light vs medium guitar strings

Light Vs Medium Guitar Strings Gauge (Sound, Tone, Feel)

Have you done some research on the guitar strings gauges that best match your needs? How was the experience? Is it overwhelming, right?

The main difference between light and medium guitar strings is the gauges.  Medium strings are slightly thicker than light strings.  This means that the sound and tone of the medium string is also warmer.  Lighter strings are also easier to bend due to less tension when in tune.  Choosing one over the other is based on a guitar players choice.

Now, what’s the best guitar string you should consider? Well, there are many options to take into account. Light and medium guitar strings are a popular option you can take advantage of.

But which is better? Read on for further advice!

Light Guitar Strings

Light guitar strings are the go-to options for aspiring and professional guitarists out there. What makes a light gauge string different from others? Aside from the competitive rate, its quality features are on another level. You can enjoy the excellent performance while saving some cash in the long run.

What Sets It Apart from the Rest?

Light guitar strings have been creating a buzz in different corners of the world because of its multiple benefits. Some of them are highlighted below:

  • Lower string tension. There are many factors that could damage your guitar string. The tension is one of the most common problems to avoid. While it is hard to fix, a light guitar string can come into play.
  • Lower stress on the guitar neck. The guitar neck is delicate. So, it is important to use it with extra caution. As one of the safety precautions, a light guitar string can do the trick.
  • Easier to pick or strum. One of the hassles guitarists experience is a string that’s difficult to pick. Sometimes, people still use the same string as they believe it will be soft and easy to utilize as time goes by – great for beginners on the instrument. But it depends. A light guitar string can play a critical role. Competitively priced, this string ensures a seamless and swift experience.
  • Tinnier sound. Can you achieve a tinier sound using a heavy guitar string? Of course, not. A light string got you covered. However, this kind of sound can be difficult to hear. Constant practice allows you to master every specific technique or routine.
  • A better option for string bending or fretting. Who wants to exert great effort in bending or fretting string? Not all people prefer that. Instead of a heavy string, invest in a light guitar string. In fact, it is a better option for string fretting or bending.
  • It produces less volume. Too much volume is hard to your ears. A balanced and accurate sound will be your best bet, and a light guitar string won’t be a disappointment. But don’t underestimate other types of string for your peace of mind and convenience.


Light gauge strings, however, has some drawbacks, just like other available choices. A few disadvantages are given below:

  • It breaks more easily. Unlike a medium gauge string or heavy guitar string, the light string is more prone to breakage. This means you have to consider a constant replacement. But it can also be long lasting depending on how you strum it. Don’t be tense whenever you pick the string. Relax and feel the moment under your fingers.
  • It is prone to fret buzzing. This is especially true in guitars with low action playability. Consider other kinds of guitar strings if the need arises.
  • A safe and perfect choice for vintage guitars. Vintage guitars are hard to replace. The light string can protect your vintage collection all year round. Do some research online for more tips and tricks.
  • Less stable tuning. You will get used to it as time goes on. Just upgrade to medium and heavy guitar strings if necessary.

Medium Guitar Strings

Another popular option is medium guitar string. Similar to a light string, this solution is effective and won’t break your bank. When used accordingly, it can level up your experience. Also, it can help you perform at your best in a small or big stage – especially when playing rock style guitar.

Why Should You Choose A Medium Guitar String?

  • Darker sound and stronger bass tone. Are you tired of tinier sound? Then, a stronger base tone and darker sound is a good alternative. Add medium guitar string to cart and see a big difference along the way.
  • A better option for strong picking. It is also a perfect solution for hard playing. Whether you’re a beginner or are comfortable in picking hard strings, this one should be on top of your list. But don’t be so hard whenever you strum your guitar. Be gentle as well to prolong its longevity.
  • Preferred for low and alternative tunings. Who doesn’t love alternative and low tunings? I think a lot of people enjoy it, and a medium guitar string gauge will be a worthwhile and meaningful investment you shouldn’t miss.
  • It is less susceptible to breakage. Whether you have been buying an unnecessary or constant replacement, medium guitar string will give you a different experience. Developed with the client’s satisfaction in mind, medium guitar string can last for years. It is less susceptible to breakage and other costly issues.


There’s no perfect string for your guitars. Here are a few drawbacks of a medium string:

  • It is more challenging to pick. Compared to a light string gauge, a medium string might be hard to strum. But after a few months of use, it might be soft and easy to employ.
  • It may cause issues with bridges and necks. That’s why you have to be cautious when using the string to make it free of damages or scratches.

Top and Popular Materials to Consider

You finally have chosen a guitar string. Now, what’s the material that can prolong the longevity of your choice? In this section, we will know a few of the top materials to weigh in mind.

Pure Nickel

Introduced in the earliest days of guitars, pure nickel is a sought-after material in strings with guitar string manufacturers. While it can produce a warm tone and mild output, it is more likely to be stiffer, harder to play, and heavier than contemporary strings. It tends to be heavier, too.

Nickel Plated

Unlike pure nickel, nickel-plated steel strings are designed to produce a more aggressive and brighter tone. This material helps the string produce a more balanced tone. It is also ideal for all types of guitars, from acoustic strings to electric.


Aside from nickel-plated, guitarists can opt for strings wrapped in other special materials. Cobalt strings are good to go. What makes it different from the rest is that it gets a more accurate and stronger interaction between the pickups and string, according to experts. The tone, on the other hand, is clear, articulate, and bright.

Premium Alloy

String sets made of premium alloy increase its magnetic responsiveness and liveliness. Alloy-packed strings can also be long-lasting, saving some cash in the long run.  A great example is phosphor bronze acoustic guitar strings.

How Often Should Strings Be Changed?

There’s no definite answer. But there are factors that can shorten the life of your guitar strings.

If you sweat a lot when playing, the quality of your strings might be affected due to the high acid of your perspiration.

Also, consider replacing your strings when you play with a lot of hard picking and bending.

Here are the other factors that will help you decide whether or not a string replacement is a good idea:

  • You strum the guitar most of the time.
  • You change tunings oftentimes.
  • You play your guitar in any smoky environment.

Bottom Line

Which is better between light and medium string gauges? Well, it depends. Before anything else, identify your needs and requirements. This way, you can select the right string within a short span of time.