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Electric Guitar Strings
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Electric Guitar Strings
Electric Guitar Strings are used most frequently for the rock, jazz, and country styles. Like acoustic guitar strings they are made of metals, but primarily steel or nickel. They have a core of metal which is covered in a metal winding. While the relative hardness or softness of the metals involved is a factor, their character is primarily driven by the magnetic properties of the metals involved, unlike acoustic strings, since their sound is defined by their interaction with the magnetic pickups of an electric guitar.

Electric Strings constructed with materials such as steel or with a high iron content will have a very bright and powerful sound while some less magnetically powerful alloy combinations, including materials such as nickel, will not be as bright or powerful. Treatments of the string surface also play a major role in sound. Flat wound strings will have a more mellow sound than round wound strings. Some recent developments have led to new strings with different magnetic properties, such as the Ernie Ball Cobalt Slinky Strings, which exhibit a higher output or the Optima Gold Series, which has a somewhat warmer sound.

Strings specifically designed for jazz use, such as the Thomastik-Infeld George Benson Series, tend toward a more round and mellow sound, while strings developed for specific electric use, such as the D’Addario ProSteels, will have a brighter more piercing sound.

Visit our electric guitar string basics page to learn more.

Shop all guitar strings at or visit our basic guide page to help you choose which strings to buy.

Have a question about electric guitar strings? Call 800-513-8271 to talk with our friendly music, strings, and gear experts or contact them online. They’re available Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. EST.

And remember: U.S. orders received weekdays before 3 p.m. EST ship the same day!
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