Top 5 Best Guitar Strings in 2020 Reviews

Guitar Strings Buying Guide

There are thousands of different guitar strings you can buy, so deciding which are best can be difficult. To make things clear for you, I have made this guitar strings buying guide & review to give you a good idea of what strings you should buy for your guitar.

Guitar strings on Amazon

I’ve included everything there is to know about guitar strings, including different sizes, thicknesses, quality, brands and prices but, first, I would like to show you the best guitar strings that I have discovered while testing more than 200 sets of strings. This will help you find the best electric guitar strings, the best classical guitar strings and the best acoustic electric guitar strings. Let’s get started!

Top 5 Best Classical Guitar Strings

When buying strings for your classical guitar, you have to consider what thickness (also known as ‘gauge’) you are going to buy. I’d always recommend the “medium” thickness, as it is a thickness that sounds really good while still being easy to play with. You may, however, prefer ‘light’ strings, which are easier to play or maybe a ‘heavy’ gauge if you prefer the richer sound. As the classical guitar is an acoustic instrument, without anything to reinforce the sound, thicker string can help produce a stronger sound.

Ernie Ball strings

Ernie Ball makes some very nice strings for the classic guitar. When I used them myself a few years ago, I was extremely pleased with the sound. Therefore, I can highly recommend a set of strings from them.

Martin strings

Martin Strings are very popular. They have a really good sound and last a long time. I’ve used Martin myself strings on my classical guitar and was happy with them.

Top 5 Best Electric Guitar Strings

When buying strings for the electric guitar, you must first consider which genre you are going to play. If you are going to play fast leads and intense rhythms, then I would recommend thin strings. If, on the other hand, you are going to play hard metal, maybe even tuning down in drop D, then you need to grab some thick strings. If you play blues and classic rock, I recommend a set of medium strings. The reason for this is that you often play string bends and, with medium strings, it will be relatively easy to pull the string with your fingers, while maintaining good good. If you play jazz, I would recommend some ticker (heavy) strings, as you typically will not bend notes often or as far, if you do.

Ernie Ball 2721 strings

Ernie Ball is world renowned for their wonderful electric guitar strings. Incredibly, many professional guitarists also use these strings for the simple reason that they are really good. I even play with a set of medium Ernie Ball strings (these) which I would also recommend that you buy.

Top 5 Best Acoustic-Electric Guitar Strings

Again, unfortunately, you also have to decide which strings you should have on your acoustic-electric guitar. This time I will give you two good string sets, both of which I myself use.

Martin MSP7200 strings

We just have to admit that Martin do some great strings, especially for the acoustic-electric guitar. They are very well established in the market. They have a variety of types of strings and this is one of my favourites (my favourite is up next). This set of strings is Phosphor Bronze. The strings have a super sound and longevity.

Martin MSP7000 strings – great sound

I’ve been using these stings myself in recent years. The strings have a wonderfully warm sound that gives you an extra boost when playing the guitar. The MSP7000 strings are definitely my favourite and are my hottest recommendation.

Guitar Strings Buying Guide

The thickness of the guitar strings is crucial for playing the guitar. It is very important that you get the correct thickness from the beginning. Guitar strings are manufactured in a variety of thicknesses. There are both thin and thick strings. However, as I said, the size of the strings has a great impact on playability and sound. If you, as a beginner, get hold of some very thick strings, it could be difficult for you to get a proper sound. To make this clearer, let me explain some advantages and disadvantages of thin and thick strings, respectively:

Thin guitar strings

  • easier to play – especially as a beginner.
  • easier to bend (bending notes).
  • break more easily.
  • do not give as much volume and sustain.
  • can,in some cases, cause buzzing sounds.
  • not as much tension on the guitar’s neck – thin strings are often used on vintage guitars.

Thick guitar strings

  • harder to play – especially as a beginner
  • requires a little more finger power to play and to bend notes
  • gives much more volume and sustain
  • are good for low tunings (eg drop D)
  • puts a lot of pressure on the guitar’s neck

Guitar string sizes and thickness

When you have to go out to buy strings, you are likely to be distracted by the words used by the manufacturers. A lot of different words are used for the thickness of the strings, and the words used can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. When talking electric guitar strings, you mostly use the following sizes:

  • “extra super light”: .008 .010 .015 .021 .030 .038
  • “super light”: .009 .011 .016 .024 .032 .042
  • “light”: .010 .013 .017 .026 .036 .046
  • “medium”: .011 .015 .018 .026 .036 .050
  • “heavy”: .012 .016 .020 .032 .042 .054

For classical guitar strings, the different sizes are as follows:

  • “extra light”: .010 .014 .023 .030 .039 .047
  • “customlight “: .011 .015 .023 .032 .042 .052
  • “light”: .012 .016 .025 .032 .042 .054
  • “medium”: .013 .017 .026 .035 .045 .056
  • “heavy”: .014 .018 .027 .039 .049 .059

For acoustic-electric guitars, the following materials can be used:

  • Bronze (has a clear and bright tone, but quickly gets worn)
  • Phosphor Bronze (warmer and darker sound than bronze. Still quite a bright sound and longer lifetime than bronze. This thickness is my personal favorite)
  • Brass (has a light and slightly metallic sound)
  • The polymer-coated (the sound of these strings it not very light. They are very dark and warm)
  • Silk and Steel (This variety gives a very delicate sound and tone. Silk and Steel is popular among fingerstyle guitarists)

Change strings on your newly purchased guitar!

It’s not always necessary to change guitar strings right away but, in many cases, the strings included with the newly purchased guitar are of really poor quality. Therefore, I recommend buying a new set of strings right away.

Try different guitar strings

You may not find the perfect strings right away. You’ll have to try out different sets to find your favourite but I’m sure you will eventually succeed. You can make a start by looking at the strings I have recommended above. Finally, I just want to remind you that changing strings can be an annoying task, but I can promise you that the sound of a fresh set of strings is one of the best!

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