Articles, Blog

How Often Should I Change Guitar Strings & Why?

December 6, 2019


‘How often should i change my strings’ is
a popular question especially for people just starting out. You’ll hear lots of different
answers, e.g. every 2-3 weeks, every 2-3 months some people might only change their strings
when they break one. The truth is is really depends on how much the guitar is played,
what type of strings you’re using, how easily you’re strings corrode and so on. That’s why
for me the question of ‘how often’ is not really all that helpful. The more helpful question is ‘why’ should
i change my guitar strings, because that gives me a better idea about the ‘when’. There are
3 main benefits of new strings, the most obvious one has to do with ‘tone’. You’ll notice new
strings sound less dull and a lot ‘brighter’ than old ones. Old strings develop general
wear & tear against the frets, they also become corroded by being in constant contact with
your skin. This affects how they resonate and sustain, which obviously affects how they
sound. Secondly, it’s those same inconsistencies that build up over the string that cause old
strings to have more difficulty with intonation and staying in ‘tune’. And lastly, for the
very same reason old strings are more susceptible to breaking. So new strings will help us get more out of
our tone, they are many likely to stay in tune better (assuming they are stretched in)
and they are less inclined to break. So what does that tell us about when we should be
looking to change our strings? A few obvious examples come to mind. Every time the guitar
gets ‘set up’ we’d be looking to use new strings for accurate tuning and intonation adjustments.
When we have an important performance we’d want to minimize the chance of strings breaking
but putting on a fresh set. And definitely, when we are doing any kind of recording we’d
want to make sure our guitar is sound the best it can. For someone who is playing out very regularly
or doing a lot of studio sessions, they might be changing their strings multiple times a
week, but for some who doesn’t play professionally or is only very casual with their guitar,
they’d only think about changing strings far less regularly. Ultimately it comes down to
a matter of personal preference. In either case knowing ‘why’ we would think about changing
strings helps us make an informed decision about ‘when’ to change them. Lastly, common
sense applies, playing with clean hands and wiping our strings down after playing with
a clean clothe will help us get more out of our guitar strings. As always if these videos help you out in
any way, make sure to you click on the like button, leave some feedback or share the videos
around… and most of all remember to subscribe to the channel for more great content! Thanks for watching, and I hope to see you
in the next video.

19 Comments

  • Reply Guitar IQ - Play Smarter September 29, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    No worries. Must say I've never heard of using WD40 on guitar strings, not sure I'd want it on my strings and fretboard : ) There are plenty of other dedicated products specifically for cleaning guitar strings that might be worth checking out though.

  • Reply So Fly Official December 1, 2015 at 1:29 am

    I love what u said that your not sure how often , but why. this is a great video and thank u

  • Reply David Stefanowicz March 13, 2016 at 4:39 am

    I have a guitar that I bought ten years ago and it still has the original strings on that we're on it when I bought it. It's an acoustic. A friend of mine played it too hard and popped the low E string peg out of the bridge. The peg would then pop out before the string was even close to being in tune. Not really thinking about changing string in the future I super glued the peg in. And it does stay in, but that's why I never changed the strings. I can tell that they probably sound a little more dull than they should and they feel a little cruddy. I've only dabbled with guitar for years Til recently I've been learning and practicing more. Not sure it's worth replacing the whole guitar as it still sounds pretty good. It's a entry level Carlo robelli, but I thought it has always had a nice full tone.

  • Reply Cr00ked Chris April 12, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    OMG THIS I GUY LOOKS Like SHAGGY ROGERS FROM SCOOBY-DOO OMG LIKE ZOINKS!!!!!

  • Reply J FK June 24, 2017 at 11:47 am

    Hi. thanks for the video. I bought a new acoustic guitar and somehow I received it after 6 months. this has not been played at all. Would you recommend I change it in this case. thanks.

  • Reply Arcade Perfect June 27, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    2 or 3 weeks I go with, they seem to wear out quickly on my guitars, the guitar always sounds tons better after you change the strings

  • Reply Junior17 February 25, 2018 at 10:55 pm

    Changing guitar strings every a few weeks? Are you kidding me? If you're gonna change them every several weeks, you're gonna change them at least 12 times a year. Hell no!! Don't waste money on that shit. Honestly I don't see a difference even with fresh brand new guitar strings. The last time I changed my guitar strings was 3 years ago and they're fine. I'm really shocked to hear that!!

  • Reply dime_ life March 9, 2018 at 3:05 am

    do not use wd-40 lmao prob why u neber heard of it

  • Reply Trini Bates April 23, 2018 at 11:11 am

    Thank you. Very helpful and answered my questions.

  • Reply Victorious Spirit June 16, 2018 at 12:45 pm

    Thank you. Being new to guitars, I kept trying to tune my guitar,and it did not work as usual. I could not figure out why and thought my guitar is broke?!!!! lol. Then goodness, I thought maybe the strings need changing, so I'm going to try that. I'm a newbie farely, so always learning. Thanks again.

  • Reply Lex W. July 31, 2018 at 2:20 am

    Havent changed string in 3+ years… they seem fine

  • Reply Justin Ayers July 31, 2018 at 6:53 am

    >People only change their guitar strings when they break one
    I've been playing without a high E for over a month now, that's how much I hate changing the strings

  • Reply Vegan Singer August 23, 2018 at 11:30 am

    Cheers mate. I am changing my strings after every gig. I thought it was too frequent but like you say it's personal preference. I find that a gig and a few days practice before the gig means that after the gig they need to be changed again. I think i'm doing it right because I can hear that they need changing. Thanks for the advice. Donna UK

  • Reply spewe 17 November 11, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    Omg i havent changed them in 5 years 😂

  • Reply The Lowmein December 25, 2018 at 8:20 pm

    I only change mine if that start to feel overly sharp or uncomfortable in my hands, or if the tone starts getting bad

  • Reply Captain Dash_away December 26, 2018 at 1:52 am

    if you get a new acoustic guitar should you change the strings straight away.

  • Reply Just 935 Ryan March 4, 2019 at 4:55 pm

    Thanks this was really useful

  • Reply Blue Nautica April 27, 2019 at 7:53 am

    Looks like ultra rare instinct shaggy

  • Reply Inventor June 8, 2019 at 11:11 am

    i change the first string 20 times more than the 6th string. the thicker the string is, the longer life it has. string companies should be selling special sets with OPTIMIZED number of strings in example from 6th to 1st: 1,2,4,9,14,20 , a total of 50 strings for 20 corrections

  • Leave a Reply