Finding the Best Guitar Strings
One simple thing you can do to improve your tone on guitar… use the best guitar strings that are appropriate for your guitar and playing style. The right type and gauge can improve how your music sounds. Using quality guitar strings can also make it easier to play your guitar. There are also strings better suited for beginner versus advanced players.
Replace strings on your new guitar?
Should you replace the strings on a new guitar? Every new guitar comes with strings attached, so to speak. And they are not necessarily the best guitar strings for your instrument. They are simply a factory standard put on each guitar coming off the production line. So, it may be appropriate to change them to a set that meets your needs. Usually, new guitars are strung with a medium gauge set of strings. These are not the best guitar strings for every player; some may prefer a lighter gauge, some may like a heavier gauge. So yes, it is recommended to replace the strings on that new guitar for two reasons; 1) you need a specific string to suite your playing style, and 2) those strings have been played by other people who have looked at that guitar before you came along. Thus, they may be worn.
When will I know my guitar strings need to be replaced?
This is a question I hear a lot from my students. The obvious answer is to replace strings that break. But in addition, when strings get old and worn they may emit a lifeless and dull tone. If your tone sounds like a thud as opposed to a ring, it’s time to replace the strings. Newer strings sound brighter and have more life to them. The tone is more of a ringing sound. Strings also stretch more as they age. So if you find yourself constantly needing to tune up, your strings probably need to be replaced.
Are there certain types of strings for specific guitars?
Basically, there are two types of strings for acoustic guitars; nylon and steel. Nylon are mainly used on classical acoustic guitars and have a rich, warm tone. These are usually for finger-style players. Steel are for other applications like self accompaniment as well as country, rock or blues acoustic guitar styles. Acoustic guitars are made for either nylon or steel strings. If you have an acoustic guitar that is made for nylon strings, steel strings will damage the neck and bridge. The reason is that steel does not stretch as much as the nylon and puts too much pressure on these components. You MAY use nylon strings on a steel string acoustic guitar, but the sound will be compromised.
Best Guitar Strings: Favorites
Seeking the best guitar strings? For the budget-minded guitarist, acoustic guitar string reviews agree that
Martin's M140 light gauge
fits the bill nicely. For less than $5, you get the Martin name and quality that brings a bright tone to your music. The light gauge makes them ideal for the beginner, as they are easy to press to the neck reducing finger stress.
D'Addario makes a very nice acoustic guitar string according to guitar string reviews.
D'Addario EXP12 coated 80/20 bronze medium strings
have a nice warm acoustic tone and a coating for finger ease. At under $10, these are really the best guitar strings for the beginner or the professional player.
Now we come to a set of strings that every player needs to play at least once.
Ernie Ball's 2004 Bronze light strings
have gotten great guitar string reviews from players of all levels. In the light gauge, they ate the best value at less than $25 for a six-pack. If you break an E string, you have replacements on hand. Priceless.
GHS BB30L Bronze 3-pack
is another great value. Three full sets in medium gauge for a heavier, richer tone. At less than $15 for the three sets, you cannot go wrong with these. They are made of an 80/20 bronze to zinc material ratio for long life and added tone longevity. GHS also makes a Burnished nickel set of strings. Nickel has a beautiful sound to it when played either finger style or with a pick. Priced at around $5, nickel strings make your sound brighter, more prominent and easier on the ears of your listeners.
What to Avoid
In my opinion, the only strings to stay away from are those that are not coated for player ease. A good string will sound good, but a GREAT string will sound good and be easy on the player's fingers. This is especially important if you are playing a live gig and need to play for a period of time. Go with coated strings; take my word for it.
MORE ABOUT GUITAR STRINGS
Acoustic Guitar Strings
| Guitar String Reviews
TABLE OF CONTENTS: Guitar Parts & Accessories
Acoustic Guitar Amps
Acoustic Guitar Bridge
Acoustic Guitar Bridge Pins
Acoustic Guitar Case
Acoustic Guitar Flight Case
Acoustic Guitar Kits
Acoustic Guitar Microphone
Acoustic Guitar Neck
Acoustic Guitar Pickups
Acoustic Guitar Saddle
Acoustic Guitar Stand
Acoustic Guitar Strap
Acoustic Guitar Strings
Acoustic Guitar Tuner
Acoustic Guitar Tuning
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