Knowing how to change guitar strings is important as strings have a habit of breaking so whether you play an acoustic or electric guitar, this is a must.
Reasons for changing your guitar’s strings
Old guitars usually improve with age as they become mellower and richer sounding. If you look after your strings, they will last a lot longer, but soon the will need replacing.
A guitar’s tone can be affected by the buildup of dirt accumulating from the natural oils on your fingers, sweat and dead skin. This makes playing difficult and even dull sounding as well as causing them to become prone to breaking.
When you restring with a fresh new set of strings your guitar’s tone sound becomes brighter, they are easier on your fingers and less likely to break.
How often do you need to change strings?
This really depends on the amount you play and the way you play your guitar.
A professional guitar player usually changes string every second to the fourth gig, whether using an acoustic or electric guitar
If you sweat a lot or play in smoky rooms and play aggressively then you will need to change strings more frequently. Guitar strings oxidise quickly so even if you don’t play often you still need to change your strings from time to time.
If you clean your strings after each session using a good type of guitar string oil they will last much longer.
Some people go to great lengths to maintain their strings in good condition because they like the sound of their broken in strings. Others don’t worry because they like to change them more often as the like the fresh sound of new strings.
It really boils down to experience and preference, before long you will be able to tell by the way your guitar sounds and feels when it’s time you changed strings.
Types of string
There are many types of stings available for different guitars, if you play an electric guitar or acoustic you need to experiment with different brands and types as they each have their own feel and sound.
The string gauge
You can buy strings in sets or individually as well as a range of gauges or thicknesses, the best ones to choose depends on your playing style, the type of guitar and the sound you wish to produce.
Keeping your guitar in good shape
There is a lot of debate over whether you should change strings individually or remove them all and then replace them all together. Both have merits, when you first start learning to change your strings, it’s probably easier to do one at a time as you can see how the other strings are set and you can just replace them as needed.
The advantage of removing all the strings at once and replacing with a new set is that you can give the whole fretboard a really good clean and polish without the strings in the way.
Playing an electric or acoustic guitar you will soon need to learn how to change your own strings, the type to use as well as the right time to change them because of the difference in the feel and sound your guitar makes.