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What KIND of guitar string should I use on my guitar?

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

There are many types, brands, and sizes of guitar strings that we can buy. The first step is knowing which family of strings belongs on your guitar.

The most popular families of strings are

Acoustic Guitar Strings

Acoustic guitars typically use Phospher Bronze or 80/20 Bronze string. Phosphor Bronce is a more recent invention and is designed to prolong the life of your strings. The 80/20 Bronze has a more pronounced bass and treble sound whereas the phosphor bronze has a more mid-range sound. They do not have as strong magnetic properties as the nickel strings we see on electric guitars. Bronze strings have a strong resonance and provide good acoustic volume for our acoustic instruments. The gauge of acoustic strings is higher and thicker than typically found on electric strings. For example, a light gauge acoustic string is typically 12-53.

Electric Guitar Strings

Electric guitar strings are usually made out of nickel and have high magnetic properties to interact with the magnet in electric guitar pickups. These strings do not have the same strong resonance as acoustic strings but because the electric guitar is being amplified their magnetic properties work better for electric guitar pickups. The gauge of electric guitar strings is smaller and thinner than acoustic. For example, a light gauge electric string is typically 10-46.

Classical Guitar Strings

Classical guitar strings are usually made of nylon or a carbon type of composite. They do not have the ball ends that other strings have and have to be “tied” onto the classical guitar bridge. These strings do not come in light to heavy gauges but are categorized by their tension, varying degrees of normal or hard tension. Unlike most acoustic or electric guitar strings, the brand of classical strings affect the string very much as different companies use a different composition of materials in their string construction. For classical guitar it's best to experiment and see what string works best for your instrument and your style of playing.

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