I'm a newbie, so forgive me if this sounds too basic and I did search the fourm before posting.

Ok here goes...I've read alot about how often folks change strings, mostly based how often and how much they play and the type or brand of strings. So how do you know when its time to change strings? Will the guitar begin to be harder to tune or get out of tune more often? Basically what are the signs that it's time?

Thanks for your help!
I'm sure it's not the best, but I really only change them when they break. I've heard people change them every week when they play shows though.
^-- When they break is definitely a good indicator

First of all, no question is too basic! That's what the forums are for As for strings, I change mine based on how they sound. I haven't ever noticed them not staying in tune as well due to age, but I also change my strings pretty often.

I can't think of any easy indicators that tell you it's time to change your strings. You should change them if they appear rusty or feel sticky, tacky, or grimy under your fingers. It's mainly all about how they sound, though. This is something that you just kind of develop naturally over time. After you've been playing for a while (a year or two) and have changed the strings on your guitar several times... you will have a great idea of how old strings sound compared to new ones. Then you will begin to start hearing your strings go from new to old. As strings get older they tend to sound muddy, damp, lifeless, unresponsive... trying to think of other words to describe the sound... basically they just sound blah.