4 Best Acoustic Guitar Strings for Fingerpicking (2023)

Fingerpicking has gained more popularity as a unique style of playing acoustic guitar. However, one of the things that could make fingerpicking difficult is playing with the wrong strings.

While skill matters, the strings also play a big role in learning to fingerpick and perfecting it. First, you need good strings for this type of playing. There are various types of strings for fingerpicking in the market, and they are made with different materials and have a different touch when playing. 

If you are in a hurry, here are the best acoustic guitar strings for fingerpicking

1.D’Addario Guitar Stringsmost popular

2.Ernie Ball Medium Light Acoustic Guitar Stringsbest value

3.Ernie Ball Medium Light Acoustic Guitar Stringsbest budget

Best Acoustic Guitar Strings for Fingerpicking

Elixir 16052 Strings Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings

These acoustic guitar strings are made of phosphor bronze. The strings can withstand corrosion. They are also comfortable on fingers and feel traditionally textured. They give an uncoated touch when fingerpicking.

The strings feature nanoweb coating. The coating is feather-light and feels so thin that it still gives the non-coated strings a vibe. The coat also protects the guitar strings against corrosion from humidity and sweat when fingerpicking. The strings are also protected from debris that causes tone dampening.

If you want acoustic strings that will not have you do endless tunings, these strings are amazing. They stay in tune for a long time and create consistency when playing. The strings deliver incredible performance under any conditions, even with extreme humidity.


  • Features a light coating
  • Corrosion-resistant strings
  • The strings remain in tune for long
  • The coat protects against weather and debris


  • They are expensive

Ernie Ball Medium Light Acoustic Guitar Strings

The Ernie Ball acoustic strings are made of a blend of copper and aluminum. This blend is tailored specifically for acoustic guitars and is ideal for fingerpicking. The strings are a good choice if you want to brighten your guitar.

The strings deliver pronounced lows and brilliant highs with the blend. They also feature steel hex-core wire that delivers great low-end and notes separation. They are perfect for bright chords and strumming fingerstyle.

These strings are gentle on the fingers and deliver a clean uncoated touch. The aluminum protects the strings from corrosion and finger sweat, which makes them durable. 

If you are looking for strings that are durable, gentle, and with an amazing sound, these strings are a good option for you.


  • Durable strings
  • They are sweat-resistant
  • Rich in sound
  • Deliver incredible sustenance 


  • They are too bright if you prefer darker chords

Ernie Ball Earthwood Acoustic Guitar Strings

These are Bronze-phosphor-made strings. They are lightly coated to give an amazing natural feel to fingers when fingerpicking. The strings feature a light orange and gold color that gives a fantastic vibe to the guitar.

If you are looking for impressive clarity from your guitar strings, you should try these strings. They also deliver a rich and warm sound. These strings are not only light and perfect for fingerpicking, but they are also rich in sound. They do not have the unpleasant sound that most light strings have.

The strings are easy to fit and easy when tuning. You do not have to spend hours tuning or fitting them on your acoustic guitar.


  • Light strings
  • Good for long fingerpicking guitar sessions
  • Easy to fit
  • Easy to tune


  • They need a lot of tuning to get the correct tone

D’Addario Guitar Strings

If you are looking for guitar strings with a warm, bright, and balanced tone, D’Addario acoustic guitar strings are a good pick. 

These strings have the originality of the phosphor-bronze string combinations as inspired in the 70s.

The warm and balanced tone that these strings deliver makes them amazing for playing any music genre with your acoustic guitar. The strings are wound to a hexagonally shaped high-carbon steel core that gives them amazing intonation and vivid sound.

These strings are light gauge and gentle for fingerpicking. The strings are easy to play and are great for beginners. They are also easy to change, even for someone who has no experience in changing guitar strings.


  • They produce a warm and bright sound
  • Great for any genre
  • Easy to play for beginners
  • Easy to install


  • They could break during installation

Read also: Acoustic guitar for small hands

Buyer’s Guide for Best Acoustic Guitar Strings or Fingerpicking


The material used to make the guitar strings matters and determines how well you can play. Most guitar strings for acoustics are made of a phosphor-bronze combination. This combination is perfectly gentle for the fingers. 

String Gauge

The fingerpicking style requires strings that are not too heavy to play. The recommended gauge is the 12 gauge strings.


Durable strings are made of quality materials. Strings for fingerpicking should feature materials or coating that is corrosion-resistant. The strings should withstand sweat and humidity. The phosphor-bronze strings are a great combination and are durable.


When looking for acoustic strings for fingerpicking, you need to identify the right gauge that is comfortable to play for your fingers. The quality and the material that makes the strings are also essential in enhancing durability. Fingerstyle is not easy for beginners and requires finger-friendly strings to play.


What gauge strings are best for acoustic guitar fingerpicking?

The 12 gauge strings are ideal for acoustic guitar fingerpicking. If you prefer heavier strings, you can go for the 13 gauge. The lighter option for acoustic guitar strings is the 11 gauge for those who prefer lighter strings.

Which gauge strings are gentle for fingerpicking?

The light-gauge strings are great for playing fingerstyle, especially for beginner fingerpicking. Medium gauge strings are also good for strong strumming. The medium gauge and heavy gauge strings might be difficult to play for beginners.

Which fingers should be used for fingerpicking?

When fingerpicking, you should use the thumb, ring, middle, and index finger. The small finger is rarely used during fingerpicking. The four fingers should work in coordination for successful fingerpicking.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of strings are best for fingerstyle?

From my personal experience as a long-time guitarist, I can confidently suggest Elixir Nanoweb strings as a fine choice, especially for those who prefer fingerstyle play and fingerpicking. They’re designed to be lightweight and have a smooth surface, making them comfortable to play and reducing finger noise. Beyond just the comfort, they offer excellent tone, durability, and overall performance. Moreover, D’Addario EJ16 strings also pose a good deal, they are budget-friendly yet deliver a rich, warm, and crystal clear sound that rarely fails to exceed expectations of even the most discerning players.

What gauge acoustic guitar strings are best for fingerpicking?

In my extensive experience playing acoustic guitar and teaching students, I’ve noted that light and medium gauge strings typically serve the best for fingerpicking. The choice between them depends upon your personal preference and the specific tonal quality and playability you are seeking. Light gauge strings are the easiest on your fingers, but medium gauge ones deliver a fuller and thicker sound. Whilst playing, your comfort and the sound you desire should be key factors in your decision. Over the years, I’ve discovered a few insightful resources to boost your guitar playing skills. They are not only sources of information but also offer insightful tips and lessons.

What acoustic strings are easier on fingers?

As a long-time guitarist who’s tried many different guitar strings, I can credibly tell you that of the main types of guitar strings – nylon and steel – Nylon strings are generally much easier on the fingers. This is because they are softer and smoother. Most beginners and even experienced players who appreciate comfort find them an excellent choice. Furthermore, nylon strings are renowned for producing a warm, mellow and pleasing tone. As such, they’re often favored by classical, flamenco, folk and jazz musicians. Playing with these strings can feel like a gentle conversation with an old friend. Their softness can make you forget you’re even pressing against anything at all!

What strings sound best on a acoustic guitar?

The ‘best’ string can be subjective as it usually depends on the player’s preference, music style, and the particular sound they are looking for. In my personal guitar playing journey, I have found Phosphor bronze strings to be a top pick because of their warm, bright, and well-balanced acoustic tone which really brings out the best in an acoustic guitar. They enjoy immense popularity among most acoustic guitar players. However, you can also explore strings made from other materials like 80/20 bronze and silk & steel to see what suits you the best.


I'm Johnny, the guy behind Guitar Manifesto. I've been playing guitar since my teens and now that I'm in my 40s, I'm all about sharing what I've learned to help you become a better guitarist.

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