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Tips for Choosing the right Electric Strings

Lighter gauge strings:

  • Generally easier to play
  • Break more easily
  • Produce less volume
  • Allow easier bending of notes and fretting
  • Are prone to cause fret buzzing on guitars with low action
  • Are safer for vintage guitars

Heavier gauge strings

  • Generally harder to play
  • Require more finger pressure to fret and bend notes
  • Produce more volume and sustain
  • Are preferred for low tunings such as drop D
  • Exert more tension on guitar neck

 

Strings come in a variety of sizes and are usually identified by the gauge of the high E String in the set.

  • extra super light
  • super light
  • light
  • medium
  • heavy

 

When choosing your strings, keep in mind your playing style, how often you play, and the sound and tone you want to achieve.

 

Different String Materials

  • Nickel Plated Steel: Balanced brightness & warmth with more attack
  • Pure Nickel: Less bright than nickel-plated but with added warmth
  • Stainless Steel: Bright, crisp, edgy tone with sustain & corrosion resistance
  • Chrome: Warmth with less resonance, often chosen by jazz and blues guitarists
  • Titanium: Fairly bright tone with excellent strength
  • Cobalt: Wide dynamic range with notable brightness and pickup response
  • Polymer-coated: Less sustain than equivalent uncoated strings; corrosion resistant
  • Colour-coated: Some coatings have added colourants for visual appeal; tonality varies.

 

Different Winding

  • Roundwound: The most popular, they have a noticeable ridged texture and produce more sustain, attack and bite. They tend to produce more finger noise and fretboard wear.
  • Halfwound: Smoother texture with darker tone and less attack than roundwound
  • Flatwound: Very smooth touch with flat, dark tone that’s less responsive to picking dynamics. Popular with jazz and blues guitarists.

 

When do strings need changed & how often?

  • Strings need to be changed if keeping in tune, and staying there is difficult, also if tone sounds flat. You should also re-string if you can’t remember the last time the strings were changed.