How often should I change my strings?
It varies from guitarist to guitarist, but keep in mind...
- guitarists who sweat more will need to change their strings more
- guitarists who smoke, or play in smoky clubs will need to change their strings more
- those who spend hours a day playing guitar will need to change their strings more
- guitarists who play "hard" (heavy grip in fretting hand or an aggressive picking hand) will need to change their strings more
How do I know if my strings need to be changed?You'll know if...
- you have a harder time than usual getting the guitar in tune
- your guitar tone begins to sound "flat"
- your strings begin to discolor or rust
- it's been several months since you last changed your strings
What do I need to change my strings?Here are the few required materials and tools...
- A set of replacement strings. Electric guitar strings come in varying "gauges" (thicknesses). The lightest-gauged strings are easier to press down on, but are much harder to keep in tune, and tend to have a thinner tone. If you've never bought strings before, then just pick up a few packs of light-gauged electric strings.
- A string winder (see photo). This isn't a requirement, but will make the job of changing strings much simpler, and they only cost a few dollars.
- A clean cloth. Since you're removing the strings, you might as well use this opportunity to clean those hard-to-reach places on your guitar.
- Pliers. So you can cut away excess new string length.