How To Choose The Best Acoustic Guitar Strings

If you are serious about acoustic performance, it is vital to choose strings that suit your instrument, tone and playing style. Follow the advice below – then check out the Elixir® Strings range to find the best acoustic strings for you.

Protect your tone with coated guitar strings

There is no place to hide when your acoustic strings start sounding flat, which makes coated guitar strings well worth the extra initial cost. Just remember that not all coatings are the same. Elixir Strings is the only brand to protect the entire string, coating not only the outer string surface but also the spaces between the windings. All Elixir Strings are Roundwound for comfort and natural sparkle. Our acoustic range has a choice of two polymer coatings. NANOWEB® Coating has a brighter tone and feels more like traditional strings, while POLYWEB® Coating has a warmer tone. Both offer the same extended tone life, reduced finger squeak and enhanced playability that players have come to expect from Elixir Strings. Coating choice is a personal preference; try both and decide which suits you best.

Great acoustic tone starts with the right string material

Acoustic guitarists often play without the 'coloring' of amps and pedals, so it is important to love the raw tone of your chosen guitar strings. The metal alloy used in the construction of an acoustic guitar string is fundamental to its tone. The two most popular varieties are 80/20 Bronze and Phosphor Bronze. The 80/20 Bronze guitar strings have a bright, lively voice. Phosphor Bronze strings have a more distinctive tone, full of warmth and sparkle. Whichever is your favorite, Elixir Strings offer both 80/20 Bronze and Phosphor Bronze strings with a choice of our NANOWEB and POLYWEB protective Coatings.

Match the gauge to your sound, style and model

There are many factors to consider before you swear allegiance to a string gauge. First is tone: heavy strings have a warm, articulate tone, while lighter ones sound bright with a softer attack. Then there is playing style: many fingerpickers prefer light gauges, while medium gauges generally best serve strummers. Bear in mind the instrument too: heavier gauges can be the best complement to a larger-bodied model, like a jumbo or dreadnought, while parlour models suit light strings. You may discover that Elixir HD Light Strings are the perfect compliment for narrow-bodied guitars. Finally, never put heavy strings on a delicate vintage instrument: the tension could damage the neck and bridge. Check out our comprehensive range to find the gauge that is right for you.

Create your own custom string set for acoustic guitar

Acoustic guitar strings tend to be pre-packaged for convenience, but there is nothing in the rulebook that says you have to buy a pack of six strings with pre-determined gauges. All Elixir coated guitar Strings are available as singles. You could also check out our HD Light set, which is a blend of medium-gauge plain steel strings and light gauge wound bass strings, bridged by a custom .025 third string. This set represents the best of both worlds: the increased tension of the high strings increases articulation, while the interaction of the tension profile with the soundboard adds harmonic content to bass strings.

Now choose the best coated acoustic guitar strings for you: