Lights flash. The audience screams. A lead guitarist slides into the spotlight, the crowd goes completely mad over his solo, and in that instant, you want to play electric guitar just like him. So where do you start? First, we’ll walk through the basic information you should know about your new guitar, and then we’ll teach you how to choose strings for your electric guitar.
The biggest difference between an electric and acoustic guitar is the body. Where acoustic guitars are hollow, which is what amplifies the sound, electric guitars are completely solid bodied and use a magnetic pickup for sound.
As How Products Are Made explains, the vibration of strings on an electric guitar produces sound waves that the pickup transforms into electrical impulses, which is amplified by an amplifier.
Because the strings initiate the vibration that will ultimately produce the electric guitar’s sound, it is vital that you know how to choose strings for your electric guitar so that they are the right fit for both you and your guitar.
Gauge: this is the physical size of the string and is typically given in a range with the smallest number referring the smallest (highest) string on your guitar, and the largest number referring to the largest (lowest) string. Finding the right gauge for your electric guitar is important because the gauge determines the fullness of the sound produced and the playability of the guitar.
If you’re looking for electric guitar strings that are easier to play and will let you play comfortably for longer, then the light .009—.042 gauge is for you. If, however, you want a fuller sound and strings that let you play deeper, then .011—.048 is best. Overall, if you are looking for a balance between tone and playability, then the most popular string gauge, .010—.046, is ideal.
Make: Essentially all electric guitar strings are made of some variation of steel; the important thing to note when choosing strings is the wrap of the string. Stainless steel is best for an edgier tone, nickel is better for a warmer sound, and nickel-plated steel produces an even sound that is balanced between smooth and snappy.
For a brighter sound, you can try a titanium or cobalt wrap. Different manufacturers also use various protective coatings on their strings, so when looking for a new sound, experiment by buying string from a different company.
Generally, it’s best to stay with the pre-packaged electric guitar string gauges, since they were developed to provide the best balance between tone, tension, and feel. If you do want to experiment with changing strings, however, make small changes first; the smallest change can make the biggest difference.
Whether you want to be the next B.B. King or just the best electric guitarist in your group of friends, knowing how your guitar works and how to choose strings for your electric guitar puts you one step closer to achieving all of your guitar-playing dreams
Hi, I am Joe Nevin, 30 years of age. Despite being involved in a different occupation where I have to work from 9 to 5, I am very passionate about music and playing guitar since I was 12 years old! Thus, being inspired to start guitareviewed.com with an intention of pursuing my passion as I offer important information in the line of music and guitar.
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