June 17, 2011


After doing some maintenance on my guitar this week, I put on a new set of strings, of a type I hadn't used before. I'm not going to tell you what they are, but they are much lower tension than I normally use on my guitar.

I strung it up, tuned to pitch, and played a few notes and was really blown away by how beautiful they sounded. All the warmth, fullness, and volume I've ever wanted in a string, yet so easy to play. 

Today has been kind of a crazy day for me, though, and after playing for a while I was really unhappy with my sound. At first I wanted to just swap them for something familiar, but I thought maybe I'd damaged my nails, so I redid them. As I tested them out, I could get that great tone again, but it went away when I started playing normally. Frustrating.

These strings are just totally unforgiving, and with any carelessness on my part the tone is unusably lousy. But with nails well-cared-for, solid contact with the string, and well-directed plucking motion, they reward me beautifully. That's how I want to sound all the time, and that's how I want to play all the time, regardless of the strings. 

I think it'll be worthwhile to leave them on for a while and focus on whatever I need to do to get that classic tone.

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