flatwound guitar strings

How Long Do Flatwound Guitar Strings Last?

Do you have flatwound strings on your guitar but think that they may need to be replaced?

Not sure if this is the right time?

How long do flatwound guitar strings last?

A set of flatwound strings should last between 5 – 6 months.  But this time also depends on how often you play the guitar.  The more you play, the less time that they will last.

As you can probably tell, they can last a fair amount longer than regular roundwound strings on either electric guitar or acoustic.

What Are Flatwound Strings?

A flatwound string is a guitar string that has a flat wire wrapped around it.

It is made up of the same materials as the roundwound electric guitar strings, except for how it is manufactured.

The roundwound strings are wound on to a flat sheet metal, whereas the flatwounds are always made from one long continuous string.

This means that there are no end loops, which makes it harder to unravel over time – which is why they last longer.

Flatwound Vs Roundwound Strings

Those who play guitar at a professional level typically use flat wound strings because they produce a certain type of sound that isn’t available from rounds.  This is due to their tighter surface, which means that there is less string stretching and sliding back and forth when playing near the bridge area.

Flatwounds also produce a more powerful sound than regular round wound string sets, so professionals tend to prefer them. However, this type of string wear out faster than other types without proper care, so it’s essential for guitar players using flatwounds to change them out regularly.

The advantage of a flatwound string is that it is strong and stable.

How Do Flatwound Strings Sound?

Flatwound strings don’t have the squeaking sound of a roundwound string when you play across it. This is because the surface has no give – it’s a straight, flat surface that doesn’t move much, so the sound doesn’t change.

This produces a deeper tone from your guitar because of less string movement and stretching. The roundwound strings create more vibrations because they are wrapped around each other, which means that they produce louder sounds than their flat counterparts.

Flatwound strings are also not as susceptible to outside noise when in use.

Can You Put Flatwound Strings On An Acoustic Guitar?

Yes. The advantage of flatwounds on an acoustic is that you get a warmer, richer sound.

The downside to using a flatwound string on an acoustic is that they do not deepen the tone as much as roundwound plain strings do. However, this is usually not much of a concern for those who prefer playing acoustically as opposed to electric instrumentation.

Why Use Flatwound Strings?

Many guitar players prefer to use flatwound strings instead of regular roundwound strings for several reasons.

One of the first is that they produce a certain type of sound that their round counterparts do not. They last longer than regular strings and don’t need to be changed as often, which makes them cost-efficient in the long run. Another advantage of this type is that they do not produce any squeaking sounds when playing across them, which means you get a less-audible noise while playing.

There are also some disadvantages to using flatwound strings. For one, they are more expensive than regular strings, which is something to take into consideration if you are on a tight budget.

Also, it typically takes flatwound strings longer to break in before they produce the same type of sound that you would get from regular roundwound strings.

Should I Use Flatwound Strings?

For someone who has a deep, rich tone and doesn’t like their guitar to make any noise while they play (both of which you will get from flatwounds), then yes.  For someone with tight budget that isn’t too concerned about the noise, then perhaps not.

Many professional guitar players like to use flatwound strings because they produce a certain type of sound that regular roundwounds do not (and according to them, feel more comfortable). Unfortunately, these strings are more expensive than regular strings and take longer before they have their full potential.

What Do Flatwound Strings Feel Like?

If you’re a beginner, then this won’t make much of a difference. In the beginning, flatwounds will feel smooth to the touch, but after a few months they become harder to play.

It is something that you will have to get used to.

Why Are Flatwound Strings More Expensive?

Because they are more time-consuming to produce.  In addition, they have to use tools that have been specifically made for flatwound strings, which is a different material from regular strings.

Not only that, but they also require more material and labor and last longer than regular strings (which means you don’t need to change them as often). This is why flatwound strings are more expensive than regular sets.

Do Flatwound Strings Have Less Sustain Or More?

Flatwound strings will produce less sustain than roundwounds – probably about 1/2 of the sustain.  However, they do seem to emphasize the note better.

Are Flatwound Strings Easier On The Fingers?

Yes.  Flatwounds are, in general, a little more forgiving than regular strings.  This makes it a bit easier to play around an acoustic guitar neck since they don’t seem to press as hard as roundwounds do.

What Music Genres Are Flatwound Strings Good For?

Are They Good For Rock?

I’d say it’s about 50/50. The flatwounds do tend to produce a more “fat” sound than the roundwounds. This is because of how the flat surface provides extra firm footing for the string, which allows it to stay put in place while not moving much – which in turn produces a deep, raw sound.

Are They Good For Country?

While flatwounds tend to be a little harder to play, they can create a nice country sound as well.  With that said, the main difference is that this tone tends to be less “bassy” or “thick” than that of other genres.

Are They Good For Jazz?

One of the reasons that flatwounds tend to be preferred by jazz musicians is that they produce a deeper tone. This is why they are often used for guitar orchestrations and guitar players who play in a full band.

As far as carrying over their tone to the acoustic, many jazz guitarists use flatwound strings on their acoustics – although it can vary from one to another.

Are They Good For Metal?

Metal players tend to use regular strings. However, there are some metal artists that have experimented with flatwounds, which tend to produce a more “thick” sort of sound that tends to complement the genre.

If you’re unsure about what kind of strings are best for your music genre, then just ask around! There are plenty of forums with online musicians who will be happy to give their opinion.

Final Verdict On Flatwound Strings

If your goal is simply to have a deep rich sound from your guitar that will last longer than the normal roundwound set then flatwounds are for you.  It all comes down to preference.