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Acoustic Guitar Strings

Complete sets of acoustic guitar strings are listed by manufacturer in the sections below. Individual acoustic guitar strings can be found in the Single Strings section.
Although the strings that most acoustic guitars use are commonly called "steel strings" (and they do have steel cores), the wound strings will almost always be wound with bronze. Acoustic guitar strings are either phosphor bronze, which has a warm tone and tends to keep its tone a little longer, or 80/20 bronze, which sounds a bit brighter and loses its brightness a bit faster. Because of this, the wound acoustic strings are not steel colored, but instead appear different shades of gold, which is the natural color of bronze. We carry a wide variety of the best acoustic guitar strings at Just Strings.

What we think of today as an acoustic guitar was developed in the early 20th century for players seeking more volume than traditionally constructed guitars could provide. C.F. Martin & Co. of Nazareth, Pennsylvania was among the first guitar makers to try to meet this new demand. By the 1920’s Martin was making steel string guitars, reinforced more than their predecessors and many of them much larger than standard guitars of the time.

These larger instruments were referred to by Martin as "Dreadnaughts" and Gibson as "Jumbos", in order to differentiate them from older, smaller, parlor style guitars.  Many companies began to produce steel string guitars in many sizes. The new steel string guitar was constructed much like its ancestor, the Spanish classical guitar. They were still made of particular woods selected for tone quality, but were given much stronger cross bracing inside to hold up to the greatly increased tension of the new steel acoustic guitar strings. Steel string acoustics also had different bridges, utilizing pins to hold the ends of the strings in place. This was in place of the small piece of wood employed on classical guitars to tie the much more flexible classical strings to. Similarly, the wooden tuning pegs of the classical guitar were replaced with metal machine heads in order to effectively tune the newer, much less flexible, steel acoustic strings.

The main advantage of the new type of guitar was that it was much louder than traditional classical instruments. For some this was not enough and to get even more volume, and more than likely to avoid the discomfort of finger picking heavy gauge steel strings, people also began to use guitar picks.  This facilitated strumming of chords for solo vocal accompaniment, among other things. Suitable for nearly any style of music, the steel string acoustic guitar, along with its new, metal acoustic guitar strings, paved the way for the popular music of the twentieth century. As the popular music of the day progressed to using bigger and bigger bands in the 1930's, the quest for even more volume led some players to attempt to use microphones and other types of pickups to amplify their steel string guitars. The feedback problems this created led directly to the semi-hollow and solid body electric guitars we know today.
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