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Faster playing with thinner strings?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by sothoth, Aug 23, 2020.

  1. Thebluesman

    Thebluesman Tele-Holic

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    Lowering the action/string height..Assists the fret fingers to move with more ease!but you cannot avoid PRACTISE[memorisation etc]-there is no short cut....never was!
     
  2. highwaycat

    highwaycat Tele-Holic

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    What helps a lot of players is a slinkier setup. Find sweetspots in the setup to make the strings less stiff for bends and fretting will be easier.
    Some people don’t want the nut too low on acoustics because hammer ons n pull offs seem less responsive.
    So regardless of string guage and string height styles it’s all about fine tuning the setup and learning more on what suits you best.
     
  3. Thebluesman

    Thebluesman Tele-Holic

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    acoustics+electric;One can benefit ......from a lower action at the nut & saddle=A Sweet spot found[an overall set up that thus suits]=Easier to fret strings/apply pull offs/hammer ons/bends/trills etc =''Slinkier set up''
     
  4. 41144

    41144 Tele-Afflicted

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    Someone else's thread but, apparently, ... Shakey uses/used 9s and I don't think anyone would question his tone etc.
    I play hybrid 9s on Telecaster, SG and Les, Paul and 9s on Strat and let the amp and pedals do the heavy lifting for tone when needed. Why make life hard for yourself?
    Acoustics are a different matter, I do play light these days... But I also know they're draining tone and volume.
    Nowadays, though, it's more about ... what works for my old arthritic fingers!
    Btw. Electric Slide =12s
     
  5. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    My suggestion, thicker strings for the tone, raise the action for the purpose of better tone. Then work your butt off to build up speed.

    Or not,
     
  6. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    I have been practicing a short cyclic speed lick over the past week, mostly because it is a good picking exercise. But also because it is a challenge, and I couldn't play it as a kid. Something that I have noticed (probably forgotten from years past) is that counting can become one of the major difficulties when playing fast, which has the effect of a shift in time, similar to the wagon wheel effect where the wheel appears to begin to spin backward.



    It can happen at fast tempos when an accent is not on a downbeat, where the brain wants to make the accent the downbeat. And that can come about due to picking dynamics, where a note in a fast sequence might inadvertently be picked a little harder than it should be, or where an accent is not picked hard enough.

    And that is one of the many little challenges that come up when playing fast, which require thinking from different approaches. In other words, breaking a sequence into relevant smaller pieces and practicing the pieces. Counting in different ways. Generally looking for different approaches to the thing to help in working out any awkwardness for overcoming innate obstacles. In other words, NOT just playing the thing to a click and bumping up the speed over time without thinking from different angles.

    It becomes something more like an engineering problem (without the hard math), thinking about the smaller problems, trying different approaches to solving them, and seeing what might fly and what won't through practice over time, rather than being a single problem of gradually practicing a lick up to a target tempo. The latter is as boring as can be anyway.

    You ever spent 2 hours per day for a week thinking about and practicing 6 notes?
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2020
  7. JRapp

    JRapp Tele-Holic

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    Tal Farlow/Martino/Benson/Jimmy Bryant/Hank Garland had no problem playing fast lines with pretty heavy strings. You choose whatever setup you want for the sound and develop the technique from there.
     
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  8. Gclef

    Gclef TDPRI Member

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    My switch from 10s to 9s directly coincides with my lighter touch and faster playing.

    Now if I could only get my brain working faster......


    I've noticed pick material, shape, and edge bevel all play a part in speed for me.

    I set up my guitar's action a bit higher with 9s compared to 10s via the truss rod to compensate for the fret rattle the slinkier 9s cause.

    Heavier strings allow for lower action, but bending gets harder and harder, the lower you go.
     
  9. burtf51

    burtf51 Tele-Holic

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    ...but what if you don't wanna play FAST!
     
  10. Thebluesman

    Thebluesman Tele-Holic

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    my opinion;...it is much harder to play a melodic ,taste full lead solo at a slow tempo=No room for ERRORS!
     
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  11. sothoth

    sothoth Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

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    Raise the action??
     
  12. ASATKat

    ASATKat Friend of Leo's

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    Only if you're interested in better tone.
     
  13. xtelesquirex

    xtelesquirex Tele-Holic

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    I played 8s for decades. Using 11s now.

    For fast shreddy stuff I've noticed two things:

    1) light strings are easier for the left hand.

    2) heavy strings offer more resistance and with the right pick can speed up the right hand considerable.

    as always - ymmv
     
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