Best Guitar Strings For Beginners

David Cobb

There are numerous guitar strings available on the market, and as a beginner who has started playing on a guitar recently, this may be complex, because every beginning starts with numerous questions.

Don’t worry about this, because it is a phase, and on the other side, I’m always there for my audience to keep them informed about guitars.

That’s why, in this article, I will name the 5 best guitar strings for beginners with the intention to make your life a lot easier, and after I explain each of them, since you will have a better insight, your choice will be indeed right! Let’s begin then!

Which Are The Best Guitar Strings For Beginners?

7. DR Strings Zebra 11-50

To begin with, these strings are specifically designed for beginners who would like to play on acoustic-electric guitars without spending a lot of money.

From a design perspective, the Zebra 11-50 set is equipped with piezo bridge pickups which by default means that you can use them with archtop jazz guitars and with every type of guitar that employs magnetic pickups on the inside!

Moreover, they are light, consist of mixed material ( nickel-plated steel and phosphor bronze) and have round wound or with other words, since we are talking about hybrid strings, they will not be adequate only to play on different guitars, but also different music style and honestly, I think that they are very underrated on the market.

Once you adjust the strings, the next step would surely be the actual playing, right? Well, I have good news for you.

The sound quality can be described as a mix between rich and snappy at the same time! The reason behind this is that the phosphor bronze does an amazing job in amplifying acoustic tones, whereas, the second material known as the nickel-plated steel will get the best response of the piezo pickup in the bridge.

Honestly, as a beginner, I think that you can’t ask for more considering all these things combined with such an affordable price tag!

In the end, if you’re keen on keeping tight on budget, while searching for guitar strings with such qualities, then the DR Strings Zebra 11-50 would be excellent for you!

6. Gibson Brite Wires 10-46

Gibson Brite may sound familiar, and you’ve probably heard of this name, if you didn’t, then I want to know that this is one of the best-known guitar manufacturers on the market, and their wires/guitars are often used by the famous musicials in the industry.

Moreover, these strings employ nickel-plated steel wrap over a Swedish steel hex core which is incredibly good, mainly because of the fact that you can quickly and effectively tune-up so that the end results will always please you. What makes these strings to stand out from the “crowd” is that they are extremely durable, produce quality and consistent, full-bodied tone that will surely make you feel that you simply have to play more and get better!

Also, since you’re a beginner you wouldn’t probably like to tune your guitar all the time, since you once you start playing, you will have a comfort zone in which at the beginning, it will be hard to escape from. Well, these strings will always be there to ensure that your tuning will be as easy as possible.

Another great thing about the Gibson Brite Wires is that they are suitable for different genres, and you can experiment in various playing styles, until you feel comfortable to one, or maybe to more than one.

For instance, rock music sounds superb with these strings, and what’s even better is that they feel exceptionally smooth on touch which by default means that you can play for hours without feeling fatigued at all!

Those who’ve had an opportunity to play with these strings, a huge percentage of them claim that the strings have been producing quality tone for up to 4 hours without losing the tone. This does rarely happen in practice, because most of the guitar strings meant for beginners will suffer after a while or completely break due to multiple factors including the affordable price range.

To conclude, if you’re a beginner that wants to replace the existing strings of his/her electrical guitar with new ones, which will dramatically enhance your experience, then you should definitely consider the Gibson Brite Wires 10-46 as your next purchase!

5. Ernie Ball Slinky

Eric Clpaton, Jimmy Page, Angus Young and Keith Richards are only a few of the plethora of artists that use the “Slinky” guitar strings. From the very beginning, you already have a clue that these strings simply stand for quality and nothing else.

First of all, I would like to inform you that these strings are made of brass wire rod that has been cut and machined to professional specifications so that the end result would always please the guitarist!

In addition, the core is crafted by using high carbon steel hex wire which which will bring you numerous benefits, of which the most notable is the durability, whereas, the manufacturer has also used a nickel-plated steel wire that will offer you the most balanced and consistent tone to keep your levels of satisfaction always to the highest points!

Last but not least, I would also like to inform you that these strings aren’t coated, and that they are exceptionally suitable for electric guitars, and if you are a newbie that was inspired to start playing guitar because of the famous artists I’ve mentioned earlier, these strings will be more than excellent to let you pursue your dreams and help you achieve great results!

To conclude, the Ernie Ball Slinky strings are worthy of considering, so give them a try and assure yourself of their tremendously big potential!

4. D’Addario Phosphor EJ 26 (11-52)

The D’Addario Phosphor EJ 26 is a light, phosphor bronze set that consist of light top and bottom strings that are specifically made to maximize the playability of your guitar while ensuring warm and balanced acoustic tone.

When it comes to the design, these wires are wrapped around a hex core, but what’s interesting is that the wrapping is computer-controlled, which means that the sound will not only be consistent, but these strings will last very long and you won’t have to purchase again and spend additional amount of money.

As proof of their durability, the manufacturer states that they are corrosion-resistant because they employ phosphor bronze that is hexagonally shaped and strengthened with a carbon steel core.

Once you start playing your guitar, you will instantly notice that these strings are indeed light, and that the tone is not only bright, but it is warm, so the intonation will always surprise you regardless of how long you’ve been playing!

Another great thing about these strings is that they are extremely easy to set up, and at the same time, you will never get confused since they are color coded with the intention to help you have easy adjustment on one side, while on the other, to let you start playing right away without dealing with mess! Great job, D’Addario!

Speaking of the music styles, the D’Addario Phosphor EJ 26 strings are highly suitable for playing Blues, Folk, and similar music, and if you’re a fan of blues, then I hope that you will love these strings and that after years, you can become the next BB King!

In conclusion, I honestly think that the D’Addario Phosphor EJ 26 should be considered seriously, because they offer a great value for their price tag, and as a beginner, they will help you get the most of your potential!

3. Ernie Ball Aluminum

The Ernie Ball Aluminum have been available for a very long period, and from the moment they’ve entered on the market, guitarists already knew that these strings are nothing less than quality!

Namely, they utilize maraging steel hex cores which will help you get strong lows and crisp highs, while on the other side, the blend of aluminum and copper wrappings over the steel hex cores will drastically improve the life expectancy so that you won’t have to invest once again for a while!

In addition, since as a beginner, you will love to practice throughout the day and spend a lot of time, keep in mind that the sweat, temperature, and humidity will unlikely decrease the quality of these strings a lot, and that’s one of the reasons that has to lead to such a significant popularity over their existence.

Also, since we are talking about bronze acoustic guitar strings, keep in mind that in comparison to phosphor bronze strings, these ones are more corrosion resistant, and in this point, the Ernie Ball Aluminum definitely deserve compliments from us!

According to those who have purchased these strings, they never had difficulties adjusting them, and the most important part – they won’t strain your fingers like is the case with most of the affordable guitar strings which are meant for the beginners!

Before we end, I’d also like to mention that these strings are extremely versatile as well, and you will have huge freedom to practice various music styles without any problems, and if you’ve been searching for guitar strings with such qualities, then congratulations, you’ve found them!

That’s why, do not hesitate to consider them as your next purchase, and if you ever manage to purchase them in the future, I’m sure that you will never regret that decision!

2. Martin & Co M170 80/20

The Martin & Co M170 80/20 strings are widely used by the beginners on the market, and if you’re hanging out with guitarists, you may have likely heard about these specific set, or about the compancy itself.

Furthermore, this is an extra-light set that consists of exceptionally thin cores which are 80/20 phosphor bronze wrapped so that they can promise you high-level of flexibility and let you feel comfortable to play with your guitar! Who doesn’t like this?

Also, these strings are based on a steel core construction which makes them be long-lasting even though they are light, and honestly, this doesn’t happen a lot mainly because of the tendency of light strings to break a lot.

If you’re curious about the tone, well, I’d like to inform you that the tone has a lot of depth, and consists of bright trebles, and rich basses which is something that I absolutely love, and if you love such tones, without a doubt I can say that you will love these strings!
But that’s not all! I’d like to mention yet one more thing and that’s the music style.

To be more precise, these strings are highly suitable for acoustic guitars, and if you’re currently starting to play on an acoustic guitar and loves switching music styles, then these would drastically enhance the experience!

To summarize, Martin & Co products are always favored by thousands of guitarists in the industry, and since these strings are crafted by them, you will benefit a lot of owning these strings. Hence, I’d recommend you consider them as your next purchase because you will unlikely be disappointed!

1. Elixir Strings 80/20

The Elixir Strings 80/20 are specifically enginereed to get the best sound of your acoustic guitar, and this is one of the reasons I’ve listed it as a top choice for beginners.

For your information, these strings are made of copper and zinc (80%/20% respectively), bronze wrap wire and employ an ultra-thin, NANOWEB coating which is extremely unique. To be more precise, even though I’m talking about coated strings, in practice, they do give an “uncoated” feeling because the manufacturer has made them to be traditionally textured.

One of the reasons that makes the whole hype be around these strings is the durability. Thanks to the patented coating technology that is used throughout the crafting process, these strings are corrosion-resistant, and are durable enough to withstand daily use for a longer period of time while ensuring that you won’t break them easily, and this is crucial!

I would also like to add if you ever decide to get these strings, from the moment you start playing you will simply fall in love with the tone.

Why? The reason is simple, these strings output a bright and full-bodied tone, so feel free to experiment with various music styles!

Moreover, those who have had an opportunity to play on a guitar with these strings, claim that they’ve found them be easy to adjust and soft on touch.

This is awesome if you ask me, because as a beginner who is still in the process of learning, these things will surely ease the “learning phase”, because you won’t spend a lot of time adjusting, and would have more time to play!

Finally, I think that the price tag is exceptionally affordable in comparison to the quality of these strings, and do not be surprised if you read “They are worth every penny” by hundreds of customers on the market.

In the end, if you’re looking for light and affordable guitar strings that can last for years while producing qualiy tones, then you’ve found the strings of your dreams! Therefore, if you ever decide to purchase them, I’m sure that you will find out the reasons that make them different from the others!

Guitar String Buying Guide For Beginners

The quality of your guitar’s strings is an incredibly important aspect of your guitar due to the fact that they will have a huge impact on two things – the sound and playability. So, how to recognize which one is ideal for your guitar? Well, there are a few things you should now such as:

Gauge

As a beginner, you may not know everything about guitars, and for your information, a gauge is essential for guitars due to the fact that they will help you manage the sound on one side, while on the other, your guitar will be easy or hard to play.

For your information, string gauge is kind of measurement that describes how thick the strings are, and each string has a numerical value that is pronounced in thousands of an inch.

Usually, you will see some measurements like: 11-52, 12-53, 10-47, etc, what do they mean? In practice, 10-47 gauge aren’t as heavy as a set of 11-52/12-53.

In addition, both of them bring advantages.

Heavier gauges are suitable for jazz, low-action guitars, unamplified acoustic playing, and heavy strummers because they are known for their durability and sustainability.
On the contrary, lighter gauges are excellent for beginners, blues, vintage guitars and small-body guitars.

Material

Each material brings a unique sound, and all it depends on your personal preferences. Namely, the most balanced tone is produced by phosphor bronze strings, and what’s interesting about them is that they output that smooth “zingy” sound.

Also, 80/20 bronze are named due to the fact that they consist of 80% copper and 20% zinc, and they are known for producing bright sounds.

Coated/Uncoated

Both strings have their advantages, and it is solely up to you whether you prefer the first or the second type. For example, coated strings are known for their durability, and in fact, they produce longer-lasting tone if you compare them with uncoated strings. Also, they provide the user with an exceptionally smooth feeling, and at the same time, they are resistant to grime.

On the other side, uncoated strings produce kind of brighter and more vibrant tone, and some people love them because of their natural metallic, wound string feel.

Brand

Choosing a string from the right brand may offer you possibly the best results, and honestly, this doesn’t stand only about guitar strings but about every type of product.
Some of the most popular brands are: D’Addario, Marin, Gibson Brite,Ernie Ball, Rotosound, Elixir, etc.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Which guitar strings can be considered as the best?

A: “The best” can’t be considered solely on a specific product, since everything depends on the personal taste and style of the guitarist. However, the closest answer to this question would be the strings that are included in this article.

Q: What are the advantages and disadvantages of lighter gauge strings?

A: As the name “name” suggests, these strings allow you to play easily and are good enough to allow easier bending of notes along with fretting. However, they tend to break easily which will require you to change them more often.

Q: How should I know when do I have to look for new guitar strings?

A: There are many signs that should notify you regarding when you should change your guitar strings. In general, the first signs are that your guitar strings will feel stiff, their color starts to disappear, and of course, the biggest sign is that they won’t stay in tune.

Q: How should I clean guitar strings?

A: First of all, everything depends on the type of strings. For example, nylon strings should be cleaned with a non-dampened towel, whereas, steel strings should be cleaned by using 70-90% rubbing alcohol.

Q: How long do guitar strings last, in general?

A: Well, this depends on multiple factors. But since you’ve wanted this question to be answered in general, this would be 3 months or about 100 hours of practice.

Conclusion

After all, I hope that you’ve found these guitar strings suitable for you, and maybe you already have a clue which one should be your next choice. Keep in mind one thing – all of them are unique in their own way – some are mean for electric guitars, others for acoustic, however, what all of them have in common is their affordable price tag and their great quality.