Guitar Strings - What to buy?

 

"With many choices out there what should I get?"

This is a great question where even experienced players have trouble choosing strings at times. This guide is here to help you, the beginner, about the the huge world of guitar strings. First question....

 

What type of guitar do you have?

This is the most important question you must ask yourself. The following are the different types of strings and guitars they're meant for:

 

Classical, Flamenco, or Nylon-Stringed Acoustic Guitar

These guitars are designed for the types of sounds that have given this type of guitars its name as mentioned, specific for Classical music or Spanish Flamenco and Latino Andean Folk music.

They all use NYLON strings for this type of sound. You must never string these guitars with STEEL ACOUSTIC STINGS as they typically do not have a truss rod in the neck, and the neck will be warped or even break. Nylon stringed guitars are not designed to withstand the tension of steel strings.

At Artist Guitars we offer many Classical Guitar stings. You can see our range here.

 

What Brand should you buy?

This is personal preference but you should also be aware that there are different nylon string types for the type of Music you play, For example:

Artist CLST Nylon Strings

  • For Spanish Flamenco / Andean Folk music you can choose SAVAREZ strings, or D'Addario EJ25B strings.
  • For Classical music you could choose D'Addario EJ45 strings, SAV510CR Savarez strings or our Artist CLST strings.
  • If you're not sure, a good place to start is our Artist CLST strings.  These are a good cheap all rounder which, to the untrained ear, can sound the same as any other string.

Another factor you must consider for all these strings is 'Tension'. Do you want low, medium or high tension? As a Beginner you should always start with regular tension strings, also known as medium tension. Low tension strings are not too common, and high tension are usually used for heavy handed strummers.

The most important thing to do when viewing these or other strings is to read the description at the bottom of the page carefully before choosing. If you still have questions, please feel free to contact us.



Acoustic Steel String Guitar

These guitars are designed for the types of sounds of needed for contemporary, Folk, Country and Pop music. They are the most popular guitar used.

They all use STEEL phosphor bronze or plain bronze strings for this type of sound. Like Electric guitars, these Acoustic Steel String guitars have a truss rod in the neck to maintain the neck tension.

At Artist Guitars we offer many Steel String Acoustic Guitar stings. You can see our extensive range here.

 

What brand should you buy?

This is personal preference but you should also be aware that there are different gauges of strings. String gauge refers to the thickness of the string. The thicker the gauge, the heavier and harder the string will feel to fret, but also the better, clearer and louder they will sound.

D'Addario EJ26
Acoustic Strings

As a beginner you should start with light to medium gauge 11-52 or 10-47 strings ("10" being the thinnest string - the high "E" 1st string, and "47" being the thickest string - the low "E" 6th string). We use 11-52 gauge on all our beginner guitars.  We find that this gauge is not so thin that it's painful to play, but not so thick that it's hard to play.

The most popular set of 11-52 strings is the D'Addario EJ26. A good example of 10-47 gauge of strings are our Artist ACST1047 strings, or a more popular known brand like the D'Addario EJ15 10-47 strings, or even the Ernie Ball 2148 strings.

As and intermediate or advanced player, you will will have already gone through you trial of what you like or don't like in brands and gauges, knowing that 12-54 or 13-56 gauge strings of any brand will sound louder and clearer.

The most important thing to do when viewing these or other strings is to read the description at the bottom of the page carefully before choosing. If you still have questions, please feel free to contact us.

 

 

Electric Guitar

These guitars are designed for the types of sounds of needed for contemporary, Folk, Country and Pop music, but meant to be plugged into a louder guitar amplifier for on stage. This where they differ from Acoustic Steel Strings.

There are many options of strings for electric guitars, including pure nickel, nickel plated, stainless steel and cobalt strings. All of these types of metal give a different sound depending on how they react to the pickup - the primary component of the electric guitar. To find out more about the different type of pickups, please visit our blog about Pickups.

At Artist Guitars we offer many Electric Guitar stings. You can see our huge range here.

 

What brand should you buy?

Ernie Ball 2221
Electric Strings

This is also a personal preference and you should be aware that these too have different gauges of strings, the thicker the gauge, the heavier and harder the string will feel to fret, but also the better, clearer and louder they will sound.

As a Beginner you should always start with light gauge 9-42 strings ("9" being the thinnest string - the "E" 1st string, and "42" being the thickest string - the "E" top 6th string). This will let your hand adjust to pressing steel strings. For a beginner the feeling between theses two types of strings will be very noticeable, maybe even a little painful. A good example of this gauge of strings are our Artist ELST942 strings, or a more popular known brand like the D'Addario EXL120 9-42 extra light strings, or even the Ernie Ball 2221 light gauge 10-46 strings.

As and intermediate or advanced player, you will will have already gone through you trial of what you like or don't like in brands and gauges, knowing that 11-50 or 12-54 gauge strings of any brand will sound louder and clearer. There are also gauges for tuning down to alternative guitar tunings, like Drop D or C.

If your de-tuning you should try 11-52 or even thicker (the lower you de-tune the thicker the string you will need to use). There are even specialised string sets designed for particular tuning set ups. It's most important to read the description at the bottom of the page carefully before choosing.

 


I hope this guide has been helpful.  For more great tips and advice:

If you need any assistance please email sales@artistguitars.com.au or call us on 1300 489 816.

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