Basic Ways to Choose Good Guitar Strings

4 Ways to Choose Good Guitar Strings

Guitars have built-in strings. There are times when your guitar’s built-in strings sound dull or unclear. In addition, there is a chance that the strings may have rusted or suddenly broken, so you may need to replace the guitar strings.

It is better to replace these strings on all strings if the strings have been used for more than 6 months. The selection of guitar strings must be based on several considerations, as follows:

1. The Materials of the Strings

As noted earlier, guitar strings are made of nylon, steel, and copper. Generally, electric guitars use strings made of steel and copper because the sound produced will be louder.

Steel strings are commonly used for acoustic, semi-electric, and electric guitars. While strings made of nylon are more suitable for classical guitars.

Besides being able to produce a softer sound, nylon strings are more comfortable to press. The disadvantage of nylon strings is that they are difficult to install because you have to tie the strings to the ends of the guitar bridge.

Unlike other strings that are equipped with a ball that can be attached to the bridge. In addition to nylon strings, guitar strings are generally easy to rust due to oxidation.

Some manufacturers make guitar strings from stainless steel. The sound produced is clear and has a brilliant character (balanced between mellow and bright). However, these stainless steel strings are more brittle than nickel strings.

2. The Tensions of the Strings

Furthermore, you can pay attention to the voltage that will be generated, such as light, normal, or high tension for the sake of comfort when playing guitar.

Low tension guitar strings are generally used for beginners because they are more comfortable when pressed. However, it should be noted that guitar strings with low tension have a sound characteristic that is not too large.

The tension of the strings also affects the volume of the sound produced. For maintenance, you should be careful when tuning the guitar so that the strings don’t break due to being played too tight.

3. The Size of the Strings

In buying guitar strings, you can look at the gauge or the diameter of the strings. String size is expressed in inches. The thinnest string measures 0.012 inches (or written 12) and the thickest is 0.054 inches.

However, the size of these strings varies depending on what music is being played. For classical guitar strings, you can choose normal and strong strings.

The string gauge is divided into three, namely extra light, light, and medium gauge. In choosing guitar, you can use extra light gauge strings.

Electric guitar strings have a much smaller diameter and a much smaller sound. Strings that have a large diameter can be used to play strumming techniques, drop tunings, jazz, and are also suitable for guitars with small string spacing and fretboards.

While the thin diameter guitar strings are more suitable for beginners because they are easier to press. In addition, thin diameter strings are more often used in fingerpicking, blues, and small guitars.

4. The Layers of the Strings

Generally guitar strings are composed of steel and nylon. However, some steel strings are coated with an anti-rust coating. Rust is caused by sweat and humidity in the air.

This anti-rust coating is in the form of copper, zinc, bronze, phosphorus, and silk. The characteristics of these layers are different. Strings made of steel and bronze (80/20 Bronze) are generally coated with zinc so that the sound characteristics are clean and loud.

But the drawback is that the strings are only coated with zinc which is easily oxidized, causing rust and the sound becomes dull.

You can get around this by changing the strings periodically. Another alternative is to use phosphor-coated strings (Phosphor Bronze).

These strings are durable, but the sound is not as clear as strings without phosphorus. Steel strings covered with silk are called compound strings.

These strings have a lower tension. Guitar strings that have a coating will generally last in humid conditions.

After paying attention to the parameters above, you can decide to choose a guitar string according to your comfort and the music you want to play. The price of guitar strings varies but not all expensive strings produce a good sound.

You can also consider the strings according to the type of guitar you have. Guitar strings should be replaced periodically so they don’t rust and interfere with the quality of your sound and playing. String maintenance can be done by wiping the strings with a dry cloth.

Updated: September 30, 2022 — 3:21 pm

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