How Long Before I Change My Guitar Strings?

Tone Tips   |   June 12, 2023

posted by: Tone Tailors

When it comes to guitar strings, there are infinite opinions… What gauge? Coated or uncoated? Why would anyone want flatwounds? Now you’re telling me there are half-flatwounds?! While string preferences vary wildly, so too does the answer to “how long before I change my guitar strings?” Today we’ll do our best to answer that with minimal controversy… Or at least we hope so!

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Strings are the lifeblood of the guitar. At the end of the day, that’s what’s making the incredible vibrations we call sound and ultimately music itself. Not only that, but the strings are the connecting point between you and the instrument, so you’ve got to get it right!  Now that we’ve established some grandeur around the subject, let’s break it down. The answer to “how long before I change my guitar strings” is simple, albeit based on a few criteria:

How Long Before I Change My Guitar Strings?

1. Did you break a string recently?

If the answer is yes, it’s best to replace the whole set. You won’t realize how much wear the strings have earned until you have a super bright high E string out competing all the others! This is the most obvious time to change your strings, but otherwise it may not be so obvious…

2. Does the guitar feel dull or lack its once illustrious tone?

Old strings while comfortable and unassuming can be a major tone-suck! Since you’ve been playing this set so routinely, it’s hard to hear the incremental dullness that plagues them now. Slap on a new set and you’ll be aghast at the utter improvement!

3. Does your guitar go out of tune more than it should?

Strings that have been tuned repeatedly get stretched out, and eventually lose their ability to stay intonated. Of course a guitar intonation is only fully rectified with a proper setup which you can read about here

4. Are you feeling uninspired with your guitar?

Changing the strings of your guitar is one way to reconnect with the feel and tone of the instrument. During the restringing process you’ll be able to clean off some grime, tighten some screws, and really inspect your instrument from a more analytical level. After you’ve had your left brain take over, the creatively will flow freely from your freshly strung guitar!

Check out some absolutely essential guitar care supplies!

5. Are you experimenting with a lower tuning?

Lower tunings often excel with heavier gauge strings, so those Ernie Ball Super Slinky strings may not quite be the ticket. Try something from their heavier line! With thicker strings there’s more material to vibrate and therefore cast a deeper sound to your amp. You’ll get more low end and a better response. Reverse this process if you want more note separation and clarity!

6. You just need to try something new!

Tone Tailors offers strings from great brands like D’addario, Ernie Ball, DR Strings, String Joy, and more! The cheapest way to change the feel and tone of your guitar is to try a different style string, so you’ve got nothing to lose besides a few bucks and about 20 mins.

Not sure how to restring your guitar after all of this commotion over strings? Come in to Tone Tailors and we’ll do it on the spot for you. Pick anything off the wall and we’ll slap them on!

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