Guitar lessons, tips & tricks

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Are my strings wearing down my frets?

Hello and welcome back to the next instalment of the Strings Direct blog. In this entry, we’re going to talk about the relationship between your frets and your strings and in particular how they can affect one another. Your frets and your strings are like two best friends. They have a very close relationship… after all, they make contact with each other every time we play our guitar. However, whilst these two parts of the guitar are best buds…like many friendships, they can sometimes rub each other up the wrong... Read More

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Absolutely buzzing! Why am I getting string buzz?

“Absolutely buzzing” has recently become a popular phrase to explain a heightened feeling of happiness, excitement and elation. However, ‘Absolutely Buzzing’ is certainly not something you want to hear when describing the way your strings sound on your guitar :-/ This usually occurs when the string doesn’t have enough room to freely vibrate and its path of travel is interrupted and usually manifests itself as an irritating buzzing noise. This buzz can occur when a string is played open, or it can also occur when the string is fretted. If... Read More

GHS Thin Core Set laying on a guitar 19/12/2018
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What’s the difference between a hex core and a round core string?

Today, electric guitar and acoustic guitar string sets comprise of a mix of plain steel strings and wound strings. Plain steel strings are simply one piece of cylindrical steel wire running the entire length of the string. However, when we refer to strings that have a central core, we’re referring to the thicker ‘wound’ strings. These strings are (in almost all cases) made up of two parts: a central core wire and an outer wrap which travels around the core. This central steel core wire can come in two main... Read More

Opened DAddario Nickel Wound Single Strings 26/11/2018
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What’s a wound 3rd and do I need one?

Throughout your guitar playing life, chances are you may never have considered whether your 3rd string should be plain or wound. The vast majority of sets sold nowadays come with a plain 3rd (for electric guitar anyway) and comprise of 3 plain strings and 3 wound strings (or more if you play 7, 8, 9-string etc.). The use of a wound 3rd in electric sets is certainly not as popular today as it was many moons ago. In fact, before the 60’s, string gauges were pretty heavy and came with... Read More

Different Scale Length Strings 23/10/2018
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Bass guitar scale length – what you need to know

Scale length for bass guitars can be a rather grey area due to the huge variation of basses and strings on the market today. As with all things strings and musical instruments, there’s often some idiosyncrasies that throw curve balls into the mix so we’re here to help clear things up and guide you as you navigate your way through the (sometimes) murky waters of scale lengths. So what exactly is scale length? Scale length is the distance (usually measured in inches) from the bridge saddles of your bass up... Read More

Ernie Ball Beefy Slinky 21/09/2018
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Going Heavy! What to expect when you go up a gauge

So you’re thinking of going up a gauge in string, eh!? You cheeky monkey!! Going for a heavier gauge string is a common desire for many players. As we know, heavier strings can help deliver a “bigger and better” tone! However, before you run off, unwrap that heavier set and stick them on your guitar it’s worth being aware of the trade-offs that can come as result of your journey on the quest for heavenly tone!! Heavier gauge strings naturally have more tension in them when they are tuned to... Read More

String Tension Image 14/09/2018
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String Tension 101

In our previous blog, we gave a brief introduction to the world of string gauges. We discussed how gauge can affect the playability of a guitar and we also touched on the concept of string tension too. In this blog we’re going to delve a little deeper into tension, talk about its close link with string gauge and why it’s something you should also be conscious of. Tension is something that is more commonly referred to when we talk about classical guitar strings. However, when we discuss other types of... Read More


How many windings around your tuning post?

Everybody has ‘their way’ of stringing up an instrument. Take a look at a few different people’s guitars and you’ll no doubt see a multitude of ways they have been restrung; some conventional and some more unconventional, for sure. One thing that you may or may not notice is how many windings they have around the machine head post. Does it really matter? In reality, it’s not the end of the world if you have three windings or if you have four. We did hear that B.B. King was known... Read More


Gauge is just a number

String gauge can be a really funny thing. String brands use a whole myriad of names to describe the gauge of their strings. Here’s just a handful of the names that we’ve come across; Light, super light, extra-light, super-light plus, light, regular light, regular, slightly light, custom light, bluegrass, light top-heavy bottom, medium, new medium, true medium, standard medium, medium-heavy, heavy, heavier, heaviest. Phew!?…and we could probably go on!! String manufacturers will give these little names to their sets to help give a more ‘descriptive’ meaning to the gauge itself.... Read More

Taking Sound Notes 10/07/2018

Recording Your String Changes

When we first start learning to play the guitar we’re often encouraged to record ourselves playing. For most of us, when we listen back this can prove quite a cringeworthy experience, but it is hard to deny the eye opening benefits such an exercise can offer. But surely we’re listening whilst we’re playing right. Surely that’s enough!? Well yes. That is very true, however, our brain is being occupied in several ways when we sit down to play the guitar. Often we can be so wrapped up in the ‘playing’... Read More