Yes, guitar strings will make or break your instrument’s playability and sound.
This brief summary is meant to be a stepping stone to answering the very important question, “What are the best guitar strings for me and my instrument? It’s also a sort of addendum to Hart’s Guitars in-depth article on DIY classical and acoustic guitar set-ups, by far our most popular article ever. On to the topic at hand.
Guitar strings come in a wide variety sort of like anything you ‘re looking for in the grocery store. High tension, low tension, or medium tension are the usual decision players have in the forefront of their mind when string shopping. But if you play a classical/nylon string guitar?? For nylon strings, the tension ratings are usually extra-light, light, medium, medium-hard, hard, and extra-hard.
Light/low tension strings
are easier to play but are quieter.
The lighter a string’s tension, the easier it is to press to the instrument’s neck or fret. The tradeoff is lower volume, and thus not too good for the campfire bluegrass session. If you’re on the quiet couch playing for your sweet thing or if it’s just you and a mic in the studio….light tension strings might be your best guitar strings. This article will discuss briefly how to choose the best guitar strings. Then you’ll be ready for the perfect setup.
High tension strings
are louder, more difficult to play.
Higher tension generally gives an instrument more initial punch, but the duration or sustain may diminish with these strings. So, if you are at the campfire trying to keep up with the other shredders, a higher tension set might be the best guitar strings in that case. But, not all guitars are made to withstand the high amount of pressure these will put on the neck. No truss rod? Stay away from high tension. Over time, a neck will bow because of high tension.
Do’s and don’ts
Can I Use Acoustic or Electric Strings on a Classical Guitar?
No. Classical strings have a lighter tension than acoustic or electric guitar strings. Using acoustic or electric strings on a classical guitar could damage your instrument. Of course, if you are experimenting for a unique sound in the studio, the do as you will. Generally speaking, this is not a good idea.
Can I Use Classical Strings on an Acoustic or Electric Guitar?
No. Classical strings don’t have enough tension to move the face of an acoustic guitar, so they’d produce very little sound. Electric guitars only pick up sound from strings with significant metal content. Again, if you’re experimenting, searching for a one-of-a-kind sound for that extra track on an album, then of course you can.
How do I pick the best guitar strings for myself?
- You simply must experiment to find your personal “best guitar strings.”
- Different type strings can be used on the same instrument for different occasions or desired sounds.
- There is no one-size-fits-all easy answer to this question, which is one of the most relevant questions a guitar player has in the beginning.
- Sound and playability are the two biggest factors in choosing. Ultimately, experimenting is the best way to find the ideal strings for your needs.
- Luckily, the good folks at StringByMail.com have a resourceful best guitar strings rabbit hole for you to dive into. They are not a sponsor, I just really like what they have going on there.
Click on the links below to learn more about each category of strings.
Strings by mail has a wealth of knowledge on choosing the best strings..
Thanks for stopping by Harts Arts & Guitars!
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