After purchasing a guitar and using it for a bit, there will surely come the time when you need to buy new guitar strings for your musical instrument.
• Take into account the type of guitar you have: classical, acoustic or acoustic-electric, electric
• Buy strings according to your level and the style you want to play
• Expect to pay between $5 and $30 for guitar strings, regardless of model or style
• Last piece of advice: avoid low-end guitar strings (less than $5) that may quickly detune or even break while playing.
Choosing your strings wisely is essential! Before tuning your guitar, buying a capo or pulling out your pick, you should read this article?
To start your guitar lessons off on the right foot you need to have the right strings for your instrument!
Before you Choose your Strings
Now that you know all the tips to buying a used guitar and you know how to choose your guitar strings, let’s take a look at the price of these strings.
Generally, when you buy a guitar, the strings are original and do not necessarily match your level or style of play.
Do you know the expression “worn to the bone”?
Yes, even guitar strings wear out and change.
So what is the best technique to adopt when it comes to the price of strings?
Should you buy low-end and inexpensive strings and change them regularly? Or, on the other hand, buy expensive ones and change them less often?
To help you make your choice in the jungle of guitar strings, here are some tips that every guitar player will find useful.
Which strings go with which guitar?
It is, of course, necessary to take into account the model of your guitar before choosing your strings.
If you’ve bought an acoustic guitar (including classical and folk guitars), you can see that it will not require the same strings as an electric guitar and vice versa.
Are you a beginner guitarist and don’t know which strings to choose?
Good news! You cannot go wrong! There is no “wrong” guitar string to speak of.
The Classical Guitar
It should be known that the most common material for classical guitar strings is nylon. It gives a brilliant sound.
The nylon string has a very high elasticity and must be manufactured with precision. Whilst the steel guitar strings will be louder, the nylon guitar strings are better for playability (as they are easier to press on the fretboard), and they have a rounder, less bright, sound. These guitars, such as those made by Taylor guitars, are intended for styles like flamenco and for guitar players who opt for Latin sounds.
Usually, nylon guitar strings come in packs of different string tension: 'hard' or 'soft'. Often, the guitar shop will sell packs with an extra G string, as these tend to need replacing more often. Even more often than the thinnest first string!
Whichever you choose will be able to fit any nylon string guitar - a dreadnought, parlor, orchestral, or those with a cutaway.
The Folk and Acoustic-Electric Guitar
Two types of strings are mainly used for folk and acoustic-electric guitars: steel strings and alloys such as phosphor bronze are most commonly used, but you can also find nylon strings. These aren't common for acoustic guitar strings, however.
If you’re afraid of making the wrong choice, look at your folk guitar manufacturer’s website and you will find the type of strings installed (usually “light”). You don't want to install heavy gauge string or bass guitar strings when you want acoustic strings.
Steel strings have particularly strong tension so check to see if there are any contraindications for the installation of the truss rod. Again, check the factory advised string gauge.
The biggest disadvantage of steel strings is that they oxidize due to sweat from hands. Therefore, it is necessary to wipe the strings well after playing the guitar so that they do not rust. You could get strings that are corrosion resistant strings - or else, change strings often.
The Electric Guitar
Electric guitar strings are generally made out of nickel plated steel, the steel is used to make a stronger sound and the nickel improves the durability and the touch. There are also strings only made out of nickel or stainless steel. The nickel gives a more vintage sound, while the stainless steel produces a brilliant sound and will be chosen for its longevity.
If you’re just starting out playing the guitar and don’t know what to choose, pick regular strings (.010/.046) regardless of your goals or style. The light strings are easier to press against the fingerboard on the guitar neck, whilst the higher gauges are designed for jazz guitar and those committed to a rich tone. When you are more experienced, you will know your needs and desires better.
Do you know how to find an inexpensive guitar?
Also, check out everything you need to know about the guitar strap…
Which String Set According to my Budget?
Whatever your budget and your level may be, choose a string set from a well-known brand.
After purchasing a classical guitar, go for La Bella strings, Savarez, D’Addario or even Augustine.
For folk guitars, there’s La Bella and D’Addario, but also Elixir or RotoSound.
After buying an electric guitar, choose brands like Dunlop, Ernie Ball Slinky, D’Addario, Elixir (and Elixir Nanoweb), Fender, Dean Markley, and Dr Strings.
The majority of these brands will make strings for bass guitars, including electric bass, and mandolin and banjo strings, as well as lap steel guitar strings and other stringed musical instruments.
I'm a Beginner / I Have a Low Budget
I have a Classical Guitar
|D'Addario Classical Guitar (Hard Tension)||$6||You have the possibility to choose nylon strings with high tension. These strings are shiny and D’Addario is a very good quality brand. They will not let you down if you’re on a tight budget.||Strings: .029/.045|
|Ibanez Classical Guitar Strings||$15||Ibanez is another brand to choose a string set from. The sharp strings are made out of nylon and the low strings are silver-plated. They require normal tension and adapt to all classical guitars.||Strings: .028/.043|
I have a Folk Guitar
|D'Addario 85/15 Bronze||$5||Strings: .010/.050||These strings are made of 85/15 bronze and are very durable. They have good resistance from oxidation over time, but they lose their shine as they age. The sound is balanced. Their monetary value is quite good for a beginner guitarist.|
|La Bella Phosphor Bronze||$7||Strings: .011/.052||These phosphor bronze strings will give your folk guitar a rich and complex sound. They have good resistance to sweat from hands. The material of the strings allows for great versatility: from simple rhythmic playing to finger picking.|
I have an Electric Guitar
|Ernie Ball Regular Slinky||$5||Strings: .010/.046||These nickel-plated steel strings may not be coated, but they are not lacking in quality! They have a long life and are the best compromise between sound quality, holding a chord, resistance, and price.|
|D'Addario XL Nickel Wound||$6||Strings: .009/.042||Ideal for beginners who need help setting up their strings, this set offers a color code from the sharpest to the lowest string. They offer a brilliant and metallic sound and have good resistance, provided that they are wiped after each use.|
I’m an Intermediate Player / I have an Average Budget
I play a classical guitar
|La Bella 2001||$7.25||If you don’t want to take any risks, choose La Bella 2001 strings! The nylon 202 treble set offers a clear sound, while the silver-plated bass wire brings sound consistency and regularity. Think about wiping them after each use to avoid oxidation. Their lifespan is longer than that of conventional strings.|
|Savarez||$15||Strings: .028/.042||These strings offer great playing versatility. From classical to bossa nova, to simply passing the guitar around a campfire. Made out of nylon, these strings are perfect for guitarists with sweaty hands.|
I play a folk guitar
|La Bella Silk and Steel Light||$9||Strings: .011/.051||If you have sensitive fingers, choose La Bella Silk & Steel strings, that are made out of, you guessed it, silk and steel. Yes, yes, there’s silk in these strings, which makes them softer on fingers and ideal for finger picking. The sound is warm and soft.|
|D'Addario Nickel Bronze||$12||Strings: .010/.047||D’Addario is a high-quality brand and offers nickel and bronze strings. These strings bring clarity, resonance, and projection to the sound of your guitar. The harmonics are rich and balanced, so you get the best out of your instrument.|
I have an electric guitar
|Elixir Nanoweb||$9||Strings: .009/.046||What do we ask for from our strings? To be comfortable and pleasant to touch of course! Elixir strings perfectly fulfill this role and have a longer, brilliant sound. They slide well, especially after applying Fast Fret (string cleaner/lubricant).|
I am a Professional / I do not want to Change my Strings too often
I have a classical guitar
|La Bella Professional||$16||Ideal for professionals, these La Bella strings have gilded alloy basses and nylon trebles. Every professional will find what they want, from classical music to finger picking. Consistency, precision, and sound projection are ensured thanks to these strings|
|Savarez Corum Alliance||$34||These strings are near perfection. The bass strings are polished in silver. They require standard tension and are very durable. Their touch is pleasant and the strings are good for sensitive fingers. The slides are very easy to make and are made without parasitic oscillation.|
I have a folk guitar
|Elixir Nanoweb||$16||Strings: .010/.047||Elixir is known for the long life of its strings. These are made of phosphor bronze and have a soft touch, as well as a pure and precise sound in addition to its longevity.|
|Nexus Polymer Coated||$16||Strings: .011/.052||We haven’t yet talked about RotoSound, which is another good brand for guitar strings. This set is sheathed thanks to a polymer resin, which prevents unpleasant filaments that can be formed, like on Elixir strings for example. The sharp strings are plated in platinum.|
I have an electric guitar
|La Bella Vapor Shield||$14||Strings: .009/.046||The Vapor Shield technology present in these strings is unique. It allows them to have the same resistance as the Elixir strings, but without the sheathing. The strings are more flexible and their lifespan is very important. They were voted 2015’s best electric guitar strings in the United States.|
Where to buy guitar strings?
If you’re just starting out playing the guitar and you need advice and help installing your strings, head to your favorite music store or luthier. The salesperson will be happy to help you - and they might even fix your strings for you.
If someone can help you with installing your guitar strings or if you already know how, you can simply order them on the Internet. Getting your strings by mail is fairly handy - one of the benefits of getting strings online.
You will have quite a few choices. Strings and Beyond, Just Strings, and Super Strings are some popular websites to buy from.
If you want to keep it simple, you can find your material on a guitar string website like Strings and Beyond. We highly recommend it!
Prices in store and on the Internet are roughly the same, you will not see a big difference.
To the question of whether it’s better to buy entry-level strings or to spend more, you are left to make your own decision!
• Consider your guitar model: classical, acoustic or acoustic-electric, electric. Remember that an acoustic guitar string is not appropriate on an electric bass guitar, nor a black nylon string on an Epiphone Telecaster.
• Buy guitar strings according to your level and the style that you want to play. You don't want to play blues on an ultra thin and light set, nor do you want to play Bach on a Stratocaster with flatwound strings.
• Expect to spend between $5 and $30 for guitar strings regardless of model or style. If you are not obsessed with the best guitar strings, any old brand of electric guitar string will be fine - just remember the gauge, or the string sizes.
• Guitar strings are an essential guitar accessory. More than tuners, a metronome, a plectrum, and a string winder, strings are the things you need. They are even more important than any guitar amps, microphones, or pliers.
• Last piece of advice: avoid low-end strings (less than $5) that may quickly detune or even break when laying.
Now consider these points before buying your first guitar... So, get some strings on a guitar, tune your guitar, and learn how to play guitar!