There comes a time when the strings on your guitar need to be changed.
Take a closer look at the strings on your guitar and ask yourself a few questions:
Do they appear to be discolored? Are any of them missing? Are you starting to see any rust on them?
These are all signs that it’s time to throw in the towel finally.
If you’ve been playing on the same guitar strings for the last 2-3 months, which you shouldn’t be, you’ll notice that they no longer sound as “bright” as when you first purchased them.
Another common sign for knowing when to change guitar strings is when they will not stay in tune.
How Often Should You Change Your Strings?
I usually change my strings every two weeks – that’s because I play a LOT – but I would say for a beginner, you should shoot to change them every 1-2 months.
If you play regular weekend gigs, you might want to change them more often. As a general rule, try to change them out at a minimum of every couple of months.
What Type Of Guitar Strings Should You Buy?
Just as an “electric guitar” will have strings suited for an electric, an “acoustic guitar” will have strings for an acoustic. When purchasing a new pair of guitar strings, it’s essential to pick up the ones you are most comfortable playing.
Guitar strings come in different gauges (thickness), and depending on your preference, you’ll need to decide what’s best for you. You can pick up a good pair of strings at any local music store, as well as online through many musical instrument retailers.
Once you finally decide on what guitar strings you’re going to go with – it’s time to toss the “old” ones out!
Tuning guitar strings isn’t that hard (once you get the hang of it). As with anything, it takes trial and error to learn. The next step is to tune your guitar.
What is the best way to install strings on the guitar
There is no one “best” way to do this, but there are some things to keep in mind. Always wind the strings neatly toward the bottom of the tuner post.
This increases the downward angle of the string coming out of the nut, which increases sustain and keeps the string from bouncing around in the bottom of the nut slot.
Two or three windings around the tuner post are plenty (except for locking tuners such as the type made by Sperzel, which don’t require any winding).
Leave some slack for winding. One method for calculating the amount of space is to measure the string two tuning posts longer than the post for which you are stringing (less for the thicker wound strings).
When installing strings at the bridge end of a steel-string acoustic guitar, always make sure that the ball end of the string seats up against the bottom of the bridge pad and not on the end of the bridge pin. If you can’t see the spiral wraps next to the bridge pin, the ball is probably sitting on the end of the pin, and you need to reinstall the string.
Besides, the string should wrap toward the inside of the post. On classical guitars, the string should wrap over the barrel shaft. Described below are several different methods for installing strings. One common way for installing strings is to stick the string through the hole in the tuner post (leaving some slack for windings), pull the string around toward the inside of the post, loop it back underneath the string, and then up against the bar.
This locks the string against itself, helping to reduce slippage. This method works best for unwound strings, although some people use it for wound strings (I don’t recommend it, especially for the low E and A strings). Generally, just wrapping the wound strings downward will do the trick.
Another method for installing strings (and the one that I prefer) is this: Pull the string through the tuner post hole (leaving slack for winding as described above) and make a 90-degree bend on both sides of the post. Then thread the string as usual (toward the bottom of the post). This locks the string against the bar and keeps it from slipping.
On classical guitars, which use nylon strings, one end of the string needs to be tied to the bridge (although there are ball-end nylon strings available-these shouldn’t be used on more excellent classical guitars). Don’t ever use steel strings on a classical guitar.
These guitars aren’t braced for the greater tension of steel strings, and you could have a lot of damage to an instrument! To attach the string to the bridge of a classical guitar, pull about two or three inches of string through the backside of the bridge block.
Then bring the string back up over the bridge, under the string, and loop or twist it toward the back edge of the tie block. Two twists are enough for the thicker sixth, fifth, third, and second strings. The smaller fourth and first strings can take three twists.
The last twist should be at the back of the tie block, with the loose end tucked under the string where it exits the hole in the bridge. There are several ways to tie a classical string at the tuner end. A quick method is to poke the string through the tuner barrel twice so the string won’t slip and then wind. I don’t recommend this method since it can be hard to remove the string later.
A better method is to run the string through the hole and then back over the barrel and under itself. Then thread the string up through the loop created by bringing the string back over the barrel. Pull the loose end of the string tight to lock the string against itself and wind.
One last note on classical strings. Some manufacturers make the wound strings with a stiff end and a limp end. Do not tie the slack back to the bridge. This end is weaker and will break sooner and can dig into the bridge block, causing scarring and intonation and buzzing problems.