If you’re just starting out on guitar, becoming familiar with all of the different aspects of the instrument can be daunting. There’s likely a lot more to it than you may have realized. Not only is simply learning to play an entire massive undertaking unto itself, there are also a lot of basic things about simply setting up and maintaining the instrument as well. One of the most important aspects, of course, comes in the form of the strings. There are a lot of different choices out there, and you’re likely going to need specific types depending on what guitar you have.
Certain guitars are also strung in completely different ways, especially once you start getting into the world of electrics. The way you play or the sort of sound you’re hoping to achieve will also play in part in helping determine which strings you need. Everything from the gauges (meaning the size of the strings) to the material they’re made of can actually make a big difference. If you just grab a random set off of the rack at your local music store, you might get home and find they don’t work for you at all.
In order to help ease these woes and set you on the right path, here are the 5 best guitar strings for beginners!
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1 – D’Addario Phosphor Bronze EJ16-3D Set Of 3
D’Addario is one of the most popular brands among acoustic players. There are countless guitarists that likely had D’Addario strings as their very first brand. The EJ16-3D Phosphor Bronze set is perhaps their best balance of sound quality and affordable price.
The best thing about these strings besides the great price is that they sound amazing. They’ll give your playing a rich yet bright tone that will sound good for both strummings and be playing melodies. The gauges run from .053 up to .012, meaning your notes and chords are going to resonate for a long time. The slight thickness will also help you build up your finger dexterity!
2 – Martin Phosphor Bronze MSP4150 Strings
Martin & Co is another amazing brand that makes great guitars and guitar accessories alike. Their MSP4150 guitar strings are graded for studio and stage performances. Above all else, these strings are meant to give you amazing sound. The .055 to .0125 gauges will leave everything you play sounding as resonate as possible while still being just light enough not to hurt your fingers too much when you’re starting out. The shimmering tone has a lot of depth to it, mostly derived from the steel core construction. Though usually a bit expensive.
3 – DR Zebra Acoustic-Electric Strings
Although a lesser talked about name in the world of guitar products, DR Strings makes wonderful sets for players that are venturing away from the strictly acoustic world. For instance, this Zebra set is meant for acoustic electric hybrids equipped with piezo bridge pickups. They also work great for any guitars that have magnetic pickups inside of the body. You can use these with arch top jazz guitars as well.
The DR Zebra set runs from .050 to .011, giving you a slightly more “medium to light” feeling than the D’Addario strings above. The sound quality you’ll get is snappy and rich at the same time. The fact that every other coil switches between bronze and nickel plated give a unique tone overall. These strings a little off the beaten path, but they stand up well, especially given their price range.
4 – Gibson Brite Wires
Once you’re in fully electric territory, you may as well try out the strings from none other than Gibson themselves. You can equip your instrument with nick plated, steel wound Brite Wires. These strings are incredibly light, running just .046 to .010. If you’re into general hard rock, punk, blues, or jazz, these will suit you perfectly. The light gauge will really only work for standard or half step down tuning, however.
5 – Ernie Ball Skinny Top, Heavy Bottom
Ernie Ball is perhaps the premiere name in electric guitar strings these days. They’re played by big shots such as Metallica, Slash, Jimmy Page, and tons of others. Their skinny top, the heavy bottom set is of particular note since it gives you light strings on top for easy lead playing, but thicker strings on the bottom to make sure your rhythms sound as full as possible. This will also support lower tuning, especially drop D and even drop C. So give them a shot!