We conducted a simple poll with our Claren friends on the frequency of changing their guitar strings and these are the results.
So is there are rule? Short answer is no, but if you're a dedicated guitarist, you might need to change your strings every week or two. But you might go a month or two between changes if you're a casual player. It also depends on your climate-if it's humid, you might need to change your strings more often to prevent rusting. And of course, if you don't clean your strings regularly, they'll get gunky and need to be replaced more frequently.
How often you change your guitar strings depends on how often you play. You will probably need to change them every month if you play daily. On the other hand, if you play once a week, you might get away with changing them every two months. If you don't play very often, you might get away with changing them once or twice a year. But, of course, if you notice your strings are sounding dull or worn out, you'll need to change them sooner.
Changing your strings is a relatively simple process and one you should be able to do yourself. However, if you feel uncomfortable doing it or don't have the right tools, you can usually take your guitar to a local repair shop, and they will change it for you. This may cost some money, but it will save you the time it would take to learn how to do it yourself.
Check to see if you need to simultaneously replace any of your other guitar parts. Cracks in the neck, for example, will make it challenging to keep your fretboard in good condition. If any of your other parts are damaged, consider replacing them while you replace your strings.
Is it okay if I only change some strings and not all?
It is entirely up to you. First, decide how many new strings you'll need. For example, you'll need one extra for the low E string, though if your guitar is old or you play regularly, replace all six. If you're buying extra strings, consider whether you'll need lighter gauges (low notes are often hard to play on guitars with small frets or large necks) and whether you'll need coated or uncoated strings (depending on your environment).
Is it really that simple? Yes, with a little bit of training.
- Place your guitar flat and remove the strings.
- Find the bridge saddle slot that matches the size of the new string. The string should sit in the middle of the saddle. The rounded side of the string should face toward the neck of the guitar. It is easier if you are using the same gauge of guitar strings as before.
- Thread the string through the hole in the bridge plate and under either side of the saddle. Next, pull up on the string to tighten it under the saddle. You should feel tension on the front of the string between your fingers. If you don't feel pressure, look at how you've threaded it and try again.
- Find the tuning peg and thread the end of the string through it. Tug gently on the string's end to ensure it's not loose and is firmly attached to the peg. If it feels loose, re-thread it or consider getting a new peg as they wear out after a while).
- Pull the string to the tuning tension, and you should now be able to tune the string. If you can't, check that it's not too loose or tight and refasten it under the bridge saddle.
Once all your strings have been replaced, give your guitar a try. It might initially sound quiet as the strings settle in after being stretched during tuning. However, they'll reach their full sound potential after a few hours of playing.
What is next? Is that all?
As a general rule, solid-metal-coated strings will last the longest, acoustic strings will be next in terms of longevity, with electric strings having the shortest life span.
You should check your strings every time you tune up (this will also improve your tuning skills). Look for unusual rough edges, especially in the treble strings, as this usually indicates they need to be replaced.
Once you've got your new set of strings, learn to care for your guitar strings to get the most out of them for as long as possible.
As long as you take care of your strings, they should last for several months–but when the time comes to replace them, you'll be able to do so expertly!