Recording Studio Guitar strings are an essential part of a guitarist’s tone, and choosing an appropriate string for your playing style and genre is essential for getting the most from your instrument. What you put on your guitar should be a decision and not the result of brand loyalty. After all, strings are the first link in your signal chain and there’s real science that goes into recording studio string design and construction.
In the early days of guitar, there were not many options available, and the materials and construction were comparatively primitive to what we have today. These days, strings come in a variety of gauges, constructions and materials, each with different characteristics that can have a significant impact on comfort, playability and tone.
The first recording studio steel string acoustic guitars came on the scene around 1900, and electric guitars followed in the ‘20s. Broadly speaking, steel acoustic and electric guitar strings are not that different. They each consist of a wrap wire wound around a core wire. However, the selection of materials and construction methods manifest in very different strings, each with their own characteristics and uses.
Recording Studio: Guitar String Construction
String construction and materials have a significant impact on string flexibility, which is reflected in the playing experience and tone; and while every company has its own recipe for winding strings they do share some similarities.
At the core is a six-sided high-carbon steel wire, typically called core or music wire. Music wire is hexagonal, as the edges give the outer wrap wire something to grab. The formulation for winding the string, including the tension and the number of wraps manufacturers use, are regarded as trade secrets as it’s that formula that gives a string its particular vibration and sound.