Whenever we browse for guitar strings, we often make the mistake of going for the first ones we see on the shelf or online store (usually the cheapest ones). The strings we use are just as important when attempting to achieve the right guitar sound as any other part of the instrument, including the body. The genre also matters when you look for strings: If you are looking for strings to play country music, you should pay attention to the material, gauge, and overall constitution. The sound of the strings you choose may make or break your music production, especially for those audiophile audiences.
With that said, from experience, coated strings generally fit country music much better than uncoated strings, as they generally carry less finger noise while sliding (although, if you want to achieve better high notes, uncoated are the way to go, provided you mastered your sliding techniques!) Likewise, you should opt for light-gauged strings, as they’re easier to bend and more effective for double stops.
In this short article, we’ll be taking a close look at 3 of the best guitar strings sets available for playing your favorite country tunes (or those of your own creation):
Ernie Ball Earthwood Phosphor Bronze Light Strings
These Earthwood strings are made in the U.S. and come with element shield packaging to extend their lifespan. Moreover, the phosphor bronze coating enhances the sound to reach a level of expressiveness that competes with that of its most expensive coated competitors, with a nice, balanced tone. It will suffer in lower pitches, however, and you might need to tweak the tuning every hour, especially during the first uses.
D’Addario EXP16 Coated Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Strings
D’Addario has an unmatched ability to craft state-of-the-art strings that could last a lifetime. The sound is warm and bright, and the ultra-fine layer of EXP coating technology increases comfort and wholesale playing experience. The bronze phosphor coats D’Addario’s proprietary high-carbon NY steel alloy core, devised for pitch stability and overall endurance. The only downside to these otherwise superb strings is the slight finger sound that they tend to emit while you slide through the frets, which may cause small annoyances, but they’re fairly bearable.
Martin SP 7100 Phosphor Bronze Coated Acoustic Strings
Martin has been a longstanding player in the business, with over 2 centuries of history. The fact that they’ve been able to last that long should tell you a lot about where their priorities lie. These strings have a pure steel core wire, coated lightly with bronze phosphor. They provide warm and bright sounds very similar to other brands. with the added benefit of repelling dirt and oil thanks to a special treatment applied during their manufacturing. A word of warning: Careful when you set up the high notes for the first time, as they can break if you show too much confidence.
EXTRA: String Sling
This is not a set of strings. Rather, it’s an accessory. It’s always important to find durable strings, but you should also prioritize finding a method to preserve them in good shape to lengthen their lifespan and ultimately save you money, time, and frustration. The String Sling is a top-notch microfiber cloth strap designed to protect your strings against the usual environmental factors that can lead to rust and other damages. It can be used to wrap the strings and, additionally, to wipe them from dust, moisture, oil, or sweat. Its triple fastening layers help lock the strap attachment into place to avoid accidental slipping. It also comes with an incorporated pouch to hold your most-used guitar-playing tools, such as picks and capos.