Strings are the heart and soul of a guitar. If you don’t have strings, you don’t have sound. It’s really that simple. The vibrations of plucked or strummed strings push air very quickly. This movement is picked up by our ears to create sound (or, ideally, music). In the case of an electric guitar, the string waves are detected by the pickups, transformed into an electric signal (just like the inner parts of the ear work together to change mechanical sound to electrical signals), and sent to the amplifier or some other device (PA system, for example) through the output jack. A package of high-quality guitar strings will usually be less than $15. For such vital parts of the instrument, guitar strings cost very little.
Guitar string prices can vary based on many potential influences. The quality of the string is usually connected to the price, but that is not always the case. Cheap guitar strings cost $5 or less, and are almost always weaker than usual. If strings are being sold for this little, then there must be some sacrifice in the processing department, leaving customers with noisy strings that take forever to settle into pitch (if they don’t break during the process of putting them on the guitar). For three to five dollars more you will have a much better chance at receiving a quality set of strings. When the cost of guitar strings is over $10, they usually have something “special” about them. They may be built with more precision, or they could be covered in a protective coating. Some strings even come in vibrant colors, giving the player another outlet for their style and personality.
Guitar String Brands
D’addario guitar strings cost a reasonable amount for a pleasant sounding and reliable addition to your instrument. This company has a history of providing the best “bang for your buck”, and is often the first brand of strings that young guitarists know by name. To the contrary, most players would be surprised to find out that Yamaha makes strings. The well-known brand name has never taken a high place in the string market place. Largely due to this lack of interest in their product, Yamaha guitar strings cost less on average than most other brands. Among the more expensive guitar string brands is Elixir. They offer a special protective coating that is supposed to improve tone and string life. Whether or not this is true usually depends on the personal experience of the player.
Individual Guitar Strings
Many guitarists complain about repeatedly breaking the same string. It makes sense that breakage would be consistent as it is usually connected with faults in technique or setup, but it is still an extremely frustrating experience. Sets of guitar strings cost enough that you wouldn’t want to be buying a new pack every time you break one string. For this reason, many if not all music stores that sell guitars will also sell individual guitar strings for a few dollars apiece. This can save you a lot of money over time. You can also make the long-term investment of buying in bulk. Individual guitar strings cost very little when they are purchased in bulk.
Different Types Of Guitar Strings
There are several types of guitars, and each requires a different kind of string. An acoustic guitar usually utilizes bronze-wound strings. They are larger than most electric sets and have a much higher tension. Acoustic guitar strings cost slightly more than electric guitar strings, but will usually last longer. Electric strings are commonly nickel-plated, especially if they are low in price. More expensive electric guitar strings may have a protective layer or be colored. Classical guitars are made for nylon strings. These are perhaps the sweetest sounding of all guitar strings and are installed by looping the string through the bridge before feeding it to the tuning pegs. The largest, deepest, and most expensive strings belong to the bass guitar. Sets of monstrous bass guitar strings cost upwards of $30 dollars.
How Much Do Guitar Picks Cost?
Guitar picks are another often overlooked part of guitar playing. Many players attribute the refinement of their technique to their choice of pick. Different pick sizes and materials are available, and it doesn’t hurt to try as many as you can before deciding what “your” pick will be. The cost of single guitar picks can range from 75 cents to $1.50, though packs are available for a slightly higher price.
When To Change Guitar Strings
The decision to change guitar strings can be made for several reasons. If you break a string, you may only want to replace that string. In this case you can obtain single strings from guitar dealers, usually at a fraction of what a pack of guitar strings cost. On the other hand, many guitarists decide to change an entire set whenever a single string breaks. This may seem wasteful, but an oddball string can seriously affect the playability and sound of your guitar. When breaks don’t occur, string changing is solely a choice of the guitarist. Some active musicians might change their strings every couple of weeks, while a hobbyist can easily get three months or more out of a decent set of strings. While old strings tend to lose their edgy tone, it may be worth it to temporarily avoid the cost of guitar strings.
Guitar String Sizes
Guitar string sizes are also known as gauges, and they are measured in millimeters. This number is used to identify various strings and sets of strings. When referring to a full set, the diameter of the smallest string (the high E) is used. Perhaps the most common sized set of electric guitar strings is “tens”. This is referring to the .010 millimeter diameter of the high E string within the set. Light strings are any size smaller than .010s, while sets as large as .014 and .015 have low E strings that could be mistaken for bass strings. The strings used on other guitars also come in varying gauges. The size of the strings does not usually have an influence on guitar string prices.
Where To Buy Guitar Strings
Guitar strings are available at almost any place where guitars are sold. Be sure to choose the appropriate sized strings for your guitar, whatever type it may be. It can be easy to confuse string types, brands, and sizes, so write down your details if needed. The cost of guitar strings can be lowered if you purchase more than one pack at a time. This strategy is best employed on the internet, where bulk string purchases are common. However, remember that if you decide to change the kind or size of strings on your guitar, you will be stuck with an overload of unwanted packs of strings.