4 Ways to Choose Good Guitar Strings

Guitars have built-in strings. There are times when your guitar’s strings make a dull or unclear sound. In addition, there is a possibility that the strings are rusty or suddenly break so you have to replace the guitar strings.

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

1. String Material
As written at the beginning, guitar strings are made of nylon, steel and copper. Generally, electric guitars use steel and copper strings because the sound produced is louder.

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

Apart from producing 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 end of the guitar bridge.

Unlike other strings which are equipped with balls that can be attached to the bridge. Apart from nylon strings, guitar strings generally rust easily 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, stainless steel strings are more fragile than nickel strings.

2. String Tension
Next, you can pay attention to the tension that will be produced, such as light, normal, or high tension for comfort when playing the 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 less powerful sound characteristics.

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

3. String Size
When buying guitar strings, you can look at the gauge or string diameter. String sizes are expressed in inches. The thinnest string measures 0.012 inches (or written 12) and the thickest measures 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.

String gauges are divided into three, namely extra light, light, and medium gauge. To choose an electric 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 for playing strumming techniques, drop tunings, jazz, and are also suitable for guitars with small string distances and fretboards.

Meanwhile, thin diameter guitar strings are more suitable for beginner players because they are easier to press. In addition, thin diameter strings are more often used for fingerpicking, blues techniques, and are used on small guitars.

4. String Layer
Generally guitar strings are composed of steel and nylon. However, some steel strings are coated with an anti-rust coating. This rust is caused by sweat and air humidity.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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