How often do you change strings? How often do you play? - Jemsite
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
 
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How often do you change strings? How often do you play?

I occasionally hear about people who change strings once a week or more.

That sounds really frequent to me. I barely ever change strings unless one of them breaks, and then I only change the one that broke. I'll easily go 6-12 months without changing strings, and back in the day I played at least 5-7 hours a week.

I use Blue Steel 9s if that matters.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 12:50 AM
 
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Re: How often do you change strings? How often do you play?

same here.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 02:10 AM
 
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Re: How often do you change strings? How often do you play?

For me, 3.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 02:29 AM
 
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Re: How often do you change strings? How often do you play?

I change mine about every 4-5 weeks on my main guitar......I play it about an hour, sometimes more, a day. By the end of the 5th week they still look good, but they sound harmonically dead. I started using Curt Mangan strings about 2 months ago........they seem to stay "live" a little longer...not much though.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 02:30 AM
 
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Re: How often do you change strings? How often do you play?

I use Elixir strings specifically so I can be lazy and never have to change them. I just take guitars into the tech every so often for a setup and a fret dress and polish and have them put on a new set of Elixirs.

My theory is that the time frame quoted on the package is based on a guitar playing a several hours a night on a gig or in the studio. If you play in less demanding conditions than those, Elixirs can last for months.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 02:41 AM
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Re: How often do you change strings? How often do you play?

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Originally Posted by ironfistx View Post
That sounds really frequent to me. I barely ever change strings unless one of them breaks, and then I only change the one that broke. I'll easily go 6-12 months without changing strings, and back in the day I played at least 5-7 hours a week.
.


It's good if you play only in your bedroom or if you don't care about good tone.

It depends on how many gigs and practicing/recording hours I have.
Gig guitars with generally 2 gigs per week = change every 2 weeks.
Recording guitars = change every week(sometimes less).
Practicing guitars = 4 weeks.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 02:56 AM
 
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Re: How often do you change strings? How often do you play?

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It's good if you play only in your bedroom or if you don't care about good tone.

It depends on how many gigs and practicing/recording hours I have.
Gig guitars with generally 2 gigs per week = change every 2 weeks.
Recording guitars = change every week(sometimes less).
Practicing guitars = 4 weeks.
I think your guitars get more time and love than most of ours do though.....LOL

Do you have the Curt Mangans available down there?? If not, I want to send you a set to try out.........They're a DAMN nice set of strings from a mostly unknown (to the metal, rock world) maker. I think you'll really dig them.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 02:58 AM
 
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Re: How often do you change strings? How often do you play?

As 6fingers said, it depends...

I worked as a guitar tech for years, traveling with a band that played 3 to 4 nights a week, anywhere from 2 hour to 6 hour gigs and the rule of thumb was change strings every 24 hours of play (approximately) any longer and the strings just sounded too dead to his ears. (He played mostly clean, Stratocasters through vintage Fender Princeton amps.)

Every recording session, new strings but since he wasn't playing under hot lights and sweating, we'd let the strings go until he wasn't happy with the sound, but never more than a week.

Me, for the past 'I don't know how many' years I've not played out, and only play a couple of hours a day, if that, so I let them go until they start to sound dead, unless I'm invited to jam somewhere, then I put on fresh strings.

The thing is, the strings losing tone over time is fairly gradual and most people don't notice how dead their strings are getting (especially novices) until they actually do change the strings and again hear that bright, punchy sound that fresh strings give you.

Some people like dead strings. I've known a few Death Metal players that say they like the dark, dead sound through their amps turned up somewhere around 23 with the gain clipping so hard it doesn't sound like a guitar any more. But at that point, you're actually barely hearing the strings anymore anyway, it's mostly amp.

So, to sum up this very long reply, it depends on you. If you like the sound of your strings after 8 months of play, go for it, if not, change the damned things.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 03:00 AM
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Re: How often do you change strings? How often do you play?

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I think your guitars get more time and love than most of ours do though.....LOL

Do you have the Curt Mangans available down there?? If not, I want to send you a set to try out.........They're a DAMN nice set of strings from a mostly unknown (to the metal, rock world) maker. I think you'll really dig them.
RYC I never ever heard/saw about it.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 03:07 AM
 
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Re: How often do you change strings? How often do you play?

When I'm rehearsing and playing gigs with my band I'm lucky if I don't break a string after two to three sessions. My other guitars that aren't being gigged will last a lot longer. I prefer to change every 4 to 6 weeks otherwise.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 12:10 PM
 
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Re: How often do you change strings? How often do you play?

There have been times where I haven't been playing very hard, and gone for months without changing - but when I get really serious, for if I'm doing a show or something, I have changed strings more than once a week due to constant breakage and wear (all day full-on rehearsal). For my first gig, in the last month or so, I changed strings at least 6 times.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 12:41 PM
 
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Re: How often do you change strings? How often do you play?

I personally don't want to change strings often on a guitar that has floyd style bridge. Simply don't think its good for the long run, screws get rounded in time no matter how careful you are. On the other hand 6 months is too long, elixir strings can function that long but tone-wise they lose the fun.

But if I'll record with that guitar, must be careful. A recording process can take time and you don't want your strings tone to change dramatically.

I'm still some-what experimenting with different brands but coated strings seem to have an advantage for this. The sound maybe a bit duller when new (compared to non-coated) but more consistant tone in the long run.

its also a shame I still couldn't decide on a practice guitar yet. I strongly believe even if once in a while, someone whos doing stage or recording must have a separate practice guitar.

1 guitar sure can do everything but it becomes a real hassle+dangerous (trying not to bump it anywhere).
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 02:52 PM
 
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Re: How often do you change strings? How often do you play?

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Originally Posted by 6fingers View Post
RYC I never ever heard/saw about it.
I'm currently using the fusion matched 10-46 nickel wound's.....I ordered my first set of pure nickel's a few days ago.......can't wait to try them.

http://curtmangan.com/
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-22-2012, 08:35 PM
 
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Re: How often do you change strings? How often do you play?

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Originally Posted by mertay View Post
I personally don't want to change strings often on a guitar that has floyd style bridge. Simply don't think its good for the long run, screws get rounded in time no matter how careful you are.
My RG550 is 22 years old, still original nut and bolts, bridge is new but that was only because for 20 years it had a chrome bridge on it (black was stock) and I wanted it back to original, and even on the chrome bridge, the bolts are just fine after, most likely, several hundred string changes.

Just make sure you have the wrench fully inserted when you turn the bolt, and you don't really have to make it very tight anyway, just enough to hold the string.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-25-2012, 12:11 AM
 
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Re: How often do you change strings? How often do you play?

I notice the change in tone by the hour on a fresh set of strings and after 4-8 hours it has lost that lovin' feeling. I struggle to make it to 20-30 hours of play before the shakes get soo bad I just have to get another hit of new string tone.

I tried out a set of Elixer's on my daughter's guitar and her habit of eating nacho chips and playing the guitar seemed to have beaten all the high tech wizardry. It only took a ~6 hours of play before bluish patches started forming on some strings, which I imagine is the coating disintegrating.
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