Buying the Right Strings for Your Guitar

Strings are an obvious essential facet of all guitars, but some players may not know the difference between different string types, brands and gauges. Although the variety of strings may not seem like a big deal, they can make all the difference in the world in how you play and how you sound. That is why buying the right strings for your acoustic and electric guitars is so important.


String gauge is one of the most defining factors that play into a guitarist’s decision of what strings to buy. Usually coming in extra light, light and medium gauges, the size of the string plays a part in different styles and sounds of guitar playing. For example, lighter-gauge strings are usually more beneficial for things such as soloing, fingerpicking and even learning the guitar. That is why lighter-gauge strings are probably the best option if you are just starting out. In addition, lighter-gauge strings are great for older guitars, as well as smaller-bodied guitars, which also include parlor acoustic guitars and travel guitars. While lighter-gauge strings may be easier to play, they might not produce the full tone you are looking for in your instrument.


Like string gauges, the different metals that strings are made of are also something to consider when buying the right strings for your guitar. Some of the most common string metals used on electric guitars are stainless steel, pure nickel and nickel-plated steel. On acoustic guitars, some of the most common string metals are 80/20 bronze and phosphor bronze. If you desire a bright and warm tone from your electric guitar, steel strings are a great choice. On the other hand, pure nickel strings will produce a more vintage sound. For acoustic guitars, 80/20 bronze strings are a great all-around choice for a clean sound, but they do wear down quickly due to metal corrosion. Overall, there is so much more that goes into buying the right strings for your guitar than some people might think. Whether it is the gauge of the strings or the type of the strings, there are plenty of options that will aid you in getting that perfect tone.

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