Guitar Strings For Beginners can sometimes be more difficult than learning how to read music. Beginner guitar players often struggle to find the correct tone and string for their instrument. The best guitar strings for beginners can be a real challenge to find, but it pays off in the end. Here's a short list of some of my favorite and most recommended beginner guitar strings based on personal experience.
Light Gauge Strings: These are probably the strings most guitarists will agree are the easiest to find. Generally, they're available in nine-strand or ten-strand versions and come in a huge variety of colors. Most acoustic guitars have three or four action levels, so ten-string and six-string acoustic guitars will generally suit these types of strings. They're very forgiving and give a warm and round tone, perfect for the beginning acoustic guitarist.
Steel Strings: These are also fairly common, and are typically sold as six-string electric or seven-string electric models. A nice thing about the steel strings is that they can be cut at different gauges to create a varied and interesting sound. Mygo-Matic is a nice example of a six-string electric model which has been altered to a seven-string model by changing the bridge to a truss rod and moving the bridge to a lower position. This produces a lovely sound that is particularly appropriate for a beginner. However, the higher gauge steel strings are also easier to break. A good rule of thumb is to start out with a medium gauge steel-string and work up to the thicker gauge steel strings as your technique progresses.
Silk/Spun Cotton/Reed Strings: Although these two guitar strings are often thought of as the same thing, they're actually quite different. Although both of them are used on acoustic guitars, they're slightly different in the way they are played. Silk strings are more shiny and pliable than spun cotton/reed. They also lie closer to the fretboard due to their particular construction. Spun cotton/reed are harder and require more finger strength to pull back because of their shape.
If you need to change guitar strings, which isn't a problem, the one key to remember is never to apply too much pressure to the strings. Even though you might think it's easier because your fingers feel nice and light against the strings, this only causes damage and can change the tone of the string dramatically. If you have to change strings, do so slowly and not at an angle where your fingers are rubbing the string. If your finger slips off the fretboard with the string, change to another fretting position, or even take a few bars off the neck of your guitar to loosen the grip.
Don't apply too much pressure when changing guitar strings, and don't apply too much pressure when tightening them. You should be able to get a good feel for how loose the string is without applying too much pressure to it. There are three markings on the fretboard to indicate the amount of tension (at least 0.35). If you feel the string is too loose simply lower the string a little bit and try again.
Nylon strings are easier to play than steel, but they're not recommended for beginning players. This is because nylon is a more flexible string material and is, therefore, easier to break than steel, which makes it very difficult to play classical guitar. Classical guitar players who want to stretch out their fingers but don't want to make their instrument too light will probably find nylon guitar strings a comfortable choice.
The last of the three types of strings we'll discuss is classical guitar strings. These are typically made from a mixture of nylon and steel, with a little bit of each of the other two. Classical guitar players often choose to play strings a quarter note higher than their acoustic counterparts, due to the richness and tone of the sound they create. So if you're a beginner and looking to develop your tone quickly you might want to start with softer strings.