Which are the best strings for beginners? What's the difference between electric and acoustic guitar strings? Should I use coated strings? What do string gauges mean? All this and more from Guitar String Guide - your guide to guitar strings, tuning and more....

Best Guitar Strings for the Blues

Gibson BB King Signature strings

Playing Blues guitar is all about feel and tone... so what are the best strings for the Blues? Not an easy question to answer (along with "what is the best guitar for the Blues?"), but we'll try to give some tips and look at what strings the best blues guitarists use... read more »

Best electric guitar strings for beginners

Ernie Ball Super Slinky

It's something most new guitarists don't think of until they break their first string - "what are the best guitar strings for me?". There are a bewildering range of guitar strings available, with terms like Nickel, roundwound, gauge, light, medium, skinny top etc to confuse the uninitiated. So here's some simple advice for the beginner: read more »

Are you allergic to your nickel guitar strings?

Stainless steel guitar strings - no nickel allergy

Guitar players are used to pain! Building callouses on tender fingertips takes time, and even for established guitarists long hours of practicing and gigging can leave fingers sore and raw. "Played until my fingers bled" is a cool line, but not much fun in real life. But other than the basic mechanical effect of the guitar strings on your fingers, have you considered that you might be allergic to your strings?! Regular electric guitar strings are most often made of steel plated with nickel... and nickel allergy is surprisingly common. In fact it is one of the most common causes of allergic contact dermatitis. Nickel is used in many modern objects, because it keeps them shiny, and in guitar strings it also has positive magnetic properties that give a good reaction from your electric guitar's pickups. read more »

Half gauge guitar strings

EXL 120+ 9.5 gauge guitar strings

Choosing the best electric guitar string gauge for your guitar, type of music and playing style is never easy. Many guitarists wish there was an 'in-between' gauge... and there is!

Several string makers offer 9.5 gauge strings (or nine and a half, if you prefer) and they can be the perfect compromise between the two most common gauges - 9 gauge and 10 gauge strings. read more »

What is Nashville Tuning?

D'Addario electric guitar strings for Nashville Tuning

Nashville Tuning gives a great jangly sound and doesn't need the guitarist to learn any new chord fingerings, so is well worth exploring - especially for those fortunate enough to own several guitars. Nashville (or "high strung") tuning is a bit of an oddity in the guitar world, as unlike "open" tunings it contains exactly the same notes as regular guitar tuning and is played using the same chord fingering. The difference is the octaves of the strings. Nashville Tuning contains no bass strings at all and gives a unique bright treble sound that is fantastic when played alongside another guitar with regular tuning - especially useful for recording a 12-string guitar sound when no 12-string is available. read more »

Best strings for Classical Guitars

Nylon classical guitar strings

Nylon classical guitar strings are very different to strings used on steel-strung acoustic or electric guitars and with dozens of brands and types available it can be difficult choosing the best nylon strings for your classical guitar.

How often should I change my classical guitar strings?

Although they don't break too easily, nylon strings do not have a very long playing life once installed on the guitar, as their brightness and tone soon fades with age and use. The beginner learning classical guitar might change their strings every few weeks or months, while a professional read more »

The world's weirdest guitar? 42-string Pikasso

Picasso guitar with 42 strings

We all know about 6-string guitars and 12-strings... you may have even heard of 10-strings, and twin-necks that can have 18 strings... but check this out - 42 strings! Known as the Picasso guitar, after its likeness to the cubist paintings of Pablo Picasso, this one pictured belongs to jazz supremo Pat Metheny, one of the most famous jazz guitar players of our time.

Believe it or not, this weird guitar is not just for show - Pat plays it for real... all 42 strings! The Picasso guitar was built for him by read more »

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