Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups darrenriley.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

how to age guitar strings quickly

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by sandwell, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. sandwell

    sandwell TDPRI Member

    4
    Sep 22, 2014
    UK
    Hey y'all, first post.

    I've got a bit of a weird question for you guys and some of you will think I'm an idiot...but bear with me...basically I've realised I prefer the sound of older, well worn, rusted strings on my Tele (american '96 standard) after recently changing them. personally the sound is more pleasing to my ears and its the sound I'm going for.

    so do you have any advice on how to age strings fast? I'm playing it a lot before someone says that...

    cheers!
     
    galaxiex likes this.

  2. Steve_U1S

    Steve_U1S Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Apr 23, 2013
    Toronto, Canada
    Boiling them in a pot of water takes the shineola off of them - takes some life out of them too, but... I used to do that for the same reason; dislike of fresh strings' brightness.
     

  3. strateles

    strateles Tele-Holic

    575
    Feb 7, 2013
    Eastern NC
    heard of the boiling thing before, my buddy used to do it for all his string changes.

    he would also open packs and leave them right outside his window and let them rust slightly, then pull them out, oil them up and string them up. I asked him why once, he said it gave him a nice brown sound.

    he was crazy, but man he could play anything you sat in front of him, starnge fellow but a musical genious! Maybe he was onto something?
     

  4. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2007
    Glen Head, NY
    Have you tried nickel plated or pure nickel wrapped strings for a mellower tone? Or flatwounds? or ground-wound (semi-flat)? For my money fresh strings hold their tune better and intonate more predictably.
     

  5. sandwell

    sandwell TDPRI Member

    4
    Sep 22, 2014
    UK
    what kind of oil did he use? I agree with the "brown sound" description
     

  6. Tinman46

    Tinman46 Tele-Meister

    443
    Jul 14, 2014
    No
    I've heard of Bass players boiling strings but I always chalked it up to they're bass players.:D never heard of doing it to a Six string.
     

  7. jonnyfez

    jonnyfez Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Age:
    56
    Nov 14, 2003
    Kittery, Maine
    Let me play them for an hour.
     
    stinkey likes this.

  8. sandwell

    sandwell TDPRI Member

    4
    Sep 22, 2014
    UK
    how long do you boil them for? or is it til they look right?
     

  9. sandwell

    sandwell TDPRI Member

    4
    Sep 22, 2014
    UK
    I use nickel wound...which one would ya recommend?
     

  10. meehaja

    meehaja Tele-Meister

    163
    Jan 25, 2013
    Leeds, UK
    First off Id be using the cheapest strings I could... Secondly, salt water to mimic sweat. To be fair to you I prefer older acoustic strings and dislike the new string brightness, but on electrics it's flat wound all the way for me!
     

  11. FMA

    FMA Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 29, 2003
    Shonna Tucker, former bass player for the Drive-By Truckers, fries up a batch of chicken and rubs her strings with it when she changes strings on her bass.
     

  12. joeford

    joeford Friend of Leo's

    Apr 17, 2013
    st. louis, illinois
    not exactly the same... but i'll give my bass strings a few rubs of cocoa butter to get them greasy and gunky before i record. i like the sound of flats on bass... but the E string always seems to sound a bit wrong to me. so i play roundwounds and deaden them up a bit with the cocoa butter. bonus points because it makes your bass and hands smell awesome

    normally i just let them age naturally... since it only takes a day or two to start sounding dull. but if you're in a hurry (about to record, etc)... a few smears of cocoa butter works great
     

  13. Tom Coyle

    Tom Coyle Tele-Meister

    288
    Sep 7, 2011
    From Michigan
    I like new bright strings on my acoustic because I fingerpick without using my nails. I had a buddy named Dale, and he could destroy a new set of strings in 10 minutes of playing. It got to where I wouldn't let him play my guitar unless I was about to change them. It used to piss him off. I tried to be nice about it, but after he played it my guitar strings felt to me like they were dipped in the french-fry cooker.

    Let him play it for you.


    Tom
     

  14. StoogeSurfer

    StoogeSurfer Tele-Afflicted

    Jan 26, 2011
    USA
    Danny Gatton used beer and cigarette ashes, in a paste on a cloth.

    Yum.
     

  15. BryMelvin

    BryMelvin Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    66
    Jan 4, 2014
    Arivaca AZ
    :twisted::rolleyes:LOL here in the Desert I just have to play the guitar outside for an hour ..midday...drip on it a lot.

    Then next day the strings are nicely antiqued
     

  16. telex76

    telex76 Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    67
    Jun 24, 2006
    Fort Worth,Tx.
    My son is the same way. He only plays it right before I change strings.
     

  17. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 20, 2011
    Englewood, CO

    About 8-10 minutes for al dente 12 if you like 'em softer. ;)

    Humidity seems to do it's thing on them pretty quickly. Stick 'em in the bathroom and turn the shower on hot. After a few hours of that they should be pretty damn dead.
     

  18. Steve_U1S

    Steve_U1S Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Apr 23, 2013
    Toronto, Canada
    Boiling; just until they grey up some.

    And it's a long-ago Eddie Van Halen thing, where he claimed it 'browned' the sound of the strings (similar to the comment above).

    ... much later he admitted that this might have been a side benefit, being as he was just boiling them to try to get them to last longer by revitalizing used strings this way... go figure.
     

  19. strateles

    strateles Tele-Holic

    575
    Feb 7, 2013
    Eastern NC
    he would take a rag with baby oil and wipe down the rusted strings
     

  20. GCKelloch

    GCKelloch Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 10, 2011
    MA USA
    If this is serious, I'll make a few comments. First, boiling won't rust the strings. Metal doesn't rust much at all under water. Oxygen is required. I don't think Nickel will rust very much, anyway. Rusted strings will break easier. Try some of the coated strings on the market, like Elixirs or what not. I think you'd want the older thick coated strings. I've seen plastic coated strings, and in various colors somewhere. Micro-coating is probably not enough for you. Secondly, you should try a very low 100-200pF capacitance cable to mellow and extend the high end, especially for the bridge pickup. Also, does the tone knob not do the trick for you? You may find it more useful with a low C cable. Finally, turn the Treble & Presence down to ~3, and the Midrange up to ~8 on your amp. Engage the bright switch, if one is present. You might even prefer a different speaker.
     
    NilsZippo likes this.

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.