Choosing the best strings for your electric guitar

Choosing the best strings for your electric guitar

Electric guitar strings play a significant role in the sound and playability of your instrument. The quality of the material, string gauge and brand are issues to consider and can often make your choice in finding the best strings a difficult one, especially when you’re faced find yourself having to choose from our assortment which has more than 700 different options

String gauge

The first step towards finding your match is determining your preference in string size. The heavier the gauge, the thicker the strings meaning they’re stronger, stiffer and tense. While producing more resonance, heavy gauge strings require more pressure on the frets and strength in your fingers to apply said pressure.
Lighter gauge strings are generally recommended for beginner guitarists who still have sensitive fingers. They are also popular among shredders for fast solos and to facilitate the techniques of the left hand.
Heavier gauge strings are recommended for blues-rock guitarists, jazz guitarists and for slide and powerful rhythms.

stringgauges

The best solution is to test several gauges to find what suits you best!

Materials

  • Nickel: is smooth and soft to the touch, producing a rounder and warmer sound.
  • Stainless steel: brings more volume compared to nickel adding a brighter sound, but are harsher to the touch.
  • Nickel plated steel: a middle ground between steel and nickel, these strings benefit from the increased volume in steel strings with the added benefit of comfort in nickel as well as protection.
  • Other materials: in addition to the aforementioned materials are strings plated in chrome, often used by jazz musicians, gold-plated for those allergic to nickel, plastic coated and even titanium.

Leading manufacturers

ernieballErnie Ball: is a reputable Californian manufacturer, particularly for their affordable strings for the electric guitar that offer both high durability and playability, a favorite among legends like Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton.

elixir (1)Elixir: a brand that immediately captivated guitarists in the late 90s by introducing a revolutionary concept using a coat of Goretex to protect the strings from its environment and significantly prolonging its life.

daddarioD’Addario: famous for their EXL Nickel Wound series. It was in 1930 when the US manufacturer invented the round wound strings which has become a standard. The strings of the EXP series are known for their brilliant sound.

Fender Fender: Given the large number of guitars they produce, Fender decided to create their own strings to meet their quality standards. The pure nickel series in particular is known to sound warm and rich.

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Author’s gravatar
Lawrence started playing the electric guitar because of his passion for rock music. Back in the day he played in a metal band, but now plays more for himself.

2 comments

    The string order on the chart is backwards, it should be Mi Si Sol Re La Mi if you’re starting from the thinnest one. Other than that, this is a really useful article!

    My guitar strings have become old and I was thinking of replacing them. I just wanted to check my options and this blog post has helped me understand what I can choose. I am also thinking of using the Les Paul bridge for my electric guitar. I just want that thick and creamy sound so I am planning to use this bridge. I think it is a good option. What do you suggest?

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