Nothing has changed in this chart – the acoustic strings we originally recommended still remajor the most popular on the sector today! However before, we have actually amfinished a few points in the article to make it easier to navigate, while we have actually likewise included some even more answers to your questions.

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While it may have taken you some time to discover your perfect acoustic guitar – reading reviews, watching videos, trying out your favorite models – it may take you even much longer to discover the perfect string!

‘But a string’s a string, isn’t it – aren’t they all the same?’

Table Of Contents

Guide to Buying The Strings You Really Need
You couldn’t be better from the truth! Gauges, materials, windings, cores, and coatings all vary from brand to brand, and also various strings have the right to make your acoustic guitar feel and also sound like a different instrument.

So it’s important to find the finest guitar string to allow your acoustic to reach its full potential.

There’s a large variety of acoustic guitar strings out tright here, via brands choose Martin, Elixir, D’Addario, and also Ernie Ball all excelling – and that bacount scrapes the surconfront of what’s out there.

So just how execute you uncover the perfect string for you? The many crucial thing is to try, attempt and attempt aobtain – save experimentation various strings and also eventually you’ll discover something that feels and sounds great, and also suits your playing style.

Check out our quick chart below, where we highlight just a few of the ideal strings on the industry today, then keep reading for our guide on picking the ideal strings for you, as well as a look at some of the the majority of well-known acoustic guitar string brands.

If you’re searching for nylon strings for a timeless guitar, make certain to examine out our dedicated classic guitar strings section for even more indevelopment.

8 Recommfinished Acoustic Guitar Strings:

ImageGuitar Strings / RatingSummaryCheck Price
D"Addario EJ17 Strings

Total of 4.90/5

Best-offering D’Addario acoustic string – tool gauge (.013-.056) made via phosphor bronze.

D"Addario EXP16 Strings

Total of 4.80/5

Super strong light gauge (.012-.053) phosphor bronze strings through a protective coating.

+- Elixir Strings 80/20 Bronze NANOWEB

Total of 4.80/5

Top-selling 80/20 bronze light gauge (.012-.053) strings via Elixir’s NANOWEB coating.

Elixir Strings 80/20 Bronze POLYWEB

Total of 4.80/5

POLYWEB-coated 80/20 bronze strings from Elixir, via an added light (.010-.047) gauge.

Martin M540 Strings

Total of 4.60/5

Martin’s popular and affordable light gauge (.012-.054) phosphor bronze acoustic strings.

Martin MM12 Retro

Total of 4.60/5

Excellent vintage tones from Martin’s light (.012-.054) nickel and also copper acoustic strings.

Ernie Ball 2146 Earthhardwood

Total of 4.50/5

An expressive medium-light gauge (.012-.054) phosphor bronze set from Ernie Ball.

Ernie Ball Earthtimber Rock & Blues

Total of 4.50/5

Ernie Ball’s best-selling continuous slinky strings, via a .010-.046 gauge.


The eight in our chart are simply a handful of some of the best-selling strings on sale now – the as a whole choice is staggering, with a plethora of styles, products, gauges, and coatings available.

After our handy overview to finding the right acoustic strings for you, you’ll discover a break down of some of the finest string brands in this area:


Officially founded in 1974 – although they’ve actually been making strings because the 1930’s – D’Addario are among the earliest and also ideal well-known guitar string manufacturers in the civilization, and also make superb acoustic strings in addition to both electric guitar and bass sets.

They have a rock-solid reputation, production strings of high quality, and also are played by numerous experienced acoustic bands and artists consisting of Dave Rawlings, Fats Kaplin, and Jackie Environment-friendly.

Their many famous string range is their Phosphor Bronze EJ series which are bbest, but well-balanced and come in a big range of gauges – from additional light (.009-.045) to hefty (014-.059) and also everything in in between.

Their innovative EXP series is an additional worth considering, utilizing their extra-solid high-carbon NY Steel wire, via a really thin coating to protect the strings from dirt and also corrosion – extending their life without damaging their tone.

D’Addario additionally develop other ranges, including their 80/20 Bronze, Nickel Bronze Wound, and Gypsy Jazz strings for a wonderful warm tone. With such a range and also reputation, it’s no wonder D’Addario are so famous via acoustic guitarists around the people.


Elixir is an Amerideserve to string brand also that constantly press the bar as soon as it concerns innovation, and create great strings for electrical, bass, and also – our featured instrument – acoustic guitars.

Establiburned in 1995, they are finest recognized for their coated strings, which use distinct POLYWEB and also NANOWEB coatings to defend the steel from dirt, rust and also corrosion, providing the strings an extensive lifespan – three to five times longer according to Elixir.

In the 90’s their coating innovation was revolutionary and it remains difficult to beat today, although tbelow are subtle distinctions between the 2 coatings.

The original POLYWEB coating offers a warmer, played-in tone, while the ultra-thin NANOWEB coating has a crisper, brighter sound. While their selection of strings is limited in comparichild to others on this list, Elixir offer both POLYWEB and also NANOWEB versions of their 80/20 Bronze string in numerous gauges, with a Phosphor Bronze set featuring the NANOWEB coating.

Many kind of renvery own acoustic guitarists usage Elixir strings, consisting of Massimo Varini, Sarah Jarosz, and the late fingerstyle maestro Pete Huttlinger.


Born way earlier in 1833, Martin are possibly the ideal recognized quality acoustic guitar brand in the human being – so it’s no surpincrease that they make a good acoustic string as well.

The American manufacturers create a myriad of string sets, catering for all kinds of style and also sound, including their best-offering Phosphor Bronze M540 strings, which offer a brilliant and well-balanced tone at a super affordable price.

However before, if it’s pure vintage you’re in search of, Martin’s Retro acoustic strings, made from a corrosion-resistant blfinish of nickel and also copper, provide a crisp however mellow sound that brings out the ideal in your guitar’s tonewoods.

It’s just herbal that top-marketing expert acoustic artists would certainly usage Martin strings, simply like they use Martin guitars. These include Amerihave the right to folk-pop duo Porter & Sayles, Adam Levy, Anthony D’Amato, and also the legendary Eric Clapton.

In truth, Clapton loved his Martin strings so much he now has his very own signature set – Clapton’s Choice 928 made of phosphor bronze and coming in two different gauges – light and medium.

Ernie Ball

The well-known Californian agency are well known for their slinky electrical guitar strings, yet their array of acoustic strings are used by beginner, competent, and also skilled acoustic guitarists across the globe – from Paul McCartney to John Mayer – and are well worth your attention.

Their Earthtimber series gets a lot of praise, as they offer both a wealthy and also warm phosphor bronze string collection, and an 80/20 bronze fill via a crisp, well balanced tone – all through guaranteed freshness many thanks to their wonderful Element Shield packaging.

Elsewright here, their Everlast string series – in either 80/20 bronze or phosphor bronze – is one more to consider, as it provides a thin coating that repels moisture, oil and also dirt, prolonging the strings’ lifeexpectancy.

If you’re not sure of the finest string for you, Ernie Ball’s Acoustic Tone Pack – sold in light or medium-light gauges – offers 3 various packs (Earthhardwood 80/20 Bronze, Earthwood Phosphor Bronze, and their exclusive Aluminum Bronze strings) in one affordable bundle, permitting you to experiment, reap, and also settle on one you love.

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While D’Addario, Elixir, Martin, and also Ernie Ball represent the greatest and also the majority of well-known section on the acoustic guitar string sector, tright here are several others worth considering.

Make sure to inspect out what’s on sell from Fender, Gibkid, DR, Dean Markley, Cleartone, and also GHS in certain.

Guide to Buying The Strings You Really Need

While there’s no genuine reason you can’t simply grab the initially fill of acoustic strings you check out, it’s equivalent to grabbing the first guitar you check out – not a smart relocate.

Yeah, strings are cheaper than a guitar and don’t last as long, yet a good collection of strings that suits your style will certainly give you so a lot even more fun than buying somepoint generic.


Tbelow are numerous factors to think about as soon as purchasing strings. One of the first things you need to look at is the gauge of the collection, which deserve to drastically affect just how the guitar perdevelops.

Typically, lighter gauged strings are much easier to fret and bfinish, and are therefore great for beginners and also fingerstyle players.

They are also well-suited to smaller body forms, such as parlor guitars and also take a trip acoustics, and are vital for vintage guitars as lighter strings exert much less stress and anxiety on the neck – bereason nobody wants a cracked neck or damaged bridge.

In comparison, heavier strings – while slightly harder to play – deserve to offer huge volume, and higher sustain.

An acoustic through a dreadnought body shape – which is designed to offer many resonance – is ideal strung through medium or heavier gauge strings to achieve a louder sound. This is the very same for huge Grand Auditorium-bopassed away guitars.

When it comes to playing formats, strummers are commonly wise to choose a medium to hefty set.

While there’s no specific traditional, a load of light strings would certainly normally have a gauge of approximately .012-.054; a tool set would certainly be roughly .013-.056; and also a heavy collection of strings would certainly come in at about .014-.059.

You deserve to additionally find added light gauges, as well as hybrid sets that market lighter treble strings alongside medium bass strings, which are perfect for bluegrass playing.

It’s worth noting that a light set of acoustic guitar strings (.012-.053) would typically be heavier than a light collection of electric guitar strings (.009-.042), so if you’re making the relocate from electrical to acoustic, bear that in mind.


The product the string is made of is hugely necessary when it pertains to tone. The 2 many renowned materials supplied for acoustic strings these days are bronze and phosphor bronze.

You will certainly normally check out bronze described as 80/20 bronze, as it is made up of 80 percent bronze and also 20 percent zinc.

These 80/20 strings offer a bappropriate and crisp sound, although commonly shed their sheen and tone quicker than other metals. Phosphor bronze strings tfinish to last much much longer, as the metal is safeguarded from oxidization. These are a small warmer in tone compared to 80/20.

You will likewise find aluminum bronze (crisper and clearer than phosphor bronze), nickel bronze (offering a natural, balanced tone), and brass strings, which are bbest and metallic in sound.

A last string to think about is a compound (also well-known as ‘silk and steel’), which is useful for softer playing layouts through a mellow tone.


Coatings additionally play a huge component in the feel and sound of acoustic strings. Some brands – in particular Elixir or D’Addario’s EXP range – sell exceptionally thin coatings that protect the strings from oil, moisture, dirt, and rust, which goes a lengthy way to boosting the lifespan.

These coated strings tfinish to be more expensive to buy, yet – through some lasting as much as five times much longer – they deserve to occupational out more cost-efficient and conserve you time as you don’t have to readjust them so regularly.

What are the Best Acoustic Guitar Strings for Beginners?

Whatever before your style of acoustic guitar, we always recommend a set of light strings for beginners.

‘Light strings’ can refer to a number of different gauges (depending on the brand that produces them), but these tend to be roughly .012-.053 (these numbers refer to the thickness of the string, measured in 1/1000th’s of an inch).

The advantage of lighter strings for beginners is that they take much less push to fret and bfinish, typically resulting in a reduced activity, and also are therefore even more comfortable for softer/weaker fingers.

When it concerns brands, tbelow is no ‘finest brand’ for acoustic guitar strings for beginners, however if you begin via the high quality brands we point out on this web page you have to uncover a set that suits you.

Is There a Difference Between Acoustic and also Electric Guitar Strings?

There definitely is a distinction, so be sure to select acoustic guitar strings as soon as buying for a steel-string acoustic guitar.

The a lot of noticeable distinction between acoustic and electric strings is the materials they are made via. While both will certainly function steel cores, they are frequently wound through different materials.

Acoustic strings – such as the ones we have actually highlighted on this page – will certainly be wound with bronze and also brass alloys, to market a warm tone via excellent volume and also resonance.

In comparikid, electrical guitar strings are typically wound with steel, nickel, cobalt or chromium alloys as the magnetic properties of these steels enable the pickups of an electric guitar to register the correct string vibrations.

Another difference in between strings on acoustic and electric guitars is the gauge (thickness).

Normally, acoustic strings tend to have a heavier gauge, which is vital for great volume and also resonance. As the pickups on an electrical guitar execute many of the occupational, electrical strings are frequently lighter.

As you must be aware, tright here is likewise a difference in between acoustic guitar string. Some will certainly be for a steel-string acoustic and also some will certainly be for a nylon-stringed acoustic (classical).

On this web page we are just highlighting the steel-string array, so if you have actually a nylon-stringed guitar, be sure to visit our page on timeless guitar strings.

Do I Need Different Strings for Acoustic-Electric Guitars?

No – although some brands make specific acoustic-electrical (or ‘electro-acoustic’) strings, utilizing conventional steel-string acoustic strings will certainly job-related simply also.

The reason for this is that electro-acoustics largely usage under-saddle piezo pickups to pick up the sound. These pickup units are non-magnetic, definition the materials of the string don’t play as big a component as an electric guitar.

As we discussed, some string brands perform make strings especially for electro-acoustic guitar, and you may wish to check some of these out. An example of this string style is DR Strings Zebra pack.

When is it Time to Change Guitar Strings?

Tright here is no universal time to change your strings, although many guitarists agree that transforming the strings of your acoustic guitar eexceptionally three months or 100 hours of playing (whichever comes first) is sensible.

You deserve to commonly squeeze a few added months out of coated strings, although it will depfinish on just how regularly you play the guitar and also wright here it is stored.

You have the right to regularly tell as soon as a string change is required. If the strings look discolored or rusty, or if they feel dry and also unpleasant to play with, change your strings. If the guitar sounds lackluster or ‘dead’, readjust the strings. If your guitar appears to slip out of tune routinely, change your strings!

How to Pick Strings for Warm Sounds?

Warmth is just one of those tonal attributes that the majority of acoustic guitarists are chasing and choosing the right strings have the right to play a component (in enhancement to buying a normally ‘warm’ guitar).

It is difficult to explain warmth, as tone is so subjective, however the majority of guitarists are referring to a complete, smooth, thick tone through excellent bass.

A collection of phosphor bronze strings deserve to aid provide this heat tone. Buying coated strings might help as these are said to market a ‘less bright’ tone, but whether or not that amounts to warmth is as much as the individual guitarist to decide.

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The Final Word

Whether you’re buying brand-new acoustic strings for the first time or the hundredth time, you have the right to constantly advantage from shopping approximately to view what’s on the industry – whether it’s a brand-new gauge, new material, or various coating, your perfect string may be the next load ameans.

It’s necessary to save trying and trial and error. At some point you’ll find somepoint that suits you.

When you have actually your brand-new strings you’ll should change them – a process that have the right to be a tiny facility as soon as doing it for the initially time.

Make certain to inspect out the handy video from Fender listed below, guiding you via the string-changing procedure in five minutes.

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