Strings and picks. Gotta ‘have em, and they make a difference in your town. Here’s a huge list of manufacturers to explore.
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Adamas, primarily a maker of guitars under Ovation, manufactures strings for acoustic guitar, electric guitar, and other instruments. Adamas is also famous for the 2.0mm graphite pick, made famous by Jerry Garcia, and now used by modern guitarists (including Trey Anastasio). These picks are now only available through Jim Dunlop as the bought the molding templates to make these picks. Call them to custom order.
Albert Augustine founded Augustine Strings in the late 1940s, and they make some of the finest nylon guitar strings on the market. They were one of the pioneers of nylon string making for classical guitars. These are some of the best, so if you’re a classical guitarist, you may already know about them. If not, check them out.
Big Rock Engineering makes revolutionary guitar picks (F1 model) that fold over to provide incredible grip for ease of play. They also make the X-1 pick grip which attaches to your favorite pick and provides better stability in your fingertips. Very cool guitar pick inventions.
Black Diamond was launched in the early 1980s, and was later purchased in recent decades by Super-Sensitive Musical String Co. Since then, they’ve been revamping the entire line of Black Diamond guitar strings. But they don’t just make guitar strings, they make strings for nearly every stringed instrument (banjo, mandolin, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, nylon strings, etc.). They use modern technology to stretch their carbon-centered steel strings to the ideal tension for optimum tone and wind them with the utmost care. These are a modern classic that is making a comeback in the guitar strings market.
D’Addario is one of the most popular guitar string manufacturers in the world, for good reason. Their guitar strings stay fresher, longer than most other guitar strings. They come sealed in a plastic package to help ensure they are the most resonance possible when you first wind them onto your guitar. Their EXP-coated guitar strings last even longer. D’Adarrio uses a range of alloy metals to make their guitar strings, and they come available in nearly every possible gauge. These are some of the best guitar strings on the market.
D’Angelico matches their legendary guitar luthier skills with some of the best guitar strings on the market. Their flat-wound guitar strings are perfect for pairing with their archtop guitars. They also make incredible round-wound rock guitar strings for electric guitarists who want to crank up and let it rip.
D’Aquisto, like D’Angelico, is a legendary guitar maker that also manufacturers some incredible guitar strings. Their strings are made using their own factory equipment (pulled, wound and packaged). Their automation process uses modern technology to produce a consistent guitar string from low to high E, in every package.
Darco has been bought by the Martin Guitar Company to continue their legacy of creating fantastic electric guitar strings at an affordable price. They offer specialty string sets for both jazz and rock guitar. They use strict guidelines in their string manufacturing process to produce a consistently playable guitar string.
Dava Picks feature punched holes in the grip section of their guitar picks for added grip. They come available in various gel, nylon and Delrin materials. Their models include Jazz, Rock, Grip Tip and Dava control. They also feature neon colors to help them be found quickly on dark stages. They also offer picks made of Nickel Silver and Celluloid.
Dean Markley Strings, a division of Dean Markley Guitars, makes some of the most commonly found acoustic and electric guitar strings on the market. Their models include Blue Steel (electric guitar strings), Helix (thicker electric guitar strings), NickelSteel (some of their best selling electric guitar strings), and more.
DR offers the following line of guitar strings: Tite-Fit (Nickel Plated Round Core Electric), Hi-Beam (Nickel Plated Hex Core Electric), Pure-Blues (Pure Nickel Round Core Electric), Legend (Polished Flat-Wound Guitar), Black Beauties (Black Coated Electric Guitar), Extra (Clear Coated, Phosphor Bronze Acoustic), Rare (Premium Phosphor Bronze Hex Core Acoustic), Pre-Alloy (Phosphor Bronze Hex Core Acoustic), Sunbeam (Phosphor Bronze Round Core Acoustic), Hi-Beam 80/20 (80/20 Hex Core Acoustic), Zebra (Acoustic-Elecric), Nylon Classical (Silver Plated hard Tension Classical), Rare Mandolin (Phoshpor Bronze Mandolin), Banjo (Tenor and 5 String Banjo), etc.
Dunlop makes some of the world’s most commonly used guitar picks, for nearly every style. They have a wide range of shapes and pick gauges to meet the most demanding musicians and different tonal characteristics of both acoustic and electric guitars. Some of their guitar picks come with poly refill pick bags (for convenience’s sake).
Elixir Strings are known for their Nanoweb and Polyweb guitar string models that last many more hours of playing compared to most all other guitar strings. These string coatings are natural to the touch and help retain the string’s life beyond expectations. They are balanced, smooth and best of all…they reduce that squeaky noise created by your fingers swiping across the guitar’s strings. These guitar strings are great for recording, as a result. Available for both acoustic and electric guitars.
The EpicGrip is an all-titanium guitar pick that got started on Kickstarter. The founder, John Wundes, raised funds via Kickstarter to get this unique design out on the market. They feature no-slip construction and can take some serious abuse (even fire!).
Epiphone, primarily a guitar maker of long standing, manufacturers guitar strings with a highly resonant and brilliant tone. Their guitar strings use nickel-plated steel and are wound tight for a very quick response.
Ernie Ball has gained a reputation over the years for manufacturing some of the industry’s most sought after strings. The Ernie Ball line of guitar strings includes: Plain/RPS, Nickel, Pure Nickel, Stainless Steel, 80/20 Bronze, Acoustic Slinky, and Nylon. The line of bass strings includes: Roundwound, Stainless Steel, Flatwound, and Phosphor Bronze. Ernie Ball also offers Banjo strings, Mandolin strings, String Set Displays, and Single Strings Systems.
Everly Music Company makes guitar strings and picks (also strings for bass), was founded by Phil Everly (of the Every Brothers), and is based out of Burbank, California. They have one of the most renowned string winding factories in the country, and are always pushing the envelope in the art of winding guitar strings. Their guitar strings and picks include: Electric Rockers, B-52 Rockers, Acoustics, Concertos, Sessions, X Rockers, Bass Rockers, B-52 Bass Rockers, Star Picks and Signature Picks.
Fender makes some of the most commonly used guitar strings and picks for guitars, banjos, mandolins, bass and other instruments. Their thin, medium and heavy gauged celluloid guitar picks are an industry standard. Their Fender guitar strings are very popular, and will bring out the tone in your Stratocaster, Telecaster or other Fender guitar.
Gemstone Guitar Picks makes…guitar picks…using many different variations of gemstone. Some of these gemstone types include: Tiger Eye, Brazilian Agate, Petrified Wood, Red Jasper, Jade, Mexican Crazy Lace Agate, Moss Agate, Frosty Touch, Chrysoprase, Heart of Stone, Wonder Stone and more.
GHS Strings are another commonly found guitar string that offers prolonged playability and strong tone. They make strings for electric guitar, acoustic guitar, classical guitar, banjo, mandolin, bass guitar, slide guitar, pedal and lap steel, ukuleles and more.
Gibson is not as well known for their guitar strings as they are their electric and acoustic guitars, but they still make a quality guitar string for acoustic and electric guitar. Visit their website for more details.
Guild offers a wide variety of electric guitar and acoustic guitar strings as well as strings for various traditional instruments. They make both standard and balanced tension strings for guitar, resonator, mandolin and banjo.
Hannabach is one of the oldest guitar string manufacturers in the world, having been making strings since the late 1860s. They manufacture a wide range of string tensions and gauges for all sorts of guitar and other stringed instrument styles. They cover everything from double bass to oktave guitar. Truly a historical classic guitar string maker.
In Tune Guitar Picks makes very good quality guitar picks that able to be customized per the guitarists’ needs. They are made completely in their own factory, so they have control over the entire pick building process. They also make a number of guitar pick accessories like the Pocket Pick Holder, Mic Stand Pick Holder, Key Chain Pick Holder and Pickbandz (for wrapping around your arm).
(Out of Production) Jellifish Picks is known for their incredibly unique guitar pick that uses threads of steel that individually strum your guitar strings with a single stroke. This creates a chorus effect, as well as soft plucking and bow effects. These are great for expanding your musical creativity with guitar playing.
Founded by John Pearse, a studio guitarist from the UK, John Pearse Strings has been in business since the 1960s. They make some of the best folk and bluegrass strings on the market, so check these out if that’s your style. But, you may already be using them. If not, give them a test run to find out why they are so popular.
Legend Picks makes custom guitar picks that are imprinted with different designs. The use celluloid (common material found in many guitar picks) and imprint their picks with using a “raised print” technique that gives greater attention to detail.
La Bella offers strings for the following applications: Classical Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Acoustic Electric Bass, Criterion, Electric Guitar, Electric Bass, Steinberger, Folk Acoustic, International Sets, Lute, Orchestral Strings, Acoustic Double Bass, Individual Strings for Acoustic and Electric, Individual Strings for Electric Bass.
Luthier Strings manufactures incredible nylon classical and flamenco guitar strings used by guitarists such as Paco de Lucia, Jorge Morel, Gerardo Nunez and Jose Luis Merlin.
Martin is known for making some of the world’s best strings for acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo and more. Their string products include: SP+, SP, Marquis, Martin, Martin Cryogenics, Martin Bluegrass, Martin Vega Banjo, and the Darco line of strings. Their Phospher Bronze acoustic guitar strings are commonly used across the entire acoustic guitar market.
Pyramid is one of the better, but lesser known guitar string manufacturers. It’s known that Jerry Garcia used to used Pyramid strings. These are higher-end guitar strings that are made with technologically-advanced string making equipment and extensive insight into string material properties and the physics of acoustic sound. These are some of the best.
Rotosound manufactures strings for electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, and traditional instruments. They’ve been a string maker since the early 1950s. The company was originally named Top Strings (but couldn’t copyright the name), later changed to RoTop and now lives on as Rotosound.
Sfarzo makes a unique rounded “hex core” guitar string that creates a more stable connection between the string’s core and the wrapped wire that holds it tight. This construction keeps sweat from seeping through the wounded exterior and eroding the string’s core. Their wire wrapping is made of nickel alloy and helps reduce magnetic interference when interacting with the pickups.
Building, and constantly innovating their own unique string machines has been a definite factor in the success of SIT Strings. SIT has innovated techniques like “adjustable pin chuck,” “universal dampening” and “negative pressure anvils” to construct a tonally superior guitar string on the market.
Snarling Dogs is owned and operated by D’Andrea, and manufactures strings for acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass guitar, and classical guitar. Snarling Dogs also manufacturers the popular Brain picks, which feature a grip similar to a cat’s tounge.
Steve Clayton makes custom guitar picks like his Acetal and Polymer pick models. Other guitar picks in his product line include the Black Jazz, Ultem Tortois, Delrin XL and a wide range of picks featuring full-color artistic designs.
Made in Vienna, Italy, Thomastik Infeld makes a huge array of guitar strings covering nearly every style. They make their own machines…to make their own strings. That’s how extensive they are. Their company consists of nearly 200 employees who help produce over 3,000 guitar strings each year (most of which are exported throughout the world).
Time for something different. Ever consider a guitar pick made from prehistoric mammoth ivory? Well, this is exactly what TuskBuffer makes. Appropriate name for their business, don’t you think? Very cool, check them out and show them off at your nearby museum!
Wegen makes some of the most revered bluegrass guitar picks. These picks are very stiff and feature punched holes for added grip. They help Dreadnaught guitarists get even more crisp volume out of their guitars to help battle it out in bluegrass jam sessions and on stage. We use these here at Six String Soul and love them for flat picking.