If you’re here because you’re looking for the best guitalele strings then we’ve got you covered!
A guitalele typically uses nylon strings (similar to a classical guitar), which means there is less string tension than that of a steel-string guitar which can make it easier for beginners.
You can actually put steel guitar strings on a guitalele, but the added tension on the neck could damage the instrument so it’s worth checking if it has a truss rod, otherwise, steel strings are a no-no!
Generally, we now know the differences between guitar and guitalele strings – both the material and how this affects string tension. But which guitalele strings are best?
The 6 Best Guitalele Strings
D’addario Folk Nylon Guitar Strings
Cordoba Mini String Set
Ernie Ball Zippy Slinkys (Best For Electric Guitaleles)
Thomastik-Infeld Classic N Superlona Classical Guitar Strings (Premium Option)
It may be confusing at first as these nylon strings can be used with guitar, however, they will also be a great choice for your guitalele and will hold their tuning really well and cope with the tension exerted on them.
Ernie Ball does a wide range of string gauges, ranging from 7’s all the way up to 12’s, which of course is way too heavy for a guitalele, however, it’s worth trying the thinnest gauge, see how you feel playing them and then you have the option for increasing the thickness slightly if you’d prefer.
We probably wouldn’t recommend going much higher than a 9 gauge in this case due to the string tension.
5. Thomastik-Infeld Classic N Superlona Classical Guitar Strings
As we’ve mentioned, thinner gauge strings might be more suited to your guitalele but they are very similar. The main difference is the tuning, with a guitalele tuned to ADGCEA and a guitar tuning to EADGBE.
The short answer is yes! In fact, sometimes the guitalele can be easier to learn on initially due to the smaller size (especially if you’re a child or have small hands).
The guitar uses the same intervals as the guitalele, the guitalele however is tuned higher. So you’ll be able to play the same songs, it’s just it will sound higher in pitch than if you were playing a normal guitar.
You can play guitar songs on a guitalele as the guitalele strings are tuned in the same intervals, however, you need to be aware that the guitalele is tuned the same way as a guitar with a capo on the fifth fret.
For this reason, you wouldn’t be able to jam along to your favorite tracks as what you’re playing will actually be much higher than what you’re listening to.
Can I Put Steel Strings On My Guitalele?
Technically yes, but it wouldn’t be advisable! The reason being the guitalele is designed for nylon strings, which exert much less string tension than on the neck of the guitar, and the guitar’s truss rod. Much less than their steel counterparts.
By stringing a guitalele with steel strings you risk bending, damaging, or even splitting the neck.
You may also find that the saddle itself can’t accommodate steel strings.
There are of course exceptions, such as electric guitalele’s.