What Strings Should I Use On My Guitar

What strings should I use on my guitar or how do I know what strings to use on my guitar are two of the most common string questions I get from students. In this lesson, I’m going to go over my string recommendations that I like as well as the pro and cons of different string types and materials.

The biggest thing to remember is that string choice is very personal. These are my recommendation and what I use when my acoustic and electric guitars.

What gauge guitar strings to use?

There are a variety of sizes of guitar string. They usually range from 0.009 inches to 0.013 inches in thickness. On acoustic guitar you can go as low as 0.010 (referred to a 10s) and electric can go as low a 0.009 (referred to as 9s).

The bottom line is the thinner the string, the easier the guitar is to play. Extra light string on an acoustic can make learning and playing barre chords easier while extra light strings on an electric can make playing bends in pitch easier.

The down side if that the thinner the string, the more metallic sounding the string can be. That’s the trade-offs.

Below are my two personal preferences for acoustic and electric.


I discuss more about these strings as well as some other gauges and string types in the video below.

Play Video

What Material Should I Use?

Like string thickness, you can also buy strings in a number of different materials that will change the overall tone of the guitar. Strings are usually measured on a brightness scale as seen by the packing below.

I like the Phosphor Bronze and the Nickel Wound because they are a little more in the middle of the spectrum. I’m not a fan of super bright guitars, but that’s my preference. You might absolute love it and will want to go with the 80/20 Bronze for acoustic guitar and the Prosteels for electric guitar.

I also like the EXP coated strings because they tend to last longer and corrode slower. Living by the ocean with all the salt water air makes the extra protection worth it.


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