Elephant Theatre Company | The Pros and Cons of Steel Guitars
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The Pros and Cons of Steel Guitars

The Pros and Cons of Steel Guitars

The Pros and Cons of Steel Guitars

The strings on a guitar are an essential part of the tone of any guitarist. Understanding how to choose the right string for your playing style and genre can be quite helpful in getting the most out of your instrument. Of course, the decision on what you put on your guitar ought to come from a choice and not from brand loyalty. Well, Steel guitar strings have nowadays become a standard in the field of acoustic guitars. Interestingly, the old nylon guitars are slowly getting replacements from the steel guitars. Despite the fact that a few guitarists are passionate about them, how about learning the pros and cons of steel guitar strings?

The Pros of Steel Guitars

When it comes to sound, steel guitars have a more harmonic value and can be preferred to any other strings. Whether you’re looking to have that thick bass or tingling tremble, the steel strings are quite perfect for such. What’s more, steel guitars are able to hold the tune for quite a long time. No wonder most guitar players prefer the sound quality of the steel guitars.

You’ve probably heard of maraging steel or simply M-Steel. Well, this is a super-alloy of carbon-free iron-nickel alloys with additions of molybdenum and cobalt. The alloy is quite strong; making it a perfect material for aerospace and other high-stress applications. In a guitar, M-Steel strings have greater strength, durable with deep and rich tonal response. Thereupon, the steel guitars are able to offer superior tuning stability with short break-in times due to the fact that they stretch less than other strings.

If you’ve previously owned a nylon guitar, perhaps you noticed that the strings must be tuned quite often. That’s because they are made from a soft material that is more sensitive to temperature and humidity; frequently taking them out of tune. However, when you get the steel strings, you’ll only set them once; you’ll be done! They are not manipulated by temperature or humidity.

Cons of the Steel strings

One of the main disadvantages of the steel strings is that they require more pressure from the player to produce sound. Well, this can be quite painful for new guitarists; you’ll definitely take some time to develop the toughness in your fingers to make you feel comfortable playing a steel guitar for an extended time.

Interestingly, while steel strings do not require frequent tuning, the initial tuning can be tough. It’s even more frustrating for a new guitarist to tune the strings. Since they stretch less and are quite tough, one tends to take more time in trying to correctly tune all the strings.

Steel strings tend to rust easily after a few weeks of use. Well, this comes as a result of grease and humidity on the fingers which easily deteriorates the quality of the strings. However, this can be countered by regular cleaning for the strings. You’ll also love the coated strings that allow longer endurance.


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