Guitar Maintenance

How Often To Change Guitar Strings?

Replacing strings on your guitar is one of the easiest ways to rejuvenate its sound. Not only will you be able to play with fresh strings, but you’ll also have the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve helped preserve your instrument.

Many people struggle with the idea of how often to change guitar strings, or how long they should keep a guitar. There is a wide range of opinions and theories on this topic — from once per month to never. Let’s answer the question but let’s also take a step back and start at the beginning: What does it really mean to change your guitar string?

How Often To Change Guitar Strings?

When talking about how often to change guitar strings, we’re specifically referring to the instrument itself and not the guitar player. Guitar strings are made by different manufacturers and they each have their own recommendations for replacement. Most recommend changing your guitar’s strings every three months or so, but there are some that allow for five or six month intervals.

Personally, if I am playing a lot, I like to change them at least once per month.

The reason why guitar players argue about this topic is because it completely depends on how often you play.

What Does Changing Guitar Strings Do For Your Sound, Etc?

guitar stringsThe act of changing guitar strings is actually a lot more complicated than simply unwinding a string and winding it back up again. When you change your guitar strings, you are really performing a balancing act between the old and the new. You are trying to balance the tension of your old string against the tension of your new string so that they sound as much alike as possible.

But what do we mean when we say “tension”? Tension refers to how tightly wound or “stretched” your string is when it’s on the guitar. The more tension a string has, the tighter it is, and the sharper its pitch will be. If you take a string off your guitar, it will most likely appear relaxed and flat. The tension will come from the guitar itself as you apply pressure to the fretboard while tuning your guitar.

So why is this important? Because changing strings affects more than just the sound of your guitar — it affects how well it plays too. If your strings are too loose, then they’ll rattle and buzz when you play. If they’re too tight, the sound will be dull and muffled. Changing strings is a matter of striking a balance between the tension of your old string and the tension of your new string so that you can achieve the best sound possible.

Are Guitar Strings That Expensive?

Another important part of changing guitar strings is knowing how much it will cost you to maintain your instrument. Guitar strings are actually pretty inexpensive when you look at the price per use. If you’re playing for three or four hours a night, chances are you’ll pay far less for a set of strings than you would for a night out.

Can You Make Your Guitar Strings Last Longer?

You can also make your guitar strings last longer by taking a lot of care of the instrument. Keeping your guitar clean and out of the sun will help your strings last longer and also produce a warmer sound.

Wiping the strings down with a cloth to get the sweat and dirt off after playing should also help.

How Often Do You Change Strings?

One final note for all you guitar players out there: change your strings. With how often we change our own strings and how expensive it is, I know it sounds like a hassle but trust me, it does not have to be.