Electric strings

Hi guys,

I’m just wondering how often you lot need to change your guitar strings. Mine seem to have gone really dull again and it’s only been 6 weeks. Is that normal? Probably amounts to roughly 100 hours of playing.


I don’t know that there is a “normal.” There are so many variables. Do you live and play in a high-humidity environment, or near the ocean with salt air? That will affect string life. My brother used to play in beach-front bars in Florida; between the salt air, high humidity and heat making him sweat, he’d change strings every couple of days.

Some people’s hands perspire more than others. That can have a major impact. Do you take a towel and wipe down the strings when you’re done playing?

Also, different brands of strings last longer than others. I use Ernie Ball Super Slinkys on my electric, and change them every three months. The decline of the strings is gradual for me.

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Thanks for that. I use D’Addario EXL120 strings. I’m not in a high humidity or salty environment. However I always forget to wipe down my strings so maybe I’m quite salty! If it will save me money I may get better at it :smiley:

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if i use uncoated strings, that’s the maximum I’d get out of them, with coated strings i get months of use before i have to change them.

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I find it’s about every 3 months or so but not entirely sure what that equates to in terms of playing time.
At the end of the day if you think your sound is out what harm can it do to swap 'em out imo.

It makes more sense to me to just change my strings than to ask someone if I should change them. The only way to know for sure if they need changing is to change them. You will either be glad you did or determine that the new strings didn’t make much difference. Either way you will gain string changing experience. :slight_smile:

I change them every 3 months or so and i clean them after every session. Meaning i go under the strings with a small cloth and go from front to the back on every string… You won’t believe how much grease comes off the strings.

An even important skill to have! I found the following video on the topic very useful:

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Jim has a video on the acoustic as well How To Restring and Tune Your Acoustic Guitar - YouTube

It always intrigued me where some sources say change them all at same time and others say change them 3 at a time etc.

Keep it simple: Does a string break soon after replacing them? Just change that one. Is your fretboard dirty and its time for a clean? Remove all the strings.

Do the strings tend to sound dull, replace them all and make use of that moment to clean the fretboard with a damp cloth.

Just don’t leave the strings off for days.

When you remove all the strings, the tension in the neck goes down, but once there back up and the guitar should be the same as before. I just changed the strings yesterday after 3 months of heavy use and the intonation is good enough after the change, as before :slight_smile:

I not an expert, but the internet has to much information :thinking:

Justin also has instruction on this:



Even then it shouldn’t damage the neck. It might just take longer for the tuning to become stable after stringing it. Bear in mind guitars are made without strings, and may sit in storage in a factory without any strings for days or longer.

Also, I have been told, don’t just cut through all the strings at once with a cutter (at least not without loosening them first) as this releases all of the tension on the neck very quickly which might lead to damage.




I wasn’t asking if I should change them, I know it needs doing. It was just sooner than I expected and wondered why or what really was normal that’s all.

I typically change my acoustic strings after 30-40 hours of play time. The temperature and humidity where you store and play your guitar can be a significant factor as well. Regardless, 100 hours of play time is pushing the limit.

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Are those strings uncoated? Probably typical for uncoated. I put Elixirs on my guitars and haven’t changed them in months.

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I see. I think I’d heard “about every 3 months” as a rule of thumb. But I guess those people don’t play that much.

I’m at about every 6 weeks with two guitars that I spend about the same amount of time on. I’m retired, so I can play pretty much as much as I want. :grinning:

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