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Guitar Strings

Guitar strings were originally made of the intestine, or gut, of domesticated animals such as sheep and cattle. These were gradually replaced by nylon after its invention following WWI. The material's mellow tone was perfect for classical and folk music, but a lack of ferrous metal made it incompatible with magnetic pickups, which became increasingly common in the 20th century.

A miniaturisation of piano wire led to the invention of steel guitar strings. Their full-metal construction meant they interacted with the magnetic field of a pickup to produce a signal, and their bright tone suited new styles of popular music. They are also found on electric basses, banjos, mandolins, or any other instrument with a truss rod to support the neck.

Close-up of guitar strings on an electric guitar
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