Guitar Strings are an essential part of your playing and maintaining your guitar. I’m going to tell you a bit more about how to get the right strings for your playing style, what you should be looking at in terms of materials and gauge, as well as recommendations from my own personal experience and some famous guitarists who use this tuning!
Let’s get straight into it.
Editor’s Pick-Strings for Stratocaster
Best Strings for Stratocaster In 2022
1. Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Nickel Wound Electric Guitar Strings 3-pack
- Includes 3 individually wrapped sets
- Ernie Ball Slinkys are played by legends around the world including Slash, Jimmy Page, Metallica, Eric Clapton, and more
- Element Shield Packaging prolongs string life and keeps strings as fresh as the day they were made
- Bright, balanced tone
- Preferred by players across many genres, Regular Slinky’s 10-to-46 gauge has become the industry standard
Now available in convenient three-set packs Ernie Ball Regular Slinky Electric Strings are our top selling set, and are favored by many musicians around the globe. Regular Slinky strings are played by Eric Clapton, John Mayer, Steve Vai and legions of guitar players worldwide These strings are precision manufactured to the highest standards and most exacting specifications to ensure consistency, optimum performance, and long life.
Regular Slinky wound strings are made from nickel plated steel wire wrapped around a hex shaped steel core wire. The plain strings are made of specially tempered tin plated high carbon steel producing a well balanced tone for your guitar.
All plain strings feature a series of lock twists to secure the wire around the ball-end, enhancing stability and strength.
Nickel Wound Slinky strings are precision wound with nickel-plated steel wire, providing a classic, balanced tone with superior intonation and consistency.
The core is made from tin-plated high-carbon steel hex wire providing excellent durability.
2. D’Addario Guitar Strings – NYXL Electric Guitar Strings
- MADE IN THE USA – D’Addario leverages centuries of string-making experience and advanced computer-controlled winding technology to bring you the most durable, consistent and long-lasting guitar strings. Made in the USA for the highest quality and performance, only D’Addario strings are sealed inside and out.
- CUT THROUGH THE MIX – NYXL nickel plated wound strings feature an enhanced mid-range frequency response in the 1 - 3.5 kHz range which gives you more presence and crunch to cut through the mix.
- PLAY FEARLESSLY –D’Addario’s NYXL Nickel Plated Electric Guitar Strings feature a newly engineered, break-resistant, high-carbon steel core and plain steel alloy that gives you a whole new level of freedom, confidence and power in your playing. These strings can keep up with your whammy bar dives and bends.
- STAY IN TUNE – With NYXL’s improved tuning stability compared to traditional nickel wound strings, you can get in tune faster and stay in tune better. The corrosion resistant packaging keeps your extra string sets fresh.
- STRING GAUGES – NYXL1149-3P offers an ideal combination of comfortable playability and ideal electric tone: Plain Steel .011, .014, .018, Nickel Wound .028, .038, .049.
Play fearlessly with D’Addario’s NYXL Nickel Plated Electric Guitar Strings. NYXL feature a newly engineered, break-resistant, high-carbon steel core and plain steel alloy that gives you a whole new level of freedom, confidence and power in your playing. Compared to conventional strings, the NYXL strings can stand up to your fierce strumming, whammy bar dives and bends. In addition to unprecedented strength, NYXL electric guitar strings provide up to 131% greater tuning stability by utilizing a completely reinvented wire drawing process coupled with a revolutionary “fusion twist” process for the plain steels.
Made in the USA for the highest quality and performance, these strings help you get in tune faster and stay in tune better. The reformulated nickel-plated string windings have greater magnetic properties resulting in higher output and enhanced mid-range frequency response in the 1 – 3.5 kHz range, which gives you more presence and crunch to cut through the mix. And thanks to the environmentally, corrosion-resistant packaging, the strings in this 3-pack are always fresh. NYXL1149-3P offers an ideal combination of comfortable playability and ideal electric tone.
Artists and Players
The string gauges in this set include: Plain Steel .011, .014, .018, Nickel Wound .028, .038, .049. Since 1905, D’Addario has been providing artists and players with the tools they need to perform their magic. As musicians ourselves, we have the unique ability to engineer products that inspire other musicians.
String and Instrument
The D’Addario family’s vision, creativity, passion and tradition have made us the world’s largest musical instrument string manufacturer. We put our family’s heart, soul and love for making music into every string and instrument accessory we create, and we never stop inspiring performance.
3. GHS Strings GB-DGF Nickel Plated Electric Guitar Strings
David Gilmour’s connection with GHS Boomers series goes back to 1979, when he started using them on Pink Floyd’s ‘The Wall’ project. Often called David Gilmour’s’ Blue’ set – this is one of our most popular string sets. The GHS Boomers Series are the flagship set of GHS Strings. Used by musicians in every genre, the Boomers have shown to stand up to any playing style.
Now known as ‘The Power String’, GHS Boomers continue to make their mark on music across the world. The round wound guitar set is made with Nickel-Plated steel wrapped tightly around a round core wire. The combination provides the string with its bright characteristic and long-lasting tone.
GHS Strings are manufactured in a state-of-the-art, climate controlled facility using precision equipment and only the purest of materials. The air-tight Fresh Pack locks in factory freshness that endures the test of time and locks out corrosion.
With GHS Nitro-Packs, your strings are individually sealed in an easily identifiable, tear-resistant package. The Nitrogen environment is completely devoid of oxygen, thus ensuring the utmost line of defense against corrosion and oxidation for each individual string.
Contents Uniquely Fresh
GHS Strings is not just an electric guitar string company – we’re much more! We are the string brand inspiring you to play an extra encore. We are the string brand encouraging you to play harder, go longer. We are the string brand that’s got you covered – whether you’re playing electric or acoustic guitar, bass guitar, mandolin, banjo, ukulele and more.
Since 1964, we’ve been winding guitar strings in the same southwest corner of Michigan that gave birth to one of the most famous guitar brands. Though based in Battle Creek, we are global, but our values remain rooted in mid-western soil. We are fiercely independent – we are no-nonsense perfectionists believing in hard work, craftsmanship, and the power of music.
GHS Strings is a family of artists and experts built on the tradition to help aid in the quest for personal string design and tone. To that end, we still use round core wire for much of our guitar strings and use some string specs decades old.
4. Elixir Strings Electric Guitar Strings w NANOWEB Coating
- Electric guitar strings constructed with nickel-plated steel wrap wire
- Our patented coating technology protects against common corrosion, extending tone life longer than any other brand’s coated or uncoated strings (Elixir Strings player survey)
- Ultra-thin NANOWEB Coating provides a traditionally textured, “uncoated” feel
- Played for their bright, vibrant presence and dynamic punch
- Super Light gauge: .009 .011 .016 .024 .032 .042
Elixir Strings Electric Guitar Strings with NANOWEB Coating deliver the presence, punch and tonal characteristics you want in an electric guitar string without sacrificing tone life! Our special coating ensures that your sound waves travel the length of the string without any damage to its structure, so it still sounds like new long after you’ve started playing.
And in addition to being corrosion resistant, this innovative coating also prevents dirt from interfering with tone. So pick up a pack and discover why Elixir Strings are quickly becoming a go-to for some of today’s top players.
Great Tone That Lasts
Elixir Strings has the longest lasting tone compared to any string, coated or uncoated. Sounds great gig after gig. Session after session.
With featherweight coatings and anti-rust plating, our strings are protected against tone-dampening debris and stand up to sweaty hands and humidity.
Greater Tuning Stability
Players report Elixir Strings to stay in tune for longer, eliminating endless tunings that keep your guitars from consistently sounding their best.
5. Ernie Ball Super Slinky Cobalt Electric Guitar Strings
- Made in California, USA with the finest and freshest materials
- Cobalt produces a stronger magnetic relationship between pickups and strings than any other alloy previously available
- One of the original Slinky gauges, Super Slinky has remained one of the most popular electric guitar strings for decades
- Cobalt electric guitar strings provide an extended dynamic range, incredible harmonic response, strong low end, and crisp, clear highs
- Wound strings consist of Ernie Ball’s Cobalt alloy wrapped around a tin-plated high-carbon steel core wire
Engineered to maximize output and clarity, Ernie Ball Cobalt Slinky guitar strings are one of the latest innovations in string technology. Seeking to provide guitarists and bassists with a new voice, Cobalt strings provide an extended dynamic range, incredible harmonic response, increased low end, and crisp, clear highs. Cobalt provides a stronger magnetic relationship between pickups and strings than any other alloy previously available.
All plain strings feature a series of lock twists to secure the wire around the ball end preventing slippage and ensuring a long lasting string within minimal break in time.
Cobalt Slinky strings are precision wound with a patented iron-cobalt alloy wire providing higher output and clarity with superior intonation and consistency.
The core is made from tin plated high carbon steel hex wire providing excellent durability.
6. GHS Strings Electric Guitar Strings (GBXL)
- Extra Light Gauge: 009-011-016-024-032-042
- Model: GBXL
- Roundwound Nickel-Plated Steel on a Hex Core
- Offers a brilliant tone and powerful attack, THE POWER STRING.
From 1964 to now, the GHS Boomers series has been the flagship set of GHS Strings. Used by musicians in every genre, the Boomers have shown to stand up to any playing style. Now known as “The Power String”, GHS Boomers continue to make their mark on music across the world. The roundwound guitar set is made with Nickel-Plated steel wrapped tightly around a round core wire. The combination provides the string with its bright characteristic and long-lasting tone.
Introducing our brand new NitroPack singles! Each single string is sealed in a nitrogen environment, eliminating all oxygen, in a tear-resistant package. Whether you use one string or the whole set.
Contents Uniquely Fresh
GHS Strings is not just an electric guitar string company – we’re much more! We are the string brand inspiring you to play an extra encore. We are the string brand encouraging you to play harder, go longer. We are the string brand that’s got you covered – whether you’re playing electric or acoustic guitar, bass guitar, mandolin, banjo, ukulele and more. Since 1964, we’ve been winding guitar strings in the same southwest corner of Michigan that gave birth to one of the most famous guitar brands.
Power of Music
Though based in Battle Creek, we are global, but our values remain rooted in midwestern soil. We are fiercely independent – we are no-nonsense perfectionists believing in hard work, craftsmanship, and the power of music. GHS Strings is a family of artists and experts built on tradition to help aid in the quest for personal string design and tone. To that end, we still use round core wire for much of our guitar strings and use some string specs decades old.
7. DR Strings Tite Fit Electric Round Core 10-46
Tite-fit electric guitar strings utilize a nickel-plated steel wrap wire wound on a round core Wire to produce a fatter sound. This classic construction makes tite-fit a great all-around string that works for a range of styles and genres, including rock, blues, metal and jazz. The use of the finest core and wrap-wire materials ensure this classic design meets modern performance standards.
TITE-FIT Electric Guitar Strings utilize a nickel-plated steel wrap wire wound on a round core wire to produce a fatter sound. This classic construction makes TITE-FIT a great all-around string that works for a range of styles and genres, including Roc
Tite-Fit round-wound nickel-plated electric guitar strings are designed to be a great all-around string. They are available in a wide range of gauges. Based upon a round core, the construction techniques for the Tite-Fit electrics are very old. However, the core wire and wrap wire in DRs are the latest, most advanced and expensive metals available.
For flexibility, for tone, for long life: for Rock, Blues, Metal or Jazz. Tite-Fits are a wonderful all-around string.
8. Dunlop DHCN1048 Heavy Core Guitar Strings, Heavy
- Designed for dropped and lowered tunings
- Quick attack
- Defined low end
Dunlop Heavy Core electric guitar strings are made with great pride in Benicia, California and specially designed for the player that plays in dropped or lowered tunings. Our Heavy Core strings incorporate a unique core wire and proprietary wrap ratios to offer players the ability to really “dig in” while retaining a tight low end, focused midrange and smooth top-end when playing clean or distorted.
Resisting Bending And Retaining
Designed for dropped and lowered tunings, the Dunlop Heavy Core strings deliver a quick attack along with a deep tonal response. The heavy gauge shells are stiff, resisting bending and retaining their tonal characteristics even with repeated string bends.
Low-end And Strong
These Strings are designed for players that want to define low-end and strong projection out of their guitar strings. They’re constructed with an inner core made from high-carbon steel, which is wound with an outer wrap made from nickel-plated steel wire. The result is a powerful, bright tone at any volume.
Best Strings for Stratocaster Buyer’s Guide
Because Stratocasters come in a variety of shapes and sizes, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, depending on how you use your Strat and whatever model you have, you should be able to determine which of these top 5 Stratocaster strings will work best for you.
Imported Strats, such as Squiers or other “S Style” guitars made in Asian factories, aren’t always produced to Fender specifications, including body width. Less wood equals reduced production costs and, in many cases, greater comfort for beginning players. However, having a narrower body has an effect on your tone.
The resonance is lessened when the body is thinner. If you own one of these light Strats or Strat knockoffs, you might want to try a thicker gauge set of strings to compensate for the lack of sustain.
Stratocasters are truly versatile instruments. These guitars can be found on stages and in garages all over the world, providing rhythm or shredding solos.
If you play the lead, you should consider lighter gauge strings. Solo work will be more comfortable as a result, allowing for more expressive bends and vibratos. You can always advance to a heavier gauge as your skills improve, but modest gauges, such as the Yngwie Malmsteen autographs or the Ernie Ball Super Slinkies, would suffice.
Rhythm players should consider medium or medium to heavy gauges, such as the D’Addario NYXLs, which are our Editor’s Choice. They’ll withstand strong strumming and have enough mid-range presence to keep your ensemble sounding full.
When it comes to picking the ideal strings for your Stratocaster (or telecaster strings), another element to consider is the type of music you play. Heavy gauge strings will allow you to drop tune while maintaining tension if you play harder genres.
If you prefer the blues, something light will have less tension, enabling you to play freely without injuring your fingers or snapping strings.
Finally, if you don’t want to be limited to a single genre, a medium set will provide you the flexibility to play whatever you want while still sounding good.
Coated vs Uncoated
Many claims that uncoated strings sound better than coated strings and that you should only use them on a Strat. Personally, I don’t believe the difference is large enough.
For me, it’s more about how something feels and how long it lasts. Coated strings are smoother than uncoated strings and, in my opinion, feel a little better to play.
What matters most is how long they last. Coated strings are substantially more durable. Yes, they are more expensive, sometimes even twice as much, but if it means only having to replace your strings every few months rather than weeks, I believe it is well worth the extra money.
Frequently Asking Question
What String Gauge Is Best For A Stratocaster?
010-. 046 gauge, which is suitable for the Stratocaster we tested. This is a medium gauge, and it allowed us to easily play big bends while maintaining enough low-end presence to avoid sounding thin. If you get easily geeked out by guitar technology, you’ll love these strings.
Do Strats Need A String Tree?
String trees are not required for all guitars. Headstocks on guitars without string retainers slant backward at an angle from the neck, creating the proper break angle to keep the strings slotted firmly.
What Is The Difference Between Regular Slinky And Super Slinky Guitar Strings?
The “Slinkier” the strings are, the thinner they are; standard Slinky strings are 10 gauge, super slinky strings are 9 gauge, and “Not Even Slinky” strings are 12 gauge (the number represents the gauge of the lightest string in the set).
What Gauge Strings Does Mark Knopfler Use?
“All-electric guitars are strung with D’Addario XL110s, except for one Strat, which is strung with D’Addario XL115, and the Danelectro, which is strung with D’Addario EJ21,” the guitar tech continued.
What Gauge Strings Does Jeff Beck Use?
Jeff is a huge fan of SonoTone strings. We created him some custom Vintage sets out of our 10-46 and 11-48 gauges. Jeff Beck has never been afraid to express himself through his music.
So, the bottom line is that it just comes down to your preference. Many players like using coated strings, others like using uncoated strings and some players prefer using half-wound strings. We recommend you try all of these types of strings and use them for as long as you can sustain them before you decide on what gauge, type and brand of string you are most comfortable with.