What are the best electric guitar strings for beginners? If you’re on the hunt for the best beginner electric guitar strings of the year, you’ve come to the right place. We’re going to unveil our recommendations for those just getting started playing electric guitar. Whether you’re shopping for strings on a budget or want the best of the best – we’ve got it here for you on this list. That’s not all, though. We’ll also help you pick the right strings for your unique sound preferences. You’ll learn why we ranked certain strings higher than others, and a whole lot more by the end of this in-depth guide.
The strings you use on your electric guitar make a world of difference. The best guitar, amp, and speakers will sound off without the right strings. This is something you cannot compromise on. Fortunately, with this in-depth resource, you’ll feel confident picking the perfect strings so you can start playing better music, faster. Let’s not waste any more time. First things first – is getting the best strings for beginner electric guitar players really all that important?
Why You Need the Best Electric Guitar Strings for Beginners
If you’re just starting out on electric guitar, you might be wondering why it matters so much which strings you use. After all, how different can they really be? The answer is – a lot. Different strings offer different feels, tones, and levels of playability. They also come in different gauges (thicknesses), which we’ll touch on later.
For beginners, the feel of the strings is especially important. You want something that’s not too stiff or too loose. The tension of the strings also affects how easy it is to bend them. If they’re too loose, they won’t hold their tuning and will be harder to control. If they’re too tight, they’ll be difficult to press down and may hurt your fingers.
The tone of the strings is also something to consider. Different materials and manufacturing processes result in different tones. If you’re looking for a warm, vintage sound – you’ll want something different than if you’re going for a bright, modern tone. And of course, there’s always personal preference to factor in as well.
Last but not least, how easy the strings are to play also varies from one set to another. This has to do with both the gauge and the construction of the strings. We’ll get into more detail on this later, but suffice it to say – some strings are simply easier (and more comfortable) to play than others.
All this considered, you can probably already appreciate why choosing the right strings for your electric guitar is important for anyone – but especially for beginners. If you walk into a guitar store (or shop at one online) and just pick the first set of strings you see, you’ll likely end up disappointed with how they perform. This needn’t be a concern, though. We’re going to help you pick the best electric guitar strings for beginners later on. First, we want to explain our criteria for choosing the best strings for beginner electric guitar players like yourself.
How We Chose the Best Beginner Electric Guitar Strings: Our Criteria Revealed
There are a few key factors we considered when putting together this list of the best electric guitar strings for beginners. In general, the best strings for beginner electric guitar players are lighter, smaller, and easier to play. Learning a new instrument is hard enough – choosing strings that are easier to play allows you to focus on actually learning how to play, rather than fighting through the pain and discomfort of heavier, more complex strings.
With that said, here are a few factors that helped us pick the best strings for beginner electric guitar players:
Ease of Playability
First and foremost, beginners need electric guitar strings that are easy to play. How easy are the strings to press down and bend? Are they comfortable to play for extended periods of time? This is something anyone should consider when buying electric guitar strings – but it’s especially important for beginners.
Think about it like this – when you first start out, you’ll be playing a ton. If your strings cause pain or give you grief, you will quickly regret your decision and you’ll end up replacing them. Or worse – you’ll give up on the hobby too soon. By getting strings that are easier to play, you won’t just save your fingers – you’ll be able to progress faster.
Of course, the tone of the strings is also important. This is a matter of personal preference, but it’s something to consider nonetheless. If you’re going for a vintage sound, you’ll want something different than if you’re going for a modern tone. Consider your music preferences as well. Do you anticipate playing more jazz-style music, or are you going for a classic rock sound? The strings you use will dictate the sounds your guitar makes.
The gauge of the strings (thickness) is another important consideration. Heavier gauge strings are generally louder and have more sustain – but they’re also harder to play. If you’re just starting out, we recommend going with lighter gauge strings until you get a feel for how hard or easy they are to play. You can always move up to heavier gauges later on. Here’s a quick breakdown of how gauges are communicated:
- Extra light: .008, .010, .015, 021, .030, .038
- Light: .009 .011 .016 .024 .032 .042
- Medium: .010 .013 .017 .026 .036 .046
- Heavy: .011 .015 .022 .030 .042 .054
- Extra heavy: 012, .016 .020, .034, .046, .060
Electric Guitar String Materials
Electric guitar strings can be made from a wide array of materials. The most common are:
- Nickel plated steel
- Stainless steel
- Pure nickel
- Cobalt alloy
Each of these materials has unique characteristics that result in different tones. For example, pure nickel strings have a warmer sound, while stainless steel strings have a brighter sound. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which tone you prefer. You should also consider the construction of the string. The two most common types are:
Roundwound strings are made by wrapping wire around a metal core, while flatwound strings have a flat ribbon wrapped around a metal core. Each type has its own unique sound – so again, it’s a matter of preference.
The durability of the electric guitar strings is also important – you want to get ample life out of your strings, after all. Some strings are simply more durable than others and will hold their tuning better over time. If you’re a gigging musician, this is something you’ll definitely want to take into consideration. That is likely not the case as you’re currently a beginner – but, it’s worth keeping in mind nonetheless.
Are the strings priced reasonably, especially considering their quality? This criterion can get a bit tricky. You want to get the most value for your money when buying the best beginner electric guitar strings. But, you shouldn’t shop based solely on price if you can avoid it. Going with the most affordable option will typically result in disappointment, as the strings don’t meet expectations for the other criteria we listed above.
What are the Best Electric Guitar Strings for Beginners in 2022?
Now that you know what we took into account when choosing the best electric guitar strings for beginners, let’s get into the main topic at hand today. What are the best electric guitar strings for beginners? As promised, we’re going to give you a range of products to pick from – no matter your budget, sound preferences, or playing style. We’re going to kick things off with one of the most commonly discussed brands & products when searching for the best beginner electric guitar strings: Thomastik JS112 Medium Light Flatwound Jazz Swing Electric Guitar Strings
Featuring a nickel-plated steel string construction and a flatwound winding, these are an excellent candidate for anyone seeking the best beginner electric guitar strings. They are a bit more expensive than similar strings with these characteristics but are well worth every penny. Not only do they perform better than these cheaper counterparts – but they last far longer, too. This gets you more bang for your buck in the long run.
Just take a look at what a few people who regularly use these strings had to say about them:
“Best Flat wound jazz strings I have found. Pricey, but longevity makes them cost efficient.”
“They really sound great and are easy on the fingers.”
“I’ll buy nothing else from now on for my archtop. So many reviews on these use the word “butter”. Now I see why.”
Now – it’s worth noting that these are designed specifically for jazz sounds. If you’re looking for something else, keep reading – we’ve got it for you down below.
Featuring an ultra-smooth feel and a warm tone, these electric guitar strings are one of the top-rated choices in general – but particularly for beginners. That’s because they have a super light gauge and flatwound construction. Like the previously mentioned set of strings, these can create a unique jazz sound – but they work great for rock as well. Here’s what a few people who use them had to say when asked about these strings:
“Solid responsive sound without hand sliding noise. Smooth comfortable feel. Wound G string sounds amazing. Nice jazz tone”
“Great tone, clarity, and sustain”
“Great for Jazz or old rock. They have that smooth rounded tone…being a flat wound they are dead quiet during movement and seem to last longer than normal strings”
If you’re looking specifically for the best strings for beginner electric guitar players who want to play rock and roll, look no further than this set. They feature a nickel-plated steel wire wrapped around tin-plated, hex-shaped, steel core wire. This contributes to a vibrant, bright, lasting tone with reduced fret wear. These electric guitar strings offer an incredible balance of response, playability, and bendability. Superstars like Eric Clapton, Slash, and more trusted Slinky Strings – why shouldn’t you? When asked what they thought after using these strings for a while, here’s what people like you had to say:
“So far, these are definitely my favorite strings. They’re easy on my fingers and hold up very well. I’ll have trouble trying another brand.”
“Greatest strings ever, they simply sound amazing and I would not buy anything else now”
“I love these strings – they feel great on my fingers so I can play for days, and they have a nice sound to them. Get them!”
We want to leave you with one more product recommendation for the best beginner electric guitar strings: these light NANOWEB coated strings by Elixir. With .010-.046 gauges, these are a great choice for beginners in particular. But, the light gauge isn’t the only reason we love them. they offer remarkable tone life with a full coating of the strings. In terms of sound, the bright, vibrant presence and dynamic punch will win you over fast – and you’ll know you made the right choice. And you don’t just have to take our word for it – here’s what people had to say after taking a chance on these strings:
“They cost three times as much but hold their tone for five times as long..you do the math”
“Once I found Elixir, I’ve never turned back”
“Stays in tune, lasts months, and has the greatest tone and feel”
Final Thoughts on the Best Beginner Electric Guitar Strings of 2022
That concludes our review of the best beginner electric guitar strings of 2022. We’ve given you a few options to choose from. The ideal pick for you will depend on what type of music you want to play, your budget, and how much you play. However, you can’t go wrong with any of the best strings for beginner electric guitar players that we mentioned above. At this point, there’s just one thing left to do – pick the right product for you and get to playing!