Guitar Strings

 

Changing guitar strings? You're in the right place. Elixir strings are considered amongst many as the best guitar strings as they not only have a great tone and feel to suit every style and player, but last so much longer then regular strings.

Here at SRM, we are dedicated in providing the best guitar strings online at the best price and service. We are Australia's best online guitar string seller and feature Elixir strings for acoustic, electric and bass guitar as well as mandolin and banjo strings.

Never underestimate the difference good strings can make, not only to the sound quality, but the feel, comfort and playability of your instrument. Most seasoned guitarists have explored the myriad of string options and can point you in the right direction of choosing the highest quality guitar strings suited to your instrument style and preference. This is the case here at SRM and we are pointing you straight to Elixir.

Shannon Rogers is a Brisbane based musician/teacher/performer/composer who graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium with a Bachelor of Music and from University of Southern Queensland with a Post-Graduate Diploma of Teaching and Learning. He has over a decade of experience in the Queensland education system teaching acoustic, electric and bass guitar as well as performing with various bands and groups across Queensland and with various orchestral groups including the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and the Australian Youth Orchestra.  

 

  • Elixir are most notably known for the best acoustic guitar strings, now they have the best electric guitar strings which now come in a variety of different designs and are available here at SRM guitar strings online. 
  • Other strings are sabotaged by debris and skin particles, which get trapped between the windings when you play, contaminating your strings and killing your tone.
  • With Elixir Strings, the coating acts as a physical barrier between the string and its damaging environment. ElixirStrings is the only brand to coat the entire string – protecting not only the outer string surface, but also the gaps between the windings.

Result: Elixir Strings players report their tone lasts longer than any other string – uncoated or coated.


FAQ


I KEEP BREAKING STRINGS. HOW CAN I PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING?

Strings can break in all different ways but generally there are a few things to consider when diagnosing how and why your strings are breaking. 

  1. Strings can often break due to a extremely sharp angle or rough area on the saddle or nut, for more information on these elements of the guitar visit The Guitar.
  2. Are you a heavy strummer? consider a medium or heavy gauge of strings
  3. Take note of how your string breaks and where the break occurs and visit a local guitar specialist.
  4. MORE

HOW OFTEN OR WHEN DO I CHANGE STRINGS?

This all depends on how often you play and the conditions and environment your guitar is kept. If you are frequent player I would consider changing your strings every few weeks or so, this also depends on the type of strings you are using Elixir strings are made to last much longer then most other brands of strings so you will get a few more weeks out of them. If you find that your tuning is dropping frequently and you’re having to retune more often, this is a good sign that your strings need changing. Changing your strings also provides a great opportunity to clean and service your guitar, dress the fretboard, polish the body and check the saddle and nut for any issues, for more information on this visit cleaning your guitar.

Also, If you aren’t cleaning your strings after every rehearsal or session they may become brittle and rust much quicker from the perspiration of your hands. You should also avoid leaving your guitar in the car for excessive periods of time where it can be exposed to extreme heat. 


HOW DO I KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME TO CHANGE STRINGS?

It’s time to change your strings when the sound is dull, muted and isn’t holding tune. A lot of beginner to intermediate players don’t realise that they need to change their strings until they hear the difference from a new pair. I generally change my strings just before the sound is becoming muted and dull, you’ll also notice the strings deteriorate if you have a close look.


CAN I JUST CHANGE THE GAUGES OR TYPES OF STRINGS THAT I USE?

Switching between types of strings using different materials is fine, a detailed list of electric and acoustic material types are below. If you are changing your gauge of string there are a few things to consider, if your experimenting with slightly different gauge for example, if you currently have light gauge strings and you want to try custom light that would be ok, but if your jumping from light to medium or medium to hard I recommend having it done professionally first so that the set up of your guitar is right for the gauge you want, this ensures that your intonation (tuning) is correct and that it remains comfortable to play.

3 common materials used for acoustic guitar strings:

  • 80/20 Bronze - made up of 80%copper and 20% zinc, this is probably the most popular option for guitarists. Providing a bright bell-like tone, this option is very clean and slick however, this shine fades fairly quickly once worn in.
  • Phosphor Bronze - offer a tone with warmth and sparkle and are similar to the 80/20 Bronze except are covered with a small amount of phosphorous. The phosphor is added to prevent oxidation and in turn increases the life of the strings, they are a tiny bit duller then their 80/20 brother.
  • Silk and Steel Strings (Compound Strings) - more of a hybrid between traditional metal strings and classical nylon strings they are Ideal for more delicate instruments. This results in a more gentle mellow sound, It has greater flexibility then a regular steel wound string and operates at a lower tension. 

3 common materials used for electric guitar strings:

  • Nickel-Plated Steel - the most popular option of the three, it has a good combination of warmth and brightness whilst maintaining a clear pick attack.
  • Pure Nickel - the classic ‘old school’ sound, pure nickel is warmer than nickel-plated steel.
  • Stainless Steel - more of a combination of the two above, this type of string is the most resistant to corrosion and also has less of the fret noise which can occur changing between chords. 

3 common materials used for classical guitar strings:

  • Gut (Cat Gut) - more common before 1940, gut strings have a warm, vintage renaissance sound and are derived from the intestines of sheep or other animals. Gut strings aren’t particularly reliable as the become dry and week over time. 
  • Nylon - cheaper and easier to produce than gut strings, clear nylon strings are the most popular choice for classical guitarists because of it’s clarity and brightness. 
  • Silver-Plated Copper (Silver Strings) - with a nylon core, the bass strings are wrapped in silver-plated copper which produces a warm rich tone.
  • 80/20 Bronze (Gold Strings) - features 80/20 bronze wound basses for bright acoustic tone, comfortable feel and dynamic projection.

HOW DO I CHANGE MY STRINGS?

Changing your strings doesn’t have to be stressful, depending on what type of guitar you own check out the relevant link

 

How to change acoustic guitar strings

How to change electric guitar strings

How to change bass guitar strings


WHEN CHANGING STRINGS, IS THERE ANYTHING I SHOULD KNOW?

Be as prepared as you can be when changing strings as this will making it a lot less arduous experience. I recommend the following items:

  • A machine head or peg winder, this takes all the effort out of loosening and fighting your strings and they aren’t expensive.
  • Pliers or wire cutter for cutting off old strings and also trimming the ends of the new ones.
  • You may want to have a polishing cloth and some polish, this is the best time to give your guitar some TLC!
  • A tuner for when the strings are on and you’re ready to tune How to Tune a Guitar.

Make sure you loosen the strings before you cut them, do not cut them while they are tuned and taught. When threading your strings through the eye of the tuning key try and leave some slack, this will improve the stability of your tuning for the life of the strings. After you’ve restrung your guitar give each string a pull, they will need to stretch and settle before they remain consistently tuned.

For a more extensive guide to restringing your guitar, check out one of the link below.

 

How to change electric guitar strings

How to change acoustic guitar strings

How to change bass guitar strings


WHY DO MY STRINGS BUZZ WHEN I MAKE A CHORD?   

Buzzing when strumming your chords can happen for a number of reasons:

  • Your finger tip may not be in the right position
  • You may not have enough pressure for your strings to react, try sounding each string one by one to identify the culprit finger.
  • You may be accidentally muting strings, check that your fingers curl onto the fretboard to avoid this.
  • Your action could be too low or too high, take your guitar to a local technician and get it sorted out. Your action (the distance your strings sit from the fret board) makes the world of difference.
  • Your strings may be too flat (loose), you can check this with a tuner in how to tune a guitar

WHY DO STEEL STRINGS RUST OR TARNISH?

Strings are subject to all types of corrosive effects such as moisture and dirt a will inevitably fade due to the condition. Depending on the player, the acidity of their preparation will also effect the longevity of your strings. I recommend washing your hands before playing, wiping the strings down with a lint-free cloth and keeping it in its case afterwards.


HOW SHOULD I CARE FOR MY GUITAR?

Caring for your guitar is fundamental to maintaining its playing condition and of course its look. Here are some tips to help keep your guitar healthy inside and out.

  • Exposure to extreme temperatures hot and cold, such as leaving in the car all day. is not great for your guitar in many ways. Guitars like a cool dry environment
  • Wipe your guitar down with a lint-free cloth after playing and put it back in its case, this will extend the life of the strings.
  • Polish and clean your guitar regularly, including applying some lemon oil to your fretboard. The best time to do this would be when changing strings. clean the guitar
  • regularly check and tighten all screws, strap-pins, machine heads etc.. 
  • Have your guitar serviced by a professional technician once a year.