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Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Boundforglory07, Feb 5, 2012.
I've never had any problems but it's always been in the back of my mind...
A lot easier to clean the board and polish the frets when they're off. Doesn't hurt any guitar I've ever owned but I realize some tailpieces are held in place that way. Don't own any with that problem.
Have you ever seen Jimi light his guitar on fire or Pete smash his to bits. Electric guitars are tougher than they appear.
Teles, no issues. Tail pieces and Bigsby mounted; one at a time. It keeps things from flopping around against the body. Arch top and Flat top acoustics:
BIG CAUTIONARY NOTE: if you loosen the strings first to be completely slack its usually not a problem but as a rule I don't do it.
BUT NEVER CUT THE STRINGS OFF UNDER ANY TENSION The reason is the neck will snap back and cause the top to crack usually where the neck meets the top of the guitar resulting in this:
I tend to do one, or maybe two, at a time because I can stretch and tune up as I go, using the old strings as a reference.
When I do them all at once I find I have to go over and over the tuning process as the increasing tension detunes the strings I've already done.
Ditto on that.
I especially hate taking all 6 off on my Strat, cause getting them all back up to pitch is a pain in the backside. I just hate trems, period. Makes me wonder why in hell I have one...
The real problem is putting all six strings at once.
So, on a Tele, don't use one of these to cut your strings off...
Use one of these instead, and cut them one at a time ...
I change them all at once. BUT NEVER CUT THEM
As I remove them I straighten the ends that were wrapped around the tuner post (I also do this when changing bridge parts/pickups, so I can reuse the strings)... you never know when you will need a spare or that you were out of replacements.
I usually buy packs of strings by the 10-pack. I always have replacements. Cutting them makes changing them a little faster and a little easier.
Here's what the GIBSON Owner's Manual has to say on the subject:
"When changing strings, we recommend changing one string at a time in order to maintain
tension on the neck and bridge. The pre s s u re of the strings holds the bridge and
saddles in place, and removing all the strings could necessitate a new setup."
This is from the 1967 Fender Service Manual:
"NOTE: When the instrument is restrung with strings of different gauge than the original set, the resulting change of tension may cause: the neck to appear warped, improper fretting or loss of vibrato tension. These problems may be corrected by consulting the proper paragraphs covering these difficulties. To help keep the instrument in proper playing condition, it is recommended that strings be changed one-at-a-time. To assist in your string selection, a full list of all Fender Strings and their gauges is given at the end of this manual. "
Taylor says to take all of them off, then re-string, for steel string acoustics.
I generally take them off one at a time, and periodically will do all at once, when I want to clean up the fretboard and pickup area.
Well, yes but first off we're not talking about a Gibson, which as has been stated has a bridge and tail piece that are held in place by string tension alone. Even when restringing my Gibson (and Rickenbacker which also have a loose tailpiece) guitars, I take all the strings off at once, but I am very careful of the loose TOM and stop tail. And while the Gibson manual does say "removing all the strings could necessitate a new setup" do you really think it will necessitate a new setup? Not in my experience, unless of course you drop the bridge on the floor and change the saddle positions, or put it on backwards
As to the Fender statement "to help keep the instrument in proper playing condition, it is recommended that strings be changed one-at-a-time" I really think they're just being defensive, especially if we're talking about a bullet-proof Tele with a fixed bridge.
Taylor says to take them all off? Well, I don't have a Taylor but I am much more careful with my Martin and Guild guitars than I am with my Teles, as you would expect when dealing with an acoustic where not just the neck, but the entire body is always under tension from the strings. I still usually remove all the strings, but one at a time and slowly.
Always have taken them all off first and I also loosen them up before I snip 'em.
Can't remember when I last changed a set of strings
yes I do now. It was a set of flatwounds (13s) I put on a strat and then tuned it down to B-B. Other than that, don't know why I would want to change a set.
All at once for me but I'm usually replacing something. I usually don't need to replace string often.
I didn't see where the OP specified any particular brand of instrument
I was only offering up examples of what the manufacturers of the two major guitar brands state in writing (as I found from a simple web search), and then, like many others here, offering what I have done over my 40+ years of owning and re-stringing my personal guitars (which also include Rick's, Epi's, Gibson, PRS, Fender, etc. Some with hard tails, others with trem units and pretty much any other popular bridge configuration).
Me...I'd listen to Gibson and Fender before I would listen to some guy on the web....but, that's just me It seems obvious that changing one-at-a-time would introduce the least amount of "stress" to the instrument....but, I also acknowledge that there may be times one chooses to take 'em all off, for the sake of cleaning and polishing.
YMMV....and that's just fine with me.
All 6 off so I can clean up a bit, then all 6 back on. Usually less than 10 minutes start to finish. Never been an issue in the last 40 years, don't expect it ever will be. The truss rod keeps things from moving around too much anyway.
So, all you "one at a time" guys, what do you do if you want to swap pickups or bridge or tuners? Just curious.
From the latest Wood & Steel:
The tech sheet on the Taylor website [“Changing Steel Strings”] says when restringing to take off all six old strings, and then put all six new strings on. When I was first learning how to take care of a guitar — before I got my first Taylor in 1978 — I was told by a guitar repair guy to never take all six strings off because that changed the tension on the neck significantly and that over time it would cause [a need for] neck resets. Your method and his don’t agree, so I wonder now if there is a “best” method. Since this was pre-Taylor, the neck construction would have been different. Would that make a difference?
Ivan, who to believe? I’d believe us. A guitar neck actually isn’t that complex. It’s a piece of wood that holds strings. There’s a truss rod in most necks that is tightened to counteract string tension, and because of that, with no strings on the neck, the neck will bow backwards a bit until you restring it. That’s pretty much the extent of it. The whole neck is springy, and it settles in like springs on your car. If you lift your car at the garage and relieve the weight on the springs, they settle right back where they started when you put the car down. We like removing all the strings because it gives us a chance to clean the fretboard, peghead, and all the areas of the guitar that lie under the strings. Put the strings back on, tune them to pitch, and you’ll be good to go.
If you are currently using a Gibson as a temporary replacement for a kitchen table leg, should you leave all the strings on it, or can you take a few off as replacements for your Tele without harming,,,,,,,,,,,,,,the table?