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Guitar Strings

When purchasing new guitar strings, pricier strings generally sound and feel better and last longer; however, this is not always the case. To get the right strings, consider the material, sound, feeling, durability, and size you’re looking for, and also how much money you’re willing to spend. Also, remember that strings break unpredictably, so be sure to invest in some spare strings.

Material

Steel strings have a bright and metallic sound, and are sometimes wound in order to lower their pitch. Nylon gives a softer,less piercing sound. Silk strings are often a combination of silk and steel, giving you much more flexibility than just steel strings. They do, however, have a much shorter useable playing life. Less common types of strings are made from bronze or nickel, which sound and play similarly to steel strings.

Size

Strings come in different sizes, with the largest gauges generally reserved for bass guitars, then acoustics and then electrics. Different gauged strings are designed for different positions (1st string, 2nd string, etc.), different guitar types (basses, acoustics, electrics, etc.), and different materials (silk vs. nylon vs. steel). They aren't interchangeable: using the wrong sized string will sound wrong and could break the nut on your guitar. If you are unsure, there are plenty of online stores who will advise you.

Sound

Sound varies with the type, size, and manufacturer of the strings. Finding the sound you like best will require some experimentation, but most sites offer at least a small description of the type of sound you can expect from each. For instance, you will find that Elixir strings have a softer sound than the sharper Fender Bullets.

Durability

More durable and longer lasting strings are

generally the more expensive ones, but buying premium isn't your only option for longer lasting strings. You can also invest in a string coater. String coaters are special polymer liquids designed to prolong string life by lubricating them and creating a microscopic barrier to prevent corrosion, all while being unnoticeable both in feel and sound.

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