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Video:How Often Should You Change Guitar Strings?

with Rick Tedesco

Guitar strings need to be changed periodically because oil and dirt from your fingers causes your strings to sound dull. How often you have to change your guitar strings depends on how often you play and humidity levels.See Transcript

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Transcript:How Often Should You Change Guitar Strings?

Hi! I’m Rick Tedesco for About.com and today we’re going to talk about how often you should change your guitar strings. We’re here at the Guitar Hangar in Brookfield, Connecticut.

If Your Guitar Sounds Dull, Change the Strings

Guitar strings do need to be changed periodically in order to keep the guitar sounding fresh and crisp. If your guitar is sounding dull and you like a bright guitar sound, it may be time to change your strings. If you never changed your strings before you may want to go to a guitar store or repair center for a nominal fee they can certainly help you there.How often you need to change your guitar strings depends on a few different factors, mainly how often you play and for how long.

A good guideline is: If you play 2-3 hours a day, every day, you should change your strings every 2 to 3 weeks. If you play 30 minutes to an hour every day, you should change your strings every 4 to 6 weeks.If you play 30 minutes to an hour every other day, 6 to 8 weeks. If you play every once in a while, you still should change your strings at least 3 times a year. I’m now going to give you a walk through on how the change a string on this guitar. As you can hear right now it sounds a little dull so were going to change it and you will hear the difference in the tone.

Leave Enough String to Wrap at the Guitar Peg Head

To change the strings on a guitar, you can either unwind the strings at the peg head or just snip them which is what I’m going to do to save time. Take your new string on this particular guitar, you just feed it through the back of the bridge. Some guitars have a peg, if it’s an electric guitar, there are many different ways to anchor the string on this end. Pull it through, then you want to take your string and go through the hole on the machine head. You don’t want a bunch of winds around the machinehead and you don’t want too few because if you have too few, the string will slip. If you too much it’s a big mess and the guitar will always be going out of tune. What I do is I hold my hand on the fretboard and I make that a rule. And that’s how much I leave right there. Then I wrap it around, I go under the string and over the top, and what that does is it causes a place for the string to pinch which will keep it from slipping. Then you just tighten to tune. Two to three wraps around the string post is all that’s required and tune to pitch.

Stretch the Strings to Stay in Tune

Last but not least, when you are done changing all your strings, you want to make sure you stretch them. If you don’t stretch your strings,The guitar will constantly go out of tune until they are stretched.To stretch a string, what I do is grab down and hold down at the beginning of the fret board and I just pull up on them. You don’t want to pull so hard that you break the string but you want to pull hard enough to stretch it. You’ll notice now the string is lower in pitch and then your guitar is good to go.If you follow these guidelines, you will change your guitar strings at the right time and keep your guitar sounding like it should.

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