Playing the guitar can be an amazing escape from the stress of daily life, and is a great way to help build confidence, develop coordination, and improve memory. It can also make you happier! The joy and adrenaline you feel when you master a tricky solo is unmatched.
When playing the acoustic guitar, choosing the right strings is crucial. You need to look for the perfect strings for your individual playing style.
Why are the right strings crucial for your guitar?
Strings for strummers are quite different from strings for pickers in terms of thickness and durability. With thick strings, you might find it more difficult to play your guitar. On the other hand, thin strings might give away right when you’re playing a classic bend.
The sheer amount of options available makes finding the best acoustic guitar strings difficult. Check out our list of the 20 best acoustic guitar strings on the market today to help you choose the right set of strings that suit your playing style and fit your budget.
20 Best Acoustic Guitar Strings
- Ernie Ball Aluminum Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings
Ernie Ball’s Aluminum Bronze acoustic guitar strings are some of the best acoustic guitar strings you can buy. As the name suggests, the steel core is covered with an aluminum bronze winding. The sturdy strings reduce the chances of corrosion due to finger sweat, humidity, or temperature changes. Additionally, unlike the coating found on most strings, Ernie Ball Aluminum Bronze acoustic strings have an aluminum oxide wrapping to offer uncompromised protection. We placed them at number one on our list for their durability and quality, but also because they are suitable for all types of guitar players.
- D’Addario’s Nickel Bronze Strings for Acoustic Guitars
These guitar strings from D’Addario are the best acoustic guitar strings for full-band guitarists. If you’re not a fan of coated strings, these will appeal to you. D’Addario’s Nickel Bronze strings have a high carbon steel core and a nickel-plated phosphor bronze winding. With these uncoated guitar strings, you get the best sound, tone clarity, and crispness.
- Fender Dura-tone Acoustic Guitar Strings
Unfortunately, guitar strings become susceptible to short life spans and changes in tuning stability due to heat and humidity. Having more than one player use the same guitar can also impact string life. Fender coats their guitar strings with their patented ‘Dura-tone’ formula to add longevity compared to regular, untreated strings and avoid these issues.
- Martin ‘Clapton’s Choice’ Acoustic Strings
Renowned guitarist Eric Clapton’s signature strings will help you curate your own unique style. These strings have a phosphor bronze winding, and are known for their consistency and reliability.
- Ernie Ball Earthwood Phosphor Bronze
These Ernie Ball strings are uncoated and have a phosphor bronze winding on a brass-plated steel core, making them one of the most popular guitar strings for acoustic guitars.
- Elixir Nanoweb 80/20 Bronze
Elixir has carved a niche in the market with their patented strings formula. They offer specially coated steel core strings with the same protection levels and features as regular polymer coatings. In addition, the 80/20 bronze winding of the strings has a Nanoweb coating.
- Gibson Masterbuilt Premium Acoustic Strings
These strings come from the house of another reputed manufacturer, Gibson. They are available in 80/20 with a phosphor bronze coating. The strings will provide a robust sound with crystal clear tonality.
- Martin Authentic Acoustic Superior Performance
Martin’s Authentic acoustic string series is available in multiple curated packs. You can purchase a Retro pack with Monel wrapping or Tommy Emmanuel’s customized gauges, or the regular 80/20 Phosphor Bronze Superior Set.
- D’Addario XT Acoustic Guitar Strings
D’Addario’s XT line of strings is reputed for their stability and advanced coating technology. It’s available in 80/20 bronze and phosphor bronze options.
- Dean Markley’s Blue Steel Acoustic Guitar Strings
These strings are an innovative product from Dean Markley. The Blue Steel strings are cryogenically frozen in liquid nitrogen before packaging. According to the manufacturer, this technique brings the molecules closer to minimize the microscopic gaps where dirt and sweat can accumulate.
- DR Strings Dragon Skin Acoustic Guitar Strings
These strings from DR are best suited for guitarists with sweaty fingers. They have a strong steel core which is K3 coated and a phosphor bronze winding.
- D’Addario EXP
These guitar strings are one of the highest quality acoustic guitar strings available with EXP-coated phosphor bronze. In addition, they offer the right balance between uncoated and coated strings.
- Elixir Nanoweb HD Light
These strings are considered among the best in coated strings with a Nanoweb-coated phosphor bronze that will ensure that they last for a long time.
- Martin SP Lifespan
These strings are another product from the guitar legend Martin, with an enhanced Superior Performance (or SP) lifespan. Built around ultra-pure steel SP core wires, these strings fit all playing styles. It’s available in 80/20 and phosphor bronze sets.
- Ernie Ball 2564 Aluminum Bronze
Another superior product from Ernie Ball, these strings have a Maraging steel hex core wrapped with aluminum and copper. They promise a longer life than traditional bronze strings, without the coating.
- Martin Retro Monel Vintage Tone
These strings were launched in 2014, and are still considered one of the best on the market. They are made of Monel that has a nickel-based alloy blend. This creates a warm tone that enhances the inherent sound of your acoustic guitar. In addition, the strings have a longer lifespan than the phosphor bronze or the regular 80/20 options.
- Ernie Ball’s Earthwood Extra Soft Silk & Steel
Ernie Ball’s Earthwood Extra Soft Silk & Steel is an innovative product designed to maximize the comfort level of guitarists with finger issues. The Earthwood range has core strings in 80/20 bronze with a layer of ‘Extra Soft Silk and Steel iteration,’ making it easier on your fingers while strumming.
- D’Addario Pro-Arte Laser Selected Classical Strings
D’Addario’s laser guitar strings take string manufacturing technology to new heights, as they are made of a core of silver-plated copper wrap for wound strings and nylon for treble strings.
- Gibson’s Master Built Premium Phosphor Bronze
Gibson’s acoustic guitar strings may lack the innovative technology of some of the others on this list, but they are robust, reliable strings at a bargain price.
- La Bella Vapor Shield Strings
These strings from La Bella are a technologically advanced alternative to coated acoustic strings. They are made of phosphor bronze using an Ionic Vapor Process which helps add extra life to the strings.
Acoustic guitar strings come in a variety of materials and gauges. Thicker strings are durable and will sound fuller. They have a more rounded low end and tend to have a louder balance. However, it is easier to handle lighter gauge strings. For players who are starting to learn the guitar, thick gauges can prove to be challenging. For seasoned strummers, heavier strings might be a better option. We recommend picking up a few string options and experimenting to find your perfect fit!
If you’d like to learn more about playing guitars, why not read more articles on the BYJU’S FutureSchool blog? BYJU’S FutureSchool also has a research-based music curriculum that incorporates fun and engaging interactive challenges and projects that broadens students’ musical skills and creativity. Sign up for a FREE trial class to check it out.