I love playing my Gibson 335. It has .010 - 0.046 light gauge strings on it. My acoustic dreadnaught I am using 0.011 - 0.050 gauge light strings on it but they are a bit stiffer and I like to bend my strings some. I know most dread players seem to use 0.012 - 0.054 strings. Much too stiff for my taste. So, my question is anyone know of any issues using 0.010 - 0.046 gauge on a dread? Too light for the instrument? Maybe causing some neck issues from not enough tension? Thanks for any input.
It's unlikely a modern acoustic will have a problem with lower tensioned strings. However, there are, IMO, a few things to consider before you change strings. If you're accustomed to your 335, it's likely you'll never find a string set for your acoustic which has the same bending ability. Acoustics are, for the most part, simply played differently then electrics.
Next, try placing a capo on your acoustic which will reduce the scale length. Shorter scale length, with all other things equal, will result in lower overall tension for the player. You can also tune down a half or whole step and use your capo to compensate for the tuning.
If you are still convinced you need lower tension, look for string sets which are advertised to provide just that quality. The Martin FX line for example is made with a thinner core wire which makes them more flexible against similar gauge sets. Also check the manufacturer's web site for a comparison of tensions across all the strings they build. Several, though certainly not all, string retailers have such charts and they can provide some useful information for someone looking for a specific quality.
The last thing I would do is to just walk up to the counter at your local Guitar Center and ask for strings which are good for bending on your acoustic.
Thanks, Jan. All good suggestions. I know my acoustic will never play like my 335. Just trying to get a little closer. Actually bending stings on my acoustic with the 0.011 on the high string works pretty good for the most part. Tuning down and using the capo does work surprisingly well. That's probably the way I will go. I have a tendency to play differently on my 335 when it is plugged in and when it is not. I play it a lot but don't plug it in very often. Not very loud that way but something very appealing about it. I can play late at night without waking anyone up in the house. Thanks for the tips.
Dan, I use Martin's SP7200 Medium guage 13-56's on my HD-28 tuned down a whole step. I like the feel and the tone that way, which suits my voice, and a lot of different styles of playing. I have no trouble bending the strings when I want to do it.
" I play it a lot but don't plug it in very often. Not very loud that way but something very appealing about it. I can play late at night without waking anyone up in the house."
Someone told me that once when he was playing a Stratocaster through a little $20 practice amp attached to his belt. Heck! I thought waking the entire neighborhood was one of the reasons you bought a Strat.
I have 10-48 on one of mine ( 46 might be a tad to lite for a bass string ) the only real difference would be that you will loose some volume ability. It definetely will not harm the instrument but I would recomend that the guitar be set up properly for the lite strings and that your intonation is checked to as close as you can get it to keep the tone right so you can seperate the right notes from each other.
My other guitars are set up with much higher tension strings because they just work better with them like that so it really depends on the guitar and what it will do for you.ship
You might need to adjust the tension on your truss rod when switching gauges like that. You'll also notice a less volume, less bass and less richness of tone. A biggie when playing acoustically, maybe not as big if you're throwing a pickup in and plugging in for shows, though.
10 just seems way too light for an acoustic. Yes, you "can", but you should look at this as a temporary step toward building up the strength in your hands and getting used to being an acoustic player. I play mostly electric, but I play a Stat with 11's. My D28 has 13's on it. I can bend and do almost the same style and speed as I can on my electric.