Discover all the Different Types of Guitar Strings

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There are different types of guitar strings for every different type of guitar and different playing style of music.

Most strings today come in a variety of gauges so you can get the right feel for your type of playing. For fingerpicking you want a heavier gauge than for playing blues with a lot of string stretching.

The different metals used in some strings won’t let you use them on an electric with conventional pickups because they need steel for the pickups to work right.

As far as I know you can use any string on an acoustic with a transducer type of pickup located under the saddle. I’ll have to experiment on that a little bit.

After trying different strings you will find a brand that you like better than the others. The brand or type all depends on your playing style and will change as your style changes.

Classical Strings

Nylon strings are used for classical guitars or if you can find ball end nylon strings they can be used on any acoustic. The lead solo in the Beatles song And I Love Her was played on a classical guitar with nylon strings.

They tend to stretch a bit for the first week or so and then settle down.

These strings give a very nice mellow sound usually unless you are listening to a Flaminco style player who combines rhythms on the guitar body along with their playing, a very moving style.

Classical Strings

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Acoustic Strings – Silk and Steel

Sounds like a rock group doesn’t. Silk and steel strings are good on an acoustic guitar for fingerpicking, a little easier on the fingers than just steel, brass or bronze, but not as bright sounding. They won’t pickup well on an electric with regular pickups, the silk mutes the steel.

Here is what they say on the Acoustic guitar forumSilk and Steel Strings

Below is a link to get some Silk and Steel Strings.

Silk and Steel Strings

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Acoustic Strings – Phosphor Bronze

This is what most acoustic guitar strings are made of today with variations on the basics

These are normally only good on acoustic guitars because of the bronze. They are a little louder and brighter than the silk and steel type.

These strings sound like what used to be called brass strings, they have a bright sound

Don’t forget that each guitar is different and will give a different tone for the same string type on another guitar.

Also these string companies are always trying new materials and ways of manufacturing so as I’m writing this a new model might already be on the way to market.

Phosphur Bronze Strings

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Elixr Strings

This is a fairly new company that uses a technology called nanoweb or polyweb. I had these on my Ibanez acoustic when I bought it and I liked them. They cost a little more but they keep that new string sound longer so you don’t have to change strings as often.

Elixr Strings

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Electric Strings – Round Wound

Steel guitar strings are for electric guitars because of their pickups they need ferrous material. The wound strings may be wrapped with nickel. These come in more gauges than the other types from very heavy to very light.

Electric Strings

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Electric Strings – Flat Wound

Flat wound electric guitar strings are used mostly by Jazz guitar players. They produce a rich low end tone that’s ideal for jazz and R&B.

Flatwound Strings

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Basic String – Rule of Thumb

If you want to play blues and rock and bend a lot of notes the lighter gauges will work. If you do play blues vamps you may want a heavier top and thinner bottom strings. There are many custom combinations to choose from.

For acoustic’s phosphor bronze wound strings have a nice bright sound and are suited for most types of music. These come in a variety of gauges.