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In this Learn section, you'll get information on the different electric guitar string gauges D'Addario has to offer. Once you read through the information here, move on to the Gauge Earn section, take the quiz and collect 50 Players Circle points if you answer all the questions correctly!

Electric Guitar String Gauges

The gauge of a set of strings indicates how thick the strings within it are. Smaller gauges, such as 8-38 are “lighter” and a bit easier to strum and bend. These tend to be great options for beginner players. Higher gauges, like 11-56 are “heavier,” create more resistance when strumming and bending, but ring out longer and have a fuller tone.  


Unique Gauge Combinations

D’Addario also makes sets which use unique combinations of individual string gauges, like 9.5-44 “Super Light Plus” for players who want something between 9s and 10s, or 10-52 “Light Top/Heavy Bottom” which adds some extra bass resonance to the classic set of 10-46 Regular Light gauge strings. We want to ensure that you can achieve the perfect set for your instrument and style.

Balanced Tension

“Balanced Tension” sets are a unique combination of gauges that only D’Addario offers. In Balanced Tension sets the tension of each string has been engineered to match, giving players a more consistent feeling across the entire set. We did the math so each string feels comfortable and great to play.

Alternate Tunings

Some D’Addario sets are optimized specifically for different types of tuning. XL Nickel 11-56 is great for drop D tuning, while XL Nickel 12-60 is made specifically for C tuning. The more you experiment, the more options you’ll need, and we have you covered.

Extended Range

We also have sets for 7- and 8-string guitars. For 7-string guitars, there’s XL 09-54 Super Light, as well as 10-59 Regular Light—available in both XT and NYXL. For 8-string guitars, NYXL 10-74 will deliver the full power and resonance of the mighty 8-string. Our extended range sets are wound on our most advanced machinery for perfect strings.

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