There are many different components that make up the way that music sounds—the instruments, the arrangement, the style, the musician, and many more. One of the things that have a big impact on a guitar’s sound in a particular style is the guitar strings. So, it’s always good to know which strings will best suit the style you are playing, such as bluegrass.
The best acoustic guitar strings for bluegrass are:
- DR Rare Phosphor-Bronze Bluegrass
- D’Addario EJ19 Phosphor-Bronze Bluegrass
- Martin MA545 Bluegrass
- D’Addario Nickel-Bronze
- John Pearse P650 Bronze
- GHS WB-L White Bronze
- VIBE Phosphor-Bronze
- Elixir NanoWeb 80/20 Bronze Strings
You’ve got the bluegrass bug, and you’re on the hunt for the best strings to match your new playing style, but there are so many options on the market, so how will you choose?
That’s where we come in. In this article, we have compiled a list of strings we would recommend if you want to play bluegrass on your acoustic guitar.
First up on the list are the DR Rare Phosphor Bronze Bluegrass Strings.
The name says it all; these strings are made to play bluegrass.
They feature a light top and medium bottom (called ‘bluegrass’) gauge, ranging from 0.012-0.056 inches (0.3-1.4 mm). This combination gives this string set a very well-balanced tone with excellent sound strength and a deep bottom end.
These strings are made from a phosphor bronze wrap wire wound around a hexagonally-shaped high-carbon steel core wire.
This makes their sound a good combination of both bright and warm, which is important in a bluegrass style. Guitars strung with these strings will also benefit from the improved tone, remarkable depth, and better sustain.
Next up are the D’Addario EJ19 strings. They also come in a light top/medium bottom “bluegrass” gauge, ranging from 0.012 inches to 0.056 inches (0.3 mm to 1.4 mm).
They are made from phosphor bronze wire wrapped around a high-carbon steel hex core wire and are naturally corrosion-resistant. These acoustic guitar strings offer a nice balance of volume and comfortability when playing, as the phosphor bronze is easy on the fingers.
These strings will aid the player in outstanding performances, with a wonderfully balanced warm and bright tone that is long-lasting and stays consistent throughout their playing lifetime. They are durable and offer excellent intonation as well. Overall, this is an excellent set of strings and is the set of choice for many professional players across the globe.
We are moving on to our next recommendation. The Martin Authentic Acoustic MA545 Bluegrass strings have an interesting combination of light top/medium bottom gauge. It ranges from 0.0125 inches to 0.055 inches (0.32 mm to 1.39 mm).
This is certainly not a common gauge combination, but it will ensure some unique sounds from your guitar. They are said to offer excellent tuning stability, corrosion resistance, and durability, which ensure they will last long.
Designed for performance and playability, these strings feature a 92:8 ratio of phosphor to bronze in their wrap wire, a high-tensile, tin-plated steel core, and tin-plated plain strings. The brightness of these strings will help brighten the natural tuning of your guitar, from tenor through the mid-tones all the way to the bass, as well as providing a rich tone.
Next up, let’s talk about the D’Addario Nickel Bronze strings. The combination of nickel and phosphor bronze produces a slightly brighter sounding string than those wrapped in phosphor bronze, and therefore provides a unique tone for anyone looking to stand out in a crowd.
They feature a nickel-plated phosphor bronze alloy wrap wire and high carbon NY steel core wires, which amounts to strings that produce a well-balanced sound with excellent resonance and projection, as well as rich overtones and wonderful clarity.
The NY steel cores help provide better pitch stability. They come in a light top/medium bottom 0.012-0.056 inch (0.3-1.4 mm) string gauge and feature increased corrosion resistance for longer lasting uncoated strings.
The next strings on our list are the John Pearse P650 phosphor bronze strings. These strings have a medium string gauge rating, which ranges from 0.012 inches to 0.056 inches (0.3 mm to 1.4 mm). They feature a hexagonally-shaped steel core, with a phosphor bronze alloy wire wrapped around the core, making them bright sounding with excellent resonance.
They are designed specifically for bluegrass players and can withstand the changing climates that a traveling and performing musician might encounter. They are high-quality strings that last longer and sound great, too.
They are an excellent string choice for bluegrass flatpicking as they are very comfortable to play on. They offer long-lasting intonation and will sound better for longer, meaning that they have a longer playing lifespan.
These white bronze strings by GHS are certainly the most unique set on this list. They are made using alloy 52 as the wrap wire around the core wires, which none of the other strings on this list have. Alloy 52 is a metal alloy made of 52% nickel and 48% iron, making it ideal for use on an acoustic (or electric) guitar in combination with transducers or a magnetic pickup.
These strings have a light gauge rating, ranging from 0.012 inches (0.3 mm) on the high E to 0.054 inches (1.37 mm) on the low E string. They are high-quality strings that offer extra volume, outstanding clarity, and shimmer, as well as great consistency, lasting intonation, and a wonderfully harmonious sound.
Now, let’s discuss this set of phosphor bronze strings by VIBE. As you can probably tell, these strings are made from a corrosion-resistant phosphor bronze wire that is wound around a high carbon steel hex core wire. They come in a medium string gauge, ranging from 0.012 to 0.052 inches (0.3 to 1.32 mm).
These strings are made from high-quality materials, which make them extremely durable and long-lasting. These strings are suitable for both lead and accompanying guitarists and offer a warm tone and comfortable playability. They also offer a consistent and long-lasting tone and a well-balanced, rich, and full-bodied sound.
Last but not least, we’d recommend the 80/20 bronze NanoWeb strings from Elixir. They are made from an 80/20 copper-zinc alloy wrap wire, which is wound around the core wire, resulting in a slightly brighter sound than the phosphor bronze wire.
This is also the only coated string set on the list, and the nanoweb coating on these strings helps protect the strings against common corrosive elements and extends their playing lifetime.
The nanoweb coating allows for a more traditionally “uncoated” feel so that it doesn’t get in the way of your playing. They come in a light top/medium bottom gauge, ranging from 0.012 to 0.056 inches (0.3 to 1.4 mm). These strings have a crisp and bright tone and a vibrant and expressive presence.
Final Thoughts On The Best Acoustic Guitar Strings for Bluegrass
Ensuring that you get the right strings for your playing style is an essential part of playing guitar.
While every guitarist’s needs and preferences differ, we hope that this list offered some string sets that sound appealing to your style of playing.
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