Prior to buying any acoustic guitar strings for your guitar, check out its body shape first. There are a number of body shapes of acoustic guitars. Do you have the dreadnought shape? Or is it in the grand auditorium shape?
Dreadnought – Acoustic Guitar
If you happen to have this guitar, then go for medium sized guitar strings. Because of its higher gauge, there will be more tension on the guitar’s neck. But that is fine with the dreadnought guitar because it has a large enough neck.
Grand Auditorium – Acoustic Guitar
The body shape for this guitar is more curvaceous with a thinner neck compared to the dreadnought. So light gauge strings might be more appropriate.
What kind of guitar player are you? If you are just learning how to play the acoustic guitar, you may want to choose the light gauge strings for fingerpicking. Since you might not be used to playing the guitar yet, these strings might not hurt your fingers as much as the medium gauge strings. Experienced guitar players might prefer medium gauge strings since they are more suitable for strumming.
As an experienced player, you may fingerpick or strum heavily depending on the song or music. Your fingers might be used to rough playing by then. For those who want the best of both light and medium, light-medium gauges might be the better option.
Different Acoustic Guitar Strings for Various Types of Acoustic Guitars
Light Gauge Strings
These type of strings accent the notes, giving a brighter sound or warmer tone. One possible choice of light gauge strings is John Pearse 80/20 Bronze Strings. Apart from being cheap, costing less than $8 now on Amazon, they can withstand a number of tunings. But this does not mean they are long lasting. For long lasting strings, take a look at Elixir 80/20 Bronze Strings, which come with NANOWEB coating.
Medium Gauge Strings
If you love deep and bold sounds, then you may like these types of strings. One good choice of medium gauge strings is Elixir Strings – Phosphor Bronze, which come with NANOWEB coating. Currently priced less than $15 on Amazon, these strings are suitable for those who love a smooth feel and consistent performance without much finger squeaking.
Why Should You Choose Coating Strings?
It does not matter whether you opt for light, medium or any other sized strings. Coating strings tend to last longer than uncoated ones. This is because dirt, sweat and oil from your skin can get trapped easily enough in the winding of uncoated strings. So perhaps after 15 hours or so of playing the guitar, they might not vibrate as freely as they did when they were new.
But that is not the case with coated strings. The patented coating whether polymer or NANOWEB ensure there is no trapping of dirt or anything else. Understandably, the sounds coming from the strings hardly change even after hours of playing the guitar. Elixir Strings are usually coated.
So if you do not want to waste time, energy and money on frequently changing your guitar strings, opt for coated strings. Prior to choosing acoustic guitar strings, think about the body shape of your guitar and what kind of music you wish to play.
Take a look at this excellent video about How to change Strings: