Whether you play loud and crazy rock and roll music that would make Jimi Hendrix proud, or you play more mellow sounds like Bob Dylan, you know that the strings used on your guitar can make all the difference. Guitar strings come in different weights that determine the amount of tension, which relates to the way your music sounds. You’ll also find that some manufacturers specially coat their strings for better sound quality. Find the best strings for practices, stage shows or playing with friends with a look at the top 10 guitar strings currently available from the world’s top manufacturers.
1. D’Addario EJ16-3D Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings
Available in a pack of three, these guitar strings are perfect for those who always want to prepare themselves. With three strings, you’ll have enough to replace your broken string and leftovers for future gigs. D’Addario offers these strings in a light weight version for those who prefer a more crystal and clear sound. The brilliant and bright tone that you get from one of these packs is suitable for harder rock music or lighter folk music.
2. Elixir Strings Acoustic 80/20 Bronze Guitar Strings with NANOWEB Coating
Elixir makes the list of the top guitar strings with this set, which comes in a lighter weight option too. An extremely thin NONOWEB coating added to the surface of each string provides you with the sound that you desire while protecting your strings too. That coating keeps the strings from breaking and lets each one last longer without interfering with your sound. Elixir added steel accents that won’t rust too.
3. Ernie Ball 2146 Earthwood Medium Light Acoustic Phosphor Bronze String Set
When you want a lighter sound that will appeal to audience members of all ages, you want strings like this set from Ernie Ball. Long called one of the top string manufacturers in the world, artists like The Counting Crows use strings just like these while on the road. Made from natural materials that go through minimal processing, these strings produce the light and earthy notes that you might think you can’t get from your acoustic guitar.
4. Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Nickel Wound Bass Set
Ernie Ball makes its second appearance on the list of the top guitar strings with its Slinky Nickel Wound Bass Set. Designed for players who like customizing their strings to fit their unique instruments, this set comes in smaller sizes that range from between .050 and .105 to fit acoustic guitars of various sizes. A carbon steel core in the center of each string produces the rich notes that you want to hear while playing.
5. D’Addario EXL160 Nickel Wound Bass Guitar Strings
No matter what type of music you want to play, you’ll want strings like this D’Addario set for electric guitars. These longer than average strings are great for customized guitars and electric models that have a longer fingerboard. Made from a steel wire that the manufacturer then wraps with a nickel plating, these are the strings that you use when you want to channel some of your favorite rock stars while on stage or at home.
6. DR Strings Bass Strings, Black Beauties
Guitarists often choose strings from DR because they like the crisp sound that get from those strings. That crisp sound is especially prevalent when you use a set like the Black Beauties. DR designed its Black Beauties for players who take their craft seriously and want to produce professional sounding music. DR makes each of its strings by hand from ordinary materials wrapped in metal before adding its trademark light coating on each one.
7. D’Addario EJ45 Pro-Arte Nylon Classical Guitar Strings – Normal Tension
Nothing will make you feel more like a professional guitarist than using the Pro-Arte guitar strings from D’Addario. Unlike other strings that have a metal core that can sound tinny or too quiet, these strings feature a nylon core that gives you the precise sound and quality that you want every time. These strings, which come in a normal tension design, come in multiple sizes to fit different instrument types, including bass guitars and treble guitars.
8. D’Addario EJ43 Pro-Arte Nylon Classical Guitar Strings – Light Tension
Musicians often use normal tension strings when playing on stage and playing traditional rock music, but those who want a softer and more folksy or bluesy sound reach for light tension strings like this Pro-Arte set from D’Addario. Made for classic guitars, a set of these nylon strings will let you play everything from Johnny Cash to songs from Mumford and Sons without missing a beat.
9. D’Addario EJ47 80/20 Bronze Pro-Arte Nylon Classical Guitar Strings
The Pro-Arte from D’Addario is one of the biggest selling lines of guitar strings in the world today. While you may have a hard time deciding which set is right for you, many professional and amateur artists choose this normal tension set for everyday playing. Unlike metal strings that can leave your hands aching, D’Addario makes these strings from nylon. The nylon produces a softer and smoother sound that matches the popular music of today.
10. Elixir® Strings Electric Guitar Strings with NANOWEB® Coating
These light guitar strings from Elixir provide guitarists who prefer electric models with powerful strings that work with their guitars and amps. Like others from Elixir, this set features a NANOWEB on the exterior of the strings that keeps the strings from breaking. Elixir also uses a anti-rusting coating that keeps the metal strings in good condition and keep rust from forming to let you play longer and louder.