#1
I'd say I change the tuning on my guitar at least a couple times a week (half/full step down, open tunings, etc), and quite often switch to and from drop D, or sometimes drop B. It seems that this would negatively affect the life of my strings (leading to poorer tone, sustain, etc.), is this true?
#2
I'd think so. If you do bending for example in excessive amounts, it'll have a negative effect on the strings, and I'd say that constantly changing the strings' tension from sloppier to tighter to sloppier would have a similar effect.
Gear:

Guitars: Ibanez SV5470F, Ibanez Xpt700, Fender MIM Standard Stratocaster ('04-'05), Jackson Ps-2
Ashton AG200,
Amps: ENGL E530, Bugera 6262-212,
FX: TC Electronics G-major 2, Behringer EQ700, Morley Volume / Wah
#3
yeah, thats bad for your strings.... you will lose the tone out of your strings fast, if you keep doing that because you are excessively stretching out the string and loosing the string. just make up your mind and stay in one tuning....

standard tuning WTF!
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@ Cobracarg: 1 word:Genius!!!
Ok can we stop sucking this dudes dick and deal with my question?
#4
I'd be more worried about my neck than my strings. Constant changes in string tension can cause undue stress on the neck.
#5
Alright then, forgetting other alt. tunings, would just changing to drop D often be too much stress on the neck?
#6
Just dropping one string a step shouldn't be a problem because there isn't too much tension change. But when you're constantly changing multiple strings in multiple step increments you are greatly changing the tension on the neck.
#7
Would this be much of an issue if I were to, for example, drop all strings a full step, keep it like that for a few days, then change back?
#8
It will definitely make your strings go dead faster. By changing the pitch so often you're pulling and relaxing the strings making them flex and stretch faster than they're intended to. There are actually a couple of issues you'll run into with changing the tuning so often:

1. The guitar intonation will be off because of the different tunings....remember it was intonated at standard pitch and you're changing that by lowering the pitch of the strings.

2. As previous posters pointed out, constant change in tension can cause the neck to warp. Imagine tightening and loosening the truss rod on your guitar. I would suggest getting a cheap guitar that you can keep at an alternate tuning. It'll be a lot less than having to repair your neck.

Hope that helps
#9
Bollocks, it won't do your neck any major damage, unless you're playing an original 50s Tele without a truss rod or something equally unlikely. Central heating probably does your guitar more damage than changing tunings ever could.

Almost_normal made a good point with intonation - although it won't be significant, if you play in a dual-guitar band you're much more likely to sound 'out' when you play the higher frets in a tuning other than what you set up the guitar in.

However, it will definitely shorten the lifespan of your strings, not to a huge extent but enough to make a difference....
Have you ever broken a string half way along the fretboard?
I doubt it, since it's usually the points of contact (bridge saddles, nut, ball end and tuning heads) where a string gives up. The more you're shifting these points of contact (and the more you create by using other tunings) the more likely you are to break a string.
Last edited by kyle62 at Dec 29, 2009,
#10
Quote by kyle62
Bollocks, it won't do your neck any major damage, unless you're playing an original 50s Tele without a truss rod or something equally unlikely. Central heating probably does your guitar more damage than changing tunings ever could


Normally I agree with you but I have to say for once I disagree. Changing string tension on a regular basis can cause your neck to warp or crack (not like completely snap in two or anything overly dramatic like that).
#11
Well I'd like to get another guitar sometime in the future to keep 1 1/2 or 2 steps down, so I imagine I'd have to adjust the truss rod for that - although at this point it's a luxury I can't afford haha. I definitely haven't been playing long enough to be playing in live setting yet, so sounding slightly off in tunings other than standing isn't an issue, I'm really only concerned if there is damage being done to the guitar itself.
#12
Quote by i_am_metalhead
Normally I agree with you but I have to say for once I disagree. Changing string tension on a regular basis can cause your neck to warp or crack (not like completely snap in two or anything overly dramatic like that).

I do agree it does damage, but it's not as dramatic as people make out - I'm willing to bet it'd be at least 5-10 years before you saw any noticeable damage, and by then I'm sure you'll be playing something completely different.

I've seen people on UG mention the truss rod and get a ton of replies saying 'OMG NO, DONT TOUCH TEH TRUSS ROD YOU#LL SNAP UR NECK!!!'...there's too much misinformation and hyperbole around the subject.
As I said, in the long term your central heating is probably as likely to damage your guitar's neck than changing tunings!

However, if you're really altering your tuning that much, go get yourself a cheap 'alternate tuning' axe from a pawn shop. Spend $80, spend some time reading up on the internet about guitar setup/modding, and you can get yourself quite a nice second axe.
Last edited by kyle62 at Dec 29, 2009,
#13
Quote by kyle62
...I'm willing to bet it'd be at least 5-10 years before you saw any noticeable damage, and by then I'm sure you'll be playing something completely different...


I've been playing the same guitar for the past 5 years...


#14
Quote by i_am_metalhead
I've been playing the same guitar for the past 5 years...




That's pretty cool - most guitarists can barely last a year without GASing for something new and shiny! How long you been playing?
#15
Quote by kyle62
That's pretty cool - most guitarists can barely last a year without GASing for something new and shiny! How long you been playing?


Like 7 or 8 years, I'm not exactly sure

Someone gave me a guitar when I was younger and I fooled around with it once in awhile but I don't remember exactly when I seriously got into learning and playing.