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Choosing Your Strings


How to Choose Your Guitar Strings

If you are just getting started playing the guitar or bass, here are a few tips for choosing strings.

There's nothing better than a great sounding guitar. Selecting the right strings for your guitar and playing style will ensure your guitar sounds its best and that you have a great playing experience.

Choosing the correct strings for your guitar is very simple. Choose the link below that best represents your guitar:

How to Choose Acoustic 6-String

You've chosen the acoustic 6-string steel guitar. This is the most popular style of acoustic guitar in the world. Elixir® Strings features two styles: 80/20 Bronze (traditional acoustic guitar strings) and Phosphor Bronze. Both strings are available with Elixir Strings legendary ultra-thin NANOWEB® coating.

80/20 Bronze Strings are perfect for any style of steel string acoustic guitar playing. These are the preferred strings for acoustic guitarists all over the world. Whether you're flat-picking, playing finger-style, or strumming country or rock tunes, these strings will give you many hours of great warm tone and will ensure that your guitar sounds and plays its best. Phosphor Bronze Elixir Strings are also loved by countless musicians covering all styles of music. These strings have a more complex tone that many guitarists use as their main sonic signature. Like the 80/20 Bronze string, the Phosphor Bronze string is made for flat-picking, finger-style playing, and strumming.

A note about string gauges:
Acoustic guitar string sets tend to be .010, .011, .012, or .013 gauge. (Note: The gauge number refers to the thickness of the high E string in the set.) The lighter gauges work best for beginners because they can be easier on your fingers. It's important to have your guitar professionally set up, especially if you're changing your string gauge. If you're new to changing guitar strings and have questions, we recommend you visit your local music store.

How to Choose Electric 6-String

You've chosen the electric 6-string guitar. This is the most popular style of electric guitar in the world. Elixir Strings for electric guitar feature the legendary ultra-thin NANOWEB Coating.

These strings are perfect for any style of electric guitar, and they are the preferred string for electric guitarists all over the world. Whether you're a rocker, chicken picker, strummer, or jazzer, these strings will give you many hours of great warm tone and will ensure that your guitar sounds its best.

A note about string gauges:
String gauges typically change based on the style of music. Do you bend your strings a lot? Play hard rhythm? The answer to these questions relate to what's the best gauge for you. Typically jazz uses .012 gauge, heavy blues uses .011 and .012 gauge. and country chicken-picking tends to use .009 or .010 gauge. (Note: The gauges mentioned here refer to the thickness of the high E or 1st string in the set.) The lighter gauges work best for beginners because they can be easier on your fingers. It's important to have your guitar professionally set up, especially if you're changing your string gauge. If you're new to changing guitar strings and have questions, we recommend you visit your local music store.

How to Choose Bass 4-String

You've chosen the electric bass 4-string guitar. This is the most popular style of electric bass. Some basses have 5 or 6 strings. All Elixir Strings for bass feature the legendary ultra-thin NANOWEB Coating.

These strings are perfect for any style of electric bass playing and are preferred by electric bassists all over the world. Whether you're a rock, jazz, funk, country, or R&B player, these strings will give you many hours of great punchy tone and will ensure that your bass sounds its best.

A note about string gauges:
Bass strings are available in a number of different thicknesses or gauges. The best gauge for you is based on the style of music you play. Do you play hard, slap and pop strings, or sit in the pocket and play the root of the chord? The answer to these questions relate to which is the best gauge for you. Remember, the lighter gauges work best for beginners because they can be easier on your fingers. It's important to have your guitar professionally set up, especially if you're changing your string gauge. If you're new to changing bass guitar strings and have questions, we recommend you visit your local music store.

A note about scale length:
Choosing strings for bass is a little trickier than for other guitars because you must select the correct length for the scale of the instrument you have. The problem is that for the large-diameter strings, the thickest wound portion of the strings must contact both the bridge (saddle) and the nut, but the thickest wound portion cannot be wound around the tuning posts. This part of a bass string is not flexible enough to go around the narrow post and can easily break if this is attempted. If you're not sure what scale your bass is (medium, long, or extra-long), we suggest you visit your local music store. They'll help you choose the correct string scale.

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