The more often you use your guitar, the more the strings devalue. As devaluation occurs, the tone of the guitar starts to change; the bright, sparkly and rich sound begins to get very dull and gloomy. Technically, there is no simple or straight forward answer as to when or how often guitar strings should be changed. There are so many factors in place to consider before determining how often you should change your strings. For professionals, its inherent to know just when to change it, but for beginner guitarists, you should change your strings the moment you don’t like how they sound or feel. If you’re a guitarist that enjoys a rich, sparkly and bright tone, then you should change your strings more often than a guitarist who prefers the sound of used strings.
This is a rough guideline to give you an idea of how often you should change your strings:
– If you’re a sporadic guitarist that brings out your guitar only occasionally in a whole year or plays for less than 15 minutes a week, then you should change your strings only once or twice in a year.
– If you’re a learner or amateur that plays your guitar 3-4 days a week for about 20-30 minutes and you’re not so consistent, then you should change your guitar every 6 to 8 months.
– If you’re a devoted nonexpert who is a bit more consistent than the amateur and you play your guitar 6-7 days a week for about 30 minutes to 2 hours, then you should change your strings every 3 to 5 months.
– If you’re a very serious and committed guitarist who plays the guitar 6-7 days a week for about 2-4 hours, then you should change your strings every 1-2 months
– If you’re a guitarist that makes a living out of playing the guitar, either going for gigs or producing online content, then you obviously would be rehearsing for much longer than the average guitarist who plays for fun or for leisure. This means that your guitar is always in your hands 60-70% of every day, therefore your strings are likely to degrade faster, you should definitely change your strings once a week.
Note that the above tips are just rough guidelines, there’s no exact or stipulated time given for how long strings would last. The above guidelines are just for those who aren’t sure of what exactly to do. The moment you begin to understand your guitar and understand the feel and sound of your strings, you’d independently be able to judge for yourself and know when your strings need to be changed.
Some other guidelines to consider in determining when to change your strings are:
– When your sound is obviously weak, dull and blunt. If you’re a usual bright and crispy sounding guitarist and you notice gloominess in your tone, this is a sign; no matter how much you fix up your amp, effects and other gear, it’s not going to do much, the probable solution is just to get the strings changed.
– If your guitar keeps going out of tune consistently even if you just tuned it few minutes or hours ago, your guitar is not bad, neither are your tuning pegs damaged (even if this is also a possibility), it is another sign that your strings need changing.
– You should change your strings if it has been too long ago that you changed them such that you can’t even remember when last you changed them, then this is definitely a sign that you should change them now.
– If your strings begin to feel rusty, stiff or difficult when you play, unlike when they were first fixed, then there’s no need to contemplate, just go ahead and change them.
– If you strings look visibly worn out, discoloured or starts peeling or shedding flakes, you don’t need a counsellor to speak to you on this, this is a BIG sign that your strings need immediate change.
Changing strings also depend on the hands that ‘wield’ the guitar. Guitarists that sweats more on their hands while playing would most possibly get their strings wet and corroded faster, and would need to change strings more often than players who don’t sweat on their palms.
These are a few things you can do to help your guitar strings last much longer and avoid unnecessary frequent changes?
** Wash your hands properly and wipe them dry before you play; this helps to get rid of any dirt, dust, water or grease on your hands that might eventually accumulate on the strings, causing it to deteriorate faster.
**Clean your strings every time you finish playing, just incase the tip above isn’t a 100% feasible or effective, cleaning your strings after playing will further eliminate any grime left off on your strings. You can use a string cleaner or any soft piece of cotton cloth and a little mineral oil added to it.
How often do you change your guitar strings? Let us know in the comment section down below.?