15 Best Telecaster Strings 2022

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Best Telecaster Strings

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So, you’ve got a new Telecaster and you’re not sure what type of strings to put on it? Or, maybe your beloved guitar could use a bit of a change in the string department?

Whatever the case may be, you’ve come to the right place. The following is a list of some of the best strings most suitable for a Telecaster.

Read on to discover a set of strings that will work for you!

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D’Addario NYXL0946 – Best Overall

D’Addario NYXL0946

For those who prefer lighter gauge strings, the D’Addario NYXL0946 (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater) can’t be beaten.

This set of strings features a hex core and winding made of carbon steel. The result is a string that is very responsive and somewhat bright in tone.

NYXL0946’s feature wire processed with D’Addario’s wire drawing machines. This process ensures the winding is consistent throughout the length of the string.

D’Addario also employs its Fusion Twist Technology here. This is to help increase tuning stability by preventing slack in the string.

These strings are certainly less prone to breakage and tuning issues. Studies have been done to show that these are over 130% more stable than traditional strings.

Massive bends won’t be an issue with this set of strings. The strings are nowhere near the breaking point at a 2-step bend.

NYXL0946’s are certainly a little more pricey than other strings on this list. However, this is one set of strings that certainly feels like a premium string.

Equipping your guitar with these will give you that new sock feeling of satisfaction. That alone is worth the extra cost. 

These strings are proven to be much more effective than traditional strings. No gimmicks are to be found here, just pure utility through and through.

Item Weight: 1.02 ounces

Package Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.32 x 4.5 inches

Ernie Ball 2021 Regular Slinky Paradigm – Best Premium

Ernie Ball 2021 Regular Slinky Paradigm

Have a case of the string breakage blues? The Ernie Ball 2021 Regular Slinky Paradigm (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater) might be the answer you’re looking for.

Ernie Ball really went to the drawing board here to provide the most durable string possible. The result is the 2021 Regular Slinky Paradigm, which even some of the most prominent players couldn’t even break.

What makes these so special? First of all, they are coated to prevent oxidation and environmental deterioration.

Those of you with acidic sweat or living in the salty atmosphere of an ocean town will love these strings. They are built to withstand the most rigorous of conditions.

The 2021 Regular Slinky Paradigm features a Steel core with a round winding of Nickel-Plated Steel. 

These strings provide that classic Ernie Ball tone profile and feel, despite the durable additions. Aggressive players will especially love these strings as they certainly won’t break easily.

Item Weight: 1.06 ounces

Package Dimensions: 4.38 x 0.75 x 4.75 inches

Fender 250L Super 250’s – Best Budget

Fender 250L Super 250’s

Not looking to spend too much on a set of strings? The Fender 250L Super 250’s (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater) will get the job done without issue.

These are fairly standard strings by most accounts. However, because they are made by Fender, they should pair well with a Telecaster.

The 250L Super 250’s feature a Steel core with Nickel-Plated winding. These specific strings are round-wound for a traditional feel and tonal balance.

Overall, there isn't much to write home about the Fender 250L Super 250’s. They are cheap and will provide a string solution in a pinch. 

Because they are so inexpensive, it makes for a good starting ground for a beginner to try out different strings. If you like them, stocking up is inexpensive, but you’re not out much if you don’t like them.

Item Weight: 0.317 ounces

Package Dimensions: 0.5 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches

Elixir Strings 12002 Nanoweb

Elixir Strings 12002 Nanoweb

If you’re looking for a well-reputed coated string, there are a few options available to you. The Elixir Strings 12002 Nanoweb (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater) tend to be the most popular in the market.

These strings come in a 0.009 to 0.042 string gauge, which is on the lighter side of things. However, these will pair quite well with a Telecaster.

Each round wound string features a Steel core with a Nickel-Plated Steel winding. Elixir then applies a very thin layer of its patented Nanoweb coating.

This coating is very similar to Teflon in nature. It is designed to keep the strings from being exposed to moisture.

The Elixir Strings 12002 Nanoweb will certainly last a long while, especially if you’re a casual player. It’s not uncommon to leave these strings on for months at a time.

These might be a bit more expensive than other offerings. However, you might save in the long run due to the decreased frequency of string changes necessary. 

Item Weight: 0.704 ounces

Package Dimensions: 4.1 x 4.7 x 0.6 inches

Elixir Strings 12052 Nanoweb

Elixir Strings 12052 Nanoweb

Another stellar string offering with a coating is the Elixir Strings 12052 Nanoweb (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater). This is essentially the same as the previous Nanoweb entry.

Where this specific string differs is in the fact that it is a slightly heavier gauge, ranging from 0.010 to 0.046. Again, this gauge range is perfectly ideal for the average Telecaster player.

Each round wound string features a Steel core with a Nickel-Plated Steel winding. As is usual with Elixir strings, these are given a coating treatment.

The Nanoweb coating will ensure that you won’t have to worry about strings becoming stale in sound. These remain bright and present for months at a time with casual play.

Item Weight: 1.41 ounces

Package Dimensions: 4.1 x 4.7 x 0.6 inches

D’Addario XTE1046 XT

D’Addario XTE1046 XT

Do you like the concept of coated strings but loath how most coated strings tend to feel? If so, the D’Addario XTE1046 XT (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater) is exactly the set for you.

These D’Addario round wound strings feature a core made of High-Carbon Steel. The winding wiring is made of Nickel-Plated Steel.

The strings themselves are then coated in a very thin coating. Unlike other coated strings, these strings feel exactly like a standard set of strings.

Due to its core construction, the XTE1046 XT’s have quite a bit more durability and tuning stability than traditional sets. Even the tonal range is improved, particularly in the mid-range EQ area.

Many guitarists have been absolutely wowed by how well these strings perform. They really do not feel like coated strings at all, which is a massive benefit.

Item Weight: 0.9 ounces

Package Dimensions: 4.76 x 0.98 x 4.76 inches

Elixir Strings 12050 Polyweb 

Elixir Strings 12050 Polyweb

Another stellar option from the Elixir lineup is the 12050 Polyweb (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater). These strings are a bit warmer in tone, but feature Elixir’s iconic coating.

Each string is round wound and features a Steel core with a Nickel-Plated Steel winding. Elixir’s Polyweb coating is then applied to the strings.

Polyweb is much thinner than the aforementioned Nanoweb series. These are more likely to feel similar to a traditional uncoated set of strings.

Also unlike the Nanoweb series, these Polyweb strings are going to be much warmer in tone. They just might cut the treble down on a Telecaster with ear-piercing tones.

Definitely give these a chance if you’re looking for a natural-feeling coated string. These are sure to be durable enough for even the most rigorous environments.

Item Weight: 0.317 ounces

Package Dimensions: 4.1 x 4.7 x 0.6 inches

Ernie Ball 2721 Regular Slinky Cobalt

Ernie Ball 2721 Regular Slinky Cobalt

Looking for a string that can possibly increase the tonal qualities of your guitar in almost every area? You’ll definitely want to check out the Ernie Ball 2721 Regular Slinky Cobalt (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater).

These strings are made with Ernie Ball’s mixture of Cobalt and Iron. The result is a string that has a greater output and more tonal response.

Each string is round wound and features a Steel core. The Iron/Cobalt alloy is then wound around the core to create the wound string.

These strings are not coated by any means. However, due to their composition, they are more durable than traditional strings.

The 2721 Regular Slinky Cobalt set certainly has a fairly unique feel to the fingers. In a way, they are almost a bit more pliable than standard strings.

Give these strings a chance if your Telecaster needs a little bit more response in the tone department. These can provide an easy fix.

Item Weight: 0.96 ounces

Package Dimensions: 4.25 x 0.5 x 5.5 inches

DR Strings PHR-10 Pure Blues Pure Nickel

DR Strings PHR-10 Pure Blues Pure Nickel

Are you a bit of a purist looking to play something built with traditional methods? Do not pass up the DR Strings PHR-10 Pure Blues Pure Nickel (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater).

These strings are extremely popular, especially amongst guitarists in search of vintage tones. As its name suggests, these are perfect for blues and other semi-clean tone music genres.

The strings are round wound and feature a Steel core with a Pure Nickel winding. This results in a string that is fairly articulate and produces a warm, balanced tone.

Sometimes, the tried and true methods of yesteryear are all that’s needed to get the job done. These Pure Blues strings certainly fit into that category.

Plus, they are reasonably affordable, making it a no-brainer to at least give them a try. Your Telecaster will sound pretty balanced.

Item Weight: 0.704 ounces

Package Dimensions: 0.75 x 4.1 x 0.4 inches

Ernie Ball 2221 Regular Slinky

Ernie Ball 2221 Regular Slinky

Looking for a solid set of strings that perform well and don’t cost too much? Look no further than the Ernie Ball 2221 Regular Slinky (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater).

These are the go-to strings for many guitarists, simply because they are no-frills and get the job done. Quite often, these are some of the first strings beginners opt to try out.

After experimenting with other strings, it’s not uncommon for guitarists to gravitate back to these. 

The 2221 Regular Slinky strings are round wound with a Steel core and Nickel-Plated winding. They are fairly bright and balanced in tone and project quite well with a decent sustain. 

In many ways, this set is sort of the Gold Standard for strings, setting the bar for mid-range quality.

Any Telecaster player will find these strings to be more than suitable for nearly any style of music they play. Plus, a fresh pack feels great and they tend to last reasonably long.

Item Weight: 1.4 ounces

Package Dimensions: 4.5 x 1.5 x 5 inches

Ernie Ball 2223 Super Slinky

Ernie Ball 2223 Super Slinky

Are you a fan of smaller string gauges? The Ernie Ball 2223 Super Slinky (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater) is ideal for you.

Like the aforementioned Regular Slinky, the Super Slinky features Ernie Ball’s traditional flagship quality. The strings are round wound with a Steel core and a Nickel-Plated winding.

The difference with these is that the gauge ranges from 0.009 to 0.046. These will provide a little bit more elasticity without sacrificing tuning stability. 

Give this set a whirl if you need a low-cost solution for a mainstay set of strings. You likely won’t go back to anything else.

Item Weight: 3.2 ounces

Package Dimensions: 4.5 x 1.25 x 6 inches

Ernie Ball 2220 Power Slinky

Ernie Ball 2220 Power Slinky

Need a little bit beefier of a set of strings on your Telecaster? Look no further than the Ernie Ball 2220 Power Slinky (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater).

This set of strings features a gauge range of 0.11 to 0.048. As such, the strings will feel a bit stiffer but still highly playable.

Like other Ernie Ball sets, this set produces a balanced tonal range that can be useful for any music genre. Due to its thicker gauge, those playing heavier styles of music might prefer these strings.

Having a thicker gauge like this can certainly help with tuning stability in lower alternate tunings.

Each round wound string is comprised of a Steel core with a Nickel-Plated Steel winding. 

Item Weight: 3.2 ounces

Package Dimensions: 4.5 x 1.25 x 6 inches

Ernie Ball 2222 Hybrid Slinky

Ernie Ball 2222 Hybrid Slinky

Ernie Ball is no stranger to providing many different options for string gauging. One, in particular, the 2222 Hybrid Slinky (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater) is worth trying on your Telecaster.

Like other Ernie Ball strings, these strings are round wound and built around a Steel core. The winding material used for the strings is Nickel-Plated steel.

As with other sets, the Hybrid Slinky generally produces a fairly balanced and bright tone. This shows the consistency of Ernie Ball’s products across the entire product line.

What, then, makes this set of strings worthy of having a name like Hybrid Slinky?

The answer lies in the fact that the middle 2 strings are a slightly thicker gauge than normal sets. This helps to beef up the mid-range a little but still provides excellent pliability. 

You also get the benefit of having a thin gauge for the 2 highest strings. In a sense, this is sort of a best-of-both-worlds set of strings.

It’s the perfect middle ground between 2 different standardized sets of strings. These might provide the right string tension and feel that you’ve been looking for.

Item Weight: 3.2 ounces

Package Dimensions: 4.5 x 1.25 x 6 inches

Dean Markley 2552 Blue Steel 

Dean Markley 2552 Blue Steel

Dean Markley is a company that is probably more known for its acoustic guitar strings. However, one should not, by any means, write off this company when it comes to electric guitar strings.

One exemplary set of strings from this company is the 2552 Blue Steel (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater). These strings have been around for years and have had a consistently loyal base of users.

These strings are fairly traditional by most metrics. They are round wound strings with a Steel core and a Stainless Steel winding. 

The result is a string that is extremely durable and naturally resistant to corrosion and other environmental hazards. 

Because of its use of Stainless Steel, you might find that your guitar’s sustain increases dramatically. This is one of the more notable features of the material.

Dean Markley also uses Steel that has been cryogenically treated. This repositions the molecular composition to have enhanced durability and performance.

Item Weight: 0.704 ounces

Package Dimensions: 5 x 5 x 1 inches

GHS GBL Guitar Boomers

GHS GBL Guitar Boomers

In search of a fairly inexpensive set of guitar strings that many guitarists absolutely swear by? The GHS GBL Guitar Boomers (see price on Amazon or Sweetwater) certainly fit the bill for this criteria.

What is so special about these strings?

Many guitarists say that the GBL Guitar Boomers are extremely reliable in terms of performance and durability. These are 2 of the most important metrics when it comes to a string’s overall value.

You must also take into account the fact that these strings are reasonably affordable for just about any guitarist. With the aforementioned benefits, these strings pack in quite a bit of value.

The GHS GBL Guitar Boomers are round wound strings featuring a Steel core with a Nickel-Plated Steel winding. Tonally, these strings produce a fairly balanced tone with a hint of brightness.

You can be sure that each pack of these strings stays fresh with GHS’s Nitro-Pack technology. This uses packets that have been sealed with Nitrogen to preserve the quality of the string as a whole.

Ultimately, this means you can be certain your strings will never be dead before you put them on your guitar. This is a somewhat unfortunate reality when dealing with other types of strings.

Item Weight: 1.48 ounces

Package Dimensions: 0.5 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches

What To Look For In Telecaster Strings?

There is a massive number of different strings available for the guitarist to choose from in today’s market. This can make finding the right set a fair bit of a challenge.

Sometimes, when humans are presented with multiple options, it becomes hard to make a choice. Being armed with knowledge is the best way to navigate this particular landscape.

By keeping some of the following points in mind, you’ll have a good idea of what strings might work for you. A large degree of experimentation will be required on your part no matter what.

Knowing information can inform a decision, but ultimately, the judgment needs to be made by you. The best way to judge a pair of strings is to put them on your guitar.

This will allow you to see how the strings play, feel, and sound. All of this is incredibly important in providing the most ideal playing experience possible.

No guitarist wants to be in a gig thinking about how they are impeded by the strings on their guitar. Avoid this thinking trap altogether and keep the following points in mind.

String Gauge 

The gauge of the strings is a very important aspect of the way the strings will perform on a guitar. Telecasters in general tend to perform best with fairly light gauge strings equipped.

This means that sets with 0.09-0.46 as well as 0.10-0.52 will generally be the best for these guitars. More often than not, Telecasters will come from the factory set up to play these string gauges. 

Of course, that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t use different strings on a Telecaster. In fact, some very well-known Telecaster players do equip their guitars with both heavier and lighter gauge strings.

Again, you’re going to want to experiment to see what works best for you. Each gauge has its own list of benefits and drawbacks.

For a generalization, lighter gauge strings are far easier to bend. You can get some very large bend intervals with 0.08 gauge string sets.

Thicker gauges tend to be a little bit more difficult to bend in general. These strings tend to feel much stiffer than lighter gauge strings.

Light gauge strings can have tuning problems, while heavy gauges can be difficult to play. Most guitarists tend to choose the middle ground between these two ranges.

If you are somebody who has fairly large hands, a heavier gauge string set might be ideal for you. Some people also light to exert a bit more energy into completing intervallic bends, which these strings require.

Remember, there’s no need to play thicker gauge strings just because your guitar hero did. You’ll likely end up working much harder than you need to during a playing session.

Each guitarist has their own unique body, so find the set of strings that accommodates yours. This will make playing the guitar much more easier and enjoyable.

String Type

Another area in which strings differ is in the style of strings that they are. Most electric guitar strings are wound, particularly on the heavier strings.

Some strings will have different core shapes (around which the string is wound). Manufacturers have their own individual claims as to the benefits of their technology.

Generally, there are a few different string types to watch out for. These include:

  • Wound (round-wound) 
  • Flat-wound 

Flat-wound strings are generally favored more in jazz guitar genres. These types of strings typically sound quite a bit warmer than that of a wound string.

Of course, the complexity of the guitar string certainly doesn’t stop here. This just brings us to the next point to keep in mind.

String Material

Along with the string type and gauge, you’ll need to pay attention to the type of material used. Each string material has its own inherent tonal properties that can influence your guitar’s sound in a massive way.

The different types of string materials used today include:

  • Stainless steel (noted for excellent sustain)
  • Nickel plating (noted for its balanced tone)
  • Pure nickel (noted for its warmth and pronounced low-end EQ range)
  • Cobalt (effectively 83% cobalt and 17% iron)
  • Carbon steel alloy

String companies are not afraid to experiment with different types of strings. This gives guitarists endless options to choose from, with a new feel with every re-string if desired.

This is one particular area in which you will want to spend some time experimenting and documenting with notes. 

Coating

One particular way in which manufacturers have been experimenting with designs is with coated strings. Coated strings are essentially covered in a moisture-resistant coating, similar to Teflon. 

The benefits of this coating generally point to a string that has massively increased longevity. String degradation will take place much slower than a traditional uncoated string.

Coated strings do have a bit of a different touch under the fingers. With some sets, the treble response can be slightly diminished as well.

Guitarists either seem to love coated strings or absolutely hate them. Make sure you try a set on for size to form your own opinion.

Price

Strings generally tend to be fairly affordable across the board. Most strings generally cost less than $10, although there are certainly strings that cost more.

For the most part, cheap strings can certainly get the job done in a pinch. These might not have the sort of quality as other strings, though.

Those priced in the middle range tend to be strings that pack the most value per cost. If you’re playing frequently and changing strings often, these make economical sense.

High-priced strings are sometimes not worth the cost. However, there are some that have a unique feel and build quality.

You essentially need to make a decision. Is better to get 1 expensive pack or 2 mid-range packs for the same price?

Should you buy multiple units of the cheapest strings for the same price as the expensive ones?

Only you can make this judgment. However, buying strings in bulk can certainly help cut down costs. 

You can generally buy strings in 1 pack, 3 pack, 10 pack, 25 pack, and 50 pack bundles. This is the most economical approach, especially if you have a particular favorite string.

Best Brands For Telecaster Strings

The string industry is fairly saturated with a large number of different manufacturers producing strings. This increases options available, with a ready decision sometimes hard to make.

While you should take any opportunity to try different strings, the following brands won’t steer you wrong. Each one has been a prominent player in the string industry for decades.

Ernie Ball

Since 1962, Ernie Ball has been manufacturing strings for all sorts of stringed instruments. The company aims to provide high-value strings at a price nearly anyone can afford.

Ernie Ball is one of the most trusted brands amongst guitarists. They are, after all, one of the leading producers of strings in the industry.

D’Addario

D’Addario is a string company that has been consistently pushing innovative boundaries since 1974. Over time, D’Addario has become one of the most trusted string manufacturers in the space.

This company is also one of the first to take initiatives regarding environmental preservation. They remain the only company that has an actual string recycling program in operation.

Elixir

Founded in 1997, Elixir is a relative newcomer to the string industry. Despite its age, this company absolutely revolutionized the guitar string as we know it today.

Elixir is primarily responsible and known for producing the coated string, which improves string longevity significantly. 

Top Telecaster Strings, Final Thoughts

There is certainly a lot to keep in mind when it comes to buying a simple pack of strings. Don’t let this overwhelm you in any manner as this is a decision that shouldn't be rife with anxiety.

As you continue to experiment with different strings, you’ll start to recognize which strings are ideal for you. It is, unfortunately, a process that does take time to complete.

Have patience and enjoy the process! 

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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