Friend Always Changing Strings

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Dan R, Dec 29, 2018.

  1. String Tree

    String Tree Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Many Decades ago, when I was playing Five Hours a night, Six days a week, I changed my strings all the time too.
    They would break in the middle of a song or not stay in tune.
     
  2. Rhyming Orange

    Rhyming Orange TDPRI Member

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    I usually change electric strings once a month, on average.

    If string changes were a 30 second procedure, I’d do it more often, but if I do it my usual methodical way - getting all the wraps right on the posts, cleaning the fretboard, etc., it’s easily a 15-20 minute process to do one guitar, and as someone who often only gets an hour or two a day at most with my guitars, that eats into my practice time severely! If I find myself thinking “do I want to play guitar today, or do I want to change my strings?”, I know what answer I’m going to give myself most of the time.
     
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  3. Telecastoff1

    Telecastoff1 Tele-Holic

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    I usually kill the 6th, 5th and 4th strings on each gig. It doesn't matter which guitar I play, it just happens and thru the years, I've gotten used to it. I've tried different brands of strings over the years, but it's usually the same outcome. I gig a lot, so it's just an expense I've learned to accept and expect.
     
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  4. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I have light-ish touch when I’m chording. I don’t squish chords out of tune. I have a light-ish touch for single note passages. I have a death grip of horrific technique when I’m bending, and I bend a lot. I even bend the low strings, which is what wears through the windings. I also have what can be a wicked left hand vibrato.

    And yes, I tear up frets. I need a major level at least once a year, sometimes twice. It’s one of the reasons I want to go stainless steel on my next guitar.

    I generally play three sets a night, and by the end of the second one my strings suck. By the end of the third they are utterly useless.

    That’s for band gigs. On nights I do something like back up an acoustic singer/songwriter in a low volume mellow duo situation, I can sometimes to two or three gigs out of strings. But when the blood is pumping, no dice.

    I also use 11’s on a 25.5” scale in standard tuning. That makes me put extra oomph into it which also contributes.


    Sent from my iPhone using TDPRI forum mobile app
     
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  5. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Never found a string set that lasted more than 10-12 HOURS of playing.Less if you actually use the guitar for a whole show (when I play live I change the strings every night)
    After that timeframe they sound dead, especially the wound strings lose all their twang,and intonation suffers.
    They also FEEL like crap.
    It's amazing that some people spend thousands of dollars in crazy expensive guitars, amps and effects and omit to change strings regularly.
    And then of course they blame their PICKUPS cause they don't sound right :lol: and spend even more money changing them...
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
  6. ahnadr

    ahnadr TDPRI Member

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    I used to change my strings twice a week.
    But I only had three sets of them at that time, so off- soap em up, boil em if possible rub dry with what ever light oil available and back in the case to rest for a week.
     
  7. DonM

    DonM Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I remember there was someone a couple of years ago on AGF that said he had around 15 guitars and he changed the strings on all of them every week. I hate changing strings and I wouldn't be able to get much else done with that many.
     
  8. Slowpoke

    Slowpoke Tele-Afflicted

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    I use Elixars 10 to 47 on my acoustic guitars and I make them last for 6 months just to keep the Scottish Ancestry happy. I haven't broke a string on a gig for years n years but I did break a 3rd string the other day while changing a set, it happened because I didn't change the direction of rotation on my electric string winder...... I swore.. S
     
  9. heltershelton

    heltershelton Tele-Afflicted

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    back when i was giggin alot i changed strings on both guitars i took before every single gig. i was real hard on strings and abused them badly, especially on the floyd equipped strat. once i got a new set on and stretched out to the point they stayed in tune, i had about three hours of hard playing on each guitar before they were dead or about to break.
    now i just change them when a string breaks.
    if i get in another gigging band, ill change them every gig again.
     
  10. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's

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    I get the impression that different people interpret “dead” differently. For some it means the strings sound dull, for some it’s when you start to get tuning / intonation problems — for some I think it’s as soon as that initial bright ‘plink’ has gone.

    Personally I change the strings when they start to sound tired (acoustically) — which for me is long before they give tuning problems. I rarely break strings anymore so I change the whole set in one go. The guitars I use most (Tele and Jazzmaster) probably get new strings every 3 months or thereabouts.

    As others have noted, basses are in another category! My P-bass is on it’s 3rd set of strings, after 12 years. To some of you I know that sounds like rash profligacy...
     
  11. Pup Tentacle

    Pup Tentacle Tele-Holic

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    By the end of a 4 hour gig my strings are about done for. Sometimes if I'm playing two days in a row I'll leave them on. I hate breaking strings mid song and don't always have a back up guitar along. It's also hot as hell and extremely humid here so they get rusty real fast.
     
  12. src9000

    src9000 Poster Extraordinaire

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    What strings does he use?

    I used love the way new D'dario 120XLs (?) sounded, but I felt they lost it quickly.
    Even if I didn't use the guitar, a week later I'd want to change them. That's why I stopped using them.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
  13. alnico357

    alnico357 Tele-Afflicted

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    I took a set of electric strings off once and boiled them clean. It did replace some of that new string zing.
     
  14. Anita Bonghit

    Anita Bonghit Tele-Meister

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    Bill Kirchen changes strings for every gig if they last that long.
     
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  15. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Tele-Meister

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    Lots of guitarists in actual working bands change strings before every gig. I'm a bass player. On my 4001 I put fresh Roto 66s on it at least once a month while I'm gigging.
     
  16. rangercaster

    rangercaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Change them when they need changing... This will differ for everyone ... Could be a day ... Could be a year ... Just don't obsess over it like OCD people who wash their hands fifty times a day...
     
  17. wyclif

    wyclif Tele-Afflicted

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    The thing is, everybody's playing style and body chemistry are different.

    Some people play harder and longer than others, and wear out strings faster that way. A lot of pro musicians put a new set on before every gig, because they don't want an old string to break even if it's only a few days old.

    Some people sweat more than others, or have more oil and salt in their sweat (or an overly acidic pH) depending on their unique physiology and diet. That can corrode strings faster than someone who doesn't sweat as much.

    So there's really no "correct" or average lifespan of strings, it depends on several factors that are different for each guitarist. I wouldn't sweat (see what I did there?) other player's time between string changes. If he wants a fresh set of strings that often, don't think it's weird. Let him do it, and let the string manufacturers reap the profit!

    I myself have never understood why some players get almost superstitious about changing out old strings. They get dead as they get corroded and lose their elasticity. They're more likely to break or just give a dead tone. I like the 'zing' of a fresh set of strings. As long as you stretch them and play them a little before showtime, I think the overall sound is better for most players.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
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  18. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    My son kills a set of strings in hours. They will be rough and discolored the next day, sour tuning. Rusty in a week. Had a roomate in college same way. I'm the opposite. Strings last me forever. My main tele strings are just now getting where they won't tune precisely. They still look new-ish. Its been almost two years...
     
  19. wyclif

    wyclif Tele-Afflicted

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    Thurston Moore forgot to put new strings on for this gig, and look what happened to him ;-)

     
  20. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Your strings don’t intonate or hold tune correctly, well before they “feel” dented and gross. Sorry.

    They’ve also lost their brilliance, bounce and sustain. Which some may be fine with as the tone they are after, and I’m not judging that.

    But the idea that it is odd to change strings at least every other week (without reference to how and how long the strings are played, btw) itself strikes me as — odd.

    In my band that plays 2-3 hour shows, they get changed before every show (or after, depending on perspective). In the band that plays more like one 45 minute set, I can squeeze two shows out of strings, but they don’t hold tune or sustain like I want by the end of the second.

    It’s also self-defense - fresh strings are much less likely to break on stage, IME. And if one needs to “play the strings” into holding tune, one is not re-stringing correctly.
     
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