How Guitar Strings Impact Your Playing

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Guitar strings are very diverse nowadays and come in all sorts of different gauges and designs – not only are there numerous brands to choose from, but also offers their products in different configurations as well. This can be a bit challenging to grasp at first if you’re still a beginner with the guitar, but it’s definitely not something to be afraid of – it’s actually quite easy to make the right choice as long as you’re informed properly. Let’s have a look at the different string sizes and designs and you’ll find it getting easier to make the right choice!

Nylon strings are used on classical guitars, and they’re conductive for fingerpicking. If you have a classical guitar or perhaps are thinking about getting one, these are definitely the strings you’ll want to use if you’re serious about getting high quality sound and performance from your playing.
On the other hand, if you’re playing a regular electric or acoustic 6-string guitar, you’ll want to get steel strings – there are some popular brands in this field of the market, including D’Addario, Dean Markley, Ernie Ball, Elixir, GHS and Fender. Try out the same size across the different brands to get a more accurate gauge of what they can offer you, and you’ll surely start noticing the differences soon enough.

Electric steel guitar strings

Electric steel guitar strings

Sizes can vary from .008 to .013, and if this sounds confusing to you, don’t worry – these numbers simply describe the thickness (in inches) of the high E string – so when you hear someone saying 8’s, 9’s or 10’s, they normally mean a set of strings which has the high E string at that thickness. The rest of the strings are thicker or thinner as well, based on the thickness of the high E string – though you can buy separate strings to fit your own tastes.

So what thickness should you choose for a start? Everyone likes something different in this regard – some people find that thickness over 10s makes it more difficult to play than is bearable, but on the other hand thicker strings tend to have a better tone overall – it’s not recommended to get anything thicker than 9s for electric guitar/10s for acoustic guitar, until you’ve managed to strengthen your playing hand a bit. Go too thin and you’ll risk breaking the strings too easily though, so keep that in mind as well during your search for the perfect size.

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