5 Best Electric Guitar Strings 2017 – Comprehensive Buyer Guide

Picking the best electric guitar strings can often be a challenge. I have always been a lover of acoustic guitars and have never given much regard to electric guitars. Thus, when I decided to purchase my first electric guitar, finding the best strings proved to be more difficult than I had expected something that I know many can relate with.

However, after experimenting with different strings, I was able to find strings that fit my playing style.

8 Best Electric Guitar Strings - Comparison

Since I know that you might be facing the same problem, I faced when I decided to buy an electric guitar, I have compiled a list of things to consider when buying electric guitar strings for the first time.

Popular Brands of Best Electric Guitar Strings

There are very many guitar strings brands that claim to be the best electric guitar strings. Sadly, claiming to be the best and proving it are two different things.

However, there are some brands that you can never go wrong with some of which include, Ernie Ball, Elixir, D’ Addario, and Fender. These four manufacturers are known for producing high-quality best electric guitar strings that meet the needs of modern day guitar players.

Furthermore, the manufacturers serve clients of different needs; thus, you need to select a brand that meets your playing needs.

1. Ernie Ball

Ernie Ball

Ernie Ball is a company that is known for producing cheap but high-quality strings.

The California-based firm combines the recipes left behind by its founder with modern technologies to produce strings of exceptional quality.

2. Elixir

Elixir

Elixir is a firm that has managed to create a sort of a monopoly in the coated strings market.

The firm’s line of polyweb and Nanoweb coated strings are still as popular as they were when they were first introduced back in 1997.

While some manufacturers have tried to replicate Elixir’s revolutionary coating technology, none has come close.

3. D’Addario

D’Addario e

For durable strings that will last longer regardless of how aggressive you play, go for D’Addario strings.

The manufacturer has acquired a reputation for producing high quality and durable strings.

4. DR Strings

DR Strings

For no obvious reason they are exceedingly underrated by the masses yet they have a considerable measure of value and style to offer for the public that give them a shot.

It is another US based firm that just offers handcrafted strings.

While they are decent at making bass strings, they generic electric strings merit a great deal of consideration. DR has four electric strings lines that you can select from. The pure blues are the customary strings of DR.

Yet this does not imply that they are not changing, truth be told they are always being enhanced and you get a hi tech vintage style electric strings. The Tite-Fit and the Hello-Beam Shaft arrangement are to some degree comparative as them two offer a great deal of adaptability and great tone, the main difference between the two is the truly high brightness of tone that comes with the Hi-Beams.

5. Fender

Fender

Fender is a company known globally for the production of electric and acoustic guitars.

It is probably why the company felt the need to start producing its own line of electric guitar strings, a decision that I think benefited many guitar players, myself included.

Fender’s nickel strings are unrivaled in terms of comfort and full tone.

Things to Know Before Buying -

Here are the details of things to know before selecting best electric guitar strings.

The Gauge

The thickness of electric guitar strings is measured in inches, with the thinnest or lightest measuring 008 inches and the heaviest or thickest being 054 inches.

As a beginner, it is better if you stick with light gauge strings as they are easy to play. Lighter strings are easy to bend when modifying the tone of your guitar. It is for this reason that lead guitarists and jazz musicians prefer lighter strings to heavy strings.

Speaking of heavy strings, though they produce a fuller tone, they also produce more tension, which makes them problematic to use for beginners. Best electric guitar strings can be categorized based on their thickness into the extra super light, super light, light, medium, and heavy.

The thickness of extra super light strings ranges from 008 to 038 inches while that of heavy strings range from 012 to 054 inches and the thickness of medium strings ranges from 011 to 050 inches.

Type of Strings

One of the main differences between acoustic guitar strings and electric guitar strings is the material used to make them. While acoustic guitar strings are made from bronze, brass, and phosphorous or aluminum bronze, electric guitar strings are made from nickel or stainless steel.

As a beginner, you may not be familiar with the colors of different guitar strings, which can lead to wrong selection. One of the easiest ways of differentiating between electric and acoustic guitar strings is by the color.

Phosphorous bronze acoustic guitars are usually gold in color while nickel electric guitar strings are silver colored. Electric guitar pickups are only compatible with magnetic alloys, and thus cannot work with brass or bronze strings. The clear, captivating tones produced by nickel strings make them popular among rock musicians.

Also, nickel strings are popular among metal, jazz and funk players. Stainless Steel strings tend to be gentle on your fingers and minimize the noise produced when you are running your fingers over the fretboard.

Furthermore, stainless steel guitar strings are less susceptible to corrosion. Stainless steel strings are ideal for long playing sessions. As a beginner, it will be dependent on the genre of music you want to play and for how long to buy best electric guitar strings.

Playing Style

As a beginner one of the first things you need to do is identify your style of playing, whether you are a lead, or you prefer strumming chords.

Your style of playing will help in your search for guitar strings. If you play as a lead guitarist, then ten gauge strings will be ideal. But if you are strumming chords then the nine gauge strings will be best for you.

For those who are not in the know, the phrase ten gauge and nine gauge refers to a thickness of 10 and 9 thousandths of an inch thick respectively. Nine gauge strings bend more easily making them ideal for beginner lead guitarists.

The phrase 10 or 9 gauge is used in reference to the thickness of the high E, which is the thinnest string. Therefore, ten gauge means that the high E has a thickness of 10 thousandths of an inch.

Durability Of The Strings

The durability of your electric guitar strings will depend largely on whether you sweat a lot when playing, how aggressive you play, the frequency of your playing, and whether you play in smoky environments.

If you sweat a lot when playing, coated guitar strings would be better. This is because sweat is acidic and causes your uncoated guitar strings to corrode and wear off quickly.

Coated strings, on the other hand, are less susceptible to corrosion and, therefore, last longer than uncoated strings. For a beginner it is unlikely that you will be playing your guitar on a regular basis, thus light strings will do.

However, if you play often and aggressively, then heavy strings will be best. The reason is that heavy strings are less vulnerable to breaking due to continuous playing compared to light strings.

If the general appearance of your guitar strings matters to you, then consider buying color coated strings. The latter strings have a colored coating that makes them colorful and more appealing.

Here Is A Video That May Help You -

Final Word

Guitar playing is an activity that you will enjoy, but only if you have the right kind of strings. It is my hope that this article has helped you find the right strings for your guitar.

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About the Author Michael J. Bass

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