My delicate fingers seem to be demanding yet thinner strings and lower action

To Need a Woman

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I've a Faith Venus HiGloss which I bought in 2014. I had the action lowered that same year and replaced the 11s on it with 10s. But I still find it difficult to play. Buzzing from not fretting hard enough and unintentional pull-offs are a real turn off. And don't get me wrong, I know the playing solution to those problem but it's not enough.

If I were to do it myself, all I'd need would be a nut file to lower it at one end, and some sand paper to lower the saddle at the other end. And could I put 9s on an acoustic guitar? to make it more playable?

I think this is something that people with normal sized fingers don't appreciate. The extra flesh they have on their finger reduces any pain, and the thinker finger makes it easier to mute adjacent strings without tilting of the finger.

Funnily, about 6 months before I bought it I had first picked up this same model guitar in another store, and I loved the playability of it. I remember it as being as easy to play as an electric guitar. I should've bought that one there and then. Even though I bought the same model, for some reason it wasn't as easy to play.

Here's a photo of the action amongst others:

 

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ArchEtech

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It really depends on the guitar. I feel like everyone of them plays different and that’s ok.

My LPC action is so low without buzzing that it’s almost ridiculous. This makes playing some things easier and other things harder. It has 10/9 hybrids and sometimes a 9/almost 11 hybrids.

My Tele is higher and more buzzy with 11/10 hybrids because I beat the shit out of it when I play it. I don’t know why, maybe because it just sounds better played like that. I use it as my training guitar since everything else seems easier!

I like a heavy bottom because the feedback chunking along is better, but the lighter top for easier bending and faster playing.

I do really notice a difference with action, radius, and how easy it is to play bar chords. The flatter radius is harder to play bar chords with very heavy string, which I think is pretty typical.

My Jackson Monarkh, and LPC are both 10” radius. My ESP eclipse is 12”. The LPC is ZW’s profile so not super thin and not super chunky. The Jackson is super flat profile and the ESP maybe between them but closer to the Les Paul Custom. I don’t notice much difference and they are all set up with very low action and really not much buzzing considering how low. I’m not sure I could fit a dime under the 12 fret. I have a good friend who is a very good luthier, and he makes a game out of “how low can you go” down to micro filing individual frets.

I really like the hybrid slinky balls as they are cheap enough and seem to allow for Eb drink tuning if I want without getting flubby. So 10-11 bottom end and 9 top end on all my guitars, even the strats.

Don’t be afraid to have a training guitar to challenge your fingers :). I’m not great player but it helps. Playing a 11/10 Tele with a 9.5 radius makes my other guitars seem stupid easy to play.
 

Skyjerk

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I've a Faith Venus HiGloss which I bought in 2014. I had the action lowered that same year and replaced the 11s on it with 10s. But I still find it difficult to play. Buzzing from not fretting hard enough and unintentional pull-offs are a real turn off. And don't get me wrong, I know the playing solution to those problem but it's not enough.

If I were to do it myself, all I'd need would be a nut file to lower it at one end, and some sand paper to lower the saddle at the other end. And could I put 9s on an acoustic guitar? to make it more playable?

I think this is something that people with normal sized fingers don't appreciate. The extra flesh they have on their finger reduces any pain, and the thinker finger makes it easier to mute adjacent strings without tilting of the finger.

Funnily, about 6 months before I bought it I had first picked up this same model guitar in another store, and I loved the playability of it. I remember it as being as easy to play as an electric guitar. I should've bought that one there and then. Even though I bought the same model, for some reason it wasn't as easy to play.

Here's a photo of the action amongst others:


looks more like your action is way too high. Could be too much relief In the neck. take it to a good tech that knows acoustic guitars and get a proper setup. This may involve filing the nut slots, fixing the bridge height, and adjusting the truss rod

i can't imagine super light gauge electric strings sound all that great on an acoustic guitar.
‘they would certainly be easier to play but the cost would be a jangly, thin, tinny sound…
 

gitmohair

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looks more like your action is way too high. Could be too much relief In the neck. take it to a good tech that knows acoustic guitars and get a proper setup.
This, and

i can't imagine super light gauge electric strings sound all that great on an acoustic guitar.

You could however try low(er) tension acoustic strings. I've had good results with these:


and I imagine other manufactures make something similar.
 

Dilver

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I have a friend who’s a great player, but he knows little about setting up guitars (and that’s okay - he brings me his guitars to set up). He’s always wanting his acoustics guitars to play like his electrics and wants to put thinner and thinner strings on everything. Yes, you can put 9s on an acoustic, but it will probably sound pretty bad. And yes, you could file your nut slots and lower your saddle to get the action even lower (don’t touch the nut unless you know what you‘re doing). But before you start doing all that, have your guitar looked at by a competent tech and tell him what you’re after. From what I can see in the last photo, your frets are pretty low. That alone could make it harder to fret. But the higher action could also be due to how the neck is set, in which case, there’s only so much one can do without resting the neck.
 

LtDave32

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Best thing you can to to improve the playability is to have the frets leveled, re-crowned and polished.

This allows you to lower the action as low as you wish.

But from the looks of those frets, I don't think it could stand a leveling, there's not much meat on there to begin with.

But if you want both low action and clean notes (which the lowering of the string action seems to screw up), then a proper fret leveling re-crown and polish is where it's at.

One buys a guitar in a shop. It has high or semi-high action, sales person says "you can lower that action to suit your tastes".

Well, yes you certainly can. But the trade-off is, it will likely buzz all over the place, even choked, dead noes.

Have it leveled and polished, that problem goes away, and you're left with a guitar that plays beautifully.
 

ArchEtech

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^^^^yes it makes a huge difference, and isn’t super expensive if you can’t do it yourself.
 

To Need a Woman

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Best thing you can to to improve the playability is to have the frets leveled, re-crowned and polished.

This allows you to lower the action as low as you wish.

But from the looks of those frets, I don't think it could stand a leveling, there's not much meat on there to begin with.

But if you want both low action and clean notes (which the lowering of the string action seems to screw up), then a proper fret leveling re-crown and polish is where it's at.

One buys a guitar in a shop. It has high or semi-high action, sales person says "you can lower that action to suit your tastes".

Well, yes you certainly can. But the trade-off is, it will likely buzz all over the place, even choked, dead noes.

Have it leveled and polished, that problem goes away, and you're left with a guitar that plays beautifully.
Sounds good, but is that an option for my guitar considering the way the frets are? I don't suppose you might know why my frets don't have much meat on them?
 

ARandall

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1. Because they started out low
2. Because they've been levelled enough times to being low.
 

LtDave32

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Sounds good, but is that an option for my guitar considering the way the frets are? I don't suppose you might know why my frets don't have much meat on them?

as said above.
 

cmjohnson

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Hand strength can be increased if you want to. Get a set of grippers at the lowest power level (to start) and work with them every day. As your hand strength increases, if you play enough, your calluses will get tougher and before long you'll be playing 12s and bending 2 and a half steps with ease.
 

dspelman

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I have the LPs I play and the ones I practice on.

The practice LPs have 10's and I force myself to do the Gilmour crazy bends until my fingertips are sore. When I switch to the LPs I play (which have 9's and very low action) there's a hallelujah moment when my fingers realize that they really are easier to play.
 

LeftyF2003

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Try switching to 9s. You can also try 9.5s. No reason to work harder than you need to. I tried a few times to move to 10s, but I play better on 9s and bending is much easier so I run NYXL 9s on all of my electrics.

YMMV
 

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