Stainless steel strings make greatest electric music

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Stainless steel guitar strings

Stainless steel is pivotal to music

As we get closer to year-end, music comes to mind over the festive holidays. Stainless steel has been pivotal in growth and development of some music, including guitars that have been at the forefront of music development in the 20th century.

History of the steel guitar

You may have heard of the steel guitar. This guitar is not actually made of steel, it would be far too heavy to lift. However, the method of playing (usually horizontally and developed in Hawaii in late 19th and early 20th centuries) and the steel plate behind the strings (that came later in 1930’s) are the reason for the name of such a guitar. It later became sustainably known as the steel lap guitar for the method of play.

Stainless steel strings are key to steel guitar sound

The unique sound that the steel guitar emitted was what evolved into rock and roll and many other iconic combinations and styles. This was a result of:

  • Holding the guitar in one’s lap and method of play;
  • The strings standing higher than in acoustic guitars that changes the tone and quality of sound;
  • The steel magnetic plate the electric amplification; and
  • Most importantly eventually in the latter part of the 20th century, the stainless steel strings. Stainless steel strings brought a clarity and brightness to the sound not heard before.

Magnetic stainless steel strings

Stainless steel guitar strings also require some magnetic field to work with the magnetic fields in the steel plate (the key to how steel guitars work). Not all stainless steel alloys are magnetic, some additional thought is needed to achieve the great resonant sound.

Image credit: Photo by Susan Mohr on Unsplash

Rock and roll and blues rock masters

Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, Jimi Hendrix, Duane Allman and many more are among the masters known to have perfected the sounds and created the soul of rock and roll music using the steel guitar, and with stainless steel, nickel and other metal strings.

Different sizes, shapes and metal materials of strings changes the sound

Strings for steel guitars can be found in many thicknesses, various steels at the core and even different shapes, round, flat, hexagonal, depending on the sound needed. Experimentation with strings by blues rock, rock and roll and other artists brought a technological and engineering efficiency to the industry.

Stainless steel versus nickel strings

Strings for steel guitars are mainly divided into two categories, nickel and stainless steel. Nickel strings are made of steel and washed in 8% nickel. Stainless steel strings are made from a highly magnetic alloy, are rougher to touch. Stainless steel strings are as expected longer lasting and tend to show up any imperfections of a fret (like buzzing).

Sound differences of stainless steel or nickel

The sound of nickel strings is less brilliant and more full-bodied. The touch is smoother to feel. Brighter-sounding stainless steel strings are more suitable for modern rock and metal and slap on the bass while nickel wound strings are recommended for those who are looking for a more vintage tone. Stainless steel strings are more suitable for slapping and funky and modern rock sounds, while nickel strings are better suited to classic rock or for more versatile use.

Stainless steel strings are almost forever

As ever stainless steel guitar strings are corrosion resistant and can last a long time. Only negative is that they are physically harder and more painful on fingers, best to play with a fret, also in stainless steel.

Nijen Stainless Fabrications

Nijen Stainless Fabrications wish you a happy festive season with music to your ears and works with a number of industries and receives enquiries in relation to the following:

  • Laser cutting
  • Laser cutting Northern Ireland
  • Stainless steel laser cutting
  • Stainless steel laser cutting Northern Ireland
  • Metal laser cutting
  • Metal laser cutting Northern Ireland
  • Stainless steel fabrication
  • Stainless steel fabrication Northern Ireland
  • Metal fabrication
  • Metal fabrication Northern Ireland
  • Stainless steel machining
  • Stainless steel machining Northern Ireland
  • Metal machining
  • Metal machining Northern Ireland
  • CNC machining
  • CNC machining Northern Ireland
  • Tube bending
  • Tube bending Northern Ireland
  • Welding
  • Welding Northern Ireland