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Best electric guitar strings 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated January 1, 2020
Best electric guitar strings of 2018
After carefully examining the reviews and ratings of the people who have used them earlier this listicle has been made. If you’re scouring the market for the best electric guitar strings, you’d better have the right info before spending your money.
I review the three best electric guitar strings on the market at the moment. If you get well acquainted with these basics, you shouldn’t have a problem choosing a electric guitar strings that suits your need.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this electric guitar strings win the first place?
I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! The material is stylish, but it smells for the first couple of days. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing!
Why did this electric guitar strings come in second place?
I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice.
Why did this electric guitar strings take third place?
This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. I hope that the good reputation of the manufacturer will guarantee a long-term work. I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new.
electric guitar strings Buyer’s Guide
When to Change Your Strings
Back when I was a newbie, I only changed one of my guitar strings when it broke. That’s the wrong answer. Of course you should have extras on-hand in case you snap one, but, like getting the oil changed in a car, this should be scheduled and expected maintenance.
Later on, when I was playing in bands, I used to change my strings a couple of times per week, whether they needed it or not. I think I read somewhere that the guitar tech for one of my favorite guitarists restrung all of his guitars before every show. That might be fine if you have a guitar tech, but for the average musician in a band it was probably overkill.
As guitar strings age their sound dulls, and they physically stretch to their limit. Some players prefer the sound of slightly aged strings, but you shouldn’t let it go too far. Strings also tarnish and accumulate dirt and grime, which isn’t good for your frets and fingerboard.
How fast this happens depends on how much you play, how much you sweat while playing and your individual body chemistry. You can (and should) wipe your guitar down after playing, and wash your hands before you play, but soon enough your strings start to lose their luster.
So, when should you change your strings and perform maintenance on your guitar? If you practice or play every day, once a month is probably a good schedule. That’s about right for me these days. You’ll learn to adjust your maintenance schedule depending on the wear you’re seeing.
Regularly changing your strings can help keep your fretboard in good shape.
Here’s a list of some of the different guitar strings I use and have used over the years. There were times when I swore by one brand or another. Today I use a few different brands.
Tools for Changing Your Strings
It’s smart to start building up a small tool kit for working on your guitar. Don’t scrounge tools from the garage or towels from the kitchen; have your own kit that the rest of the family knows is hands-off. Every time you change your strings or work on your guitar you’ll have everything you need in your toolbox, nice and handy.
Something like a tackle box like you’d use for fishing is perfect for keeping all your tools organized. It also has enough space for all the spare screws, bolts, jacks, wires, and other junk you’ll accumulate through the years.
For now, the essential items you require are a polishing cloth, a wire cutter/pliers, and a string winder. Later on, as you get better at working on your guitar and feel confident enough to perform more complex maintenance, you can add items like hex wrenches, screwdrivers and a small gauge for measuring string height.
Take Care of Your Guitar
Think you won’t care about your starter guitar years from now? You will, and many veteran players regret not having their first guitar anymore. Through your career your tastes will change, and the guitar strings you use now may not be the ones you’re happy with next year, or even next week.
Guitar String Terminology
Every craft comes with a pretty hefty helping of terminology, and guitar playing is no exception. So think of the section below as something of a glossary, giving a definition of some of the different terms associated with guitar strings.
Keep in mind that the different tone profiles of each string will vary from brand to brand, but the information below will be a great place to start in your hunt for the perfect guitar string.
Bronze: According to general consensus, bronze has a very bright and crisp tone but your strings start to age prematurely due to how quickly pure bronze tends to oxidize.
Phosphor Bronze: Phosphor bronze tends to sound a lot like pure bronze, but generally sports a darker sound. The strings also tend to last a bit longer than bronze, but the difference varies from brand to brand.
Brass: Brass strings are designed to sound very bright, and feature a tight bottom end.
Nylon: Nylon strings are generally used for classical or flamenco guitar, and have a very warm sound. The wound strings (see definition below) are generally a single nylon filament wrapped with bronze or copper, while the non-wound strings are generally just a single nylon filament.
80/20: 80/20 strings are a type of bronze string with a brighter profile than what you’d find with bronze. 80/20 bronze strings are generally considered to be synonymous with brass. The reason for this is that brass is composed of roughly 80% copper and 20% zinc.
The best way to think about it is as a vague term to describe strings brighter than that particular company’s standard bronze set.
Stainless Steel: Used for electric guitars, stainless steel guitar strings are described as feeling smoother but carrying a relatively dark voicing.
Nickel: Nickel strings are generally described as being very bright, though the general consensus is that they don’t hold up as long as their stainless steel counterparts. They’re also used for electric guitars.
Coated: When a string advertises itself as coated, it means that the strings have a special coating used to preserve the life of the string for longer periods, though some say that the coating can lead to the strings sounding a bit dull.
Gauge: The gauge of your guitar strings is how thick they feel, with thicker strings being harder to play and thinner strings being easier.
Wound: Depending on the gauge, generally your three thickest strings are wound. This means that they are wire wound around a separate wire core. Some gauges and brands will also feature a wound 3rd string.
Flatwound: The term “flatwound” in regard to guitar strings is exactly what it sounds like. The way that the wire of flatwounds is wrapped around the core is designed to feel flatter. The tonal profile of flatwound guitar strings is generally described as being warmer than the tone of a standard string.
This type of string is generally used for Jazz exclusively when played on a guitar, though flatwound bass strings are played by a wide variety of bassists.
Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Nickel Wound Set
The guitar strings of choice for an absolutely huge amount of musicians, Ernie Ball’s unique nickel formula guarantees that your guitar will easily punch through a mix without ever sounding harsh. The Element Shield Packaging prolongs string life, ensuring that every string you receive will sound as good as it did fresh off the factory floor.
GHS Flatwound Electric Guitar Strings
If you need a warm yet crisp flatwound electric guitar string, look no further than the GHS Flatwound Set. Boasting reduced string noise and the silky smooth feel you can only get from stainless steel strings, this flatwound set will more than meet the needs of any jazz guitarist.
Shop All Electric Guitar Strings
First off, you should understand that strings come in a variety of gauges that determine the tone and playability of the guitar. A heavier gauge produces more tension from the guitar, and produces a louder sound and fuller tone. This is why most rhythm guitarists choose medium or heavy gauge strings.
Stainless steel electric guitar strings feel smooth on your fingers and are ideal for long gigs or lengthy studio sessions. This type of string reduces the noise of your fingers moving up and down the fret board, and generally holds out better against corrosion and rust. Stainless steel strings are often used by rock and metal musicians. Ernie Ball stainless steel electric guitar strings are affordable, but provide a wide variety of quality tones that make them a favorite of guitarists like Dave Navarro, Eric Clapton, Angus Young and Jimmy Page.
Light Electric Guitar Cord
As mentioned above, users get a wide variety to choose from but what if you are a newbie in this very game? In this write-up, we have included the reviews of top electric guitar cords so that everyone feels like home.
Ever heard of getting best in less? If no then our great value product has got your back for breaking the stereotypes. ou have already heard about this product in the reviews above but here is a little more detail.
Known for manufacturing world-class audio equipment, Fender also knows what it is like to have an odd pack of strings. That is why this company had also taken part in the string making league so that guitarist have a trustable option.
Fender believes that a guitar is only going to sound good when the strings game is high enough. That is why they introduced 150R Pure Nickel Electric Guitar Strings under an affordable price range so that everyone can get their hands on it.
These guitar strings are the perfect match for people who play blues, jazz or classic rock. Similarly, they produce classic, round and full tones to lighten up your performance.
New tones are okay but those vintage tones cannot be altered. That is why Fender used the highest quality wire available for bringing the vintage tone with modern-day technology.
From manufacturing guitars to its accessories Fender makes sure that you are backed up by the professionals. 150R Pure Nickel Electric Guitar Strings by Fender is best if you are looking something great under a cheap price tag.
We hope you like the reviews above. However, we believe that reviews alone can’t help much picking up the best product for you. In order to help you in this regard, we have carefully devised our buying guide, which should be used with the reviews.
Strings hold immense importance for providing the perfect tone possible. No matter which guitar you invest in if the strings don’t hold up to highest quality standards the result will remain average.
Stock strings are good but pairing your guitar with the best strings available can take your jamming game to a whole new level. That is why we are here to introduce some state of the art strings so you can create something out of this world.
Choosing the right gauge can play an important role in how efficiently your guitar sounds.
People who like to play hotter tones with low-end frequency might choose thicker gauges but note that these guitar strings are harder to play.
On the other side, beginners who have just stepped into the game might choose lighter gauges as they are easy to play but might cause tuning stability issues.
All these questions and more are probably spinning at the center of the burgeoning guitarist’s mind when starting out. But fear not – we’re here to help you make the best decision so you can start playing and, more importantly, keep playing until we can count you as one of our own.
Follow this guide for our tips and recommendations on what to keep in mind when buying a first guitar for yourself or someone else.
Starting With An Acoustic
Many teaching purists will passionately recommend new players start with an acoustic. And with good reason. There’s an immediacy that comes with picking up an acoustic guitar and strumming away that doesn’t exist with an electric. You learn the connection between attack and tone much more quickly with an acoustic. For players who strive to jump into the world singer-songwriter stylings or cozy up next to a campfire, starting with an acoustic is the natural choice.
Starting With A Nylon String Guitar
Found in middle school music room closets the world over, beginner nylon-string or classical acoustics are an extremely popular route for first-time players. There are several reasons for this. For one, the smaller bodies of these guitars can be especially inviting for younger players. Nylon string guitars have wider necks with more spacing between each string which can make landing your finger in the right place much easier. Most of all though, the nylon strings themselves are softer and easier to press down, which is one area new guitarists frequently have trouble with.
For these reasons and more, classical or nylon string guitars are a fantastic choice for a first time player. Check out the section and links below for some of our picks for first-time nylon string guitars to consider.
Starting With A Steel String Acoustic
While nylon string guitars are a great choice for beginners, their tone can be a bit limiting when taking the next steps in your progression as a player. For something that covers the sounds of contemporary popular music, a steel string acoustic is far more practical. There may be a slightly longer learning curve to getting your fingering just right, but once mastered, a steel string acoustic can carry you through a wide range of diverse playing styles and musical genres.
Starting With An Electric
As with acoustic guitars, there are a wide range of electrics to consider when shopping for a first-timer. Unlike acoustics, electric guitars require a few things beyond the instrument itself to get going. In this section, we’ll go through some great options for a beginning electric guitar, amp and other equipment.
Of course, the most important consideration when buying an electric guitar is to find one that will make you look as cool as possible when taking rockstar selfies in the mirror. Joking aside, getting a guitar that excites you will keep you inspired to play, which is the most important thing for new players.
You should also consider what type of music you hope to master and what player epitomizes that style. Fan of Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan? You should probably get a Stratocaster. Dream of playing some Wes Montgomery licks in a jazz combo? Maybe a hollowbody is right for you. Considering what guitars their heroes play when prepping for a purchase is something that allguitarists do, even if they deny it.
Fender Mustang I
There’s been something of a trend over the past few years of small amps with onboard modeling and effects. The Mustang I (now in its second version) is Fender’s take on the format.
In addition to the amp, note that you will need a 1/4-inch guitar cable to connect the guitar to the amp.
A Note On Strat Packs
In today’s market, a popular first choice for players (and a perennial Christmas gift) is what’s commonly called a “Strat Pack.” This entails a pre-made package usually including an electric guitar, an amp, and an array of accessories like a strap and some picks. Packs of this nature are produced by a number of different companies including Squier, Ibanez, and Epiphone. While they offer a great all-in-one solution, often times you can get a better guitar just by piecing your own starter rig part by part.
Accessories You’ll Need
At some point or another, you will break a string. Even if you don’t, guitars need a new set of strings every several months depending on how often you play. Strings are designed specifically for the above categories of guitar (nylon, steel string, electric) in varying gauges. Most new players use lighter gauged strings such as.or.10s.
Tuning a guitar by ear is a difficult thing to master, but nothing’s going to discourage a new player more than having to contend with a horribly out-of-tune instrument. For this reason, we consider a tuner essential (we actually sell a great, cheap one you can get to by clicking on this link).
Accessories You Don’t Need but Should Get Anyway
This one’s pretty straightforward. If you want to stand while you play, you’ll need a strap. There are a lot of basic options out there, but every guitar looks good with something like a Souldier strap on it.
A guitar stand is a device that holds and props up your guitar for easy access. It’s not an essential accessory, but lots of players find having their guitar out in the house inspires them to grab it an practice more than they might otherwise. It also prevents a lot of accidental knockovers from the dog, brother, sister, child or wind. Don’t just lean it and leave it. Get a stand.
New guitarists love singing along to the songs they’re learning. A capo can easily change the key of open position playing making it that much easier to play any song you want.
Looking at the chart, it seems like the electric guitar mandates the most extra stuff. And that’s without even getting into the world of effects. Just wait, you’ll get there.
So there you have it…
Hopefully the above will help you first timers out there. One thing to note is that once you have your guitar, you will want to get what’s known as a setup performed by a tech at least a couple times a year if you’re playing regularly. Think of this as like getting the oil changed on your car. Even experienced players don’t often recognize the importance of getting their guitars setup regularly, but it’s an essential part of keeping your instrument in tip-top form for years to come.
There is a lot to the bass strings construction. When the string is developed, there is a tremendous amount of effort that goes into the construction of the string to provide that unique lifeblood in your bass sound. Therefore, it is important to know that there is a metal core wire running through the middle of the string. This gives it life and the construction ensures that this metal core ensures that perfect sound while also ensuring that your string lasts long.
You should know that bass strings are usually bigger than your normal guitar strings. They come both in steel or pure nickel constructions. There are different types of string windings that will depend on the kind of bass tone that you intend or desire. Therefore, each genre of music will come with a different set of string winding. Roundwound is the most common type, and you can use them for jazz or even country music while flat wounds are not that popular and are great when it comes to fretless basses because they usually cause less wear on your fingerboard.
Scale Lengths of a String
This usually refers to the relationship that is between the length and the gauge of the strings. Short scale basses are the most defined, and they usually scale between 30 to 3inches while long basses on the other hand scale between 3inches to 3inches. The scale length of the string will usually influence the pitch and sound of your guitar. Short scale lengths are usually the most obvious and great choice for all guitar players. Depending on the length of your string scale length your music will be defined by it.
Coating of the Strings
String coatings also influence the bass sound of your guitar whether positive or negative. Coated strings are intended to last long and also prevent the corrosion of your strings. This ensures that the string life is guaranteed and protected. On the other hand, uncoated strings are very expensive, and they wear out after a short period. Therefore, I would advise that you go for the coated strings they are efficient and reliable. You will never go wrong with coated bass strings I guarantee you that.
Different metals that are used for making strings they can be either; nickel, steel alloy, or pure nickel. A string that is made from steel alloy or nickel has the best-subdued sound compared to a pure steel string. The materials of the strings vary from the type of guitar too, electric bass guitars have strings made from ferromagnetic metals, and this means that the vibrations will be transmitted and also detected. More strings produce that smooth and clarity bass sound hence it is important that you ensure you know what you are looking for.
Depending on the core that your string is made of, the output sound from your bass guitar will also be affected. From the string windings that go all around the core, they tend to create that larger and a more smooth sound. The round core I guarantee that they will offer that fatter and vintage tone which is more balanced and more flexible. The other type of core is the hex cores that are commonly used, and they tend to hold down the windings giving you a great bright sound and a more successful consistent performance with stiff tensions.
Aluminum Bronze – Greater clarity and projection than phosphor bronze. Balanced and focused tone with good string life.
Coated strings – Prolonged string life due to a polymer coating used on the strings. These strings tend to not have the same level of brightness or warmth of the other strings, but only slightly. They’re best for players who don’t want to replace strings as often and are not as concerned with the greatest clarity or character of their strings.
Materials of Nylon String Guitars
Titanium Strings – Excellent high end frequencies. The mid and bass tones are not as present as carbon fiber and nylon strings.
Famous Players Steel String Choices
James Taylor – John Pearse guitar strings, phosphor bronze with a light gauge (though he used Adamas Guitar Strings in the 90’s).
Tips and Advice
If you’re playing a live show or an important practice session, it’s important to keep an extra set of strings in your guitar case in case a string breaks.
Ernie Ball is one of the oldest and most popular guitar string brands on the market today.
Their presence is definitely felt a lot more in the electric guitar community than elsewhere. If you are not sure which strings to get for your electric guitar, picking up just about any Ernie Ball set will give you excellent results.
However, if I had to pick a single set that really stands out, it would be the Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Nickel Wound set.
What makes them so great is their tone.
You are looking at a very bright sound right out of the box, combined with a very versatile nature.
In other words, you can use this set for whatever genre of music you are playing. They will keep up with you just fine.
Electric Guitar String Construction Materials
Stainless Steel: Bright, crisp, “edgy” tone with sustain and corrosion resistance. Less prone to finger squeaks.
Shop Electric Guitar Strings >>>
So if your guitar is sounding a bit lifeless and you haven’t switched out those strings in a while, we encourage you to do so. Your fingers (and whoever is listening to you play) will thank you for it! Plus, it’s just like riding a bicycle. Once you learn how to change those guitar strings, you’ll never forget.
Starting out on Electric Guitar
I often get questions from parents who have been told that a nylon string classical is the best style of guitar to begin on. The reason you are told that is because nylon strings are slightly easier on the fingers.
It might take a little longer to get used to the steel strings of a 1/size kids electric guitar, but they are far more comfortable to hold and play when compared to an acoustic guitar once they get past this hurdle.
The dreadnought body shape is the most popular for acoustic guitars, with a larger body that lends to more volume and a full, rich sound. Dreadnought guitars are versatile, and though they sound great for strumming, many players use them for fingerpicking as well. These are great for playing with groups, as dreadnoughts tend to be better at cutting through the mix than smaller styles.
As the name suggests, jumbo guitars can be quite large, with bottoms that are more rounded than those found on dreadnought guitars. Having more space in the instrument for sound to resonate translates to more volume, sustain, and bass tones. These are commonly usually used for strumming.
Save Big with Bundles
Acoustic Guitar Bundle which includes essential accessories like picks, strings, and digital tuners at little to no extra cost. That way you save yourself time and hassle and get everything you need to start playing at once. Check out some of our recommended acoustic bundles below.
Acoustic-Electric Guitar with a built-in pickup/preamp system. These allow you to easily plug into an amplifier or PA system like you would with an electric guitar. Pickup/preamp systems on electric acoustic guitars also typically have built-in tuners which is much more convenient than having to buy an external digital tuner.
Aside from being gig-friendly, another benefit of acoustic-electric guitars is that the attached preamps allow you to plug your guitar directly into an audio interface for home recording. This enables you to quickly and easily record your music without having to worry about investing in or setting up microphones.
Electric guitar strings are most commonly made from materials such as nickel-plated steel, pure nickel, stainless steel, chrome, titanium, or cobalt. Additionally, some electric guitar strings are polymer-coated whereas others are color-coated for visual effect. The composition of the strings also greatly impacts their sound; for instance, stainless steel electric guitar strings have a bright and crisp tone while pure nickel strings are warmer.
Acoustic guitar strings are similarly made up of a variety of materials including bronze, phosphor bronze, and brass. These materials also can change the tone of a guitar, whether it’s the warm and dark sound of phosphor bronze or the brighter jangling sound of brass strings. Classical acoustic guitars use nylon strings which are better suited for the classical and flamenco style these instruments are most frequently used for.
There are certain signs guitarists can look for to know when they’re due for a string change. If the strings are getting more difficult to tune and maintain, it’s likely time to restring. Other indicators your strings need to be changed out include discoloration or rust on the surface of the strings, undesirably “flat” tone, and any sort of discomfort from playing with the strings.
You can extend the shelf life of your guitar strings by following a few good protocols before and after you play. Wiping your strings down with a clean cloth after use can keep them in better condition. Additionally, washing your hands before playing can in turn help keep your strings cleaner. Because strings can and will break, it’s a good idea to keep an extra set on hand in case you suffer an inevitable string crisis while playing onstage, in a recording session, or during a rehearsal.
When searching for a jazz guitar tone, many guitarists will focus on their guitars and amps as the main source of their sound. But, there is often one important sonic ingredient that players ignore when it comes to finding the perfect guitar tone, the strings. Just as there are many styles of jazz, there are many different brands, styles, and gauges of jazz guitar strings that can help you achieve the guitar tone you desire.
Which electric guitar strings are the best for jazz? While the variety of guitar strings out there today gives players a huge amount of choice, it can also cause confusion and frustration as you search for the right strings for your desired tonal quality. To help you buy the right jazz guitar strings for your sound, we recently surveyed our readers on what strings they use to get a jazz tone.
Below are the results of our survey, with background information on the top-strings as chosen by our readers. There’s information on string gauge and the results of our question on the eternal debate of flat vs. round-wound strings for jazz. Check out these results, as they might help you narrow down your choice for jazz guitar strings, or they might influence you to branch out and try some new strings.
Guitar String Features
With so many different strings on the market, it is wise to review the basic characteristics that all strings have. The specific characteristics of a certain set of strings can help to determine if those strings are a good choice. The main characteristics of electric guitar strings are string gauge, string material, and winding type.
Extra Light Strings
While there are smaller gauge sets, extra light is the smallest gauge commonly available. Guitarists usually consider lighter strings to be easier to play. While this is generally true, I do not think this opinion is true of extra light strings. They are quite easy to play, but they are so thin that a very light touch is needed.
Many players may unintentionally bend a note sharp just from finger pressure while fretting. These strings will tend to be brighter and more prone to breakage than heavier gauges.
If speed is a major component of a guitarist’s playing style, this gauge is worth considering. With a low action on the guitar, the extra light gauge can definitely help make fretting and bending much easier. Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath prefers this string gauge.
Light gauge strings are among the most commonly used strings. They generally have a brighter tone and are easier to play. Light strings allow for easy bending and fretting, but do not require as light a touch as extra light strings do. This gauge is a good choice for any musical genre that includes lead guitar playing. Eddie Van Halen uses a custom set of light gauge strings.
Light strings are also a good choice for beginning guitarists. The reduced effort needed for fretting allows beginners to practice longer without hand fatigue. I prefer light gauge strings on most of my guitars.
The next string gauge is slightly heavier, generally referred to as “10s.” This gauge is very common among rock guitarists. The slight increase in size provides a warmer tone than the lighter gauges while still being easy to play. Some players prefer regular strings specifically because these strings offer a bit more resistance, allowing more control.
Many rock and blues players like using regular gauge strings, as they perceive the thicker strings to have a fuller sound than the lighter gauges. Regular gauge strings are the preference of Eric Clapton and many other guitarists.
While not as common as light and regular strings, medium gauge strings are used by a number of rock and blues guitarists. This size is not a good choice for beginners, but may be a suitable choice for players that have developed the hand strength needed to bend and fret these strings well.
These strings have a warm tone and greater sustain than the lighter gauges. Slash uses medium gauge strings.
Heavy and Extra Heavy Strings
The heavy and extra heavy gauges are the largest in diameter. While not easy to bend or fret, they deliver the warmest tone and a louder, fuller sound. The heavy string gauge is a good choice for heavy rhythm players such as Malcolm Young of AC/DC.
Extra heavy strings are becoming more frequently used by metal guitarists, as their rigidity allows for down-tuning while still retaining adequate string tension. Some non-metal guitarists choose the extra heavy gauge (or even larger) for the greatly increased warmth and volume. Extra heavy string players include Stevie Ray Vaughan (13s) and Dick Dale (16s).
Determining which string gauge is best is entirely dependent upon the player. Guitarists should try different gauges to determine which gauge best fits their playing styles and abilities. In general, lighter string gauges are easier to play, although they do deliver less sustain and volume. They are a good choice for beginners.
Heavier gauge strings are a bit more difficult to play, but they deliver greater sustain and volume. They are best for experienced players and those using low tunings.
Although I did not cover them in this article, there are a number of custom or hybrid string sets available. Those sets may be a possible option for those players looking for something different from the norm.
Generally, the smallest three strings in a set are made of plain steel, while the larger three strings are constructed of a steel core with a metal wrap, or winding. Some exceptions may be found, such as the wound third string in most extra heavy gauge sets.
The different metals used in the windings can affect the tone, playability, and durability of the strings. Some strings also have a coating on the winding.
Nickel-plated steel strings are the most common electric guitar strings. They deliver the volume and bright tone for which steel strings are known. The nickel plating adds the benefits of reduced finger noise, resistance to corrosion, and finger comfort. This type of string is more durable than most other types.
Stainless steel strings are built with a steel core and a stainless steel winding. The winding does not have a coating or plating. Stainless steel strings produce considerably more volume and a much brighter tone than other types of strings do, but these strings have some drawbacks.
Stainless steel strings tend to lose their brightness more quickly than other types of strings, and many players feel these strings are harder on the fingers. The sound of finger movement along these strings is also more pronounced than on other types of strings.
I like the sound of stainless steel strings, even after they have lost some of the initial brightness. I don’t find them to be harder to play. I would encourage all guitarists to give them a try.
Pure nickel strings are often the choice of players who want a vintage tone. Most electric guitar strings were made of nickel in the 1950s and 1960s. Nickel strings offer a smoother, warmer tone.
They are softer than other strings, which makes them easier to play but also makes them more prone to breakage. Many jazz and blues players prefer the warm sound of nickel strings.
In the 1990s, a new process was developed to coat guitar strings. A polymer such as Teflon is used to seal the string, making the surface of the string smoother while also protecting the string from corrosion. Some guitarists find polymer-coated strings to be slippery, leading to difficulty bending notes.
These strings also have less sustain than other types of strings. Coated strings are usually more expensive than other strings. This higher cost may be offset by the reduced need to change strings.
Other materials used to make guitar strings include chrome, cobalt, titanium, gold, bronze, and even plastic. Gold-plated strings are an excellent choice for players who suffer from an allergy to nickel.
Bronze strings are commonly used on acoustic guitars, but should not be used on electric guitars. Due to the electromagnetic properties of bronze, the sound of these strings will not be properly carried by electric guitar pickups.
Some players may find these string materials to be noticeably different, while others may find most of them quite similar. The best way to decide which material is best for you is to try as many as possible.
The type of winding used on an electric guitar string can significantly affect both the tone and playability of the string. In most string sets, the three thickest strings are wound, consisting of a metal core wire around which is wrapped another metal wire.
The three thinnest strings are usually unwound wire, although it is not uncommon for the third thinnest string to be wound in heavier string gauges. The three common types of winding are roundwound, flatwound, and halfwound.
Electric guitar strings also include two different core types, round and hex. The core is the inner wire around which the winding is wrapped.
Roundwound strings are the most common electric guitar strings. They are made by wrapping a round outer wire around a round or hexagonal core wire. Roundwound strings produce a brighter tone than strings with different winding types.
Despite their popularity, roundwound strings have some negatives. The round winding produces a ridged surface on the string, resulting in “finger squeak,” the sound made as the player’s finger rubs against these ridges while moving along the string. The rougher surface of a roundwound string also causes greater fret wear than other strings.
Flatwound strings are constructed by wrapping a flat ribbon-like wire around a round or hexagonal core wire. Flatwound strings have a warmer and more mellow tone than roundwound strings. Although some rock guitarists might consider this tone to be lifeless, many jazz players prefer flatwound strings due to this smoother tone.
Finger noise is low with flatwound strings due to the lack of ridges. The lack of ridges also contributes to flatwound strings causing less fret wear than roundwound strings. Flatwound strings may also last longer because they have smaller grooves for dirt and skin oils to accumulate in.
Halfwound strings are a compromise between roundwound and flatwound strings. They are sometimes called groundwound strings due to the manufacturing process used to make them. Halfwound strings begin as roundwound strings that are then ground and polished until the string is almost flat.
This process produces a string that feels like a flatwound string but has a brightness between a flatwound and a roundwound. Flatwound strings can be more difficult to find and are usually more expensive, due to the more complicated manufacturing process.
Electric guitar strings have so many variables that it is impossible to choose a particular “best” string for even one type of guitar player, let alone for all guitarists in general. Instead of recommending one best choice, I have opted to review several of the most popular brands of strings.
With the knowledge of these brands and some of their offerings, you will have a good starting point for your own research and experimentation with various types of strings.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your electric guitar strings wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of electric guitar strings
- №1 — Ernie Ball Skinny Top Heavy Bottom Nickel Wound Set
- №2 — D’Addario NYXL1046 Nickel Plated Electric Guitar Strings
- №3 — Guitar Strings Electric