Should I use light guitar strings?
I get asked this question often. Heavier gauges give you more tone, and is better for metal, etc. Light strings allow you to play faster and is better for guitar soloing, etc.
So the best thing to do is to try all different strings. I recommend Ernie Ball Strings
A good trick is to use heavy strings for practicing, and then in a few months (or years) make the transition to lighter strings. The reason for this is so you ‘condition’ your hands to use difficult and heavy strings, so that songs are easier to play when you play light strings. The same goes for acoustic to electric guitar: practice on acoustic guitar, and therefore playing on electric will be easier.
Try as many strings as possible. There are more than simply heavy strings and light strings. Period. For example, Ernie Ball makes skinny top and heavy bottom strings. Its the only way of knowing what’s out there and what works best for you. Try different gauges, companies, action, guitars, and even musicians :)
All these things effect how you perform, and your comfort level.
What is Action on Guitar Frets?
Action refers to how high or low the string is in relation to how far it is from the fretboard. High action is more difficult to play because its further away from the fret. (I heard Stevie Ray Vaughn played with extremely high action – but that was his preference) Otherwise, guitar players like Joe Satriani use extremely light strings and low action to play at blazing speeds. Obviously, lower action is easier to play because you don’t have to push down on the string as far.
Here are 2 great posts about Gauges: