Acoustic Guitar Strings

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There is a wide variety of acoustic guitar strings, so obviously choosing the most suitable is fundamental for the sound of your instrument. In order to help you choose the thickness, material or brand that suits your playing style best, we’ve created this small guide:

Materials: In a regular acoustic guitar, the sharpest or highest strings (1, 2, and 3) are made of stainless steel. On the other hand, the most severe or lower strings are made of the materials that we detail below:

  • Bronze 80/20: This is undoubtedly the most popular option, which contains an 80% of copper and a 20% of zinc. This type of strings have a brilliant and metallic sound but they also wear out faster than other materials.
  • Phosphor Bronze: To prevent the wear off of the 80/20 Bronze, this one is protected from oxidation and corrosion with a phosphorus bath, thus increasing its durability. These strings have less brightness due to phosphorus but many guitarists prefer their tone because it is more warm and matte.
  • Silk and Steel: These ones are less popular but it is interesting to highlight them because although they have less volume and little longevity, they produce a sweet and delicate sound. They generate less tension and that makes them very suitable for vintage instruments.

Gauge: The thickness of the strings, especially of the light ones, varies a lot between one manufacturer and another. You have to also keep in mind that the acoustic guitar strings have a larger gauge than the electric strings. That’s why it is worth knowing that the most popular electric guitar strings size is what is known as 11, and that it corresponds to sizes starting with this figure, such as 11-52, referring to the thickness of the first and sixth strings. These would be some recommendations to choose the right thickness:

  • Body: If you play with a small body guitar, this will sound better with narrow strings. Otherwise, try with medium or heavy strings if your guitar has a large or jumbo body to take advantage of its large soundbox.
  • Tone: The thicker strings are better at emphasizing the bass, while the thin strings provide a sweeter sound.
  • Style: Choose your strings depending on whether you usually play chords or punctures. The thinner strings are easier for fingerstyle or bending, while the thicker strings have more resistance to withstand a strong guitar chord. If you play in every possible way, do not hesitate and choose a medium or hybrid size.
  • Age of the instrument: If you’ve got a vintage guitar, try to put some strings that add little tension to the neck. Light strings are more suitable than heavy strings.

Coating: String manufacturing technology has progressed a lot. Nowadays you can increase the duration of your strings up to 5 times by a coating that protects against corrosion and oxidation. The disadvantage is that the tone loses some brightness and a little less sustain.

Price: Although there is a lot of price difference between manufacturers, the cheapest strings are usually those of Bronze 80/20. The average price ranges between €5 and € 15, although we usually make price offers when buying several games in batch. Ask us and we will let you know our offer.

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