Guitar Strings

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Guitar Strings information

As you're probably aware, guitar strings are those metal or nylon 'wires' that you find pulled tight between the bridge and headstock of a guitar. Since they're what allows a guitar to make any sound at all, you could say that they're pretty essential. There are also many different kinds to choose from.

Picking Out Guitar Strings

At Bax Music, you'll be able to find a near-infinite list of guitar strings made by big names like Martin or D'Addario. You can pick up single strings or complete packs of strings, and you can browse strings made from various different materials and in various different gauges (string diameter). In short, you can find exactly the right strings for you and your guitar. But to offer a little guidance on the matter, here's a quick explanation of how and why guitar strings are different at all.

Nylon Strings

Nylon guitar strings are, as the name suggests, made from nylon and are exclusively designed for classical or Spanish guitars. Nylon strings are more flexible than metal strings, so less force is needed to hold down notes and chords, making them a great starting point for beginner guitarists. Never try nylon strings on any model other than a classical or Spanish guitar - it simply won't work.

How much do guitar strings cost?

The price of a pack of guitar strings varies. For example, it simply makes sense that a pack of eight strings will cost more than a standard pack of six strings. You'll also notice that more expensive guitar strings feature more expensive materials, but luckily, a pack of good guitar strings don't have to be expensive and there's plenty of choice for every budget. Ultimately, how a set of strings feels beneath your fingers is the biggest deciding factor, and not which brand of string is better than another.

Acoustic Guitar Strings

When playing an acoustic guitar, the vibration of the strings as you strum or pick them is naturally amplified by the hollow resonance box or body. Different strings will have different features designed to enhance this effect as well as the playing feel. Almost all acoustic guitars are strung with steel guitar strings, and these come in countless variants made by countless brands. Acoustic guitars should never be confused with classical guitars, which require nylon strings. Getting it wrong will lead to bad tuning problems and even damage, so make sure to get the right strings for your type of guitar.

Electric Guitar Strings

Naturally, electric guitarists are offered just as much choice as acoustic guitarists when it comes to strings. Unlike acoustic guitars, the strings of an electric guitar aren't amplified by a big, completely hollow body. Instead, one or more pickups are fitted. These are little electro-magnets that register the vibration of the strings and send the sound in the form of a signal to a connected guitar amplifier.

Changing Guitar Strings

Thankfully, changing guitar strings isn't that hard. It takes about ten minutes and you can easily do it yourself. For help learning to change the strings of your guitar, see our dedicated guides:

> How to Change Electric Guitar Strings
> How to Change Acoustic Guitar Strings
> How to Change Classical Guitar Strings

After changing your guitar strings, you're likely to notice that the sound of your guitar is freshened up and has more sparkle to it. This is because the sound of guitar strings naturally dulls over time. To extend the lifespan and keep the sound fresh for longer, you can give the strings a wipe very now and then and keep your instrument in a dry place. To make changing the strings easier and to speed up the process, you could also pick up some handy guitar tools.

Frequently Asked Questions About Guitar Strings

What are the strings of a guitar called?

The strings are named according to the tuning, so the strings of a six-string guitar are: E, A, D, G, B and E.

What strings do I need for my guitar?

If you count the number of machine heads fitted on the headstock of your guitar, then you know how many strings your guitar needs. Usually it'll be six, and you can pick up a complete pack of six strings. If you're unsure, a good standard gauge (string diameter) to go for is medium or regular.

What kind of strings does a Spanish guitar have?

A Spanish guitar always has nylon strings.

How do you change guitar strings?

Start by loosening all of the old strings by turning the buttons of the machine heads. Once completely loose, you can cut the strings in half to make them easier to remove from the bridge and unwind from the machine heads. Now, you can slot each of your fresh strings, one by one, into the bridge and wind them (not too tight!) into the corresponding machine head. Now, you can tune up your guitar before carefully pulling on each string to stretch it out a little. Tune up and repeat the process until your guitar stays perfectly in tune. For more detailed instructions, see our blog.

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