Electric Guitar String Gauges – Strings By Mail

There are many factors that can make electric guitar strings differ from each other in appearance, playability, and sound. Perhaps one of the biggest differences between electric string choices is the gauge of the strings, also known as the string’s thickness, which impacts tension.

Determining the Right String Gauge for Your Electric Guitar

When determining what gauge or tension electric guitar strings would work best for your electric guitar, there are a few things to consider. Heavier gauge strings tend to be louder, as there is more steel and vibrating mass for the pickups to harness. However, these heavy gauge strings can make it much harder to bend notes while playing, and can often require a slight adjustment to your guitar’s bridge so that the thicker strings do not buzz on the frets – leading to a higher action and a little more effort while playing.

Electric Guitar Strings

Electric Guitar Strings – Strings By Mail

Lighter gauge strings are easier to play, easier for bending notes, and allow you to set your guitar’s action lower. If you are uncertain of which gauge would match your preference and playing style, perhaps a medium gauge set of electric guitar strings would give you a middle of the road – best of both worlds set to start with. However, most electric guitar players at the beginner level might enjoy a set of light gauge strings more as they will be easier to play and will be easier on the hands and callouses – allowing the beginning player to play and practice even longer.

When you are looking at a set of electric guitar strings, the stings’ gauges are usually listed on the package for easy comparison. String gauges are usually written out from the 1st string to the 6th string when dealing with standard 6-string guitar sets, (ie. 10 – 46), and sometimes every string gauge is detailed on the package along with the associated category of the gauge (ie. Light 9, 11, 16, 24, 32, 42). The jargon that guitar players often use to describe the kind of strings they are playing is an abbreviation of the gauges of a string set based on just the first string gauge. (ie. “I use 9’s on my electric and 12’s on my acoustic”)


Electric Guitar String Gauge Categories

There are also many other in-between and custom gauge sets that electric guitar string manufacturers provide to meet the dynamic needs of their customers. Extra Light, Light, Medium, Medium Heavy, and Heavy are some of the more common gauge categories available for easy comparison between brands.


Creating Your Own Custom Set of Electric Guitar Strings

If you really want to experiment with the various electric guitar string gauges available for electric guitar, you can always piece together your own custom set from single electric guitar strings. If you like the results from piecing together your own custom set of electric guitar strings, you can save your custom set to Strings By Mail’s “Custom Customer Concoctions”. This way you can share your research and wisdom with other electric guitar players – and you will also have the option to easily reorder your own Custom Customer Concoction at the press of a button.


Purchasing Electric Guitar Strings

All of the different electric guitar string choices available from Strings By Mail help to provide a wide variety of sound and playing options for electric guitar players across the globe, and are adaptable to a wide and ever growing variety of playing styles.

Do you play an electric guitar, and what kind of music do you play? How do the different string gauges affect the sound of your electric guitar and your overall playing style?

What string brand/manufacturers do you prefer on your axe? Let us know, as Strings By Mail wants to ensure that we carry all of the string choices our customers want and need!

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