If you’ve ever gone into a guitar or music shop to get some new strings, you may well have been confronted with a wall of options to choose from and very little in way of explanations. The big question running through your head: How do I choose guitar strings? And what do all those numbers mean!
Never fear, Exeter Guitar Teacher, Andy Hood, will help you make sense of all of this.
First of all there are all sorts of different types of guitar, and they come with their own type of strings. This gets a bit more complicate than just electric or acoustic. There are also bass strings, classical guitar strings, nylon strings. Then there are even categories within these. But for now we’ll keep it simple.
If you want to know how to choose guitar strings for an acoustic guitar, you’re going to need to choose between 80/20 bronze or phosphor bronze and then choose how thick you want the strings to be. 80/20 bronze strings then to be a bit cheaper than phosphor bronze, but phosphor bronze tend to sound a bit fuller and brighter and most guitarists prefer the sound of them. However, if you have a cheaper guitar, putting expensive strings on in most cases will not get the best out of the strings. Equally if you’ve got a guitar that cost £1000 putting cheap strings on, can make your guitar sound like it cost £100 instead.
For most beginner and intermediate guitarists I’d recommend getting 80/20 bronze strings. For advanced intermediate and advanced guitarists I’d recommend phosphor bronze acoustic guitar strings.
The average acoustic guitar strings would be gauge 12. This means that your thinnest string is 0.012 inches thick. you can go slightly thinner than this down to 0.010 inches thick or a bit thicker usually not much more than 0.014 inches.
Thinner strings tend to:
Thicker strings tend to:
I hope that helps you make a bit more sense of choosing acoustic guitar strings, please see my tips for electric guitar strings (coming soon).
Please feel free to ask any questions by contacting me or leave a comment below.