Why You Should Change Your Strings
When most people start playing the guitar they just want to start playing their favorite songs. It’s exciting to finally start playing the guitar the way you imagined when you first picked up the instrument. However, it is important to learn how to maintain your guitar properly so it can produce quality sounds for a long time.
The strings on your guitar are probably the most important part on your instrument to keep maintained. If you were to place a brand new set of strings on your guitar you’ll be surprised at how much of a better sound it produces. This is especially true if you have a set of older strings that produce a duller sound.
Not only will the sound of your instrument improve when you change the strings but you will also keep dirt and sweat from making your strings vibrate unevenly. Hearing a guitar play out of tune is one of the worst things you can do to your ears. Changing your guitar strings on a regular basis will help you avoid having to deal with this problem.
How Often Should You Change Them
It really depends on you and how often you use your guitar to decide how often you should change them. If you clean after each session it help them to last a much longer time. Regular maintenance on the strings are important but you should definitely know when to replace them.
The best way to know when to change them is when you begin to notice that the sound is beginning diminish. Most guitarists that use their instrument everyday change their strings every 2 to 3 weeks to keep the sound crisp. If you are more of a casual player and you only play 3 to 4 times each week you should try to change your strings every 2 to 3 months.
If you don’t utilize your guitar that often then changing the strings after they are 6 months old is a good idea. A common mistake most beginner guitarist make is thinking their strings will remain good just because they don’t play their guitar on a regular basis. Your strings are so sensitive that they can be stretched out just by you tuning them up.
Once your strings begin to stretch they are no good unless you want your guitar to play like crap. You should definitely change your strings if you notice any green or black buildup beneath them. This black or green buildup is old dirt and skin from your fingers as you were strumming away. Once you change your strings you will quickly notice a much brighter sound and much more elasticity in your strings.
At the end of the day though, noticing this difference will only come with experience. There is more than one way to decide whether or not your strings need to be changed. With experience you will be able to maintain your guitar strings better so you won’t need to change them that often.
How To Maintain Your Strings
When it comes to maintaining the quality in the sound of your guitar strings is to wash your hands with soap and water before you start to play. The dirt on your fingers can easily diminish the quality in your strings, so it’s makes sense why washing your hands regularly will help keep the sound of your guitar good for a longer time.
There are music stores out there where you can buy string cleaners like Dr. Duck’s Axe Wax or Mr. Sheen. You can use these string cleaners to clean your strings regularly and increase the lifespan of them. It’s a good idea to clean them with a string cleaner once every 2 days.
Another important thing to know is that if your string breaks you should replace the entire set of strings and not just the one string. This will guarantee that all your strings are on the same level when they are being played. It will definitely sound a little uneven if you throw a brand new string in with five other strings that have been used for awhile.
How To Change Your Strings
When it comes to changing your guitar strings you can either remove each string one at each time, or just replace every string at once. If you’re a beginner the best way to change your strings is to replace them one at each time.
The first thing you need to do is take out the strings by loosening them with a tuning machine until you can pull them out of the pegs you use to tune your guitar. You can find great tools you can use for this purpose at your local music store.
Next you will need to take out the bridge pins. The bridge pins look like knobs and they keep the strings hooked inside the instrument. To help you remove the bridge pin you could get a bridge pin puller from your local music store. You could also remove them pushing the pins out from within the instrument. As soon as the pegs are free you will be able to easily pull them out of the pegs.
Once you take out the strings from the pegs you should then clean the body of your guitar before you replace the strings. To clean your guitar neck, fretboard, and headstock you just need to damp a cloth with a little water. Try not to use too much water or it could damage the wood of your instrument.
Now it’s time to prepare your new strings to put them on your guitar for the first time. The best way to put your strings on is to start at the thinnest string and then work your way up to the thickest string.
When you have successfully placed each string inside it’s peg hole you should stretch it to it’s correct tuning peg and then put in the end through the hole in the peg.
Now put the strings through the hole and pull them tightly. Try to leave a small amount of slack to allow some excess string to wind around the tuning pegs. Doing this will keep your strings from getting loose while you’re playing.
Once you’ve followed these steps through you will just need to repeat the same steps for the other strings. Once you have replaced your strings it’s time for you to tune your guitar. After you tune your strings properly you will have successfully changed your strings. You will easily notice the difference in the sound your instrument produces if you haven’t changed the strings in a while.