Replacing your guitar strings

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by jammath, Mar 4, 2006.


  1. jammath

    jammath Member

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    Hey, just being real general-- if you play 1to2hrs a day 5days aweek how often would you change out your strings.. thanks john:RoCkIn
     
  2. madsr

    madsr Member

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    Depends what kind of strings you use and what kind of a player you are.. and where you store your guitar and etc. etc. etc.. I for example am a livingroom/basement player and use dr pure blues strings(11's) and I am a bender... I change the strings around once a month but truth be told I probably don't have to.. if I were gigging I would change the strings before each gig. dr's tend to last a lot longer in my experience than all others(although I haven't used snake oil strings..I hear they last longer as well).
     
  3. Madsman

    Madsman Member

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    Yeah, it's not that simple. Some people get their strings nasty faster than others... sometimes it has less to do with how much you play, but who you are. You should be able to tell when your strings are done. Either plain strings have a texture, coated strings are showing fraying on the coating, strings are discolored, you see a significant marking on each string at the point where it contacts the fret, or hey, it just don't sound good no more.
     
  4. dave s

    dave s Member

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    I don't take any special care of strings before, during or after playing. Experience tells me that regular priced string sets, e.g., GHS, EB, D'Addario, etc. last about 15-20 hours before dulling out and losing tuning accuracy. And when they go ... they go fast!

    The higher-grade string sets like DR and SIT will last about 25% longer before they go. That said, I ususally get about 24 playing hours on a set of SIT Nickel PowerWounds before replacing with new.

    dave
     
  5. madsr

    madsr Member

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    from where I am dr's cost about the same (within 50 cents) as any of those "regular priced strings" you mentioned.
     
  6. jaycee

    jaycee Member

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    I usually change strings the night before a gig just to let them stretch for a short time. Sometimes if I have back to back gigs I won't change them. On 'home' guitars, I've gone as long as six months without breaking a string, then i'll change the set. Or i'll change them when they're completly undeniably dead. Whichever comes first. I put a fair amount of playing time on these guitars too.

    I don't take any special care of my strings except giving them a quick wipe every 3 or 4 weeks. I'm fortunate that my hands aren't very oily. I know a dude that can crud strings up in fifteen minutes.
     
  7. ButchR

    ButchR Komet Player Gold Supporting Member

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    I've found that the Snake Oil's give me about three times the life of my previous brands
     
  8. 98FlySupreme

    98FlySupreme Member

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    Unfortunately, I wear out a set of strings pretty fast. Acoustic guitar is the absolute worst, and I'd actually need to change those about every 5 days or I notice a serious tone loss. For what it's worth, I didn't find that the D'Addario EXP coated strings lasted as long as Elixirs. In fact, they didn't last more than like a day or two longer than regular strings. For electric, I usually don't change as often since the tone is much less string depedent than acoustic.
     
  9. jammath

    jammath Member

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    Thanks for the info----it's time for these boys to go. I used the coated elixers and they seemed to last o.k. , but i'll try something different just to compare. thanks again. john:AOK
     
  10. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    About every two and a half years or when they break if sooner.















    Yes, I am completely serious.

    On my #1 guitar, which I play most days, band practices once a week and gigs every few weeks, I've had exactly two sets of strings since I bought it in Feb '02 - not counting breakages, and I haven't broken a string since I put the set of Snake Oils on in about Nov '04.

    I take care of them, clean them after playing, and don't normally let other people play them. I hate the sound and feel of new strings, and that's the main reason (although the Snake Oils were much less bad).

    I think the frets wear out faster... ;)
     
  11. jbird327

    jbird327 Member

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    I use Fender 250s (10s) and feel they are good for about 2 hours of heavy playing. I'll change strings before a gig and then I can get another 2 practices out of them. Aside from the loss of brilliance, the intonation seems to go, making tuning the guitar difficult.
     
  12. dividedsky

    dividedsky Member

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    I play avg an hour a day and I change mine every couple months. Given your situation, probably once a month. Also depends on the strings. Best thing to go by is to change them when they need it regardless of the time inbetween.
     
  13. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm lucky, my sweat is apparently not very acidic - together with wiping down my strings regularly after every use, I can go several months on my D'Addarios with no trouble.

    I would say don't go by anyone else's rule of thumb. Trust your own ears. When it's time for new strings because the old ones don't sound good anymore, won't stay in tune, or one has broken and you fear the second's not far behind, change 'em.
     
  14. LavaMan

    LavaMan Gold Supporting Member

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    When I was in a gigging band I would put on a new set for every gig - or one per weekend if we played both nights.

    Once your strings start to feel dirty, slimy etc ... and loose some brightness, and or have crud underneath that's the time to change them.
     
  15. Leftee

    Leftee Guest

    With store-boughts, about 4 - 6 weeks of 1 hour a day for 5 days a week. With Snake Oils it's about 6 months.
     
  16. gitpicker

    gitpicker Member

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    John Phillips wrote:
    "About every two and a half years or when they break if sooner."

    +1 on that John!!!

    I hate the sound of new strings - I will put on a new set about once every year or two when I dress or replace frets and set up the guitar (harmonics, action, pick-up height, etc.) and I am in hell for about a week until they get broken in. After that, new strings only appear when I break one (about once a month). I like the sound and I like having the consistency of tone provided by leaving strings on indefinitely. There is nothing quite like the sound of old strings to me - I wish someone would come up with a pedal to simulate the sound of old, nasty strings - I'd buy one!

    BTW - I play about 20 hours a week nowdays, and I gig pretty much every weekend. For the majority of my playing career I was doing the Holiday Inn thing and / or the house band thing and I played 5-6 sets a night, 4-6 nights a week.

    I'll put my kids through college with the money I have saved...
     
  17. scottywompas

    scottywompas Member

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    You're supposed to change your strings? I guess when they break i change them. Once a year other than that.

    Scott
     
  18. ScottB

    ScottB Gold Supporting Member

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    I bend like a gorilla, pick like an elephant and sweat like a pig.

    I'm also not diligent about maintenance (wiping down, etc). I'm gigging ~ 1/mo lately. I replace strings when they break (which is often) and change the whole set before every gig (or I'm guaranteed to break one).

    The only caveat to this is that I do have a fair number of guitars and I rotate what I'm using at gigs. I bring three to a gig, a Les Paul, a Strat, and a third which is either another Strat, my SG or my Tele. The third is a back-up/catch all, that may or may not get used much at any given gig. Sometimes on the third, I don't bother to change strings if it hasn't gotten a lot of use.

    If I'm playing a lot, the strings will get significantly worn (flattened) over the frets. This changes the tone significantly.

    I love the lively tone and fresh feel of new strings.

    Scott
     

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