Acoustic Guitar

5 Best Acoustic Guitar Strings For Beginners

September 11, 2018
Damilola

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5 Best Acoustic Guitar Strings For Beginners

If you play an acoustic guitar, you must be aware that each guitar part has its own importance. In the lapse of even one, the quality of the music produced is compromised. The same holds true for strings for acoustic guitars as well.

Often times, people are unable to create the music they want to despite owning the best guitars. The reason behind such a failure is playing guitar with the wrong strings. Guitar strings play such a pivotal role since different types produce different music. The best way to ensure that the outcome is just what you want is choosing the strings that can produce the kind you want. Contingent upon this, our guide on how to choose guitar strings according to the music you produce will be very useful.

  1. D’Addario EJ16 Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings
  2. Ernie Ball 2146 Earthwood Acoustic Phosphor Bronze Strings
  3. Martin MSP4150 SP Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings
  4. Elixir Strings 80/20 Bronze Acoustic 4-String Bass Strings w NANOWEB
  5. John Pearse 600L Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings

Best Rated Acoustic Guitar Strings For Beginners Reviewed

D’Addario EJ16 Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings

  • They are longer and do not break easily
  • Has a steel core that produces sharp and clear notes
  • Do not corrode or rust if used in moist conditions
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Ernie Ball 2146 Earthwood Acoustic Phosphor Bronze Strings

  • They are easy to tune and remain in tune for long
  • Quite affordable despite the durability they offer
  • Can be used for classical as well as pop music
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Martin MSP4150 SP Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings

  • They are strong and affordable options for beginners
  • Produces clear and well-balanced sound
  • They are ideal for fingerpicking as well
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Elixir Strings 80/20 Bronze Acoustic 4-String Bass Strings w NANOWEB

  • Offer a better grip while finger picking
  • Strong and resistant to corrosion
  • They are a good and affordable option for beginners
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John Pearse 600L Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings

  • They can produce a noise-free tone at the higher pitch
  • Easy to tune for absolute beginners
  • They are good to build callus while finger practicing
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When the fingers are new to strings, they are soft and devoid of callus. In this case, you need such strings that can develop the callus, but softly. For this reason, our list of 5 best acoustic guitar strings will be useful.

D’Addario EJ16 Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings

D’Addario EJ16

Pros:

  • They are longer and do not break easily
  • Has a steel core that produces sharp and clear notes
  • Do not corrode or rust if used in moist conditions
  • Have locked ends to make things easier for beginners

Cons:

  • Only medium bass ones produce a deeper sound

D’Addario EJ16 strings have a high-carbon steel core and Phosphor bronze wrap wires. The core is in the shape of a hexagon. The layer of wires has a lock twist digital winding feature that holds them together. These strings are longer and stronger, and they can produce bright and warm tones. The gauges can range anywhere between light to medium. Also, they do not rust easily because they are resistant to moisture.

These top-quality strings offer variation in gauges. While light gauge strings are for beginners, the medium gauge ones are for professionals. Also, they’re quite affordable and playable. The one drawback they have is that they can break apart when strummed non-stop on higher notes. But all in all, these are a perfect buy for acoustic guitars.

Ernie Ball 2146 Earthwood Acoustic Phosphor Bronze Strings

Ernie Ball 2146 Earthwood Acoustic Phosphor Bronze Strings

Pros:

  • They are easy to tune and remain in tune for long
  • Quite affordable despite the durability they offer
  • Can be used for classical as well as pop music
  • The transition of sound depth is very smooth and easy on ears

Cons:

  • They start producing a low buzzing noise with time
  • Lower E string needs frequent re-tuning, otherwise, it sounds flat

Coming straight from the house of Ernie ball brand, the 2146 Earthwood strings have a hexagonal steel core. The wrap wire used to cover the thin core is made of copper, tin, and phosphorus. They create warm and clear ringing sound. Moreover, the gauge ranges from extra light to medium. Also, they have an orangish gold finish and are strong and flexible. The strings also have a lock twist at both ends. This keeps the strings secured for a long time.

2146 Earthwood strings are professional quality strings that offer enough options for beginners. They can be used for multiple music styles as well. And you can always use a capo if they produce any rumbling sound with time. Overall, these are value for money products that produce clear and balanced sound.

Martin MSP4150 SP Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings

Martin MSP4150 SP Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings

Pros:

  • They are strong and affordable options for beginners
  • Produces clear and well-balanced sound
  • They are ideal for fingerpicking as well
  • Despite this, they do not bite through flesh

Cons:

  • They have to be re-tuned every 2-3 hours

Martin MSP4150 SP strings have a solid bronze finish. The core wire is ultra-high quality steel that produces clean tones. The wrap wire is made of phosphorus and bronze. The strings are shiny and strong. They have light to medium gauge. With the brand name Martin, these strings are perfect for studio recordings. With a great flexibility against breakage, these strings can be used for blues acoustic guitars as well.

These strings do have their own negatives and limitations. Their biggest drawbacks are the buzzing sound they produce and flat D strings. However, these drawbacks can be adjusted by using a capo. Overall, these strings are a decent buy. Also, their life and performance depend upon how good you maintain them.

Elixir Strings 80/20 Bronze Acoustic 4-String Bass Strings w NANOWEB

Elixir Strings 80/20 Bronze Acoustic 4-String Bass Strings W NANOWEB

Pros:

  • Offer a better grip while finger picking
  • Strong and resistant to corrosion
  • They are a good and affordable option for beginners

Cons:

  • They feel hard on fingers for initial few days
  • Their nanoweb coating starts withering within 3 weeks

These long-lasting strings with a nanoweb coating produce bright tunes, perfect for bass acoustic guitar players. Their core wire is made of 80 percent copper and 20 percent zinc. The wrap wire is made of bronze. The sound that these strings produce has a more natural and smooth feel. They are highly resistant to dust, dirt, sweat, and moisture. Also, they are suitable for studio recordings and live performances. Lastly, the thin nanoweb coating around the strings reduces finger squeaking.

Built with a precise technology, the Elixir 80/20 bronze strings have unique features. The downside is that the strings do not have a long life and need constant replacement every 3-4 weeks. But despite their short life, they are popular amongst established recording artists and beginners. This is because the quality of music they deliver is exceptionally neat and rich.

John Pearse 600L Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings

John Pearse 600L Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings

Pros:

  • They can produce a noise-free tone at the higher pitch
  • Easy to tune for absolute beginners
  • They are good to build callus while finger practicing

Cons:

  • They develop rust if exposed to moisture
  • Cannot be used for live stage performances

John Pearse 600L uncoated strings are perfect for acoustic guitars because they are lightweight and thin. They have extra light to medium gauge. They produce clear and well-balanced warm sound. With a low bass cut, these strings sound well even on the high pitch. You can also use them for studio recordings. With a durable build, they can last for about 6 months without any trouble. Lastly, they are good for fingerpicking and are easy to tune.

As long as you’re taking your guitar lessons, these strings are going to be ideal for you. But they aren’t an ideal choice for professionals because they corrode and become rigid over time. And as far as low buzzing sound is concerned, it is never harmful to keep your guitar in tune with a capo.

How To Choose Correct Strings For Acoustic Guitars

Since acoustic guitars are of so many types, quite obviously so are the strings. They differ in thickness, quality, music style produced, and many other features. Therefore, we have come up with a list of the types of strings you should focus on to produce specific music styles.

  • Strings For Bright Tones – You should buy 80/20 bronze strings, 80 percent bronze and 20 percent zinc, for sharp and bright music. What needs consideration here is, these strings start rusting within a month of use and need constant replacement.
  • Strings For Classical Tones – Aluminium bronze strings are the ones that you should be using to create clear classical and natural warm tones. They mainly have a steel core with an aluminum bronze wrap wire. They are resistant to sweat and dust. Thus, they are far more durable than many other string types.
  • Strings For Natural Sound – Nickel bronze strings are best for producing natural sound without adding any variation to it. They have a longer life and they do not break too often. Also, they have a steel core that adds more clarity to the music produced.
  • Strings For Warm Tones – Phosphor bronze strings should be used to produce warm tones. The music they create echoes for longer. This adds to the musicality because each note is clear. Also, they have a longer life and they are resistant to sweat and corrosion.
  • Strings For Natural Warm Tones – Coated phosphor bronze strings are your option if you want to create warm natural tones for country music. They are strong, durable and resistant to corrosion. They produce more deep and natural sound and do not need replacements too often.
  • Strings For Multiple Music Styles – Polymer coated strings are best if you need versatility for producing different types of music, not just one. With an impressive coating, they last longer. But they feel a little rough against the fingers. Which is why they aren’t ideal for beginners.
  • Strings For Bright Tones For Folk Music – Silk and steel strings are the ones that are used to produce bright tones that compliment the tempo of the classical folk music. They are quite soft on fingers. On this account, they are popular for beginners for finger practicing and developing a callus.
  • Strings For Jazz And Pop – Brass strings are the ones that jazz and pop musicians usually prefer. It is because these strings produce more metallic tones and they sound perfect when played. Additionally, they produce music that’s much brighter than that produced by bronze strings.
  • Strings For Stage Performances – Nylon strings are the most preferred types of strings for live performances because they produce deep and rich music that is noise-free. Sometimes they are also fitted with a steel core that creates warm tones.

These tips on how to choose acoustic guitar strings are the best ways to not end up with the wrong ones. Yet another factor that you should be looking for while buying strings is their thickness that is of 5 types.

Heavy strings are more reliable and durable. They produce warm and a more natural sound. But their downside is that they are hard against fingers. It is not easy to press them down to meet the frets. Thus, they aren’t suitable for absolute beginners.

On the contrary, light strings are not as durable as heavy strings are. They are flexible but they break too often. Despite these downsides, they are soft against the skin. It is much easier to push them down to meet the frets. Hence, they are the best options for beginners.

Key Considerations When Buying Strings

By now it’s clear that each string type has its own qualities, advantages, and disadvantages. The best solution to resolve any confusion is to understand the list of key features that should be considered while buying strings for acoustic guitars.

  • Core Type – Strings have two core types, hex and round. Pick the ones with hex core if you want loud music that’s peppy and bright. Pick round cores if you’re more interested in playing blues.
  • Winding Type – Windings are of three types, half round, roundwound and flatwound. Use roundwound for brighter tones, flatwound for jazz music, and half round for blues and other deep music types.
  • Your Budget – It’s delusional to think that guitar strings are inexpensive. In reality, they can cost quite a lot of money. Thus, always keep your budget in mind and choose a string that’s closest to your needs.
  • Body Type – This is a very important feature. Smaller gauge strings are usually good for small body guitars. But bigger acoustic guitars like dreadnoughts sound better with heavy gauge strings.
  • Playing Style – Light gauge is ideal for beginners who are learning to fingerpick. Medium gauge is ideal for non-stop strumming. And heavier are mostly used by established guitarists since they’re hard to play.
  • Music Pitch – Different strings produce different tones. Choose a heavy gauge string if you want a strong and stable tone. Use medium gauge strings for warm sound. Lastly, use light gauge strings for a soft and bright sound.

Final Thoughts

You should be very careful while choosing guitar strings because they affect the overall tonal quality of your instrument. There is a whole lot of technology that’s involved around building strings for acoustic guitar. Hence, the choice keeps getting tough day-by-day. In such a situation, the only way to find good guitar strings is by evaluating their features. The features that we have mentioned are enough to find out if a string is good or mediocre. And the 5 strings that we have listed are for your reference and introduction to what ideal strings should sound and feel like.

Damilola

Damilolai has been writing about music for the past 7 years before joining musicgroupies.com team. When he's not working he loves going to the park with his two Jack Russell Terrier's Joe and Bells.
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