Acoustic Guitar Strings

Guitar Strings

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Choosing Acoustic Guitar Strings

Acoustic guitar strings have changed a lot over time, just like the acoustic guitar itself. In fact, the process is still ongoing today. However, it all began thousands of years ago when materials like animal gut or silk were used for guitar strings. Later on in the 19th century, people began to experiment with steel strings. Steel strings offer a brighter and louder sound but need a stronger guitar body. This led to the development of the modern acoustic guitar as we know it now. Likewise, steel strings became the standard for many genres. More recently, string manufacturers developed coatings, which make the strings more durable.

When you’re looking to buy acoustic guitar strings, choosing the right one is all about personal preference. You need to consider your playing style, skill level, and the type of sound you want to produce. Here we’ll guide you through the basic differences in acoustic guitar strings so you can make an informed decision. Whatever you’re looking for, we have a great selection here at Constellation Musical.


The higher the number you see, the higher the gauge and the thicker the string. This means that with higher gauges, the guitar will be harder to play and the strings harder to bend. But the tone is fuller and sustains longer. A good string set for ease of playing would be the EJ10 from D’Addario, and it’s a best seller too. Another great set is the Elixir acoustic guitar strings 11 52. 11-52 is a pretty standard ‘custom light’ gauge, just one step thicker than ‘extra light’. Once you start getting up to medium, or even heavy gauges, you’re going to need some serious finger strength to play them well. Non-standard and drop tunings quite often use these gauges. Among Fender acoustic guitar strings, this medium set is one of our top recommendations: Fender 70M 80/20 Bronze Medium Acoustic Guitar Strings.


Guitar string coatings are designed to protect your strings from wear and tear. The kind of corrosion that happens when dirt, oil or grease get onto your strings. Maybe you grabbed a slice of pizza while you were practicing… and the rest is history.

Furthermore, acoustic guitar strings are much more vulnerable to damage than electric guitar strings. This is why you’ll see coatings offered for acoustic strings, but rarely for electric strings. Among Elixir acoustic strings, one of our favorites is the Elixir 80/20 Bronze POLYWEB Extra Light set. The POLYWEB coating extends the life of the string while still giving a pleasant warm tone. Another one of our top picks would undoubtedly be from the D’Addario XS string range, like this set: D'Addario XSAPB1047 Phosphor Bronze Extra Light Coated Strings.


If you look hard enough, you’ll find all kinds of unusual materials for acoustic guitar strings. However, the main materials are now phosphor bronze and 80/20 bronze. 80/20 bronze dates back to the 1930s when string gauges became standardized. It’s 80% copper and 20% zinc, so technically brass! 80/20 bronze has a great sound, due to the higher zinc content with a rich acoustic range, being clear and present while not as harsh as stainless steel.

More recently, in the 1970s, phosphor bronze was developed and has become the industry standard. It gets its name from the 1% phosphor combined with 7% tin and 92% copper. This string not only has a great sound but also has improved longevity.

Remember, the best acoustic guitar strings to buy is a personal choice. Give a couple different types a try and see which you prefer!

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