• Julia Gutierrez posted an update 2 years, 8 months ago

    ”Silk and steel” acoustic guitar strings, available through a quantity of manufacturers, are made of silver-plated copper wire wound on the silk and steel core. Lots of my fellow bluegrass and fiddle tune pickers think I’m crazy, however i love silk and steel strings. Alright, the truth is I do not play in a bluegrass band, so when I jam it is almost always just with a couple of individuals who aren’t playing too loud. But volume and projection are related to, not just the gauge and type of string or the size your guitar, but picking technique too. In fact, not only do I use silk and steel strings, but I use them on small guitars! I play only 00 and 000 size guitars: I quit playing dreadnaughts years ago. Yet, I recieve plenty of volume. Actually, I’ve my little 1930’s Slingerland May-Bell (a little 12-fret to the body parlor guitar with an arched top and a round soundhole) strung with silk and steels and she has cutting power as if you wouldn’t believe!But here’s why I really like silk and steel strings. First, they’re in lighter gauges than their respective steel string counterparts. For instance, GHS medium gauge silk and steels run from .011 to .048 inches, where Martin light gauge phosphor bronze strings range from .012 to .054 inches. The result is that silk and steel strings put a smaller amount stress on the top and neck of the guitar. I would not dream of putting regular steel strings on my Gibson L-C Century from the 30’s, since it has an extremely thin top. Silk and steels will also be my option for my Carson J. Robison (A Gibson-made ”no frills” depression era guitar), because it doesn’t have truss rod reinforcing the neck. Acoustic Guitar StringsAnother reason I really like these strings is that they sound wonderful. I have not liked the sound of silk and steels on the some of the newer guitars, but on my small vintage instruments I adore them. Though these strings sound mellower, they do not sound wimpy for flatpicking. Actually, should you play an instrument which is biased toward the high end, silk and steels may give a wonderful solution. I really like the sensitivity of those strings! You don’t have to punch them hard to create a number of dynamics. And, last but not least, since they’re lighter in gauge, they’re more flexible, and thus easier around the fingers and easier to experience.