Electric Guitar Strings
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Rock and roll all night with a great selection of Electric Guitar Strings
It doesn’t matter how amazing your guitar skills are, if your electric guitar strings are worn out then so is your sound. Changing your strings regularly is essential to keeping the sound of your guitar bright and full of life, and being prepared with extra strings on hand is a must for serious players as well. Achieve peak performance and guard against that inevitable broken string with a wide variety of electric guitar strings, the most needed guitar accessory.
How often should I change my electric guitar strings?
Just because none of your electric guitar strings are broken does not mean that they should not be changed. The quality of sound produced by electric guitar strings diminishes over time—both through use and even when not being played. Kinks and dents form in the strings over time from contact, and sweat and oils from your fingers make their way into the strings as well. Even the moisture in the air will gradually cause electric guitar strings to corrode.
As such the rule of thumb is generally to change your electric guitar strings at least every 2-3 months. Guitarists who play frequently (or aggressively, with a lot of bending) may find that they need to change their electric guitar strings even sooner, as regular playing will accelerate the process or wearing down, and also increase the risk of a broken string.
Types of guitar strings
There is a vast variety in types of electric guitar strings, ranging from the material used to how the material is wound to even the thickness or “gauge” of the string. The difference in strings tends to primarily affect sound and durability, and so which type of strings a guitarist chooses tends to depend mostly on personal preference.
Nickel and stainless steel are two types of metal most commonly used in manufacturing electric guitar strings—although a handful of others such as chrome, titanium, and cobalt are also available. Nickel and stainless steel tend to be popular however as they are both economical and balanced in brightness. If you are unsure of which type of string to use, these tend to be a good option to start with.
Keep in mind that the price of a set of guitar strings will often reflect their durability. Newer or less frequent players can often get away with cheaper, less durable strings, while more skilled veterans and those who play regularly are likely to begin leaning towards more expensive, longer-lasting options.
Electric guitar string gauges
The thickness or “gauge” of electric guitar strings is typically referred to on a sliding scale from “Extra Super Light” to “Heavy”. They may also be identified by the gauge of the high e string, where an Extra Super Light set would be .008 gauge, while a Heavy set would be 0.12 gauge.
Most players typically fall in the “Light-to-Medium” range, or 0.10 to 0.11 gauge, however a guitarists play style, desired sound, and playing frequency will all inform their preference in electric guitar string gauge. Beginners often tend to favour lighter strings, as they are easier to fret and bend (and therefore easier on the fingertips). However, lighter strings are also less durable and prone to breaking, which is why more seasoned players or aggressive players tend to lean toward a heavier gauge. Ultimately however, it really boils down to personal preference.
How to maintain electric guitar strings
While it’s still a good idea to always change your electric guitar strings regularly, you can also extend their lifespan with a few simple habits. Washing and drying your well prior to playing will reduce the amount of moisture and other substances that can cause corrosion and oxidization. Wiping down your guitar strings with a dry cloth when you are finished will also help prolong the life of your strings. You can even purchase specialized cleaning tools specifically designed to keep your strings clean and healthy longer.