The Best Electric Guitar Strings - 6 String Sets

The Highest Rated Electric Guitar Strings

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Strings are things very personal to the user. With the advent of new manufacturing techniques, never before have we had this much choice in what our strings are made of and how they are made.

Not only are there innovations in coating technologies that extend the life of electric guitar strings significantly, much research has been made about how different materials affect the tone and feel of your guitar.

Let's take a look at the highest rated electric guitar strings on the market today along with some personal choices from the Gearank Team.

The Best Electric Guitar Strings

Author & Contributors

Alden Acosta Alden Acosta

I'm a drummer and former lead guitarist of the band Callalily, a platinum selling multi-awarded band from the Philippines. I also studied music for 6 years majoring in percussion and jazz studies with a minor in classical piano.

Extra Super Light Gauge

D'Addario EXL130 Nickel Wound

96
GEARANK

96 out of 100. Incorporating 650+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$6
D'Addario EXL130 Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings (Extra Super Light Gauge)
At publication time this was the Highest Rated Set of Extra Super Light Gauge Electric Guitar Strings

Cons

  • Not enough brightness for some

Pros

  • Excellent play feel
  • Keeps in tune well even when used with locked bridge setups

It's hard to talk about strings and not mention D'Addario, with their worldwide market presence and their legacy as one of the pioneers of winding machines.

Their continued popularity in all-things guitar strings is corroborated by the high ratings that strings like EXL130 receive, which in turn helped the company secure multiple slots in this guide.

The EXL 130 is an extra light gauge set, part of their popular nickel wound line.

Given its thin gauge high E string at .008 and low E String at .038, expect this set to be easy on the hands.

Specifications

  • Gauge: Extra Super Light (008, .010, .015, .021, .030, .038)
  • Core Material: High Carbon Steel Alloy
  • Winding Material: Nickel-Plated Steel
  • Winding Type: Round Wound
  • Coated: No

Rating Source Highlight

Website Source *Rating Value
Youtube Nazereth666 90/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Overall
The D'Addario EXL130 Nickel Wound is a great feeling, extra super light set of strings. If you need the dexterity and clarity of thin nickel strings, this is a great affordable choice.

D'Addario NYXL0838 Nickel Wound

95
GEARANK

95 out of 100. Incorporating 450+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$13
D'Addario NYXL0838 Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings (Extra Super Light Gauge)

Cons

  • Can still rust like regular uncoated strings

Pros

  • Strong and bright sound
  • Highly polished feel

The NYXL0838 is a set that features D'Addario's "New York Steel" as its main material, which is more reliable and durable than conventional steel strings.

The windings use a reformulated nickel plating with enhanced magnetic properties. This results in better output and improved midrange response, these aspects are important when it comes to thin gauge sets.

While other strings approach the issue of durability through some sort of coating, this can have the disadvantage of making the strings feel ever so slightly different from normal uncoated strings. The NYXL series of D'addario takes a different path to extend the life of the strings by using a high-carbon steel core and plain steel alloy combined with the reformulated nickel-plated string windings.

Although they do last longer than older formulations, they are still susceptible to rust and other types of "gunking up". It is best to wipe the strings down like you would normally do with other uncoated strings.

Note that the materials used in this set impact the pricing, which is higher than that of regular sets.

Specifications

  • Gauge: Extra Super Light (.008, .010, ..015, .021, .030, .038)
  • Core Material: Steel
  • Winding Material: Nickel Plated Steel
  • Winding Type: Round
  • Coated: No

Rating Source Highlight

Website Source *Rating Value
GuitarMasterClass Storm Linnebjerg 96/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Overall
If you like what D'addario brings to the table and want to try a premium option for the 8-38 gauge strings, then give the NYXL0838 a go.

Super Light Gauge

Ernie Ball 2223 Super Slinky Nickel Wound

96
GEARANK

96 out of 100. Incorporating 34700+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$7
Ernie Ball 2223 Super Slinky Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings (Super Light Gauge)

Cons

  • Lose their brilliance quickly

Pros

  • Great feel
  • Widely available

Throughout the many years of my electric guitar playing journey I have had the privilege (and sheer curiosity) to try all sorts of strings. But the Ernie Balls hold a special place of nostalgia for me because these were the first "proper" strings that I tried.

The Ernie Ball "Super Slinky" 2223 strings are the 9-42 gauge variant of their Slinky Nickel Wound series featuring a hex-shaped tin plated steel core wrapped with a nickel-plated steel wire providing a balanced tone, attempting a versatile voicing that's not too bright or dark.

They definitely have a unique feel to them and like an old perfume instantly transported me to a different time, the moment I first tried an electric guitar with a fresh set of quality strings.

They have a sound that I would describe as springy, there's a charming bounce to the feedback of the strings and the characteristic lightness for its gauge makes fretting chords a breeze.

One thing that hasn't changed throughout the years is the quickness with which this set runs out of brilliance and is possibly one the reasons I went string hopping in the first place. If you're thinking about maining these strings I would stock up on at least 3 sets for backup and replace them whenever there is a critical task at hand such as a gig or a recording session.

Specifications

  • Gauge: Super Light (.009, .011, .016, .024, .032, .042)
  • Core Material: Tin Plated Hex Steel
  • Winding Material: Nickel Plated Steel
  • Winding Type: Round
  • Coated: No

Rating Source Highlight

Website Source *Rating Value
Gearank Alden Acosta 90/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Overall

These are good, although I'm not pledging my undying fealty to this set. There is something to be said about these classic strings and they can be used as a jump-off point to find what strings will suit your needs and preferences.

D'Addario NYXL0942 Nickel Wound

96
GEARANK

96 out of 100. Incorporating 1850+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$13
D'Addario NYXL0942 Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings (Super Light Gauge)

Cons

  • Sound too bright for some
  • Can still rust like regular uncoated strings

Pros

  • Excellent tuning stability
  • Long lasting freshness and durability
  • Smooth and sensitive feel

Inspired by the steel strings used to stabilize and secure bridges, D'Addario decided to improve on the materials that they use in strings. And so they came up with their "New York" line of strings, which the NYXL0942 is part of.

Thanks to its high carbon steel core, this set is designed to be more durable, while still retaining a thin gauge.

They also feature reformulated nickel plated windings which improve how the strings respond to the magnets of your pickups, which translates to better output and more midrange frequencies.

The specially designed winding is also designed to improve tuning stability, which in turn improves overall playing experience.

Specifications

  • Gauge: Super Light (.009, .011, .016, .024, .032, .042)
  • Core Material: Steel
  • Winding Material: Nickel Plated Steel
  • Winding Type: Round Wound
  • Coated: No

Rating Source Highlight

Website Source *Rating Value
Squier Talk Biddlin 96/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Overall
The NYXL strings make a couple of appearances in this guide. The great playing feel, durability and tuning stability have pleased many guitarists who made the switch. If you don't like feel of coated strings but would like an upgrade in these domains and don't mind the premium price, the NYXL0942 strings might just become your new favorite set.

Light Gauge

D'Addario EXL110 Nickel Wound

95
GEARANK

95 out of 100. Incorporating 18750+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$6
D'Addario EXL110

Cons

  • It’s trebly voicing can sound thin and be drowned out in band settings
  • Requires a bit of tone and EQ tweaking to tame some of the highs
  • Will lose some of its treble as it ages

Pros

  • Bright tone that works great with R&B, pop and similar styles
  • Tension is not that much higher compared to 9s
  • Smooth playing feel
  • Consistent quality fresh strings pack after pack
  • Widely available

The EXL110 is a non-coated gauge 10 set, part of the company's long running XL Nickel line that was first introduced in 1974. It features hex shaped cores wrapped in nickel, which improve the structural integrity of strings, resulting in better tuning stability and longevity.

Since I've been using this set for a long time, it has become the standard set by which I compare everything else. And while I appreciate the difference in tone and feel that other strings provide, the EXL110 continues to hold its own in terms of quality, tone and reliability.

Strat with EXL110 Strings
EXL110s on Alexander's Strat

"Bright Tone" is printed on the upper left portion of the packaging, and it correctly describes the EXL110's voicing. It has clear sparkly highs that work great with single-coil guitars, even the bass strings have some zing to them. This is the reason why I love using this on my Strat, especially when I'm playing pop, R&B and similar styles. On the flipside, while trebly strings sound good when playing alone, it can sound thin and be drowned out in band settings. And because I got so used to its bright voicing, it took me a while to realize this problem, and to appreciate other balanced and warmer voiced strings. Thankfully, excess treble can be remedied by tone and EQ adjustments.

The EXL110 has a light feel that makes it easy to play, and to me, this is its main advantage over my other string choices. My fretting hand hurts less with this, compared to other similarly spec'ed 10-46 gauge sets from other brands. Those who are used to 9s will find that riffs and chords will not be much of a problem, but they will feel the extra tension of its thicker gauge when bending. I also find that it has a smoother feel, which makes it easier to do slide, hammer-on and pull off techniques.

Specifications

  • Gauge: Light (.010, .013, .017, .026, .036, .046)
  • Core Material: High Carbon Steel
  • Winding Material: Nickel-Plated Steel
  • Winding Type: Round
  • Coated: No

Rating Source Highlight

Website Source *Rating Value
Gearank Alexander Briones 95/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Overall

If you're looking for a widely available bright sounding 10 gauge set, or if you're looking to go beyond the usual 9s, then the D'Addario EXL110 is perfect for you.

Ernie Ball 2221 Regular Slinky Nickel Wound

95
GEARANK

95 out of 100. Incorporating 32850+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$7
Ernie Ball 2221 Regular Slinky Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings (Light Gauge)

Cons

  • Freshness doesn't last long; can rust easily
  • Has a break-in period before staying in tune

Pros

  • Signature slinky feel and sound favored by many professional guitarists
  • Relatively affordable

The Ernie Ball 2221 is part of their highly rated Slinky series. It features nickel-plated wound strings designed to produce balanced tone and improved intonation.

The core is made from tin-plated high carbon steel hex wire, which allows the binding to better attach itself on the to core, resulting in improved durability.

Another important feature of this set is the use of lock twists around the ball end of the plain strings, which further enhances strength and stability.

Specifications

  • Gauge: Light (.010, .013, .017p, .026, .036, .046)
  • Core Material: Steel
  • Winding Material: Nickel-plated Steel
  • Winding Type: Round
  • Coated: No

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
Reviewing This Editor 87.5/100
YouTube Jake Pool Music 88/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Overall
The Ernie Ball 2221 Regular Slinkys are a great set of strings and have been a gold standard for many years. If you don't mind replacing your strings often, these are comfortable, balanced sounding strings that won't break the bank.

Elixir Strings 12052 Nanoweb

95
GEARANK

95 out of 100. Incorporating 8750+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$13
Elixir Strings 12052 Nanoweb Electric Guitar Strings (Light Gauge)

Cons

  • Not as long-lasting as expected
  • Sounds and feels different to uncoated strings (too dark for some and too bright for some)
  • Harder to bend compared to others of this gauge

Pros

  • A great option for those with a sensitivity to nickel
  • Highly corrosion-resistant and long-lasting
  • Low string noise
  •  

Elixir is well known for their coated strings, and the Nanoweb 12052 is their best rated offering in this gauge, a string set with a 5-micron fluoropolymer coating.

This coating helps expand the lifespan of strings by blocking corrosive elements and preventing the accumulation of debris on the string and windings. And it does all this while staying thin enough to not hamper the strings' resonance.

In addition to longevity, this coating also reduces finger friction, which results in a smoother playing feel.

Specifications

  • Gauge: Light (.010, .013, .017, .026, .036, .046)
  • Core Material: Steel
  • Winding Material: Nickel-Plated Steel
  • Winding Type: Round
  • Coated: Yes

Overall
Lots of companies nowadays are coming out with coated strings, but Elixir (W. L. Gore & Associates) is credited with creating the first modern fluoropolymer coated ones. The Nanoweb 12052 is a highly rated 10-46 set from the makers of Gore-Tex fabrics, and is an excellent starting point to try out coated strings.

Alexander's Recommendation

Alexander Briones is our resident guitar teacher and he has reviewed a set of strings he has been using that he thinks other Les Paul players will appreciate.

Rotosound R10 Roto Yellows

94
GEARANK

94 out of 100. Incorporating 1600+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$5
Rotosound R10 Roto Yellows Nickel On Steel Electric Guitar Strings

Cons

  • May sound "old" for those used to trebly strings
  • Not as long lasting as coated strings

Pros

  • Comes with a Free extra 1st string
  • Warmer Midrange focused tone
  • Dulling of high frequencies is not as dramatic as it ages
  • Playability is not too far off from 9s

Before the convenience of online shopping, my choice of string brands were limited to what's available at local stores, but this led me to discover the Rotosound R10. I didn't really seek it out, rather I ended up getting it because there were no other gauge 10 available at that time. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I ended up liking it, and up to now, it still is one of my go-to string sets, especially for my Gibson Les Paul Studio.

What enamored me to the Roto Yellow is its aggressive mid-range, which is a contrast to the trebly sounding strings that I'm used to. The thicker wound strings sound fuller to my ears, great for playing my favorite riffs and chord changes. It also rounds-off some of the excess high-frequencies of bridge pickups, resulting in a subtly warmer yet still ballsy tone, that works great for blues, rock and similar styles. The downside to its warmer tone is that some may find it sounding "dead" or "old", especially those who are used to bright sounding sets. Note that I still use bright strings, especially when I'm going for clarity and bell-like cleans, but I go for the R10 when I need to cut through a mix.

I didn't notice any playing feel improvement compared to the other 10s that I use, but I don't have any complaints either. This set plays much like any of the "standard" strings that are available in the market, which is good for me because I want my guitars to have consistent playing feel, regardless of what brand of strings I use. The feel of this set is not too far off from the more common 9s, but there is noticeable increase in tension when I apply left-hand techniques like vibrato, bending and pre-bends.

In my experience, this set retains its fresh playing feel and tone for over 2-weeks, sometimes longer if I diligently wipe the strings after playing, and put my guitar back in its case when not in use. Note that it doesn't come with "coating" that extends string life, but in my experience, it still lasts quite long for a standard set. And since its not a trebly set to begin with, the dulling of its high frequencies is not as dramatic as it ages.

In terms of tuning stability, I don't see the R10 as being better or worse than others. After a break-in period, it reliably stays in tune as I play on stage or for practice, as long as I don't play too aggressively. It's part of my routine to tune my guitars every time I take them off their case, so tuning stability over long periods is not much of an issue to me.

Instead of the usual paper and plastic packaging, the R10 set comes in a streamlined package with just one sealed foil pack carrying all the strings. This does away with individual packets for each string, reducing waste and packaging cost, while retaining string freshness upon opening. Its single foil package never gave me problems, probably because it is not as prone to wear and tear as paper.

More importantly, the savings they get from their simplified packaging are given back to consumers via a free extra 1st string. This freebee is another BIG reason why I keep going back to this set, saving me the need to buy another set just because the 1st string broke.

Specifications

  • Gauges: .010, .013, .017, .026, .036, .046
  • Core Material: Steel
  • Winding Material: Nickel
  • Winding Type: Round Wound
  • Coated: No

Rating Source Highlights

Website Source *Rating Value
Gearank Alexander Briones 96/100
Equipboard zisis 100/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Overall
I recommend this set to anyone who is into blues, rock and similar styles. The included extra 1st string ups its value by a lot, and more importantly, gives me one less thing to worry about.

Medium Gauge

GHS GBM Guitar Boomers

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 1000+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$7
GHS GBM Guitar Boomers Electric Guitar Strings (Medium Gauge)

Cons

  • D and A strings are the same gauge as the GHS 10-46 set making some prefer their "True Medium" set
  • Despite their durability, they lose their brilliance quite quickly

Pros

  • Pleasing and versitile tone that lends itself well to amp EQ and other effects
  • Hard to break for uncoated strings
  • Relatively affordable
  •  

Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Johnson, Carlos Santana, Neal Schon, Tom Morello are just a few of the many notable artists who use GHS Strings. And as expected their popularity with the pros have spilled over to the masses, especially when it comes to medium gauge strings.

The GHS GBM set follows conventional string designs that utilize nickel-plated steel windings and steel core.

But being a medium gauge set instantly sets it apart from what most players use. The extra thickness of the strings allow for increased string tension for gritty tones that you simply cannot get from the usual thin sets.

Finally, each GHS set comes in "Nitro-Packs" which prevents corrosion from affecting the strings prior to opening. This packaging has a nifty transparent side so you can check if all strings are intact without having to unseal.

Specifications

  • Gauge: Medium (.011, .015, .018, .026w, .036w, .050w)
  • Core Material: Steel
  • Winding Material: Nickel-Plated Steel
  • Winding Type: Round Wound
  • Coated: No

Rating Source Highlight

Website Source *Rating Value
The Gear Page Stratburst70 90/100
*Displayed values are prior to the Gearank Algorithm's adjustments it makes when evaluating the source.

Overall
The GHS GBM strings represent the highest rated medium gauge strings and have a unique sound and vibe to them compared to competitors like Ernie Ball and D'addario. If you want to try their house sound and find out why they are the dark horse of the famous string manufacturers, give these strings a shot.

Heavy Gauge

D'Addario EXL145 Nickel Wound

95
GEARANK

95 out of 100. Incorporating 750+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$5
D'Addario EXL145 Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings (Heavy Gauge)
At publication time these were the Equal Highest Rated set of Heavy Gauge Electric Guitar Strings along with the D'Addario NYXL1254.

Cons

  • Requires constant wiping down to prevent rust and dullness
  • Not enough tension and sloppy for tuning down to standard B

Pros

  • Beefy and hard to break
  • Stays in tune very well with little chance of going sharp from hard attack
  • Excellent for drop D and other lower tunings

D'Addario's EXL string design works well in just about any gauge, as evidenced by the EXL145 rating highly in the heavy gauge sector.

This heavy set follows their time tested formula of precisely winding nickel-plated steel on a hexagon shape high carbon steel core.

The bright tonality of nickel + steel balances the warm tone expected from thick gauge strings.

One drawback is that although heavy gauge strings are generally very good for lower tuning, the EXL145 set feels sloppy when tuning down to standard B.

Specifications

  • Gauge: Heavy (.012, .016, .020, .032, .042, .054)
  • Core Material: Steel
  • Winding Material: Nickel-plated Steel
  • Winding Type: Round
  • Coated: No

Overall
Sometimes you need thick strings for metal and similar genres, sometimes you just want the warmth and fullness they provide. In any case, the EXL145 from D'Addario is a highly rated set of heavy gauge strings.

D'Addario NYXL1254 Nickel Wound

95
GEARANK

95 out of 100. Incorporating 350+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$13
D'Addario NYXL1254 Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings (Heavy Gauge)
At publication time these were the Equal Highest Rated set of Heavy Gauge Electric Guitar Strings along with the D'Addario EXL145.

Cons

  • Loses tone quicker than other high-tech strings such as Ernie Ball M-Steel or or Cobalt strings

Pros

  • Extreme tension retaining characteristics (not sloppy) when tuning way down to B or A#
  • Uncoated feel and richness with some of the advantages of coated strings

The NYXL1254 is a heavy gauge string set that features D'Addario's "New York Steel", which they engineered to stay in tune better and be more resilient to breakage.

This resilient design makes them ideal for heavy gauge strings which are usually chosen by those who play aggressively.

The enhanced mid-range of the NYXL set also works nicely with the fuller and warmer tone expected from thick strings.

Each set is shipped in corrosion resistant packaging to ensure freshness and long shelf-life.

Specifications

  • Gauge: Heavy (.012, .016, .020, .032, .042, .054)
  • Core Material: Steel
  • Winding Material: Nickel Plated Steel
  • Winding Type: Round
  • Coated: No

Overall
This set is an impressive feat of research and material design. The D'Addario NYXL1254 are a premium set of heavy gauge strings and will make you want to experiment with lower tunings and louder, more aggressive sounds.

Things to Consider When Buying Electric Guitar Strings

Electric Guitar String Gauges Explained

Strings are grouped together based on their gauge: Heavy for thick gauge sets, Medium for the in-betweens, while the thin ones fall under the many variants of Light gauge. Generally speaking, thinner strings result in brighter tone, while thicker strings with their increased tension results in more mids, low-end, and sustain. Super Light and Light gauge are the current market favorites because they are easier on the hands. Experienced guitarists tend to move up their gauge preference, depending on their playing style and the type of music they are playing.

How to Choose a String Gauge

A sure fire method is to go for the same string gauge that was originally installed on your guitar. This way your guitar will feel the same, with no increase or decrease in tension that might affect your guitar's hardware, setup and tone. Most people, especially beginners, go for Light and Super/Extra Light gauge strings because of how easy they are on the hands. Some experienced guitarists switch to Medium or even Heavy gauge strings for fuller tone with more sustain. Others switch because they play slide or in a style that works better with thicker strings. Note that increased tension may adversely affect the setup of your guitar, so best consult with the manufacturer, or a luthier, before changing to a much thicker gauge.

Table of Gauges

Standard String Gauges from High E to Low E
String E B G D A E
Extra Super Light .008 .010 .015 .021 .030 .038
Super Light .009 .011 .016 .024 .032 .042
Light .010 .013 .017 .026 .036 .046
Medium .011 .015 .018 .026 .036 .050
Heavy .012 .016 .020 .032 .042 .054

Core Material

Steel is an alloy that combines iron and carbon, and it is the main core material used in electric guitar strings. The reason for this is that it works well with magnetic pickups which are used on electric guitars, and this is also why nylon strings will not work with electric guitars. Some manufacturers develop their own steel formula, like high-carbon steel, the aim of which is to improve string durability, tuning and sound.

Winding Material

The three thickest strings of electric guitars (4th, 5th and 6th) often come with Nickel-plated steel winding, and these string sets tend to sound bright and clear. This bright and snappy sound has become the standard tone expected of freshly installed strings. Speaking of fresh, the downside to nickel-plated steel windings is that over time, the strings lose their trebly tone.

Some manufacturers offer strings with "Pure" Nickel winding, which is a throwback to how strings were made back in the 1950s. These strings have a slightly smoother warm sound that stays consistent even after long use. Another popular type of winding uses Cobalt + Iron plating, this is known for a more rounded mid-range focused tone, and a slicker playing feel.

String Coating

To improve the longevity of strings, some manufacturers apply specialized thin layer of polymer "coating" on the strings. The coating has to be thick enough to prevent dirt, grime and other causes of corrosion from attaching themselves on the strings, but it also has to be thin enough to not hamper string response. Coated strings are expected to stay fresh sounding longer than conventional strings, and they also last longer. The downside is that the coated strings are noticeably not as snappy and lively sounding as freshly opened regular sets. Still, even the non-coated strings will lose their trebly tone in time, so it evens out in the long term. Coated strings are ideal for those who don't play often but want good sounding strings every time they decide to open their guitar case.

When to Change Guitar Strings

The timing of changing your strings differ from person to person, and will mostly depend on how much you play your guitar. Those who pickup their instrument regularly and want snappy sounding strings every time they play will be changing their strings more often than those who seldomly pick up their guitar. Rust and grime on the strings are obvious signs that your strings have reached the end of their lifespan. Less obvious signs to watch out for include intonation issues, and dulling of tone. Interestingly, there are some musicians who prefer the warmer dull tone of old strings... so there really is no hard and fast rule when it comes to the timing of string changes. Finally, many guitarists simply wait for string breakage to change their set, even then, some would just change the one string that broke. This is not advisable because of the tone and feel difference between the new and old strings.

How to Change Guitar Strings

The process of changing strings on electric guitars differ wildly based on the tuners and bridge setup of your guitar. The process will be straightforward for those with vintage style tuners and hard-tail bridge. Those with locking nuts, tremolo / Bigsby bridges, and floating tremolos will require a bit more effort. It is best to consult the instructions specific to the hardware that's installed on your guitar.

Best Electric Guitar String Selection Methodology

The first Edition was published in September 2021 and the current Edition was published on June 24, 2022.

To keep this guide focused, we decided on a simple criteria of only including standard gauge 6-string electric guitar sets that come with one ball end, and to make this guide useful and relevant, we only feature those that are available from major online American retailers. With so many string sets available, we narrowed down our scope to the ones with the highest ratings. With these criteria in place, we were able to come up with a short list of 46 highly rated sets, which entailed the gathering and analysis of over 157,200 review and rating sources. All these data were then fed to the Gearank algorithm to produce a rating score out of 100 for each set on our short-list (see them in the Music Gear Database). Finally, we chose the highest rated options to recommend in each of the featured gauges in this guide: Extra Super Light, Super Light, Light, Medium and Heavy, along with a special recommendation from our resident guitar teacher. For more information about our methods see How Gearank Works.

About the Author and Contributors

Here are the key people and sources involved in this guide's production - click on linked names for information about their music industry backgrounds.

Lead Author & Researcher

Alden Acosta Alden Acosta

I'm a drummer and former lead guitarist of the band Callalily, a platinum selling multi-awarded band from the Philippines. I also studied music for 6 years majoring in percussion and jazz studies with a minor in classical piano.

Contributors

Alexander Briones: Wrote the sections on the D'Addario EXL110 and Rotosound R10.
Jason Horton: Editing and illustrating.

Media

Main/Top Image: by Gearank.com using pictures of the Elixir Strings 12052, D'Addario NYXL0838, Ernie Ball 2221, GHS GBM, D'Addario EXL145 and Ibanez RG470DX.

The individual product images were sourced from websites, promotional materials or supporting documentation provided by their respective manufacturers.

Comments

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