I finally changed the strings on my 1974 Epiphone Crestwood. It sounds so much more alive. I should’ve done it a long time ago.  In fact, the more I think about it, the old strings may have been the original strings that came with the guitar when I bought it.

That seems a bit extreme.

Ok, maybe I changed them out one time. Maybe. But there is a pretty good chance I didn’t.

I know I’ve read lots of articles and blog entries from other people about how frequently people change out their strings. Sometimes it is just when they break. Other times it is when they just feel gross. Some do it every 6 months. Others every month. And others every show.

I think at one point I was changing out my strings every couple of months, but I was burning through string sets and am too cheap to keep that up.

I don’t break strings very often (a good set up, playing 10’s, and a relatively gentle playing style help), so that isn’t a good reason to change strings for me.

And I have changed the strings on all my other guitars more often than on my Epiphone Crestwood. But the action was so good from the original set up. And I wasn’t sure what gauge strings were actually used. They felt like 10’s. But they were on a shorter scale guitar than the usual 25.5 inch scale I’m used to with most of my other guitars, so they felt different.
So I didn’t change them and just kept playing the guitar as if I had just bought it.
But the new strings, minor truss rod adjustment, and slight bridge height adjustment have made it come back to life like when I first purchased it. I should’ve done this a long time ago.
Guitars are made of wood and metal. They need to be cares for and adjusted back to their optimal set up. Relying on old strings and old set ups is not the best way. You don’t rely on the last time you tuned the guitar, so rely on the old set up?

I will make the extra effort to keep my guitars in top shape (minus new strings every week).


3 thoughts on “Strings

  1. Varies since some get played more than others but rarely more than 7 or 8 weeks if being played frequently. I normally check intonation on each change but full set up when I feel needed.

  2. I read an interview with Ty Tabor from King’s X when they were recording XV a few years back in 08. It was the first time he had played the infamous Fender Elite Stratocaster since the Dogman album was recorded in 1994. When he used it for tracking on XV he hadn’t changed the strings since or for the entire XV sessions. They sound great on the record amazingly.
    My 2 cents is it’s personal preference. I don’t change strings on my stat and Telly for up to a year or more at times, but my Les Pauls will never stay in intonation for a year without changing the strings. I’m lucky if I can get a month, usually 3 weeks is the most and I very rarely break strings. If my Paul’s would stay in tune I would probably rarely change them too just because I’ve been changing strings for so many years I now loath it! When I was younger my tone would suffer from old strings, but now it’s the same (on electric acoustic is another story) all the way around. I guess as I get older my tone comes from my finger tips more then the bright sound of shiny new strings.

  3. @Zombie – not just me then… I have same with my LP, the intonation goes as the strings age far quicker than on other guitars. I did wonder if it was about scale length but my Gordon Smith is same scale length – maybe tunamatic bridges. Whatever both LPs I’ve ever owned have had same thing but Fenders, PRS etc. haven’t

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