Friday, 19 December 2008

How to choose strings for your guitar

String gauge or thickness is one of the most important things to consider when choosing strings. String gauge effects volume, tone, and ease of playing. It is measured in thousands of and an inch. The typical high E-string on an electric guitar is .009 inches in diameter. Common string gauges for electrics from high to low: .009 - .011 - .016 - .024 - .032 - .042. For acoustics: .012 - .016 - .024 - .032 - .044 - .054. Another important fact is that the different types of materials used for the string-wrap provide different tonal responses. Choosing the right type of strings depends upon what your looking for in a sound...ranging from a bright, clean sound to a dull and smooth sound.

String Materials:

Nylon Strings
Classical and flamenco guitars typically have nylon strings that come in low, medium, high, and extra-high tensions. The treble strings are made from a mono-filament nylon, and the bass strings with a nylon core and an alloy round-wound wrap.

Steel Strings
Made with a steel core and used on acoustics and electrics. For acoustics, the wrap is typically made from brass, bronze, or a similar alloy. "Phosphor-Bronze" string are known for there great tone and strong resonance. For electrics, the wrap is usually a nickel-plated steel, nickel/iron alloy, or stainless steel.

Round-wound Strings
The most popular type of string used on acoustic and electrics.

Flat-wound Strings
Mainly used on archtop guitars, these strings are made to reduce or eliminate finger noise.

Somewhere between the round-wound and flat-wound type of string.

Trying out different strings for your guitar as you progress with your playing will help you find the sound you're looking for from your guitar.

Todd Wales is a musician and guitar teacher. He has been traveling and playing gigs across the country and writing for Learn more with

Article Source:

No comments: