By: Chris Thomas
There are so many different brands of guitar strings out there,
and within the brands there are many different gauges and types.
This can be overwhelming for beginners, so I want to briefly
discuss different types of strings and associated sizes and why
you want to carefully consider the types of strings you would
want to use.
First of all let's briefly discuss nylon strings. These strings
are used on classical guitars and are conducive for
fingerpicking. If you own a classical guitar or are considering
purchasing one, these are the strings you will use.
Now if you're playing a standard electric or acoustic 6-string
guitar, you're going to want steel strings. Some of the more
popular brands are D'Addario, Dean Markley, Ernie Ball, Elixer,
GHS, and Fender. Try the same size of each brand and you will
begin to notice differences. I remember trying D'Addario, Dean
Markley, and Ernie Ball .009s and I was partial to D'Addarios
because it seemed like my pick would get caught on the strings
to o easily. So definately experiment with different strings to
find out which you prefer.
As for the different sizes, they come in sizes ranging anywhere
from sets of .008's to .013's. Now, you may wonder what this
means. Well the .008-.013 range describes the thickness in
inches of the high E string. So when someone says 8's, 9's 10's,
they're typically referring to a set of guitar strings with the
high E string of that thickness. The remaining strings are also
thicker or thinner depending on the thickness of the high E
string, although you can buy individual strings to suit your
What thickness should you choose? I prefer D'Arddario 9s for my
electric and Elixer 10s for my acoustic. For me, anything
thicker then 10s give my fingers a tough time. But also know
that the thicker strings will have a much better tone. As a
beginner, I wouldn't recommend set thicker then 9s for starters
until you build up some left hand strength. I don't recommend 8s
at all as they tend to break too easily.
If you're going to be playing dropped tunings, then you should
consider thick strings in the .012-.013 range (Ernie Ball Not
Even Slinky Strings are great). This will allow you to tune down
and still have tight strings that don't flap around. The thinner
strings will usually be too slack when you're tuned down.
About the author:
Chris Thomas writes articles and does reviews of the top online
lessons for his site Guitar Lesson Comparisons.