In the last article, we talked about the top acoustic guitar strings. Today, however, we are going to target the acoustic guitar’s sibling: the electric guitar. You see, the electric guitar uses absolutely different type of strings. Unlike the acoustic which uses steel strings, the electric uses metal strings. Now, you might think that they would be harsher on the fingers than the steel strings, which are a true pain to deal with, especially if you are a beginner. Luckily for you, no, metal strings won’t be as hard on the fingers as the steels. It’s a truth widely known that the electric is way, way softer on the strings and, therefore, easier. Huraay! In this article, I’m going to present to you some of the top electric guitar strings that won’t leave you disappointed.
Ernie Ball 2223 Electric Guitar Strings
Ernie Ball is quite known for providing high quality metal strings. And it’s not untrue, really. Their strings are the word of every metal player. So why shouldn’t be on yours? What’s their secret? Well, their strings are made of tempered tin-plated high carbon steel, which makes the tone of the strings more rich and pleasant. Take a look at the reviews from Amazon:
-I have an Epiphone G400 [SG style], which I haven’t re-strung in the four years since purchasing. The original strings were size 10 and pretty tough.
I brought these because I wanted to bend strings easily and use a lighter left hand. From this point of view, they are a success. Easy to install (even for a first-timer) and very smooth (almost too smooth) to the touch. My playing improved pretty much instantly.
On the down-side, they appear to come out of tune quite easily, although this could be related to my beginners re-stringing technique. They also have a very buzzy sound on the guitar (when un-amped) compared to my previous strings – but I can imagine that lighter, more bendy strings would move more than the tough ba’stads I had on previously
-These were a doddle to fit, they were a lighter gauge than I was expecting, but they’re still perfect for my use, which is little more than beginner noodling! Lighter than the strings I replaced them with, I would be happy to buy these again, great for string bends and a nice clean sound. I wouldn’t call them raucous, but that’s probably more due to the strat copy I’ve strapped them to!
-Ernie Ball strings are always very good value and I am delighted with the quality. They are ideal for Fender matching and deliver a good sound. They arrived really promptly, and the package slipped easily into the letter box.
Get the Ernie Ball strings here.
D’Addario EXL110 XL Nickel Wound Regular
These D’Addrio strings come in varied types and gauges just to fit your tastes and preferences. They are made from nickel-plated steel. As a bonus, a set of these strings comes in a Corrosion Intercept bag to keep your strings fresh and playable. What are you waiting for? Grab these strings right away!
–I am very happy with these. I experienced long-lasting brightness – 2 months like new and then over 6 months of acceptable brightness.
I changed afterover a year…
The last string tends to break after 3months when using the bend and vibrato like I do, but that’s acceptable…
I’ll buy again.
-Set aside your personal preference for string gauge, D’Addario are without any doubt, well any of my doubt, the best electric guitar string maker. Over many years of playing I’ve used Ernie Ball, Markley and Fender and time and again I return to the XL’s
I’ve found snapping to and holding pitch happens reasonably quickly and easily. More important, as a sit at home and play player I’m interested in degradation, how rapidly do the strings degrade to the point of replacement.
I’m not an especially sweaty player but none the less, sweat and oils from the fingertips will quicken the degradation of any string. I’ve found that the XL’s seem less to hold up a little longer before the strings get to the point where replacing is the only course of action.
Finally, on the lower register strings the coil wrap, whilst not being flat wrapped like some jazz strings, aren’t so rough that you’re in danger of ripping your fingertips to the core. They’re cheap, last a good amount of time, depends on your sweatiness and how often you play of course, keep to pitch and not too expensive.
Not much else to say – at this price try them out.
-Excellent quality – I use nothing else for the past 20 + years and on various guitars – great strings
Get the D’Addrio Strings.
Fender 150 Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings
Fender strings are exclusively on our list. These strings are pretty much a no-brainer, gaining over 300 purchases with 4+ ratings on Amazon alone! See what some buyers have got to say:
-Leaving aside the question of tone, I like these strings because they feel good. I guess my fingers must just like the feel of nickel – there is a silky smoothness about them that I find steel strings (Super-Bullets) just can’t match. I have not used any other kind of strings on my Strat for some time now and I’ve been fitting these to my other guitars too even though they’re not designed for bullet ends – the results have been excellent.
On the question of tone, nearly all my playing is neck pickup through an overdriven all-valve amplifier and I am perfectly satisfied with the tone I’m getting from these strings using that set-up. I have found these to be excellent strings – highly recommended.
-It’s hard to review guitar strings objectively since different players have different preferences. There are very few ‘bad’ sets of strings on the market at all, just ones which may not be right for the guitarist.
It is true that these strings don’t last particularly long, but they’re also not the most expensive. If you want long-lasting strings, these aren’t the ones for you. What I can say, however, is that in terms of sound and playability these are the best strings I’ve ever bought. They are light without sounding thin and I’ve never found any strings which I can bend as far or as easily as these. They almost feel loose compared with other strings and I like that.
So these strings won’t be for everyone, but if you don’t think you’ve found the perfect strings for you yet, give these these a try. You might be surprised.
Get the Fender Electric Guitar Strings.
Elixir Electric Guitar Sets
You probably thought they are going to be excluded from our list. Haha! Good one! But they are on our list. Come on, how can we not include them? With a coating to prevent contamination and corrosion, the Elixir strings are another option that won’t leave you disappointed. Come on, who doesn’t like Elixir?
-Coating gives the strings a slippery feel – like after using GHS Fast-Fret. I got used to it after a few plays and now prefer it.
Not quite as bright sounding as uncoated strings – but a treble booster / effects processor easily overcomes this.
Superb harmonics – I used to find it hard to do this but it’s easy now.
Less string squeaks – some people like this – but not me.
Last 3-5 times longer than uncoated strings – less changes, less money.
-Have used Elixirs both acoustic and electric for some time now. They’re the best imo at holding their tone for longer than any other brand. This particular set of 12 – 52 ‘s are excellent for me, as the bass is exceptional at this gauge and the trebles are just thin enough to bend without snapping as I found the lighter sets were prone to. I’ll be ordering another couple of sets soon !
Get the Elixir Strings now!
This pretty much sums up our recommendations. Choose wisely! 😉 Go ahead and tell us what you think! We love to hear your feedback!