Best Acoustic Guitar Strings For Playing Blues
The guitar in the video below is a Martin 000X1 with Cleartone Light Gauge phosphor bronze strings.
What are the best acoustic guitar strings for blues style fingerpicking are there any such things as 'blues strings'? If you are lucky enough (and rich enough) to have a personal teacher, then it's a piece of cake. Just ask his advice and rely on his practical experience. However, if you purchase blues guitar lessons from the net, or on a DVD, you are mostly left to your own devices, relying on word of mouth from friends, or good old trial and error.
The best strings for acoustic blues guitar are really the ones that suit your style, which might change over time, but first of all it depends an awful lot on your touch and the effect you want to give with your music
Above , Martin 000X1AE - One Of The Best Acoustic Guitar For Blues Fingerpicking (IMO)
I'm not much of a purist as far as guitar quality goes, but I do like to have really good strings. Having tested many over the last 40 years or so, I always seem to come back to light gauge Martin strings, which are great for picking acoustic blues guitar.
In the video below I'm playing two guitars. On the street I'm using an Aria Johnny Joyce signature model, one of the best acoustic guitar for blues, and for the demonstrations of technique I'm using an old favorite, which was a very cheap Fender cutaway.
Acoustic Blues Guitar Strings - Medium Guitar Or Light Gauge For Finger Style?
Of course, we need to build up those callouses, but medium gauge guitar strings need a little more finger pressure to hold them firmly on the frets. For blues style finger picking, most players prefer light gauge, which range from 0.054 to 0.011 inch.
There doesn't seem much difference between the two sets of strings, but believe me - you will feel it! The difference becomes obvious when you try to bend one of the strings across to raise the note a semi-tone and produce that lovely wailing blues sound.
It feels really hard - you just can't push it far enough, easily enough. By contrast, most people find extra light strings a bit too thin (0.052 to 0.010). They just move around a little too much, and easily touch the frets if hit too hard. Saying that, many superb world-class guitarists use lights, as it all depends on your finger control.
String quality is not an issue with modern strings and manufacturing methods.Basic 80/20 bronze wound strings can be bought quite cheaply, but it's worth while spending a little more and buying phosphor bronze, which are a bit more mellow and longer lasting. Martin make an SP set, which is more durable and great for that special studio session, or important performance. However, if you are a street player, don't bother with the higher quality - play the guitar hard and change them often. The best guitar strings are the ones that suit your playing style and don't need changing too often!
Author: Jim Bruce
10 Things Steel-String Players Should Know About Classical Nylon Guitars
- 1. One has metal strings, the other has nylon
- 2. Flick the pick
- 3. Embrace a new body
- 4. a classical guitar has a wider neck than its steel-string sibling
- 5. Lower tension means less pressure and smoother sounds
- 6. Prepare to take a seat
- 7. Consider letting your nails grow
- 8. You’ll need a footstool and a few other gadgets
- 9. You’ll want to learn how to restring
- 10. Classical guitar is not limited to classical music