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The Best Electric Guitar Strings for a Beginner

Who else is looking for the best electric guitar strings for a beginner?

It’s no secret that finding the best electric guitar strings for a beginner can be a challenge.

The different styles and different gauges can make it tough to narrow down the right strings for you.

Plus, buying the wrong electric guitar strings can hamper a beginner’s progress.

Fortunately, we’ve done the hard work and found the best electric guitar strings for a beginner to start with.

For beginners looking for an excellent set of strings that are easy on your fingers, definitely give the Ernie Balls a try.

If you’re on a budget, Give the Dunlops a shot. They’re quality strings at a reasonable price.

D’addario produces quality guitar strings that a lot of guitarists swear by, and the D’addarios we’ve recommended are no exception.

Finally, Coated strings are sometimes recommended for beginners since their coating makes them last longer and gives them a smooth feel.

The Elixir strings we’ve chosen are popular and well-made.

The biggest downside to coated strings is that they’re much more expensive than uncoated strings and they don’t always last longer than uncoated strings.

Check it out!

Best Overall

Ernie Ball 2221 Regular Slinky Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings

Ernie Ball 2221 Regular Slinky Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings

Are you searching for the best electric guitar strings for a beginner that deliver a well-balanced sound, have a high-quality build, and have a very smooth playing feel? Then check out the Ernie Ball 2221 Regular Slinky Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings.

  • String Gauges: 10-13-17-26-36-46
  • Wrap Material: Nickel Plated Steel

These strings are composed of nickel-plated steel wire that is wrapped around a tin-plated high-carbon steel core.

As a result, they produce a well-balanced tone with high clarity.

The steel core has a hexagonal shape which helps to keep the string from unraveling and provides extra stability.

Ernie Ball has designed these strings to be consistent and manufactures them to high standards.

This means you can count on a consistent sound as well as a high-quality string.

Finally, these strings have a smoother playing feel than other electric guitar strings out there which makes them easier on beginner’s fingers.


  • Quality Strings at an Affordable Price
  • Available in Multi-Packs
  • Smooth Playing Feel


  • Some Guitarists feel their Sound Lacks Character

As you can see, the Ernie Ball 2221 Regular Slinky Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings deliver a consistent tone, a smooth playing feel, and high-quality strings.

We think you’ll find them very versatile, affordable, and a perfect choice for beginners looking for their first electric guitar strings.

Decide for yourself! Click here and get yours now.

Best Budget

Dunlop DEN1046 Nickel Plated Steel Electric Strings

Are you looking for the best electric guitar strings for a beginner that deliver a quality tone, support versatile playing styles, and are easy on your budget? Then check out the Dunlop Performance+ Nickel Plated Steel Electric Strings.

  • String Gauges: 10-13-17-26-36-46
  • Wrap Material: Nickel

These strings are designed to deliver clear highs, aggressive mids, and clean low-end tones.

As a result, they’re an excellent choice for beginners looking to produce versatile sounds.

They’ve also been designed to project the full tonal complement of your electric guitar’s sound. 

Since these are nickel-wound electric guitar strings, they produce a traditional electric guitar sound that’s perfect for beginners.

Plus, leads and chords will ring out clearly even when played through distortion.

Finally, Dunlop is a powerhouse manufacturer that has been producing high-quality guitar products for over 50 years.


  • Also Available in Very Light Gauges
  • Dunlop Produces High-Quality Products


  • Inconvenient Plastic Packaging

As you can see, the Dunlop Performance+ Nickel Plated Steel Electric Strings are high-quality strings with a versatile tone from a 

dependable manufacturer.

We think you’ll find they’re a great option for any beginner who’s on a budget but still expects electric guitar strings that will perform.

Why wait? Click here and get yours today!

Best Runner-Up

D’Addario EXL110 XL Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings

Are you interested in some high-quality electric guitar strings that are versatile, beginner-friendly, and available at a reasonable price? Then check out the D’Addario EXL110 XL Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings.

  • Gauges: 10-13-17-26-36-46
  • Wrap Material: Nickel Plated Steel

These strings are composed of a nickel-plated steel wrap wire which gives beginners a smooth playing feel as well as a consistent tone.

They produce a sound that is bright, versatile, and perfect for beginners looking to play a variety of musical styles.

Plus, since they have a hexagonal-shaped high-carbon steel core, these strings deliver superior stability and longevity.

D’Addario calls these their Regular Light strings and they are a good gauge for beginners since they deliver a nice balance of tone and playability.

Finally, D’addario consistently produces quality musical products, and these electric guitar strings are no exception.


  • Excellent Intonation
  • Available in Multiple Packs


  • Reports of High E String Breaking Easily
  • May Not be as Durable as Other Brands

As you can see, the D’Addario EXL110 XL Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings provide versatile tones and superior stability.

We think you’ll find they’re a good choice for beginners looking for quality strings from a dependable manufacturer.

Why wait? Click here and get yours now!

Best Coated Strings

Elixir Strings 12077 Nanoweb Electric Guitar Strings

Are you interested in the best electric guitar strings for a beginner that deliver a consistent sound, are extra long-lasting, and reduce finger squeak? Then check out the Elixir Strings 12077 Nanoweb Electric Guitar Strings.

  • Gauge: 10-13-17-32-42-52
  • Wrap Material: Nickel Plated Steel With a Nanoweb Coating

These strings have an ultra-thin Nanoweb coating that protects your strings from getting dirty and keeps gunk out of the string grooves.

Since wear and tear from friction, dirt, and hand oil deaden the tone of your strings, these strings deliver an extended tone life as well as a consistent tone.

The Nanoweb coating is easier on your fingers, reduces finger squeak, and gives beginners a smoother playing feel.

Additionally, the plain steel strings have an anti-rust plating that helps keep tone-deadening corrosion at bay and ensures a longer life.

Finally, these strings produce bright, balanced tones which makes them a great choice for beginners.


  • Bright Sound and a Smooth Playing Feel
  • May Last Longer than Uncoated Strings
  • Coating Helps to Cut Down on Finger Squeak


  • More Expensive than Uncoated Strings
  • Some Guitar Players Find the Coating Becomes a Sticky Mess

As you can see, the Elixir Strings 12077 Nanoweb Electric Guitar Strings are coated strings that deliver consistent performance and are extra long-lasting.

We think you’ll find they’re a great choice for beginners who are looking for coated strings but still want a bright, balanced tone with a full low-end sound.

Decide for yourself! Click here to get yours now!


Finding the best electric guitar strings for a beginner can seem like a chore sometimes.

It can be confusing and intimidating but the most important thing to keep in mind is that you’re an individual.

The right strings for you will be the strings that feel the best on your fingers and that you find easy to play.

And since you’re an individual, it might take some trial and effort before you’ll find exactly the right strings for you.


Which electric guitar strings are best for beginners?

  • Quality electric guitar strings should be a priority for beginners.
  • The best electric guitar strings should be available online or at your local guitar store.
  • It’s also a good idea to choose electric guitar strings you can afford.
    • Ernie Ball Slinkys tick all of these boxes.

What are the easiest electric guitar strings on fingers?

  • Light gauge electric guitar strings make the best choice for the easiest electric guitar strings to play.
  • If you’re looking to ease into playing electric guitar strings, try Ernie Ball Slinkys.
  • The friction caused by playing guitar strings can be painful on your fingertips and Slinky strings can help.
  • The guitar strings you choose won’t be as important as consistent practicing.
  • Once you’ve built up callouses on your fingers you need to keep playing regularly.
  • If you stop, the callouses will heal and you must start developing them all over again.

What guitar strings are best for electric guitar?

  • You should choose high-quality electric guitar strings.
  • Since your style of playing also matters, check which strings your favorite guitarists use.
  • The type of electric guitar strings you choose will also affect your tone.
  • If you’re into jazz and hate finger squeak, you’re gonna want different strings than someone who’s looking for a heavy metal tone.

What strings are beginner friendly?

  • Your most beginner-friendly strings are nylon guitar strings since they’re soft and easier on your fingers.
  • If you’re playing electric guitar, look for light gauge strings.
  • The light gauge electric guitar string sets make for a more beginner-friendly experience since they’re easier to play.
  • Once you’ve built up hand strength and callouses you’ll be able to play any type of guitar strings.

What electric guitar strings don’t hurt fingers?

  • Tolerance to electric guitar strings comes with practice.
  • You need to build a callous on each finger so the string doesn’t hurt to play.
    • This way it’s less important which electric guitar strings you choose since they will all dig into your fingers when you’re starting out.
  • An excellent strategy for a beginner to take would be to choose a light gauge set of strings and then practice for 5 to 10 minutes every day.
    • You’ll build callouses on your fingers within a few weeks and will be able to play for longer.
    • Also, your electric guitar strings won’t hurt your fingers anymore.

Should I get light or heavy electric guitar strings?

Beginners should start with light gauge electric guitar strings since they’re the easiest for beginners to play.

Once you’ve got some experience playing you can try a heavier gauge of string and see how it affects your tone.

If you’ve never played before, starting with a heavy gauge of electric guitar strings can make it difficult to play.

You can also try heavier strings for a bit and see if it improves your hand strength.

Once you’ve played heavier strings, going back to light gauge strings makes bends feel a lot easier.

What gauge strings should I use on my electric guitar?

The best gauge of electric guitar strings for a beginner to use has been heavily debated.

Beginners who start with light gauge strings often become curious as to what heavier gauge strings will do to their sound.

Once you’ve built up callouses and developed some hand strength, you’ll be able to choose the “right” gauge for your electric guitar.

Some guitarists use very light gauge strings to play lightning-fast leads while others prefer a very heavy gauge to get a particular jazz tone.

If you’re a complete beginner, then start with light gauge strings and move up to a heavier gauge as you see fit.

Things to Think About

What makes electric guitar strings easier for beginners to play?

To get better at playing the electric guitar, your fingers will need to gain strength and callouses.

Beginners often find electric guitar strings easier to play than acoustic guitar strings.

Since they’re made of nylon, classical guitar strings can be easier to play and easier on your fingers.

Nylon also makes them quieter and doesn’t give them as full a sound as metal guitar strings.

Electric guitar strings make a good compromise between nylon strings and acoustic guitar strings since they’re at a lower tension but still have a full sound.

This allows beginners to build hand strength and callouses as well as practice without putting undue strain on their fingers.

Beginners will do better if they practice for short periods of time so they can build strength.

What makes lower-tension strings a good choice for beginners?

Learning to play the electric guitar can be difficult enough without having to be concerned with pain in your hands and fingers.

It’s easier for beginners to build strength and skill by going from nylon to electric.

The biggest downside of following this path: The tone on nylon strings can be lacking.

If you’re dead set on playing rock, it won’t sound as good on a nylon string guitar.

The biggest benefit of playing lower-tension strings? Beginners can practice without overdoing it.

You can injure yourself and cause problems later by doing things like “playing through the pain”.

Since you have lower tension strings available, it’s a great choice to start with a gauge like 10s or even 9s and later on decide if you want a thicker gauge string at a higher tension.

What makes thicker gauge strings harder for beginners to play?

Since electric guitars come strung with a lighter gauge of strings they are easier for beginners to play.

It can be difficult enough to master your basics without trying to do bends with cable-thick guitar strings.

The benefits of playing higher gauge strings can be debated.

Guitarists often argue they result in a better sound and a thicker tone.

Unless you’re down tuning your electric guitar, you can stick to these guidelines.

In this case, the thicker gauge strings won’t be at as high a tension so they’ll still be easy to play.

Down tuning isn’t something beginners often start out doing.

As a general rule, higher gauge strings will be harder for beginners to learn on.

Do thicker strings with a higher gauge create a better tone?

The effects of thicker gauge strings on your tone may be unnoticeable.

From a physics standpoint, you’re going to get a “bigger” wave from thicker strings than thinner ones.

Think of playing a bass string.

The sound will carry further because the string has more mass.

However, since you’re using an amp with an electric guitar and adding in effects, the tonal benefits can often be negated.

It becomes a very subjective, and personal thing.

I used to prefer a very thick low E string nowadays I most often play Ernie Ball Standard Slinkys.

I’ve also changed the types of music I play, so the benefits of a .052 E string aren’t as important to me anymore.

You can mix and match string gauges so you have a medium gauge set of higher strings and thicker lower strings.

What electric guitar strings should beginners learn on?

Sticking with one brand of strings will help make it easier for you to learn your basics.

As a beginner, the benefits of different types of strings can be unimportant.

You’re not as interested or concerned with learning every technique.

For example, I do a lot of slides and bends in my style of playing so I find Ernie Ball Slinkys the best electric guitar strings to play.

But a beginner won’t understand the benefit of one string brand over another.

Therefore, a beginner should stick with one brand of string for a bit, at least 3 string changes, before going on to another brand.

This makes it easier for a beginner to focus on learning while having a baseline for what they should expect from their guitar strings.

However, if you find you enjoy trying different strings while you’re learning, more power to you.

One day you’ll find the right strings for you.

What’s the best way to know which electric guitar strings I should use?

Familiarizing yourself with a single brand and gauge of strings will be your best bet in finding the right electric guitar strings.

It will take time and multiple packs of the same strings before you’ll understand those strings.

You can expect to try a set of strings multiple times before you can say ‘yea or nay’ on them.

If you try a set of strings and you find they feel rough on your fingers, they may not be the right strings for you.

You might try a different type of string from the same manufacturer and find you like them.

Brands often make different styles of electric guitar strings to cater to different segments of the market.

Or you may find you loathe the strings from a specific brand.

Why do new strings need to be broken in?

Your electric guitar won’t stay in tune until after your strings have stretched out to their proper length.

They need time to relax and settle in.

Otherwise, after a bit of playing your strings will go out of tune.

They won’t go all at once, but you’ll find you must stop playing and re-tune your strings.

Also, some people find the sound of new electric guitar strings to be a bit too “brash” and “bright” sounding.

After they’ve been broken in, they’ll warm up and their tone will mellow out.

When you first change your electric guitar strings give them time to break in by playing and plucking them.

Do not try to speed up the process by tuning your strings higher than they’re meant to be tuned.

This could cause your strings to break and may even damage your electric guitar.

How often should I change my electric guitar strings?

Your tone will be affected and degraded by a number of things.

Time will cause degradation in your strings which affects your sound.

Your strings getting dirty from dust, dirt, and hand oils will also affect your tone.

This makes it important to change your strings regularly, even if they seem “fine.”

How often will depend on how much you play your guitar.

If you play for an hour every single day you’ll want to change them more often than if you play for an hour every other weekend.

Even if you don’t play very often, your strings remain under tension 24 hours a day, seven days a week so they’ll wear out over time.

For a beginner, once every 3 months should be a good guideline.

How do I decide which electric guitar strings to choose?

Playability can be subjective when it comes to electric guitar strings.

What one player loves in one set of electric guitar strings, another player may loathe.

Finding the right electric guitar strings means focusing on what you like and don’t like when you are playing.

When you try a new brand or a new gauge of strings you must familiarize yourself with them and decide if they’re fitting your needs.

You may also find the electric guitar strings you enjoy playing most don’t fit all of your needs.

Ask yourself things like, “Do I Like the way these strings feel on my fingers?”

Do these strings feel smooth enough? Do these strings make my fingers feel good?

What difference to a beginner does having the best electric guitar strings?

Focusing on finding the ‘right’ electric guitar strings when you’re a beginner can be a bit like putting the cart before the horse.

It’s more important to practice your basics and master the skills of playing than spend too much time finding the ‘right’ electric guitar strings.

The benefits of having the ‘right’ strings will be very small for beginners.

Once you’ve been playing for a while you might find you swear by a single brand of strings.

Or maybe you’ll be convinced that one manufacturer produces electric guitar strings superior to all others.

Having gained some experience, you’ll be able to decide the best electric guitar strings for you.

But don’t focus on it too much when you’re just starting.

It’s much more important for you to master your basics.

Changing your strings will improve your tone.

Worn out strings mean a less than optimal sound.

For a brighter, clearer sound, you need new strings.

No matter which electric guitar strings you choose, they’ll wear out over time.

Some types of strings, like coated strings, have been designed to last longer than average strings.

Your mileage will vary since some people swear by their longevity and some people find they turn into a sticky mess.

If you find your tone sounds “dull” and you haven’t changed your strings in a while, try changing your electric guitar strings and see if it improves your sound.

It’s one of the main reasons professional guitarists change their electric guitar strings after every performance.

The wear and tear on a set of electric guitar strings after a 2-hour concert will be enough to dull their sound.

A beginner may not notice or care but it’s still a good practice to change your strings when you’re unhappy with the quality of your sound.

Better strings may make it easier for you to play.

It’s easier to play electric guitar if you’re using quality electric guitar strings.

Your playing will feel smoother and easier because of the quality of the string.

Cheap strings will often unravel or slip off the tuning post due to shoddy materials and manufacturing.

With a higher-quality string, you’ll have longer lasting electric guitar strings.

Plus, they’ll sound better for a longer period of time.

You will also find they need to be changed less often and break less if they’re from a quality brand.

It may seem like a good idea to buy cheap strings and save a few dollars, but it’s a false economy.

Think of it this way: The electric guitar strings you’re playing won’t make you a more skilled player.

But, the extra few dollars you spend on better electric guitar strings will help you to play and sound your best.

Can you use acoustic guitar strings on an electric guitar?

Beginners are often curious if you can use acoustic guitar strings on an electric guitar.

The simple answer: no.

Acoustic guitar strings are meant to be played at a much higher tension.

Electric guitar strings are designed to be in tune at a much lower tension than acoustic strings.

There’s a danger of damaging your electric guitar by trying to put acoustic guitar strings on it.

Also, acoustic guitar strings have different gauges than electric guitar strings.

A ‘light’ set of acoustic guitar strings would be considered ‘medium’ or ‘heavy’ in electric guitar string terms.

Remember, the lighter, thinner gauge of electric guitar strings makes them easier to play.

How do I know if I need to adjust the setup of my electric guitar?

If you change from a set of 10s to 12s, the tension on all of your stings has increased so you may find your guitar needs adjustment to play right.

You’ll know because your guitar will sound sharp or flat at different spots on the fretboard.

Most often this means you need to adjust your bridge.
You’ll also want to adjust your setup if the action on your guitar makes it difficult to play.

Strings that are too close or too far from the fretboard can be difficult to play and may not sound right.

Is it normal for electric guitar strings to break?

It’s normal for your electric guitar strings to break from time to time.

With a brand-new guitar, you may find one string breaking more often than others.

This is common with low-cost beginner electric guitars.
Beginner electric guitars often have very little human attention to detail.

They play great but may have made it out of the factory with a sharp bridge saddle or rough fret ends.

Since the string presses against the saddle at enormous pressure, playing causes the string to rub against the sharp edge.

The result? A string that wears out and breaks more often than the other stings on your guitar.

It’s a right of passage to have a string break on you.

It’s nothing to fear, but the first time it happens, it may startle you.