Looking for the best guitar strings for acoustic beginners? Those new to this instrument have enough on their mind as they try to progress quickly. Fortunately, finding the right set of acoustic guitar strings isn’t going to be one of them.
Today, we’re going to address one of the most common questions we get: What are the best acoustic guitar strings for beginners? We’ll explain why getting the best guitar strings for beginner acoustic players is so important. Then, we’ll cover what beginner acoustic guitar players should look for in a set of strings – along with what separates the best from the rest.
Of course, we’ll give you our recommendations for the best acoustic guitar strings for beginners so that you don’t have to play the guessing game or waste your time surfing the web seeking answers. This detailed guide is going to have you feeling confident in your next steps – and you’ll be shredding in no time.
First, though, we want to talk about the importance of carefully selecting your strings as a beginner. To no surprise, the strings you use on your acoustic guitar can make or break your playing experience. Here’s why…
Why Getting the Best Guitar Strings For Acoustic Beginners is so Important
If you’re anything like most beginner guitar players, you probably had someone close to you recommend a set of strings they liked. While that’s helpful, the fact is that what works great for another player might not work as well for you. Beginner players in particular need a very specific type of string. Your buddy who has been playing for decades might have the best intentions in recommending you buy their favorite set of strings. Nevertheless, you need to take into consideration your unique needs.
Every guitarist is different – and so are their preferences. The best way to find the perfect set of acoustic guitar strings for beginners is to experiment with different types until you find a style that compliments your specific playing habits.
Now, this isn’t to say that there aren’t general characteristics that separate good beginner acoustic guitar strings from bad ones. There are a few important things to look for in your acoustic strings as a beginner:
- Easy playability: the strings should be easy on your fingers so that you can practice for hours upon hours with fatigue, blisters, or other discomforts.
- Balanced tone: of course, you want the notes you play to sound good. When you start playing better and better, you’ll be able to hear it yourself – and this realization boosts your self-confidence and drives you to get even better. But to truly appreciate the music you’re playing, you need acoustic guitar strings that sound good on both low and high EQs.
- A long lifespan: when you first start your journey to learn to play the guitar, you’ll have plenty of expenses – the guitar itself, these strings, an amp, speakers, lessons, and other costs. So, you want to at least know you’re getting your money’s worth out of your strings. Seeking a set that has an ultra-long lifespan will kick the can further down the road before you need to pull out your credit card and buy another set.
Look for strings that check off these three boxes and you’ll know you’re getting the best guitar strings for beginners acoustic. But, what specific features should you look for to uncover this perfect pick? We’ll explain below…
What Separates the Best Guitar Strings for Beginners Acoustic From the Rest?
Finding acoustic guitar strings that offer easy playability, a balanced tone, and a long lifespan isn’t easy for beginners – because you don’t really know what to look for. What is the difference between a light vs heavy string gauge? Should you go with coated or non coated strings?
There are so many different features on acoustic guitar strings these days that it can get overwhelming. Let us clear things up for you. Here are some features you should look for to weed out the best guitar strings for acoustic beginners from the rest.
Lighter Gauges Are More Forgiving
The string gauge is the thickness of your string. A light gauge is going to be around 0.10-0.54 while a heavy gauge will be 0.60 and above. As a beginner, you’re going to want to start with a light gauge because they’re easier on your fingers – which will prevent pain or injury from overplaying. As you put in the hours, your fingers will become harder and more resistant to pain – and you can move onto heavier strings. But those virgin fingers are very soft when you first start out – and will be more susceptible to pain/injury.
Lighter gauge strings also have less tension, meaning it takes less strength to actually strum. You’ll be able to player for longer periods of time before your fingers or wrists start to get sore and fatigued. We encourage you to go with anywhere from .10-.13 when first starting out. If you have a cheaper guitar – you may find that the lightest guitar strings (.09, .10, and .11) create a buzzing sound on your guitar. Using a .12 or.13 set of strings will prevent this buzzing.
Silk & Steel Winding Construction is the Easiest to Learn on
There are a few different types of guitar string materials you can choose from. There are steel, bronze, nickel, and other variations of these three primary materials. As a beginner, though, the ideal choice is a combination of silk & steel. Why? Simple – this material is far more gentle on your soft, newbie fingers.
However, they do produce a more mellow sound. So if you’re looking for something a bit brighter, stick with bronze strings. We still recommend starting with silk & steel winding and upgrading to a more abrasive material later on. A great happy medium between sound and playability is a hybrid bronze phosphorus set of strings – which we will include in our list of the best guitar strings for beginners acoustic down below.
Flatwinding is Ideal but Uncommon
When it comes to choosing the best guitar strings for acoustic beginners, the flatwinding style is ideal. It’s not only easier on your fingers, but it also produces less nose as you slide across the strings. This makes it easier to create a clean, crisp sound.
However, these flatwound strings are far less common than their roundwound counterpart. That’s because roundwound strings simply sound better. Nevertheless, we’ve found a flatwound option for you.
Noncoated Strings Last Longer
The next thing you need to decide on is whether you want coated or noncoated strings. Coated strings have an extra layer of protection that helps prolong their lifespan by protecting them from dirt, oil, and other debris. This means you won’t need to replace them as often.
Noncoated strings, on the other hand, don’t have this extra layer of protection. They’re going to be more susceptible to wear and tear – which means you’ll need to replace them more frequently. As a beginner, though, we recommend starting with coated strings because they offer better protection and last longer.
Now, some experts recommend that you use uncoated strings – because your strings degrading faster presents more opportunities for you to try other strings and practice changing them out. This is an interesting point – but we don’t necessarily agree with it. You have plenty of other things to spend your hard earned money on. And, your time is better spent actually playing rather than changing strings out. For these reasons, we recommend the longer lasting non coated strings.
So, What Are the Best Acoustic Guitar Strings for Beginners in 2022?
Now that we’ve gone over what separates the best guitar strings for acoustic beginners from the rest, it’s time to address the question at hand. What are the best acoustic guitar strings for beginners?
Keep in mind – finding acoustic guitar strings that feature all the elements of your ideal strings is unlikely. You may have to compromise on some aspects to satisfy others. As a beginner, your goal should be to find strings that are easy to play. If that leads to some sacrifice in sound quality, that’s perfectly fine. Save the glorious sounding strings for when you’ve mastered your craft!
We’ll cover a few different options that beginners are sure to love below. All our recommendations are close to our idea of “the best acoustic guitar strings for beginners” as it gest: lighter gauges, flatwinding, coating, and silk & steel material. Let’s start off with what we deem to be the overwhelmingly best guitar strings for acoustic beginners: Elixir Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings With NANOWEB Coating, Extra Light
These Elixir strings are the perfect blend of everything we’re looking for in beginner acoustic guitar strings. They have a light gauge, flatwinding, NANOWEB coating, and phosphor bronze/silk & steel material. This offers beginners a great balance of playability, longevity, and sound quality. And at just $18 for a set, the value these strings offer is sensational. Why they lack that “boom” of higher gauge strings, they are perfect for anyone who is just starting out. And make no mistake, they sound incredible in their own right – all while keeping your fingers intact. This rave review says it best:
“I play my acoustic almost everyday, and let me tell you, I am in awe everytime I play my guitar with these strings on them. They resonate a crisp, clean and bright tone that makes any chord or note sound staggering.”
However, there are plenty of other options worth exploring as well – one of which features the ideal material for beginners: silk and steel.
Ernie Ball has made a name for producing the finest guitar strings on the market – so of course we had to include them on this list. And, these acoustic guitar strings offer a lighter gauge silk and steel material – which is perfect for beginners. They also have an 80/20 bronze wrap – giving them a slightly warmer tone than the phosphor bronze wrap of the Elixir strings. These are also quite a bit cheaper at just $11 per set. So, if you’re looking for an affordable option that doesn’t skimp on quality – these could be the perfect acoustic guitar strings for you. Don’t just take our word for it, either. Here’s what someone had to say when we asked them what they thought of these strings:
“Once you play a set of these you will not go back to regular strings. Soft silk and steel is just what you experience on your fingertips making it easier for chords or single fingering up and down the neck.”
Now – if you’re looking for something a bit heavier, but still light enough for beginner fingers, consider the n
Gibson is another legendary name in the guitar world – and for good reason. They know a thing or two about making quality instruments and accessories. And, these coated phosphor bronze acoustic guitar strings feature a medium gauge that’s perfect for players who want a bit more heft to their sound without sacrificing playability. At just $16 per set, they also offer a great middle-ground in terms of price. Not to mention, the coating on these strings will help them last much longer than non-coated options. So, if you’re looking for a bit more volume and power – but still want something light enough for beginner fingers – these could be the perfect acoustic guitar strings for you. Check out this endorsement:
“I tried these Gibsons and, man, so far I am impressed. Nice bold, rich sound and feels really great. I may have to rethink my “go to” string set from now on”
Now, if you’re looking for flatwinding in particular, we’ve got another great choice for you below…
Last but not least, we want to highlight these flatwound, extra-light acoustic guitar strings by D’Addario. The flat, smooth playing surface is perfect for those just getting started – which is ultimately what earned them this spot on our list of the best guitar strings for acoustic beginners. This, paired with the gentle phosphor bronze material, also helps reduce finger noise. The tone is warm and features plenty of sustain. Regardless of your playing style, these are a great choice. Here’s what one lifelong user had to say:
“While I originally used these strings as a beginner, I still use them years down the road. The Flat Tops are much more comfortable for both my left and right hand. Friction noise is reduced quite a bit with my finger-style approach”
Tips for Getting the Most out of the Best Guitar Strings for Acoustic BeginnersFinal Thoughts on the Best Guitar Strings for Beginners Acoustic
That concludes our review of the best guitar strings for beginner acoustic players. We’ve not only explained which strings are best for you – but why they’re the best choice for you. You now know the key characteristics of a beginner player’s ideal set of acoustic guitar strings. So, what are you waiting for? Visit the links we’ve shared and get yourself the quality, playable acoustic strings you deserve – and start progressing fast!