Proper Way to Restring

I have slowly been switching my guitars over to locking tuners.  This makes tuning very easy and very quick, but the locking tuners are heavy and more expensive than the tuners that usually come on your guitar (which, once you have the guitar, they’re free!).  My Epiphone Crestwood does not have locking tuners and I don’t intend to put locking tuners on it.  Right now everything is original on that guitar.  I’m not ready to start modding it.  So properly restringing this guitar is important if I want it to stay in tune.

Elixir strings have provided the following video clip to help.

Restringing your guitar can also wake up your guitar.  I don’t have any scientific proof, but it is widely discussed on the internet and just generally among guitarists that old strings wear out and lose some of their high end.  Sweat and dirt and grime build up.  They start to corrode.  My guess is that all of this dampens their ability to vibrate and get the fresh sound and tone anyone wants from their guitar.  Some people change their strings every performance.  Others never change them.  Most people are somewhere in the middle depending on how much money they have and how much effort they put into changing their strings.

I change my strings fairly infrequently.  I hardly ever break a string.  I store the bulk of my guitars out in the open.  My hands do get dirty and my strings do corrode.  But I am cheap when it comes to guitar strings.  I try to change them every few months.  I buy a bunch every time they go on sale at my local guitar shop.  But I don’t get a specific brand.  I just stick with 10’s.  I like the feel of 10’s over 9’s.  I feel like I have to work a bit and get a better sound when I use 10’s.  9’s just seem week (and need to be changed even more often).

Does this make me a bad person?  Does it really matter?  Probably not.  It is just one of those nights when I ramble.  Goodnight.


2 thoughts on “Proper Way to Restring

  1. I enjoy the improved tone of new strings. I have about 25 guitars and keeping fresh strings on all them is not feasible in time or expense. I have five guitars I play regularly and they are my Taylor 914C, Martin 000-28, Blade RH-4, Fender Strat, and Gibson Les Paul. I change strings on these electrics every 3 -4 weeks and these acoustic monthly. The rest of the guitars get changed when I decide to play them and that moves them to the front of the pecking order until the strings become dead. I changed the strings on my Ibanez George Benson a little over a month ago and I played it often, now the strings are kinda dead and at $20 dollars a set for Thomasik-Infield George Benson Strings I’ll wait a while to change them. I plan to change the strings on my ES-335 soon and I’ll will play that more often.

    • 25 guitars! That’s wonderful! With or without string changes.
      Actually, I think your approach is a good reminder that strings really do go dead after a while. I have four guitars I play regularly and always seem to end up changing the strings for three at a time. It usually takes an evening and I don’t do it on purpose. I decide to restring one, get on a role, change the strings on a second one. Hear how good these two newly strung guitars sound. Change strings on a third. Start to get tired and realize I’ve spent too much time on this already. Then I end up not changing them on the fourth.
      My other guitars usually only get their strings changed when I have to do some work on them or I decide to rotate them into the group that get played more often. Then they get played a lot until they fall back out of favor or one of the four comes back strong.
      Of course none of my guitars are an Ibanez George Benson or an ES-335! I do have the Olympia parlor acoustic guitar the kids use that has never had its strings changed since I fixed it. It is the kids’ guitar and they can do what they want to it. I think the high E string has dried apple sauce on it!

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