Student of Guitar

D’Addario String Color Code: The Complete Guide (2022 Edition)

Table of Contents

If you’re curious about the D’Addario string color code and how to know which string is which, this post is for you!

For simplicity’s sake, I included the D’Addario string color code in the table below.

String Number
Steel String Guitar
Nylon String Guitar
Bass Guitar
1
E – Silver
E – Yellow
G – Green
2
B – Purple
B – Purple
D – Black
3
G – Green
G – Green
A – Red
4
D – Black
D – Black
E – Brass
5
A – Red
A – Red
B – Purple
6
E – Brass
E – Silver
7
B – Copper

I’ll unpack this more in the sections below.

D’Addario: Background

D'Addario bass, electric, and acoustic guitar strings

D’Addario is a company that officially started its work in the 1970s.

This is when they became an independent brand.

However, their story goes way back to the 17th century.

It’s hard to actually trace its exact roots.

We know that the D’Addario family comes from Italy, the province of Pescara, and its small town of Salle.

Back then, the area was famous for instrument strings.

Of course, in those days, instrument strings were primarily made from sheep and hog guts.

In 1915, after a huge earthquake that devastated the area, Rocco and Carmine D’Addario moved to the United States.

Eventually, they entered the guitar market.

After all, the instrument became increasingly popular in the first half of the 20th century.

One thing led to another and the D’Addario family started making nylon and steel strings.

For a while, they worked for major guitar brands at the time.

And, eventually, in 1974, they became an independent manufacturer.

Although popular for their guitar strings, they also make plenty of other stuff including orchestral instrument strings and even woodwind mouthpieces.

D’Addario String Color Code

We usually recognize certain string sets according to the ball-end colors.

For other types of strings that don’t have ball-ends, they come with other markings.

But we’ll get to that soon.

What Do They Mean?

So what are these color codes, or color markings, for?

Well, to put it simply, each color marks a different string.

When you open up a package, you might mix things up.

After all, two adjacent strings can sometimes be tricky to identify just by their thickness.

In short, colors help you restring faster.

And, along with these markings, we also have a chart on the package.

It’s a very clear way to help guitarists and other players of stringed instruments.

It Gets Tricky

However, it’s not that simple.

The colors aren’t always the same when comparing string packages of different brands.

For instance, an A guitar string from one manufacturer won’t necessarily have the same color as an A guitar string from another manufacturer.

And the same thing goes for any other string instrument.

Bass guitars, violins, violas, you name it.

Most instrument players struggle with this issue.

Steel String Guitars

D'addario steel strings color code
You can see the different colors of the ball-ends of the strings in this photo that match with the color code below!

As far as D’Addario guitar strings go, however, there is a consistent color pattern to help you identify each string.

And this one goes for both acoustic and electric guitars.

Below, we have a list of all 6 string colors, with an additional 7th string. Going from the top to the bottom, the colors are following:

  • 1st E – silver
  • 2nd B – purple
  • 3rd G – green
  • 4th D – black
  • 5th A – red
  • 6th E – brass
  • 7th B – copper

If you have a string set that fits this pattern, it’s D’Addario unless someone’s making counterfeits.

But I’m 99.9% sure that these are D’Addario.

Nylon String Guitars

Nylon strings for classical guitar can also have color markings (but don’t always as shown in the image above).

They don’t have ball-ends, at least in most cases.

But there will be some sort of marking in the package or on the strings.

If they are color-coded, D’Addario nylon string colors go like this:

  • 1st E – yellow
  • 2nd B – purple
  • 3rd G – green
  • 4th D – black
  • 5th A – red
  • 6th E – silver

Bass Guitars

D'Addario Bass Strings Color Code

Of course, just like with regular guitars, D’Addario’s bass guitar strings have color codes.

It’s the same principle that we have with guitar strings.

However, bass guitar strings follow different color code than standard guitar strings.

From top to bottom strings, including the 5th, it goes like this:

  • 1st G – green
  • 2nd D – black
  • 3rd A – red
  • 4th E – brass
  • 5th B – purple
  • 6th C – copper

As you can see, the only notable difference is the B string.

But if you want to identify a string brand on any bass guitar, this color code is from D’Addario.

Online Discussions About the D’Addario String Color Code

If you Googled this topic, I assume you stumbled upon plenty of forum topics.

Everyone seems to be asking about the issue.

If you find a different color code, these are almost certainly different strings.

However, it’s hard to say which ones.

The patterns that I shared above are actually a trademark of D’Addario.

And, in general, color codes aren’t that common.

But some other brands might include them as well.

It’s a very broad topic, but if you see the patterns that I mentioned above, these should be D’Addario strings.

D’Addario String Color Code: Conclusion

I hope this article has cleared up how to identify D’Addario guitar and bass strings!

And if you want to read more about instrument strings on my blog, check out my posts about:

Lastly, feel free to message me in the comments below if you have questions about this or another guitar-related topic!

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