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Acoustic Guitar Strings

Acoustic Guitar Strings:

Replacing and Tuning

Knowing Your Guitar Strings

On acoustic guitars, strings play an important role in the playability and sound of the guitar. On acoustic guitars there are no amplifiers or pickups that contribute to the sound of guitar so strings have a larger impact on the overall sound. The composition and gauge of guitar strings should be considered along with the guitar's body type, when picking out new strings.

Before you get started, take a look at your guitar and determine the type of strings that are used on the guitar. Acoustic steel, electric, classical nylon? Most of the time these strings are not interchangeable. Using steel strings on a guitar that uses nylon strings could cause major damage to the guitar.

String Gauges

Lighter Strings Gauges

Pros

  • allow for easier fretting and bending of notes
  • are generally easier to play
  • exert less tension on the guitar neck and are a safe choice for vintage guitars

Cons

  • produce less sustain and volume
  • break easier
  • are prone to cause more fret buzzing, especially on guitars with low action

Heavier Gauge Strings

Pros

  • produce more sustain and volume

Cons

  • exert more tension on the guitar neck, which could cause damage on some models of guitars
  • More finger pressure is required to fret and bend notes
  • are generally harder to play

Acoustic Guitar String Construction Materials

Bronze

They have clear, bright and ringing tone, but they do age quickly due to the bronzes tendency to oxidize.

Phosphor Bronze

They have a darker and warmer sound than bronze strings, their sound remains quite crisp and the phosphor in the alloy in the strings extends their life.

Aluminum Bronze

They have a crisp and pronounced bass sound with greater clarity than phosphor bronze.

Polymer-coated

They ultimately have less sustain and brightness than the equivalent uncoated strings. They are corrosion-resistant. Popular for the arrays of colors available for visual appeal.

Brass

They have a jangling, bright, metallic character that ring well and add volume to the guitar when played.

Silk and Steel

These steel core strings have silk, nylon, or copper wrap wire on the lower strings producing a delicate tone along with a softer touch.

How to Restring and Tune Your Acoustic Guitar


Fender Guitar demonstrates how to restring an acoustic guitar.




Fender Guitar demonstrates how to tune an acoustic guitar.



Acoustic Guitars


Alvarez Parlor Acoustic Guitar, Shadow burst
Alvarez AP66 Parlor Acoustic Guitar, Shadowburst Buy Now!
Martin 000-17 Acoustic Guitar (with Case), Black Smoke
Martin Acoustic Guitar (with Case), Black Smoke Buy Now!
Fender CD-60S All-Mahogany Acoustic Guitar
Fender CD-60S All-Mahogany Acoustic Guitar Buy Now!
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