Guitars strings are of different types used by different guitar players, and one question a beginner with guitars is going to ask if what are guitar strings made of? One piece of information we want to show to our readers is the type of guitar string you make use of is going to affect your playing style, and it depends on the string’s construction.
There are several guitarists that do not know there are various materials used in making guitar strings, and this is one piece of information every guitarist should know if they want to make up their mind on the right material that will suit their playing style. There are five different materials used in making guitar strings.
Interestingly, you can divide these five materials based on the type of alloys they have and how they are constructed. Earlier, we told you that there are five different materials used in making guitar strings, and let us show you what these strings are;
- Bronze strings
- Nickel strings
- Brass strings
- Steel strings
- Nylon guitar strings
Now that you have an idea of what these five high quality materials are, let us have an in-depth glance of what each of these materials represent, and how you can get the best out of the them.
What Are Guitar Strings Made Of
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Here is a dive into the five materials you can count on as the best materials for making guitar strings.
Nickel And Steel Material
These are materials that have been in used for several years in designing guitar strings before new materials came into the picture. The steel is the best material for making electric guitar strings, while the nickel material is the best option when it comes to making thick strings for guitars.
Modern day electrical guitar strings are now being designed using nickel and steel materials, but other materials were used when coating thick guitar strings. Identifying steel guitar strings is very easy as it can be identified with the bright sound it produces, while another means of identifying them is through their high end feedback.
Anyone that is keen on obtaining an aggressive musical tone should opt for pure steel string materials, and this has nothing to do with the musical genre you intend playing. Pure stainless steel strings tend to have a long lifespan, while steel strings on the other hand have a low playing life. This is why they lose their tone within a short time span.
Pure nickel guitar strings are designed to offer strength in the tone produced, but you are not going to get a very bright tone from it. Pure nickel guitar strings will provide you with richer tones, and another advantage that comes with playing them is they provide you with warm tones.
A rhythm and blues guitar player will appreciate the warm tones produced by the pure nickel guitar string, which makes it the perfect option for providing guitar players with a rich body and tone.
Brass And Bronze
If you play a steel acoustic guitar then brass and bronze are the materials used in making the strings. The brass plated string is the first option you are likely to come across, while the bronze plated option isn’t as rampant as the brass option. What you should know about these strings is they come with a steel design.
Telling the difference in these strings might be a little bit difficult when you feel them, but the tones they produce might help in telling the difference between them. Bright sounds are produced more by brass strings, but you will not get this type of sound when you attach a brass string to a high end guitar.
Thin sounds are common with brass strings, and you will get this sound mostly when you are dealing with a high response instrument. You can get the best out of these strings when you play them on OM guitars, but the desire of every guitarist out there is to get warmth from the strings they play.
Nylon and classical guitars are associated with the nylon string, but what you should know is you should not make use of a metal string on this type of guitars. This is because these guitars have a light bracing design, so using a nylon string on nylon guitars do not offer safety alone, but it also provides players with warm and interesting tones.
Using this string is linked to special guitars, but the versatility you desire from a steel string guitar and nylon string guitar will be missing. From nylon strings, there are fluorocarbon strings, titanium strings, and other genuine nylon strings. You will get a good sustain from fluorocarbon strings, but the genuine string remains the most popular.
Titanium strings are known for producing bright tones, but the sound produced from a regular nylon string is better compared to the sound you will get from a titanium nylon string.
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Guitar Strings Construction
You also need to know how these strings are constructed, and not just the materials used in making them alone.
This is used in describing the string shape, and the hex core and round core are what makes up the string core. Hex core will offer you bright and loud sounds, and this has helped it secure a spot in modern day music. You will find the round core in classical and blues music since they are good at producing mellow tones.
String Winding Type
There are three different string winding type
- Flat wound
- Half wound
- Round wound
This tells you the thickness of the string, and the tone produced will get warmer and higher when the string thickens. Thick strings tend to be stiff most times, and this tells you you might have issues with bending them. The thin strings are very easy to play.
This is the everyday string found on the guitar, but a plastic polymer is used in coating them. The lifespan of a polymer string is longer compared to that of a non-coated string, and you can tell that coated strings are more expensive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Guitar Strings Made Out Of Cat Guts?
No. There is no evidence supporting that guitar strings are made out of cat guts. This is because cats are considered too small to be used in making guitars.
Can You Still Buy Cat Gut Strings?
Yes, this type of strings are still available in most places since they were used in early music. Interesting, cat gut strings remains a favorite choice for so many guitarists.
You can see that there are several materials used in making guitar strings, but what you want at the end of the day matters most. All we have said explains the materials used in making guitar strings, the sounds they produce, and the construction surrounding guitar strings. You will have no issues in finding a suitable one for you.