How Often Should I Change Guitar Strings & Why?


‘How often should i change my strings’ is
a popular question especially for people just starting out. You’ll hear lots of different
answers, e.g. every 2-3 weeks, every 2-3 months some people might only change their strings
when they break one. The truth is is really depends on how much the guitar is played,
what type of strings you’re using, how easily you’re strings corrode and so on. That’s why
for me the question of ‘how often’ is not really all that helpful. The more helpful question is ‘why’ should
i change my guitar strings, because that gives me a better idea about the ‘when’. There are
3 main benefits of new strings, the most obvious one has to do with ‘tone’. You’ll notice new
strings sound less dull and a lot ‘brighter’ than old ones. Old strings develop general
wear & tear against the frets, they also become corroded by being in constant contact with
your skin. This affects how they resonate and sustain, which obviously affects how they
sound. Secondly, it’s those same inconsistencies that build up over the string that cause old
strings to have more difficulty with intonation and staying in ‘tune’. And lastly, for the
very same reason old strings are more susceptible to breaking. So new strings will help us get more out of
our tone, they are many likely to stay in tune better (assuming they are stretched in)
and they are less inclined to break. So what does that tell us about when we should be
looking to change our strings? A few obvious examples come to mind. Every time the guitar
gets ‘set up’ we’d be looking to use new strings for accurate tuning and intonation adjustments.
When we have an important performance we’d want to minimize the chance of strings breaking
but putting on a fresh set. And definitely, when we are doing any kind of recording we’d
want to make sure our guitar is sound the best it can. For someone who is playing out very regularly
or doing a lot of studio sessions, they might be changing their strings multiple times a
week, but for some who doesn’t play professionally or is only very casual with their guitar,
they’d only think about changing strings far less regularly. Ultimately it comes down to
a matter of personal preference. In either case knowing ‘why’ we would think about changing
strings helps us make an informed decision about ‘when’ to change them. Lastly, common
sense applies, playing with clean hands and wiping our strings down after playing with
a clean clothe will help us get more out of our guitar strings. As always if these videos help you out in
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in the next video.