welcome to the Gibson acoustic forum.

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I have a set of Martin retros on mine 13's. Going to go back to 12's though. You might need a set up? Why not let a tech have a look at it?  The store guy sounds like he's not the guy you  should be listening to.  Maybe even try a set of 11's. I have 11's on my J-45 & I like them a lot.

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Dr. Woof has an an  RX for you.

1.  Just play the heck out of the guitar.  You fingers will toughen up.

2.  In the meantime, string your J200 with strings wound on a round core.  While they do not exert less tension they do feel more flexible than strings wound on a hex core.

It also  might help to play around with your posture.    If you, as example, raise the headstock of your guitar up  just 1/2 an inch.  While it will not toughen up your fingers any quicker it may just make the guitar a bit more comfy when it comes to fretting notes which can keep you at it longer.  While I am guessing you are too young to have seen Bill Wyman with the Stones dig up a photo of him playing his bass.   

Edited by zombywoof
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You may want to drop the tuning a half or whole step for a while until you get used to it.

I had a lot of issues when I switched. Knowing what I know now, I would not start the transition with a long scale guitar. As mentioned before, get a professional setup and ask the to set it up with a low action although that will affect the sound. If they need to lower the saddle, tell them to make a new one and keep the original as-is in case you want to raise it back up. 

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Good setup + good strings + time with the guitar is all that’s needed.  I’d avoid “the guy at the store” from now on.  He is just wrong.  There are dozens of great string choices out there.

rb

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I agree with all the above.  
J200s set up properly  should not be any different .

 Gibson seems to set these higher than what they should be.   A little trim here and there. Will make a big difference.  . 

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The brand of strings does not matter, but Gibson feels the guitar is best suited for .12 - .53 gauge strings.  You could go to lighter gauge but they lose some tension, the top won't move as much and the volume and tone will change slightly.  Going from primarily playing electric guitar with lighter strings you will need some time to get used to the heavier gauge strings and the neck profile as well. 

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9 hours ago, Zoneia pub said:

I play electric guitar for years. I really liked the sound of the j-200 so i bought it and thought that in time ill get used to these strings.

How long have you had the '200? Many people come over to acoustic guitars from electrics and find the acoustic is not quite as slinky as their electric. They then try to get the guitar setup as low as possible. Avoiding string buzz is one challenge, but there is also an ideal distance for string height above the soundhole to be mindful of. 

Is/was the scale length of your electric the same as the 25.5" on the J-200? Did you happen to have flat wound strings on the electric?  As those who've mentioned above, just confirm that the action height is within specs, and proceed to put the time in. Your fingertips will harden with time.

 

Have a look at this chart from Sweetwater. . .  some manufacturers have setup specs for acoustics a good bit higher than for their electrics:

EyJaYaK.png

 

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4 hours ago, JuanCarlosVejar said:

Personally I have very  boney hands/fingers and 12-53 kills my fingers .I use 11 Ernie Ball Earthwoods on my J 200 and it’s a dream to play .

You might have the same issue.

 

JC

I’m encouraged to here this. Been debating doing the same. I think you just help make up my mind. Next string change on the J-200,,,,,, 11’s are going on there.

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I use 11-52 gauge DR Veritas on my Dove, they’re easy to play and sound SO good. No tonal loss going to them from 12s that I could discern. I put them on as a temporary measure at the start of this year as I had an illness which affected my joints and made guitar playing painful. I had used 12s and 13s for years but was so impressed with the Veritas 11s that they stayed on my Dove and Sigma CF-100 copy.

On my other guitars I use Martin Tommy Emmanuel signature Flexible Core 12-54s. I love these strings-they sound and project like 12s but have such a lovely playability factor that they feel almost like 11s. Superlative tone and articulation too.

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15 hours ago, JuanCarlosVejar said:

Personally I have very  boney hands/fingers and 12-53 kills my fingers .I use 11 Ernie Ball Earthwoods on my J 200 and it’s a dream to play .

You might have the same issue.

 

JC

JCV,  Same here.  Thanks.  Thought my problem was one in a million.  Very little padding on my fingertips makes callouses really important to keep up. But, doesn't help on the edge of the index finger when barring.  I tune mine down a full step to "D" and appreciate the lower range when singing.   I'll try 11s on my SJ200 next go round.  Thanks again. 

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9 hours ago, Jinder said:

I use 11-52 gauge DR Veritas on my Dove, they’re easy to play and sound SO good. No tonal loss going to them from 12s that I could discern. I put them on as a temporary measure at the start of this year as I had an illness which affected my joints and made guitar playing painful. I had used 12s and 13s for years but was so impressed with the Veritas 11s that they stayed on my Dove and Sigma CF-100 copy.

On my other guitars I use Martin Tommy Emmanuel signature Flexible Core 12-54s. I love these strings-they sound and project like 12s but have such a lovely playability factor that they feel almost like 11s. Superlative tone and articulation too.

Jinder are you using p bronze, or 80/20’s? The reason I ask is it is difficult to impossible to find the dr veritas strings in 80/20’s.

Edited by Paul14
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