Electric strings

Choose the right Electric Strings

 Lighter gauge strings:

Heavier gauge strings:

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

Come in a variety of sizes - extra super light, super light, light, medium, heavy. Strings sets are usually identified by the gauge of the high E String.

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

  • Blues and classic rock guitarists usually use Medium gauges, while jazz guitarists use heavy gauge. Heavier gauge is required if you are a metal player. Most new guitars come with super light or light, which is a good starting point. As your fingers gain calluses and strength, then you can move to a medium or heavier string to achieve the results best for you.

NOTE: changing string gauges may require adjustments to your string height or action at the bridge saddles as well as adjustments to the nut and neck.

Different 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: this is 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 more challenging, seeing rust or any discolouration, string wraps are unwinding, tone sounds are flat or dead, or you just can’t remember the last time the strings were changed.
  • Strings may need to be changed more often if – you sweat a lot when playing, you play with a lot of bending or hard picking, you play frequently, you change tunings frequently, or you smoke or play in smoky places