Changing Strings

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by littlepicker, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. littlepicker

    littlepicker Member

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    When changing strings is it ok to take all the strings off at once, instead of changing them 1 at a time?
     
  2. Brion

    Brion Supporting Member

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    I usually take them all off and give the guitar a proper cleaning. I don't see the harm in taking them all off for a few minutes to clean the guitar up.
     
  3. mge80

    mge80 Member

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    Same here.
     
  4. Nuclearfishin

    Nuclearfishin Supporting Member

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    All at once is no problem. On an electric with floating tremelo this could be a problem. I usually take all the strings off and then clean the fretboard with lemon oil.
     
  5. David Collins

    David Collins Member

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    The "change one string at a time" rule is a curious one that I hear often. I imagine it carried over from violins so as to not loosen the soundpost or move the bridge, or perhaps even from other instruments with floating bridges to hold them in place. Anyway, it carried over without much good reason, gets passed down as a rule, until people have just heard it but have no idea why.

    So then they tend to reverse-reason, and come up with an explanation. The usual one is that the neck needs to be held at tension, or the truss rod will shift and the neck will settle in differently after being fully relaxed. Of course there is no truth to this for 90-some% of guitars (of course there are exceptions, like some squirrely Ricks), but it makes for a convenient explanation.

    If you don't want a floating bridge to shift, don't want to re-tune forever with a floating tremolo, or want to keep pressure on tunomatic thumbwheels to keep loose ones from turning, those are some arguments for changing one at a time. I'm sure there are a few more, but it's just a matter of how you prefer to do it. It's rare that I find a need to keep some on while changing, but on occasional instruments it can be appropriate.
     
  6. powermatt99

    powermatt99 Member

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    As long as you don't take a tin snips and cut them all off simultaneously, you'll be fine changing them all at once.
     
  7. Mr Savage

    Mr Savage Member

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    On my archtop I change the stings one at a time so the bridge doesn't move. On my other guitars I take the strings off all at once.
     
  8. Lawn Jockey

    Lawn Jockey Member

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    All of my acoustics.......all at once.

    Mandolin and banjo.......one at a time.
     
  9. SnidelyWhiplash

    SnidelyWhiplash Supporting Member

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    Neither do i.
     
  10. stuagu

    stuagu Member

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    all at once but dont over oil them fretboards... once every six months or so ive always found to be enuf.... keep it live fellas
     
  11. RustyAxe

    RustyAxe Member

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    Sure, no problem. The only time it's an issue is on a movable bridge ... for those you do one string at time to prevent screwing up the intonation.
     
  12. Hargrett

    Hargrett Member

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    Since it's been mentioned here... I seem to remember something about lemon oil damaging certain types of plastic inlays or bindings... anyone know more about that?
     
  13. Hargrett

    Hargrett Member

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    I've also found that acoustic under-the-saddle piezo pickups (Thinline, etc.) can shift if all the strings are removed at once. A small change in the way the pickup is seated between the slot and the saddle can change the sound drastically.
     
  14. in a little row

    in a little row Member

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    that usually means the UST isnt installed properly in the first place
     

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