I have a music store, I sell guitar strings,
If I compare acoustic guitar string with electric guitar string,

I see this on electric guitar string :
1st string = 009
2nd string = 011
3rd string = 016
4th string = 024
5th string = 032
6th string = 040

and I see this on acoustic guitar string :
1st string = 012
2nd string = 016
3rd string = 024
4th string = 032
5th string = 040
6th string = 053

It seems that :
2nd Electric G. String can be used for 1st Acoustic G. String
3rd Electric G. String can be used for 2nd Acoustic G. String
4th Electric G. String can be used for 3rd Acoustic G. String
5th Electric G. String can be used for 4th Acoustic G. String
and vice versa.

Am I right ?

2 Answers 2


I've used a hybrid electric set on acoustic for probably 40 yrs.: .008,.010, .012, .024, .028, .042. Set it up initially, and have had no problems in that time. I think as long as the set is balanced tension wise, top to bottom, it's o.k. Some acoustic strings aren't successful on electrics, due to the metals used.

A set of acoustic doesn't have to be .012, and a set of electric doesn't have to be .009. There are loads of different gauges sold. So, yes it will work using electric of similar gauge on acoustics, and it might work vice versa.

If you are selling strings, you should have a lot more choice for customers - you may already have, it's not clear from the question - but if a customer is in desperate need, the answers you receive here will get him out of the mire.

It wouldn't hurt to have this discussion with the manufacturers and suppliers, then you'll be able to explain clearly to customers.


While matching gauge might keep tension balanced, I don't think gauge is your biggest issue. The strings are materially different. Electric strings have steel core and steel winding. Acoustics have steel core and bronze/brass winding. Bronze/brass winding over magnetic pickups will not have the same output strength as steel winding. Acoustic strings can work, but you'll have to adjust to a weaker output.


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