Guitar strings are the thin, outer plastic strands that connect the guitar to your amplifier. The sound of acoustic and electric guitars varies greatly depending on the type of woods, pickups, amps, amplification, and the actual guitar strings used. There are several kinds of guitar strings, all of which impart a different tone to the music you play. There are nylon strings, steel strings, classical strings, and even synthetic strings for those players who prefer a particular sound. The type of guitar strings you use will depend on what kind of music you are playing, whether it's blues rock, classical, or alternative.
Classical guitar players like the bright nylon strings because they produce a deep, rich tone. The high E string is the best choice for this type of player, as it's thick and rounder shape helps to keep the notes ringing through the entire range of the scale. The E-string also provides the best tone on the electric model, although some high-endend players like the high C string and the high string for some distinctive tones. The open strings provide a bit of a strum sound that some guitarists like, but it lacks the power and longevity.
While all guitar strings are tuned in the same way, there are some differences in the way they are tuned. Strings that are not standard are referred to as alternate tunings. Alternate tunings are made by placing a string in the first position of the guitar and a second string in the fifth. The strings are tuned so that the higher string sounds more high-pitched than the lower string, thus creating an effect similar to the sound that you get when you release the top string. In some cases, these tunings can be useful because the strings are so closely related, but not all strumming patterns can produce good quality alternations. Standard tuning involves two strings tuned in the same way.
Some acoustic guitars are fitted with special "stomp-box" devices that allow them to contain the extra string needed to create the alternate tunings. There are a number of manufacturers who make their own versions of the stomp box. Some companies make their own portable stomp boxes that can be plugged into an electric guitar or a regular acoustic guitar.
The flat-wound guitar strings are generally considered to be less responsive to changing guitar strings; however, they can have a better tone. Strumming with a flat-wound string produces a richer sound because of the air pockets that it contains. Strumming with a flat-wound string produces a richer, deeper sound because the air pockets are open. Some guitarists prefer the tone of a flat-wound guitar string over the one that is wound; others like the whacky squealing of flat-wound strings. It is sometimes difficult to determine which is better.
Double cutaway guitars have six strings wound on one cutaway. This cutaway is closer to the neck of the guitar, so it produces a brighter tone. These guitars are more popular among lead players than other styles of guitars. Six-string guitars also produce a much clearer tone than five-string ones. If you want a guitar that has a lot of bass, then a six-string would be the best choice.
Pentatonic Guitar Strings For the pentatonic guitarist, the standard guitar strings consist of a third, second, and first string. The reason these three strings are rolled into one is so the sixth string is not required in every chord. When playing a chord using only the first three strings, it is common to roll both the first and second strings at the same time. The sound produced this way is known as a flugelhorn effect.
Steel Strings While steel strings give you a dark tone, they are used mostly in classical music because of their richness of sound. Many classical guitarists prefer use steel guitar strings for their sound. They also have a lighter tone than nylon or aluminum guitars. If you have not learned the many variations of guitar strings available, you should consider taking a class to learn about the many shapes, sizes, and styles of each type of guitar strings available.