For all the advice that I got about buying a guitar for my friends, I learned very little about guitar strings. I had always assumed that the guitar alone determines the sound you get out of it. With an acoustic guitar, the main thing is how the body is constructed and what materials are used. If you had good tone woods, solid construction, and a large enough body to resonate, you would get a brilliant warm tone. With electric guitars, it had to do with what pickups you used. Different pickups would give sharp tones, mellow tones, or hot distorted sounds.
When I had been playing for about a year, I got sick of my guitar, but I didn't really have money for another one. It wasn't a very good model, and it didn't sound great in the hands of inexperienced player. When one of my friends suggested trying some different guitar strings, I thought he was being silly. I had tried a few different acoustic guitar string brands, and had not noticed any difference. He told me to buy myself some high-quality Martin strings and listen again.
When I did, I was blown away. They really did sound warmer, brighter, and all around fuller. That sound was great for me for a while. I have never had anything but good things to say about Martin guitar strings. The problem was that my guitar was a little bit tinny. The Martin strings were too bright for the particular axe that I was using, So I knew that I had to experiment more. I wanted dark guitar strings with a much mellower, lower pitched sound. I was playing my guitar mostly for accompaniment, so I didn't need it to project out all that much. When I finally found the perfect set of acoustic strings, I was absolutely overjoyed. They were made by a local manufacturer who hand wound them.
Hand wound guitar strings are a little bit expensive, but if you find really good ones they are more than worth it. Unfortunately, he doesn't make the strings anymore, but fortunately I stockpiled enough for several years to come. I practice using Martin strings still, but I have my special strings waiting in a case for shows. By saving them and using them sparingly, I should be able to make them last for as long as I \need them. By that point, maybe I will have bought a better guitar.
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