Electric Vs. Acoustic Guitars: Can I Use Acoustic Steel Strings on Both?

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  • Writer:Alice
  • Time:2022-04-29

If you just bought an acoustic guitar and wondering which strings to buy, you have likely come across both acoustic and electric guitars. From the outside, they might look similar, but they actually aren’t. As acoustic guitars’ sound is entirely dependent upon the player’s strumming, the strings, in general, tend to have a much higher gauge compared to electric guitars. Even if acoustic steel strings are used, the sound will be unbalanced due to the material and gauge. You obviously can use acoustic steel guitar strings in electric guitars, but the sound quality will be compromised. 

Similarities Between Acoustic and Electric Guitars

Shape: They both have very similar shapes of long necks, divided into frets. Both have 6 strings in general, going from thinner to thicker for varying frequencies of sound.

Tonewood: Acoustic and electric guitars are very similar in terms of construction. They can both be built with very similar types of tonewood without causing any issues.

Playing style: Acoustic guitars and electric guitars are very similar when it comes to playing styles. The same types of plucking, rhythm patterns, solo techniques, etc., all follow similar methods for both types of guitars.

Steel core: Both kinds of guitars feature different types of string sets. Regardless of acoustic strings being made with bronze or brass plating, both acoustic and electric strings have a steel core in the middle to provide stability for the players. 

Differences Between Acoustic and Electric Guitars

There are some major differences between acoustic and electric guitars, contrary to all the similarities already mentioned.

Power Source: An acoustic guitar relies solely on the player’s strumming and fretting ability to pronounce the sound coming out because, unlike an electric guitar, you won’t have the option to play through an amp.

Level of difficulty: Although playing the acoustic steel guitar strings is a bit more labor, the electric guitar strings are a lot harder to control. As the sound is much more amplified, you have to be very precise with every note to avoid making noise.

Tone: Most guitar players will tell you that playing an acoustic steel guitar string is much more labor-intensive than an electric one because, as stated earlier, the strings are thicker, thus causing you to fret down your chords much harder than an electric one. So, the tone of an electric guitar is a lot clearer and louder, while an acoustic is softer and warmer.

String gauge: The first thing we notice about the difference between acoustic steel guitar strings and electric strings is in gauge (or thickness of string). If you have played both electric and acoustic guitar, you know that the acoustic guitar typically has a much thicker gauge of string than the electric guitar.

String wound material: Although both acoustic guitar strings and electric guitar strings use a steel core, the former are typically wound with brass and bronze, whereas the latter are usually wound with steel and nickel. In addition, acoustic steel guitar strings also have more strings wounds than electric ones.

Is It OK to Use Acoustic Strings on My Electric Guitar?

The answer to this question is surprising… YES, but NO. If you are going to do some experimental music creations, that’s a nice try. But if you do it for a long time, it is not a wise choice – since there is such a difference between the materials of acoustic steel guitar strings and electric guitar strings. This difference is going to cause an unbalance sound because acoustic strings weren’t designed to be picked up through the pickups of an electric guitar. If you play a lighter gauged acoustic steel guitar string, for example, a 10-gauge string, your electric might be able to fit them comfortably, and you might find it fun to play; however, if you are trying to record your music through this setup, you might find that weird to handle.

What Strings Should I Buy?

There are plenty of choices when it comes to buying the perfect strings for your guitar. But the fact of the matter is that Alice is always providing you with the most cost-effective guitar strings. We are producing some of the best quality strings out there at a fair price point. But just because it is an affordable string doesn’t mean it lacks in quality and richness of sound. Our AWR486 acoustic steel guitar strings and our A506 electric guitar strings are some of the most comfortable strings that you have ever laid your fingers on and the richness of tone is second to none!

Alice Acoustic Steel Strings AWR486

These Alice acoustic steel strings are plated with steel and have high-carbon steel cores, ensuring durability. Also, their phosphor bronze winding produces a warm sound, which is perfect for advanced practice.

Alice Electric Guitar String AE536

The AE536 Alice electric guitar string set is perfect for new starters. Instead of using acoustic steel strings on your electric guitar, just get economy but designed-for-electric-guitar strings from Alice. These nickel-alloy-wound strings have nickel-plated ball-end, suiting for your normal practice and performance.

Wrapping Up

Alice cares about each music lover – therefore, we have created various string sets for your different applications. No matter acoustic steel guitar strings or electric guitar strings, we have what you need. As a 20-year-prior in manufacturing instrumental accessories, we are proud to supply you with our innovative products.