New strings~why do I wait so long...

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by dougstrum, Oct 14, 2017.

  1. dougstrum

    dougstrum Tele-Holic

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    Gig just before vacation I thought, man I need new strings! So I changed them before we
    left. Played gig last night and was just amazed at the difference, so easy to get sounds I
    wanted, I was grinning the whole night:)

    This was archtop I use for jazz gigs. I never break strings on it, so I think I just leave them
    on way to long. In contrast playing Tele with my other band I'll break strings pretty regularly,
    so they get changed out pretty often.

    What do y'all do about string changes, wait till they break, wait till they sound bad, change
    strings on a schedule?

    Schedule is probably what I need, maybe seasonally or perhaps change strings for big
    holidays, some kind of system...
     
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  2. aerhed

    aerhed Friend of Leo's

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    When I played Gibsons every weekend I'd put a new set on every Thurs. Play a little on Friday pre-gig to settle them. Nowadays I mostly monitor the A, D, any G for flattening and dump them on condition. Haven't broken a string in years and I'm a full swing Whanger at times.
     
  3. adamgdog

    adamgdog Tele-Meister

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    I wait till they break. Only once have I had a string just sound bad and that was the D string. I mainly wait till they break because I don't have the kind of money to just change strings whenever I want.

    EDIT: The strings I use are DR Pure Blues 10s.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
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  4. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I change strings on my "tool" guitars every three gigs.
    I loathe the sound of dead/dull wound strings.
    I find I can squeeze a couple extra gigs out of D'Addarrio NYXL strings.
    D'Addarrio Ph. Bronze Mediums sound great, but croak quick, for me.
    Oh well.
     
  5. Rostlund98

    Rostlund98 Tele-Meister

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    I'm in OPs boat, I always wait too long to dump old strings. I just forget about it for a few months and then when I finally think to change them I'm pleasantly surprised by how lively the guitar sounds when I'm done. Also I very very rarely break strings.
     
  6. Strebs

    Strebs Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I hate changing strings with a passion. My solution was to move to locking tuners. It's so easy and fast to change them now that I do it far more often.
     
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  7. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    When they get difficult to get in tune or hold tuning. Or after two gigs. Or when my rig starts sounding “bad”. Makes an amazing difference.
     
  8. jhundt

    jhundt Doctor of Teleocity

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    two major reasons for NOT changing strings, as mentioned above, are difficulty and cost.

    I had the same thing when I was a kid in the 60's. Breaking a string was a major disaster that entailed a trip to a music store, a major capital outlay, and the distinct possibility that I would mess up the installation because I did it so infrequently and had no system.

    When I got a job as a roadie, that was over fast! Changing the full set on 4 or 5 Gibson and Fender 6-strings every week, and one or two Rickenbacker 12-strings got me past the experience stage. Pilfering huge amounts of strings from my employers got me over the 'expense' problem.

    I suggest that you buy your stings in bulk. I would even suggest that you buy large amounts of very cheap strings, and change them frequently. Like every week, for a while anyway, until it's just second nature.

    Using very inexpensive bulk-sale strings will keep you from worrying about the cost.

    You should be able to change a 6-string set in 5 minutes or so. After a month or two of this, you could relax and start changing strings when you really need to, and using strings of a brand/type that you prefer.

    BTW - these days I still use almost the cheapest strings I can find. I have found over the years that a new set of cheap strings (replaced frequently) sounds better than a worn set of better-quality strings. Except, of course, in the case of flatwounds.
     
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  9. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    I bend like a mo fo, and my sweat is extremely corrosive and they tend to gunk up very quickly even though I wipe them down after I play. My strings don't last that long, if I'm lucky I'll get two months out of a set. More often than not they'll only last around a month.

    I've got other friends who'll have the same set of strings for 6 months or more at a pop. When I go to play their guitar they're dull and lifeless.

    Also, I do enjoy the process of changing strings. Sit in front of the TV, take them off, clean the whole guitar up really good, put the new ones on, and then noodle around stretching them out. Very relaxing and cathartic.
     
  10. voodooblues

    voodooblues Friend of Leo's

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    I only change strings on each guitar about 3-4 times a year, always well past their life span. 100% laziness on my part. I'm at peace with it.
     
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  11. Old Tele man

    Old Tele man Friend of Leo's

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    TONGUE-IN-CHEEK ANALOGY: Changing "strings" is like changing "diapers"...always done when necessary!
     
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  12. Jules78

    Jules78 Tele-Holic

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    Mine turn black pretty quick from my sweat. I average about 20 hours of play time on a set. I get 10 packs of strings off amazon. I have 3 guitars I rotate. 2 hours of play per day. All 3 guitars get strings get changed once a month.
     
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  13. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I leave them on until they're so old, they used to get their mail by pony express.
     
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  14. Blue

    Blue Tele-Holic

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    I wait until they sound dull so not TOO long.
     
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  15. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

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    I used to change the full set whenever I snapped a string but then bought a 6 pack that were all 11 gauge

    I like old blues music. Mucky strings don't stop me making those sounds

    Every so often they have dents and stuff in them/too black/time for fretboard cleaning or somesuch, and I change them, but as per the comment above, they get changed when I get to feel they need changing
     
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  16. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I always wait forever. Just broke the high e on my CV50. I think they were on 6+ months When the wound strings get dull I snap them a few times to remove gunk and they came back alive, to a degree, BUT the new strings I just put on do sound nice.
     
  17. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Schedule. I keep a simple Google spreadsheet with each guitar, date of last change, type of strings used, and any setup notes. I also have a calculated field that is the next date I should change the strings, based on the interval I've chosen, which is usually around 10 weeks, a bit less for acoustics.

    Writing all that, it sounds nuts. But it's what I do, and it works for me. I do my own setups, and each guitar gets a fine tweak with every string change, so they're never far out of whack (which is saying something in this humid northeast).

    10 weeks is longer than I'd like - they start sounding a bit dull. But I rotate a dozen guitars, so they each don't get a huge amount of play time. And changing more frequently is too time consuming and costly. I use D'Addario EXLs by default, and lately DR Hi-Beams, and Martin 80/20 for acoustics. No coated strings!
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2017
  18. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I change them after 10-12 hours of playing,they are pretty dead sound and intonation wise by than.
     
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  19. Tele1966

    Tele1966 Friend of Leo's

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    New strings once a week. New strings every day when recording.

    Strings only last one day.

    New strings stretched and not played before every gig, but that's to prevent breaking a string.
     
  20. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Changing strings on a jazz archtop? But then you have to let them go dead!
     
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