Acoustic Guitars Strings From Music Shop Direct & The Music Box Shop
Often when you visit a music shop for the first time to buy a pack of strings it can be a bit intimidating especially when the shop assistant asks you lots of questions like :-
What type of guitar?
Well do not worry everybody has to learn and if you visit us here at The Music Box Shop our friendly sales staff are always happy to advise on our range of strings, but if you are unable to visit and you are purchasing online we are always happy to give advice over the telephone.
We will do our best to guide you through the choice of strings, so you end up with the right strings to suit you and your guitar.
Here is some simple advice when buying strings for steel strung acoustic guitars:-
Firstly do not be put off by the type of steel strung guitar, the normal steel strung acoustic can often be referred to as a steel acoustic guitar, folk guitar, western acoustic guitar, a jumbo or a dreadnought well the same steel strings fit all of these that includes both full size and ¾ size acoustic steel guitars and steel strung electro acoustics.
The strings used on steel strung acoustic guitars are usually made up as follows the top two strings ( B & E ) are made of single strand wire, but the bottom four strings ( E, A, D, & G ) are single strand wire bound round with usually bronze or phosphor bronze metal wire.
Bronze strings are usually less expensive than phosphor bronze. Phosphor bronze tends to offer a warmer sound with a slightly longer life.
Bronze strings are fine for most beginners and players who regularly change their strings.
Other metals are available and offer different tones, mainly this is the personal choice of individual player and you will need to try experimenting to see if you like the tone these alternatives offer.
You may also be asked if you require coated strings, these have became popular in recent times as they use a coating compound to protect the string from contamination and corrosion and offer an extended life over normal strings, however they do cost approximately twice as much as normal uncoated guitar strings.
Again it is a matter of personal choice if you like the feel of them, so why not try a set at some point. One good use of this type of coated guitar string is if you are the owner of several guitars some of which spend most of their time on the wall not being played, these strings are ideal for this as they last a long time and do not corrode as easily as normal guitar strings.
Next we come to the gauge of strings, acoustic guitar strings are more usually available in three gauges, extra light, light, and medium. Heavy strings are available but few people use these other than some bluegrass guitarists on resonator guitars.
Light gauge is fine for most people. Although if you are starting out as a beginner you might like to go for extra light as these are easier to play.
The heavier the gauge of string usually the better the sound, but they are harder on the fingers to play, so break yourself in on lighter strings and when you have toughened and strengthened up your fingers you can move up a gauge.
The following is a guide to the normal string gauges you might be offered:-
Extra Light .010 - .047
Custom Light .011 - .052
Light .012 - .054
Medium .013 - .056
Heavy .016 - .056 (Resonator guitar)
Please also be aware that guitars are set up for the string gauge that is on them, if you change the gauge of strings used its probably worth getting your local shop to fit the new gauge strings first time and have them set up the guitar properly for the new gauge of strings.
When it comes to brands its really personal choice every guitar player has his favorites so try a few different ones and you will soon find one that you prefer.
Finally how often should you change your strings, well as soon as you notice they loose their tone really, and if they start to discolour, you know its time for a re string. Depending on how often you play depends on how often you will be changing your guitar strings the following is a rough guide but will depend on the type of string being used :-
Usage 3 - 4 hours per day, change strings every 7 to 10 days
Usage 1 hour per day, change strings every 14 to 21 days
Usage 1 hour per week, change strings every 1 to 2 months
Usage seldom, change strings every 3 to 4 months
*The above recommendations are given as a guide only. Should you need further advice or help on acoustic guitar string sizes or are not entirely sure what you need, we suggest a visit to our shop is the best way to find out.
We're always happy to help with any questions you may have. Please feel free to telephone our staff for advice. Tel: 01275 834474.