Best Acoustic Guitar Strings

(Image credit: Yamaha)

Whether you’re strumming or plucking, playing solo or with a band, there are strings for your acoustic guitar to help you sound your best. There are differences in tone and clarity depending on what guitar strings are made of or coated with. And thickness also plays a factor. We’ll guide you through the sea of strings to help you find exactly what you need.

(Image credit: Ernie Ball)

Ernie Ball Regular Nickel Wound Set

Reasons to buy

Best Overall

These steel strings are wrapped in nickel to give a rich, full-body tone. Though they can be used to play rock-n-roll and classical tunes and everything in between, they are especially good for creating warmer tones found in blues and older country jams. The Ernie Ball comes in a pack of three with sizes ranging from .010 to .046 in thickness.

(Image credit: Fender)

Fender Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings

Reasons to buy

Best Value

Though they aren’t very expensive, the Fender acoustic guitar strings are a well-known and respected brand. The Phosphor Bronze strings are made for solo artists that need accompanying by deeper sounds. Though these strings are made from bronze they contain more copper than other bronze strings to produce a more mellow and natural sound.

(Image credit: C.F. Martin)

Martin Authentic Acoustic Guitar Strings

Reasons to buy

Best Bronze Strings

Made from 80/20 bronze, the Martin Authentic acoustic guitar strings are plated with a small coat of tin to extend the life of the strings and keep them from corroding due to sweaty hands and humid temperatures. Martin is known for creating strings with a bright sound that are easy to tune and lasts longer than other brands.

(Image credit: Elixir)

Elixir 80/20 Bronze Strings w/ NANOWEB

Reasons to buy

Best Coated Strings

Coated strings typically lack in tone quality compared to natural steel strings. However, Elixir is a definite exception having found a coating that preserves the life of its acoustic guitar strings without taking away from the overall quality and sound. The NANOWEB coating helps cut down on the finger squeak often hear during acoustic guitar performances.

(Image credit: D'Addario)

D’Addario Pro-Arte Classical Guitar Strings

Reasons to buy

Best Nylon Strings

There are several models of classical guitars that are made for nylon strings. It’s a big no-no to string these guitars with steel strings as it interferes with the overall quality sound. But the D’Addario classical guitar strings are the best for nylon-stringed guitars. These strings come in different tension strengths and are consistent. They are excellent for band playing.

One final run

We recommend going with the Ernie Ball Nickel string set. These steel strings have a richer tone that is customarily heard in acoustic guitar music, especially in jazz and country music. But if the price is a little steep for your wallet, you can get a decent tone from the Fender Phosphor bronze acoustic string set, too.

If you have a classical guitar made for nylon strings, you can’t do better than those made by D’Addario Pro-Arte.

Nikki Johnston
Special Projects Writer

Nikki writes for multiple Future Publishing brands covering topics from antivirus to kitchen appliances to SAS. She has over 15 years of research and writing experience, including eight years of testing and reviewing consumer products. Nikki earned bachelor’s degrees in both English and Political Science with a focus on empirical research. In her spare time, Nikki serves as a member of several school councils and volunteers for a local arts board.