An End to the String Wars

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I do not want to be the guy who has to decide what guitar strings are best for you. You are your own person, and you should make up your own mind about what you like. I am happy to give my opinion, but that’s all it is. This is a subjective topic; there’s no right or wrong.

I’ve been playing guitar for over 40 years now, and I’ve tried almost every string that I can find. I have opinions on what sounds good, but they’re just that: opinions.

A while back I started a blog called “An End to the String Wars.” The idea was to figure out once and for all which guitar strings were best so we could stop debating it. The results of my research were disappointing, at least in the sense of ending the debate. But they did lead me to some interesting conclusions on how guitar strings work and how you can find the ones that work best for you.

The origin of the String Wars can be traced to the early 1960s. At that time, nearly every electric guitar and bass was sold with nickel-plated steel strings, which were bright and hard. As Lenny Kaye writes in his classic book, “Nuggets”: “When it came to sheer noise, nothing could match these strings.”

Then Bob Dylan went electric. His audiences were not pleased. In response, he plugged in a Fender Stratocaster with heavier-gauge strings. (The gauge refers to the thickness of the string.) The Strats thicker strings were more mellow than those of other guitars at the time–and thus less irritating to some people’s ears–but they also had more volume and sustain. Thus began the quest for better tone.

Guild, a manufacturer based in New Jersey, was one of the first companies to offer medium-gauge strings for sale. Within a few years, Martin and Gibson followed suit. But because different guitars use different scale lengths (the distance from nut to bridge), there was no such thing as a standard medium gauge until 1972, when Fender introduced its own version of these thicker strings.

By then, a bunch of other options had come on the market: flatw

For thousands of years, humanity has been battling the guitar string. The string, as we all know, is a treacherous and corrupting force in the universe. It is like a poisonous serpent that lies in wait for its prey. It is like a tyrannical dictator that rules the world with an iron fist.

It has taken us centuries to fight back. We were able to drive it from our cities; we were able to force it out of our minds; we were able to make guitars whose strings didn’t even touch wood. But only now are scientists on the brink of a solution to this age-old problem. Soon, we will be free from the scourge of the string once and for all.

The first step towards a solution was the invention of “guitar tone.” Guitar tone is when you play your guitar, and then listen to what it sounds like coming out of your amp (or headphones). Ideally, guitar tone should be controlled by something called “your fingers.” Guitar tone should sound like one or more notes being played on a guitar with strings attached to a wooden body (or plastic body, or metal body). It should not sound like explosions, robots, farts, or animals being tortured.

But until recently no one knew how to make

The “String Wars” have raged for decades, with musicians and manufacturers alike campaigning for their preferred string materials. There are many factors to consider when choosing the best strings for your guitar and your playing style, from gauges and materials to coatings and construction methods. In this article, I will explore some of the factors that can determine the ideal strings for a given instrument, player, or musical application.


The gauge of a guitar string refers to its thickness; the smaller the number, the thinner and more flexible the string is. Thinner strings tend to produce a brighter tone, while thicker strings produce a heavier sound. While there are many standard gauges available, some musicians prefer non-standard gauges (known as “custom” or “special” gauges) in order to get a unique sound or feel out of their instrument.

This is an extremely common type of blog post. I annotated it to give you a sense of how to approach such a post.

Guitar Strings are the most important — and often most overlooked — part of your tone. The right string can make a great guitar sound like a great guitar with the right pickups, strings and playing technique. If you’ve been struggling to find that elusive tone or having trouble getting your chords to ring clearly, you may be using the wrong gauge (or brand) of string.

The problem is that there’s no universal answer for what kind of string is ‘right.’ It’s all subjective. Some people like thinner strings because they’re easier on their fingers, some like thicker strings for bigger tone. Some like coated strings for longer life, some prefer uncoated for brighter sound. There are so many factors to consider when choosing your string gauge it can get overwhelming

Our new production technique allows us to manufacture a range of string gauges that are uniform in diameter and tension along the entire length of the string. This means that we have finally solved one of the last remaining problems with guitar strings.

The D’Addario Pro-Arté series is the first classical guitar string with uniformly wound plain strings. These plain strings now match the wound strings in diameter and surface texture, making it much easier to perform left hand slurs. In addition, they are precision drawn and micro-coated on our advanced proprietary machinery. The result is a smooth, polished plain string with excellent intonation.

We are proud to bring this new production technique to you, the classical guitar community.

For the last twenty years, guitarists have been warring over the ideal string for a given style of music. In an attempt to make it easier for you to get the best tone from your guitar and the best playability from your strings, we’ve created this handy guide.

STAY AWAY FROM TINNITUS: I know you like to hit all six strings with your pick if you’re playing metal. But there are much better ways to do this than by intentionally making your strings extremely loud. We suggest that, if you must play metal, you use medium-gauge strings and tune them as low as possible. This will still give you the low, heavy sound that defines metal while also preserving your hearing.

GOING COUNTRY: All country players should use at least 10 gauges in order to get that full, bell-like twang of the steel strings.

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