Strings #


Guitars #

Picture of my character by Alex the Nerd Bird

Acoustic, Electric, Acoustic-Electric? #

Hollow Body, Solid Body? #

Pickups? #

Frets? #

Some guitars used “fanned” or multi-scale frets. This is most common on extended range (7+ string) guitars. The intent is that the scale length can be longer for the thick string and shorter for the thin so that the tension on all of them is reasonable (it avoids the low string being floppy). Different guitars may use a different fret as the “straight fret” where it changes from being fanned up vs down, and this can alter what chords are comfortable. They also should have better intonation.

You won’t find many old guitars with fanned frets as the patent for them on guitars only expired in 2009.

In addition to multi-scale, you may happen across a true temperament neck where the frets are all a bit squiggly. This makes it so each note is actually correct in a 12TET scale, instead of the standard imperfections inherit to guitar. This makes chords sound more stable/accurate as you move closer to the body. These are still patented with it not set to expire until 2027.

Strings? #


Nylon vs plain vs wound, metal types, coated. Gauges. . This page does reference neck length, so keep that in mind too!

My recommendation, first and foremost, is try them. Strings are cheap, swap ’em out, try each for a month, note your experiences before and after- how they felt, sounded, if they left your fingers sore, if pitch bending was fun, etc.

Still, I will say generally I’ve found Ernie Ball Slinkys (the normal, greenish-yellowish package) are a good works-for-everything bet. If you’re playing something where you want more meaty low end, Ernie Ball Slinky Cobalts are worth a shot. If you’re looking to get more sustain, output, and outright aggression from your pickups, Ernie’s M-Stell line does well. Each of those is available in a variety of gauges. I’m not being paid to promote Ernie Ball here - they’re just good.

Tunings? #

Standard (EADBGe), drop D, open G, DADGAD, Ostrich, etc. Why you’d want them.

Picks, Slides, fingers, or… chopsticks? #

Classical Guitars? #

6-String #

Bass #


  • Active Pickups, 3 vs 2 band EQ, string count, picking methods, slap

12-String #

Extended Range #

Fanned-Fretts #

Fretless #

Baritone #

Lap Steel & Pedal Steel #

Pianos #

Clavinet #

Dulcimers #

Hammered #

Harp #

[TODO] + Pedals on harp

Gurdy #

Banjo #

Bass #

Cello #

What is the Difference Between Cello and Bass (Consordini, YouTube)

Violin / Fiddle #

Viola #

Lute #

Mandolin #

Sitar #

Ukulele #

Concert, Soprano, Tenor, Baritone, Bass? #

Gaohu #

Guzheng #

Koto #

Theorbo #

guitar, lute, dulcimer, dual/single string, acoustic, electric, electroacoustic

guitar pickups, slides, kapo, tuning (equal v just), wound, physical modeling (Kurplus Strong)

The History Of Guitar (YouTube, Rob Scallon)

Tuning a Floyd Rose Guitar (YouTube)

My New 18-String Hurdy-Gurdy (YouTube, Patty Gurdy) (also see 5 System of a Down riffs on hurdy gurdy)

If you would like to support my development of OpGuides, please consider supporting me on GitHub Sponsors or dropping me some spare change on Venmo @vegadeftwing - every little bit helps ❤️