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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 strings does James Dean Bradfield use?

Optima Chrome 11 - 50 Electric Guitar Strings

Although choosing the best strings for our own musical style, guitar and personal preference is largely a matter of trial and error (having considered some basic guidelines), a useful starting point is to consider what your own guitar heros use. Many famous guitarists endorse a particular brand, or even have their own Signature Series (such as Pink Floyd's David Gilmour Signature Series of GHS Boomers for example), so a good starting point are the websites of major string brands (see "Guitar String Manufacturers" for a list). read more »

Are Pure Nickel guitar strings better than Nickel Plated?

DR Pure Blues - pure Nickel guitar strings

In the 1950s, when electric guitars started to become mainstream brought new requirements for guitar strings - not only did they need to have great tone and longevity, that also needed good magnetic properties to work with magnetic pickups. The requirement led string manufacturers to experiment with different metals and alloys including Monel steel, stainless steel 430, chrome, nickel, and others. These had better magnetic properties than the traditional bronze and brass used in acoustic guitar strings. read more »

Guitar Tech anounce lightweight universal capo

Guitar Tech capo

Guitar Tech (best known for their wide range of guitar accessories) . has introduced a new lightweight capo for acoustic, electric and classical guitars. Unusually for a 6-string guitar capo, it is also said to be suitable not only for 12-string guitars, but also for banjos and mandolins.

Capos are popular with beginners and experienced players alike, whether changing the key of songs to suit a singer's vocal range or experimenting with different tonal qualities and chord inversion. The GT capo is designed for easy one-handed operation and with no sharp edges, and soft rubber parts that touch the instrument shouldn't leave any marks on your favourite guitar's neck. Ease of use should also mean that the user can place the capo accurately, essential for avoiding fret buzz with the capo fitted. read more »

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