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String Spacing Acclimation


duluthdan

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I think I've just about gotten used to the different string spacing on my 2 Gibsons. Gawd is this FUN !!! Just changed strings today so that I have the Curt Mangan Medium Lights on both guitars - that helped, but the grooves in my fingers occassionaly roll off a string. A couple more hours, and they'll be worn in just right ! I have Multiple Sclerosis, and don't have much tensile sensation on my left side, so I think I tend to fret my strings a bit heavy, and it really takes repitition, right? At least that's what I've been telling the wife !:mellow:

AintGotTimetoBleed.jpg

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Hey Dan...maybe lighten up another step on the string gauge and look for some flatwound options. Under the circumstances you should try to give yourself every edge to make playing easier and more enjoyable. Slacken down one of your guitars a half step to D# tuning to give you an option when you still feel like playing but the standard tune gets to hurtin'. No need to be a 'warrior', just get good playing time all the time.

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When I bought the new Jackson Browne I didn't have time to wait around for much of a set-up - played pretty good, but the action is perhaps a bit "proud", but only a hair. It is a 400 mile round trip to the right Luthier, so it will have to wait a couple of weeks when I also deliver my J-45 to have a couple of cracks repaired and cleated. Came from the factory with the 1st fret action at .11 on the High-E and .22 on the Low E, and 12th fret at 4/64 and 6/64, which should be fairly suitable action. But, like I say, I have very little tactile feeling in my left hand, so I tend to not really know how hard I'm pressing the string. I'll try and get it a "whisper" lower, but not much - don't want to sacrifice any of the monster tone.

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I hear ya! Whatever works. Everyones physical chemistry is different. I have seen other players with finger grooves like yours. Mine don,t do that bad, but maybe I ain,t playing as much. Like you say, your condition may cause you to fret a little more than need be? BTW....bring the pinky into the action and maybe it will take some 'pressure' off of the other three.

Good luck with the new guitar and your new-found Gibson affections! [thumbup]

Gibsons Rule in my world.. \:D/

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Ouch, those grooves in you fingers look like they hurt a lot. I have muscular dystrophy and have similar problems with weakness in my hands. Makes plays guitar really hard for me unfortunately. I feel bad for ya man

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Dan, If you have a lack of sensation in your fingers from MS, the grooves cut in those calluses are understandable. But if I were to drop by your place my eye might wander to your setup as Rod suggested.

If heavy pressure on the stings is good...light pressure is heavenly. Something my first and only guitar teacher taught me. I keep my gear stung with 11/54 usually Martin FX. I get lots of playing time and most folks can't even see my calluses.

 

Lighten up brother. [scared]

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Suggestion for a fresh set-up well taken, I will have that done in a couple of weeks. I have also been told to fret the strings as if I am trying to hold down butterfly wings without smashing them - easier said than done. Most of this is probably technique - I really do see that I press the strings well into the fret board rather than just enough to engage the fret. I'm afraid that light strings (11s) would just make the grooves narrower, at least and unless I have the action completely set up for those strings - which I will seriously consider. If I put Lights on as it is setup right now I will actually be raising the action, put another way, the distance from the top of any fret to the bottom of the corresponding string would be ever so slightly increased. But I'll throw a set of 11's on the J-45 as soon as I can, as a test run.

 

These don't hurt, at least as far as I can tell, like I say, there isn't a whole lot of tactile sensation in that hand as it is. I have a Martin HD 28 that the action is set extraordinarily low on, if you whisper too loud you will cause fret buzz, but it plays very nice with 13-56 gauge strings tuned down one whole step. But, I'm still smashing a lot of butterfly wings.

 

I am going to try tuning the JB down a whole step and see what that does - as long as the strings don't get sloppy, or the sound gets muddy.

 

Is the string tension itself on a short-scale, or on a 12 fretter thats also short scale a bit stiffer than a long scale guitar?

 

I will drive the 400 miles round-trip to Boulder in a couple of weeks and discuss the resolution with the Luthier at Windsong.

 

No one else gets these grooves?

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My fingertip callus pads might get grooved a little bit after several hours on the strings but they disappear quickly after putting the guitar down and they never look as severe as yours. Do not wash your hands before playing unless you give them time to air dry for awhile.....the washing softens the callus and in this state it can be damaged. Also invest in a little piece of 220 sandpaper to do a little callus maintenance when they get to shedding and flaking, as they will from time to time.....a little scrubbing with the sandpaper smoothes and polishes the surface.

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Well as the great Segovia recommended. I wash my hands in very hot water and soap. Of course I dry them thoroughly. I then take an emory board to my calluses very gently until all the rough skin is gone but the base of the callus is still there. I also recommend puting a hand lotion product on the tips of your fingers before going to sleep at night or when you are not going to be playing for awhile.

 

The idea is your calluses should be like a supple leather, not dried out and flaking.

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