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How Often Should You Change Your Strings?

All guitars eventually need a string change. Your instrument will sound better with a fresh set of strings on it. You may not know how often you should be changing the strings on your guitar. This guide will help you determine when to make a proper change.

Why Change Guitar Strings?

How often you change your strings depends upon a few factors. Here are some points you need to know about your guitar strings. This will help you determine how often you should change them.

Coated and Non-Coated Strings

Some newer strings today have specific coatings. This allows the string to last a lot longer when compared to strings that don’t have a coating. Strings that have this coating only need to be changed every few months or so. A non-coated string may only last a few weeks or a month.

New Guitars

When you bring your guitar home from a guitar store or order one online, it can be a good idea to change the strings right away. This is because the instrument has sat in a case, on a store shelf, or been played by other people. The strings on your instrument are probably quite worn out, and they won’t have a decent tone. If you change the strings on a new guitar right away, it will sound a lot better.

How Much You Play

If you’re new to playing guitar, you might only practice a half an hour or so a day. Most new players will not have to worry about changing the strings all that often. If you noticed that the strings start to get dirty or lose their tone, it might be time to change your strings. A new player won’t care that much about the tone from their strings, so in this case, strings can be changed less frequently.

String Wear

If you play guitar frequently, your strings will wear out a lot faster. You will notice that the strings have a duller tone, have lost their shine, and may start to get covered with grime from your hands due to oils on your skin. If this is the case, the strings probably have to be changed.

If the strings have been sitting on a guitar for several months, then it’s probably a good idea to change them as you won’t get a decent tone out of them. You may also find that older strings become harder to play. if you’re doing string bending, sliding up and down the fretboard, and playing frequently, then it’s time to change the strings. If regular movements across the strings become difficult make the change to a fresh set.

Sound

Another factor that comes into play whether or not you want to change your strings is the sound. If you don’t like the sound that your strings are producing, then it’s probably time to change them.  You may notice that the strings don’t sound as vibrant, or they may have a dull quality This is an indication that you probably want to change your strings. Some players like the sound of well-worn strings. Other players like the sound of strings that are fresh and new. This may be a factor and how often you decide to change your guitar strings.

You’re Recording or Playing Live

If you play guitar live a lot or you are in a recording session, you’re going to want to have a fresh set of strings. This will give you the best tone for the recording session or the live performance. You don’t want to be in this sort of situation without having a fresh set of strings on your instrument. 

Type of Guitar

The type of guitar you have may also be a factor in how often you change strings. If you have an electric guitar, you might want to have more frequent strange changes. You’re probably doing a lot of soloing and playing chords, which causes wear across the entire string.  If you play an acoustic guitar, you may only be playing at the first few frets and not using the entire fretboard as much as you might when you play electric guitar.


Dirt on Fretboard

 If you have strings that are worn on your guitar, they can transfer dirt to your fretboard. You may notice this around the Frets themselves. This dirt can be dangerous to the fretboard. If you notice a lot of dirt and debris from your strings on the fretboard, then it’s probably a good idea to change the strings and clean the fretboard. 

How Much You Sweat

Some guitar players produce more oil on their hands from sweating than others. If you sweat quite a bit when playing guitar, dirt and debris will transfer onto your strings. You may find that you have to change your strings more often as the streams will wear out from the sweat and oils on your hands. If you don’t sweat as often, then you will need string changes on a less frequent basis.


Personal Preference

How often you change your guitar strings also comes down to your personal preference. Some players like changing their strings frequently. Others don’t change their strings as often. It’s up to the individual to decide when they want to change their strings.

Change Strings Every One to Three Months 

A good rule is to change your strength every one to three months. After this amount of time, your strings start to wear out a lot, and they probably need to be changed. You can decide when you want to change them based on your individual needs.

Conclusion

Several factors go into determining how often you should change your guitar strings. Pay attention to the sound, how the strings feel, and the amount of debris on your strings. Fresh strings sound better, so make sure you change them at least once every month or so. This will give you more enjoyment out of your guitar, better sound, and will help protect the fretboard from damage.

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