How to Choose Your Electric Guitar String Set

Your strings affect both the way you play and the way you sound, so choosing the right set is crucial. Want to figure out which set you should string up with next? Read on for some general tips to help you decide, and then take our short questionnaire at the end to see which sets are right for you.

Rhythm or Lead?

If you like to play leads and solos, use lighter gauge strings. Their lighter tension makes it easier to maneuver around the fretboard and perform bends and other single-string techniques. If you’re a rhythm player, on the other hand, use heavier gauges to withstand the repetitive beating that comes with strumming and to keep your sound tight. If you want the freedom to perform both roles, a set that’s light on top but heavy on the bottom such as the DEN0946 or DEN1052 will give you the best of both worlds.

Standard or Lowered Tuning?

If you play in E Standard, life is good—most guitars and strings are designed to accommodate you. If you tune lower than that, though, you need more tension. Sometimes all this means is that you move up to a heavier string gauge, but after a certain point, you’ll need to modify your nut to fit the thicker set of strings. We designed our Heavy Core Strings to get around this inconvenience—they come in standard gauges, but their thicker cores give you the tension you need to tune down.

Which Specific Sets Should You Try?

Now that you have the basics down, take our short questionnaire to figure out which specific sets you should try for your playing style. In each case, we recommend more than one set to allow for variations in personal preference and the type of guitar you play. For example, if your guitar has a scale length of 24.75 inches, try one of the heavier sets from our recommendations. If your guitar has a scale length of 25.5 inches, try one of the lighter sets.