Beginner's Electric Guitar Strings
So you've made the decision to buy an electric guitar, but there is still one crucial decision
before you can rock like your favorite guitar heroes: what kind of strings do you use? If you've
ever walked into a music store, you'll notice a huge selection of strings. Choosing strings for
your beginner's electric guitar will help determine the styles of music you can produce. There are
a few things to consider when making your selection, including gauge, material and of course your
own musical preference.
First off, you should understand that strings come in a variety of gauges that determine the
tone and playability of the guitar. A heavier gauge produces more tension from the guitar, and
produces a louder sound and fuller tone. This is why most rhythm guitarists choose medium or heavy
Lighter gauge strings make it easier to quickly move up and down the fret board and are
easier to bend to help modify the guitar's tone. This is exactly why lighter strings are preferred
by lead guitarists and jazz musicians. Once you get used to music jargon, you'll also notice that
guitarist describe their strings by the thickness. When you hear someone say "I use 9's" they are
referring to a very light gauge string.
What are the Best Types of Beginner's Electric Guitar Strings?The material used also plays
a part in determining the type of string you want to use. For your beginner's electric guitar,
you'll be using stainless steel or nickel strings. Bronze and brass strings cannot be used for
electric guitars because the pickups on electric guitars require strings to be made with magnetic
alloys. Nickel electric guitar strings are generally nickel-plated and deliver a clear, captivating
sound that is favored by many rock musicians, but are also popular choices for metal, funk and jazz
players. Brands like GHS produce affordable nickel strings for the aspiring guitarist.
Stainless steel electric guitar strings feel smooth on your fingers and are ideal for long
gigs or lengthy studio sessions. This type of string reduces the noise of your fingers moving up
and down the fret board, and generally holds out better against corrosion and rust. Stainless steel
strings are often used by rock and metal musicians. Ernie Ball stainless steel electric guitar
strings are affordable, but provide a wide variety of quality tones that make them a favorite of
guitarists like Dave Navarro, Eric Clapton, Angus Young and Jimmy Page.
It is generally recommended to start with a lighter gauge electric guitar string, because
they produce less tension and are easier for a beginner to work with. Depending on the style you
wish to play, you can test different strings on your beginner's electric guitar to help you decide.
Once you decide your style, you can always play around with different gauges and string materials
to help craft a tone that is unique to you.