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Electric guitar strings on Acoustic guitar Digital & Stage Pianos
Old 23rd July 2011
Gear interested

it all depends....

I have been playing guitar for 14 years and i have owned a wide variety of guitars from cheap beaters to really good brands. i currently own a 12-string accoustic electric Dean (Exotica body style). wish i would have waited until now to buy it tho...bought it for almost 900 bucks when it came out.
anyway, i had this little accoustic one time. had a flat finish on it, a dark mahogany color. when i bought it, i got it at a pawn shop for like $50. it had electric strings on it when i bought it and it played like a champ! i have never played a guitar that sounded that good with electric strings on it. Granted, it didn't have great projection like accoustic strings would, but the sound was absolutely phenomenal. I ended up giving the guitar to a kid who wanted to learn how to play but his foster parents wouldn't buy him a guitar. i thought i was going to have to beat him off with a stick, he was so ecstatic!
I'm going to try electric strings on my twelve string and see what that does. But the answer to your question is simply that it depends on the guitar. Some guitars will sound really smooth with electric strings and some will just sound tinny and really crappy. For informal settings, electric strings generally work well on accoustic guitars. it's easy on the fingers and if, say, a buddy came over that wasn't great at guitar and wanted to plunk out some tunes, he could do so with ease. in a more formal setting where you need a louder sound or more projection, stick with your accoustic strings (unless it's an accoustic-electric like mine lol). But switching strings will always sacrifice volume for playability.
I would say that if you try them and you like the sound, then by all means! stick with what you like. that's what being a musician is all about, expressing yourself through music. It's about finding the medium that works best for you. Hope that helps!
Old 6th October 2011
Gear interested

This is how I've set my 3 different Guitars up...

Acoustic - Martin SP .10/.47 (MSP3000)
SemiAcoustic - D'Addario XL .10/.46 (EXL110)
Electric - D'Addario XL .9/.42 (EXL120)

Hope this helps someone. Happy playin'
Old 28th November 2011
Gear interested

I need help

I need to know if it is ok to put light gauge (.9/.42) electric guitar strings on my acoustic/electric guitar. If it's ok, do I need to take it to the shop to have it set up? Thanks, it's been a long time.

(This is someone else's quote, but the answer is mine, AND really happened.)

"Are we really ALL out of the band?"

The answer is no...I told management I was keeping you and now I am out of the band.
Old 16th February 2012
Lives for gear
Originally Posted by Lindy Wise View Post
I need to know if it is ok to put light gauge (.9/.42) electric guitar strings on my acoustic/electric guitar. If it's ok, do I need to take it to the shop to have it set up? Thanks, it's been a long time.
You will need to adjust the truss rod if you are changing the tension the neck. As an aside, you get less volume with less mass and less tension on the guitar.

I recently re-tried D'Addario Chrome 13's on an Eastman oval hole archtop and they were just made for this guitar. Bronze had been sounding abrasive but the Chromes have definition, big body, and feel nicer to play. This guitar never sounded better. I kept trying Bronze strings because i thought i "had to" but am loving the Chromes.
Old 26th April 2013
Gear interested

I put some electric strings (Ernie Ball Super Slinkys 9-42) on my Fender acoustic today to try it out after reading this. I was looking for ways to avoid rsi in my hands so started looking at much lighter strings. I'm used to very heavy ones 12 -56 because I read that one of my favourite rhythm players uses heavy ones (Malcolm young from AC/DC).

Anyway, the result's not bad - I like how you don't have to fight with the strings, and the "harsher" tone form the electric strings works well for playing rock (I usually play a lot of electric guitar styles on my acoustic - odd I know but hey why not). It's true what they say about changing to light electric strings - the tone becomes smaller and the volume goes down, but as I said, I like the slight harsh edge to the sound. If you're thinking about doing this, I'd say just give it a try and see what you think. I know I'm converted.
Old 6th November 2016
Anyone else done this since? I've only used D'Addario Chromes on my Tele for ten years and love them, but just bought a Faith acoustic, and wondering about putting a set on there too.
Old 12th January 2017
OK, I have tried a few things now. Really like the Thomastik Infeld Plectrum 11's, BUT they only sound good for a week, then lose a lot of tension and sound naff, and the wound G string gets messed up very quickly. I might try a set of 12's or 13's on there at some stage in the future, but they are very expensive. So yesterday I put D'Addario Chrome 10's on it (almost exactly the same tension as the TI 11's), they sound kinda gnarly right now (huge fundamental but very metallic, bell like overtones), but I know from my electric they take a week to settle down properly. Will report back. I might have to try some "normal" strings too at some stage, haha, Martin SPs or something. I wanna try the D'Addario Flat Tops after reading this thread too. I generally hate the "zingy" sound of most acoustic strings.
Old 12th January 2017
Lives for gear
celticrogues's Avatar

Try the Martin Monels if you hate the "zingy" acoustic string sound. Takes a few days for them to settle in but once they do they sound good for a long time.

Old 12th January 2017
Cheers, will add to the wishlist!
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