I'm using the stock strings that came with my guitar. As a beginner their fine but how do i know when there getting old and need replaceing. Also what are some good standard guage strings when i di change them.
How long have you had them? 10 gauge strings are usually good. A rule of thumb - run your fingernail under the high E string (thin, not thick). If/when a bunch of black crap comes off... change them. Unless you're using Elixir strings, don't go more than 2 months without changing strings EVER.
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im just gonna tell you this. kinda crzy to use stock strings this long. normally i'd change them after a week. my local music stores always point me to ernie ball strings. i play with 10's but I had to adjust my truss rod. 9's are the standard in most guitars straight from the factory. so ernie balls are a good one to try. it depends on when you change them i think regular practice and jamming you should change your strings monthly, if you play in a band and are with your guitar most of the day, every two three weeks, and if you gig a lot, weekly. my lead changes every two days.
the become less shiny at first, dull looking. the tone mellows. then the buildup begins, and after some time you will notice a number of indications of wear and fatigue.

one is oxidation, when you metal strings are exposed to air they will oxidize and pieces of rust develop on the surface of the string. this happens in salty air/alkali environs and when guitars are exposed to more air, like out when they are left out of the case. you can keep the guitar in a case to reduce the phenomenon, other friends i have known used furniture polish to give the strings and coating... and polish the neck.

the next indication is 'fouling' or 'buildup', this is usually from your hands and the dead skin that comes from them and is resposible for the 'dulling' of the luster of the strings. you will notice a blackish buildup on the underside the of the strings and the condition accumulates. this is easily removable with a rag, or when polishing the neck as mentioned above.

another indication is 'notching' or 'wear marks', these manifests itself where the string connects with the fret and may eventually lead to string breaks. there is not alot you can do about this one, it is inevitable.

the last stage of 'string life' is when the constant tension on the string exhausts the tensil strenth of the material the string is made of and the guitar becomes harder to keep in tune. just previous to this you will notice the strings will start sounding dead or beat. eventually the guitar will become hard to tune, sound flat and lose favorable sonic characteristics and strings will break in the advanced stages of fatigue because of the exhausted tensil strength and constant tension on the string.
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