Electric and Acoustic guitar both need different kinds of strings to play. However, the question that arises here is- Can Electric guitar strings work on Acoustic guitar (& vice versa)? Well, the answer is not so straightforward as one may think it is. Here is what you should know when using different kinds of strings in different guitars.
Is it possible to use Electric guitar strings on an Acoustic guitar?
Generally, there isn’t an issue in placing Electric guitar strings on Acoustic guitar. The strings of Electric guitar are usually thinner and will affect the playability and tone. Here, you might have to search for a different set of Acoustic guitar strings or tune-up your guitar. On the other hand, if you face any problem with the buzz, your guitar would likely require some quick setup. In this case, you can either search for tutorials online or seek help from an experienced tech. But on the whole, the strings of an Electric guitar work just fine on an Acoustic guitar.
Is it possible to use Acoustic guitar strings on an Electric guitar?
Yes, a musician can also try using Acoustic guitar strings on Electric guitar, but it does not always offer the best results. You can place the strings of an Acoustic guitar on the Electric guitar when you are desperately in need of strings. Otherwise, you would witness a few side effects when using Acoustic strings on the Electric counterpart.
Firstly, the bronze coatings make the Acoustic guitar string sound more like an Acoustic guitar. Only the first and the second strings will sound like the Electric strings. The D, A, E, and G strings won’t produce much sound on an Electric guitar because of the bronze coating. An Electric guitar tends to respond better to the steel strings. And though the bronze-coated guitar strings generally come with a steel core, they produce a sound that isn’t as prominent as the first and the second strings.
The second side effect will likely be the tension and weight of the string. That is going to affect your bridge and neck negatively. The ones who say that placing strings with a heavier gauge on the Electric guitar would make no difference haven’t obviously experienced a bridge popping out, and it’s a pain to place them back.
Hence, considering all of these factors, it’s best to use Electric strings for Electric guitars.
Under what situations can Electric guitar strings be used on an Acoustic Guitar & vice versa?
Below are some of the many circumstances wherein you can consider using the Electric guitar strings on Acoustic guitar:
You wish to play Acoustic guitar like Electric guitar:
You might want to transfer some Electric licks onto Acoustic and notice that they are a bit difficult to play with strings that have a heavier gauge. Here, it should definitely be much easy with Electric strings.
You like the strings of the Electric guitar more than the Acoustic strings:
You simply like Electric guitar strings more. Maybe you love the action or find them easier on the fingers or like the sound they produce. Be it whatever reason; your preferred choice is always Electric strings.
When you are experimenting:
Many a time, a musician or guitarist might feel like experimenting with various strings, as every string sounds, feels, and plays a bit differently. Moreover, you may try the strings of an Electric guitar on the Acoustic guitar and land up loving the results in some situations.
When you don’t have any other option:
You may find yourself playing at an open mic, a rehearsal, or a studio where sadly, you don’t have an additional pack of Acoustic guitar strings. In such a case, you can still save the show if you are carrying Electric guitar strings.
Hence, you might have understood that different strings produce different action, playability, and sound by now. Though most of it depends on personal preference, there are situations wherein some strings might work and others may not. So, make sure to determine the limitations of the guitar you own and be all set with the correct equipment.