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Best Guitar Strings for Fingerstyle & Fingerpicking

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best guitar strings for fingerstyle fingerpicking

If you’re searching for the best guitar strings for fingerstyle playing and fingerpicking – don’t worry! In today’s article, we’re going to highlight ten most reliable and affordable sets of guitar strings available on the market.

Finding the right set of strings is not an easy task. We all have different preferences when it comes to their thickness, sound and feel. In addition, there are so many different strings out there! It’s really easy to get confused, especially if you’re a beginner.

To make this process nice and easy for you, we created a list of 10 best guitar strings for fingerstyle and fingerpicking. Of course, all of these models are suitable for both amateurs and more advanced players.

Feel free to check out the list below. In the next section, we’ll dive deeper with research to find out what makes these strings so special.

10 Best Guitar Strings For Fingerstyle & Fingerpicking

Elixir NanowebSee on AmazonSee on Thomann
D’Addario EJ16See on AmazonSee on Thomann
Martin Retro MM13See on AmazonSee on Thomann
Ernie Ball EarthwoodSee on AmazonSee on Thomann
D’Addario XT 80/20See on AmazonSee on Thomann
Godin Acoustic StringsSee on Amazon
DR Strings SunbeamSee on AmazonSee on Thomann
D’Addario EJ40 Silk & SteelSee on AmazonSee on Thomann
Santa Cruz Low Tension StringsSee on AmazonSee on Thomann
Martin Titanium CoreSee on Amazon

1. Elixir Nanoweb

Elixir - Best Guitar Strings For Fingerstyle and fingerpicking

One of the best acoustic guitar strings in the world. For those who don’t know, Elixir is a legendary manufacturer of strings – their equipment is used by some of the most famous musicians of all time.

The Nanoweb strings feel really light and smooth, so they’re perfect for fingerstyle playing and fingerpicking. The tone of these Elixirs can be described as bright and shiny. What’s interesting, they can make an average acoustic guitar sound ten times better.

In comparison with other strings from today’s article, the Nanoweb set seems to be pretty expensive. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for the best possible quality, you should definitely stick to the Elixr.

2. D’Addario EJ16

D'Addario - Best Guitar Strings For Fingerstyle and fingerpicking

A really affordable option for all-level guitarists. Whether you’re a complete beginner or a more intermediate player, you’ll definitely appreciate the quality of these D’Addario strings. In fact, this is one of the most popular sets of acoustic strings in the world.

The EJ16 strings are cheap, but they work very well. They’re versatile, so they should work perfectly for strumming, fingerpicking and fingerstyle playing. The tone of these strings can be described as really balanced and warm. Although they’re great for home practice, but they may not be the best choice for studio recordings.

Of course, this is not the highest shelf of guitar strings, so you can’t expect any wonders. But considering the low price, it’s definitely one of the best choices out there!

3. Martin Retro MM13

Martin Retro Mm13

Martin is an absolutely legendary manufacturer of guitars. In fact, they’re often considered as one of the best acoustic guitar brands in the world. Not many people know that they actually manufacture great acoustic strings too!

The strings from Retro series feature a really nice and balanced tone which is perfect for fingerstyle and fingerpicking. I personally use this set of strings on a daily basis and I have to admit that it’s awesome!

In addition, the Retro strings aren’t too expensive. Although their quality and durability may not be as high as in Elixirs, it’s still a really good choice for all-level players.

4. Ernie Ball Earthwood

Ernie Ball Earthwood

One of the most popular sets of acoustic strings in the world. These light strings are absolutely legendary – they’re cheap, they sound good and they’re really versatile. Undoubtedly, they will be a great choice for all lovers of strumming, fingerstyle playing and fingerpicking.

The Ernie Ball Earthwood strings offer a warm and clear tone which should fulfill the needs of even the most demanding players. They sound awesome especially when they’re freshly changed.

Nevertheless, the main disadvantage of these strings is that they tend to sound worse after a few weeks or months of playing. So although they’re cheap, they’re not as durable as some of the other sets offered by such companies as Martin or Elixir.

5. D’Addario XT 80/20

D'Addario XT - Best Guitar Strings For Fingerstyle and fingerpicking

Another really good set of strings offered by D’Addario. The XT Series features an extremely high quality – these strings sound really good and they last very long. Although they’re cheaper than the Elixirs, they’re really close to their level of awesomeness.

According to the manufacturer, these strings last up to four times longer than regular acoustic strings. That’s a really big advantage! In addition, the XT strings are perfect for both fingerpicking and fingerstyle playing.

Undoubtedly, the D’Addario XT set is a really cool option for a lot of guitarists. If you decide to choose these strings, you won’t be disappointed!

6. Godin Acoustic Strings

Godin Acoustic Strings

If you’re not familiar with Godin, you should know that they’re a Canadian manufacturer of high-quality guitars. Not many people know that apart from guitars, they also make amazing guitar strings.

These light phosphor bronze strings offer a really nice, clear and balanced tone. In addition, they’re really durable and they should last you for very long. Considering the relatively low price, this is an excellent choice for a lot of guitarists.

For those who are interested in learning more about Godin Guitars and their awesome gear – here’s an article about their best guitars.

7. DR Strings Sunbeam

DR Sunbeam

Another really cool and affordable set of acoustic strings suitable for all-level players. These light strings should be an excellent choice especially for fingerpicking and fingerstyle playing.

Although these are not the best guitar strings in the world, they feature a really clear and balanced tone. They’re very flexible and they tend to add a lot of sustain to your final tone. There is a high chance that if you choose this set, your acoustic guitar will start sounding much better.

What’s important, they’re made in the USA. Considering the price and quality of this set, it seems to be a real bargain.

8. D’Addario EJ40 Silk & Steel

D'Addario Silk Steel - Best Guitar Strings For Fingerstyle and fingerpicking

This set of strings by D’Addario is designed specifically for fingerstyle players who are looking for some extra warmth in their tone. It works particularly well for all the singer-songwriters and folk musicians who usually perform just with their guitar.

What makes these strings different than the rest? Well, they feature silk interwindings, which significantly improve the comfortability and playability. They feel a bit different than regular strings – it’s a much softer and easier feeling. If you like that kind of vibe, you should definitely check them out.

Undoubtedly, these are one of the best guitar strings for fingerstyle and fingerpicking. They sound great, they feel great and they don’t cost too much – who needs anything else?

9. Santa Cruz Low Tension Strings

Santa Cruz Low Tension - Best Guitar Strings For Fingerstyle and fingerpicking

Santa Cruz may not be as known as Elixir, Martin or D’Addario, but the truth is that they’re manufacturers of absolutely amazing guitar strings. This particular set is really interesting, because it features great low tension strings.

The tension of strings is really important, especially when you’re fingerpicking. The lower the tension is, the easier it is to play with your fingers. This set of strings guarantees an absolutely smooth and easy playing experience.

Although these strings are not cheap, they’re definitely worth checking out. Especially if you play more with your fingers rather than with a guitar pick!

10. Martin Titanium Core

Martin Titanium Core - Best Guitar Strings For Fingerstyle and fingerpicking

Another amazing set of strings my Martin. These strings are really similar to the ones by Santa Cruz – they feature a really light tension. As a result, they’re really easy and fun to play.

If you wonder why these strings are so special, the answer is simple: it’s because of the titanium. This set features a heavy-duty titanium core wire, which significantly improves the durability of these strings. Undoubtedly, these strings should last you for a really long time.

The main disadvantage of Titanium Core strings is their price. In comparison with some of the models on today’s list, they’re significantly more expensive. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for the best possible acoustic strings for fingerpicking and fingerstyle playing, this is the way to go.


What are guitar strings made of?

Most of the time, guitar strings are made of tin-plated steel. But it’s not always the case – there are a lot of sets that are made of different materials, such as titanium or carbon fiber. Of course, there are also nylon strings, which are mainly used in classical guitars.

Are steel strings good for fingerpicking?

Absolutely! A lot of fingerstyle guitarists use steel strings during their performances. You may think that using nylon strings is easier, but it’s not exactly the case. Steel strings significantly affect the brightness, clarity and resonance of guitar tone, so they’re really popular among fingerstyle musicians.

Are lighter strings better for fingerstyle?

Yes! When it comes to fingerstyle and fingerpicking, light strings are the best. The lighter the strings are, the easier it is to play. If you’re playing with your fingers, you’re looking for a smooth and comfortable playing experience. So if your strings are too thick, you may experience some difficulty because of the string tension.

Can you play fingerstyle without nails?

Absolutely! You don’t need to use long nails in order to play fingerstyle guitar. Using your fingers with short nails should be just fine. Nevertheless, a lot of players prefer playing with really long nails. It all really depends on your preference.

Should you learn picking or fingerstyle first?

That’s debatable. Learning both techniques at the same time should give you the best results. It also teaches you to be a way more versatile guitarist. So if you’re just starting out, try to progress with both picking and fingerstyle playing.


As you can see, there are a lot of great sets of strings out there. Undoubtedly, the models mentioned above are one of the best guitar strings for fingerstyle and fingerpicking. If you’re into these styles of playing, you should definitely enjoy today’s recommendations!

Which strings are your favorite? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think, we are really interested to hear your thoughts!

Thanks for checking out today’s post, hopefully it was helpful. If you enjoyed this article, you may also like:

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