Hi there. How often should I be looking at changing my guitar strings? I have 3 steel strung guitars one dreadnought and one orchestral, I’ve had them both for about six months. I’m not a heavy player but I am new to guitars and we play them for at least 30 minutes a day. They don’t seem to go out of tune much but I’m noticing the buzzing that I’ve not heard before. I’m not sure if it’s my bad finger placement or the fact that my guitars from Cheapside. 1 is a Tanglewood Crossroads, Peavey Bairwoood and the other is Stratton Payne. The Bairwoood is another issue I’ve had this guitar about 20 years and have not known any better but now I have the other two guitars although the Blairwood is in tune it really doesn’t sound as good as the others. Any help and advice on these matters would be greatly appreciated as I’ve only really recently started to appreciate guitars
In terms of how often to change your strings then it really depends on a number of factors. In general though as they age the sound starts to sound more dull…it’s actually quite difficult to tell as it happens over time BUT once you change the strings you’ll notice the difference. In fact it’ll probably sound too “bright” to start with BUT that will change once the strings are worn in a little.
If you are playing 30 mins a day for 6 months the strings will almost certainly need changing. If they visibly look dirty or you get dirty fingers when playing that’s another sign they need changing. Any corrosion similarly they need changing.
In terms of your frett buzz that may be related to worn strings but may also be setup related. If you’ve not had a setup on any of the guitars it’s worth getting one done by a Luthier who will check out string height etc. change your strings that sort of thing. It can make a big difference to the playability of the guitar. That said a setup on these guitar might almost cost as much as the guitars did.
The Tanglewood and Stratton Payne look like they are definitely at the cheapest end of the market which means they might come with some playability issues. If you get on with them then thats great…if you struggle with them then look to invest a little more to get something more playable. I couldn’t find anything on the Peavey (is it the Briarwood not Bairwood)? I guess at 20 years old may be not a lot of info around.
Thank you for taking the time to answer me. most interesting thank you. yes its a Briarwood I think I got it 2003 So not quite 20 years. but it looks great. but I Think it was cheap. ITs the blue 1
How often you change strings also depends on the type / brand of string. Coated strings (like Elixirs or Cleartone brand to name a couple) will last a LOT longer than uncoated strings.
I have had the situation where really light gauge strings caused fret buzz (10s) whereas an 11 gauge set of strings had no buzz on the same guitar.
I used coated strings and sometimes (when I’m lazy) get 6 months between string changes, but my sweet spot is around 3 months (i typically play an hour a day on average).
This makes sense, since the 10s create less string tension when tuned to proper pitch, which allows the neck to bow backwards a bit, causing fret buzz on the lower frets.
The 11s create more string tension when tuned to proper pitch, which causes the neck to bow upwards a bit, which eliminates the fret buzz on the lower frets.
A small truss-rod adjustment is all you’ll need if you want to use 10s with no buzz.
If only. This is on a 95 year old (restored) parlor guitar that has no truss rod.