5 Best Acoustic Guitar Strings (That’ll Help You Avoid Sounding Awful)

Gear & Tech Reviews

5 Best Acoustic Guitar Strings (That'll Help You Avoid Sounding Awful)

Discover the best acoustic guitar strings for beginners to experienced, for blues to bluegrass.

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best acoustic guitar strings to buy for picking strumming

If you're an acoustic guitar player after acoustic guitar strings you're going to love what we have in store for you. 

You know how vital the right strings are for your acoustic. They will make or break not just your guitars tone, but how effortless it feels for you to play.

Whether you're after light gauge, medium or heavy, all out top picks come in every thickness you could desire.

So come on and let us show you the very best acoustic strings you can buy today.

Over To You: What guitar strings do you use and why would you recommend them? Let us know in the comments at the end.

Acoustic Guitar Strings FAQ

  What should I think about when buying acoustic strings?

   The Top 5 factors you need to consider are:

  • gauge : here we're talking about how thick the strings are. Lighter strings are easier on your fingers and produce a crisp bright tone as opposed to heavier strings which beginners may find a pinch unkind on their fingers.
  • material : the 3 most popular string metals are phosphor bronze, silk & steel and 80/20 (80% copper, 20% zinc). How crisp and bright your strings sound is greatly determined by the metal used. Cheaper strings for example can corrode after a short time.
  • winding : this is to do with how the wire wraps around the core of the string. There are 3 main methods; flat-wound, round-wound and half-wound. Round-wound are the most common type used, with half-rounds being the least used.
  • string coating : By coating strings in a micro-thin coating such as nanoweb and polyweb, your strings can not only last several times longer than non coated ones, but the tone and feel of the strings is greatly enhanced too.
  • string core : The 3 lower thick strings on your guitar (E,A,D & sometimes the G) have a solid wire core. Round Core give sustain warmth and flexibility, whilst Hex Core strings are usually bright with strong attack but less sustain.
best acoustic guitar strings elixir

Are you sick of strings hurting your fingers and making your practice time a drag? Time to change your strings to Elixir's then. A fantastic brand of strings suited to many styles of music including blues, bluegrass, and folk style acoustic guitar playing.

Elixir strings come with a nanoweb or polyweb coating making them feel silky smooth and a dream to play. Furthermore, because they are coated, they really do last at least 3-4 times longer than cheaper un-coated string brands.

Due to the superior materials and coating, these Elixir acoustic guitar strings hold their tuning beautifully too. From phosphor bronze to 80/20 bronze we urge you try Elixir coated acoustic guitar strings...

You'll probably never go back to your old uncoated strings again.

What The Manufacturer Says

  • Only coated string brand to protect the entire string with an ultra-thin coating, keeping gunk out of the gaps between the windings
  • Extended Tone Life – players report their tone lasts longer than any other string, uncoated or coated
  • Consistent performance and tone – ready to play whenever you are

Best acoustic guitar strings to buy D'Addario Coated 80:20 Acoustic Strings

With their  micro-coated string wrapping, these D'Addario EXP 80/20 Bronze strings make your acoustic guitar sound crystal clear and feel gorgeous to play. If you're sick of your guitar strings feeling brittle and sounding dull after just a week of use, invest in these coated  D'Addario strings.

Whether you're playing at home, recording or gigging, the tone of the D'Addario EXP11 coated strings are some of the best acoustic guitar strings you could buy and a top choice for any acoustic player who wants their strings to last 3-4 times longer.

What The Manufacturer Says

  • D'Addario EXP strings are created using advanced proprietary machinery
  • The string lifespan is a minimum of 4 times longer
  • The NY Steel deliver the natural, vibrant sound of regular phosphor bronze
  • An ultra-fine layer of EXP Coating is bonded to the 80/20 bronze wrap

Best acoustic guitar strings for bluegrass? D'Addario EJ19 Phosphor Bronze Bluegrass: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

best acoustic guitar strings to buy Ernie Ball Earthwood Acoustic Guitar Strings

If you're after cheap as chips traditional non-coated strings, first we'd ask you why on earth is that? Joking aside though, these Ernie Ball acoustic strings are well loved industry standard strings you can trust if you're on a tight budget.

The 80% copper 20% zinc Earthwoods help the sound resonate from your acoustic producing a clean and fresh tone and despite them being non-coated, they don't feel too bad to play.

What The Manufacturer Says

  • 80/20 bronze wrap wire
  • Bright balanced tone
  • Superior clarity
  • Crafted in Southern California, USA. featuring the finest and freshest materials

Best acoustic guitar strings rotosound nxa acoustic guitar strings

Our third pair of coated acoustic guitar strings, the Rotosound Nexus clear coated phosphor bronze give a bright punchy tone. Because changing strings is a real bore, do yourself a favour and pay that little bit extra for strings that give you longer life and better sound too boot.

Most users report the strings stay vibrant and full of life even when they have been on the guitar for months and the lighter gauge options are more forgiving on your fingers. Happy days.

What The Manufacturer Says

  • The clear polymer coating allows for a more subtle tone
  • Subdued finger noise & highly resistant to perspiration from the players hands
  • Legendary British tone

Best nylon classical guitar strings? D'Addario Pro-Arte: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk

best beginner acoustic guitar strings that don't hurt fingers

Thanks to the phosphor bronze, the Martin SP acoustic guitar strings will make your guitar playing sparkle. Whether you're fingerpicking or strumming big chords, the sound from these strings is balanced from the bass strings to the treble.

Whether you're finger picking or plectrum strumming these strings are great value for money with a sound that projects nicely and a feel that won't tire your fingers out after a long practice session.

What The Manufacturer Says

  • Available in 80/20 Bronze and Phosphor Bronze
  • Made from a 92/8 composition alloy to give brilliance and clarity
  • Rich basses and clear bright trebles 

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