I know this isn't the right section to post it, but this is the only section I know I can trust a some of the members. So if you, admin, really don't want this thread here, feel free to move/delete/close it. My question is posted in the section Electric guitar too.

Question is simple: When you ought to change your strings? I mean this pure theoretically. Just so I have a direction of how long (1 year, 3 years, 10 years?).
you'd be talking about months rather than years... but it all depends on how much you play. Usually, when the sound gets a bit dull, the strings get dirty/rusty/lose their shine, the strings get sloppy (lose their tension) these are all signs you should change them.
Depends on the environment, the type of strings, your personal playing style, and a million other factors.

The real answer is: whenever you need it. If you like crisp strings and have the money, you might want to change strings every few weeks - if you prefer slightly aged strings, maybe a few months, etc. Then you have to take coating and care into account - my Elixirs still retain their tone and it's been coming up on 4 months now, and I wipe them down after almost every use. It's just a case-by-case thing that has too many variables to really say for sure. Play it by ear.
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I saw in the other topic that you said they were rusting already. You should definitely change them then. :p I can't think of how that would still benefit the tone.
Yes they do indeed.. Never did bother my mind to change the strings since they never snapped. I'm still playing on the original strings of my guitar. I have it now for almost 3 years. So uhm, yeah. Sounds like a change

Thanks for the answers!
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I saw in the other topic that you said they were rusting already. You should definitely change them then. :p I can't think of how that would still benefit the tone.
Yeah, but some strings show wear and rusty spots almost immediately after playing, so...

The moment you should DEFINETLY change your strings is when they've stretched out so much they start sounding out of tune all the time. I haven't encountered this for a while now because I switch strings like every 1-2 months now (3 if I go on vacation or don't pick my guitar up for a while), but if you keep playing long enough and have the "luck" none of your strings snap you may get to a point where it seems like your intonation is off (you tune it up, but then when you start playing something up on a higher fret the string sounds off: this is always more noticeable on the wound strings)

Also, when a string eventually snaps I highly recommend replacing all of your strings right away. Take the time to clean the fretboard if you want, maybe rub on some fretboard oil, but DON'T leave your guitar lying around too long with 5 or 4 strings because some guitars have pretty sensitive necks (I mean, they ARE made of wood) and changes is string tension may cause 'em to go bendy after a while (which means you might have to mess with the truss rod in order to fix the playability again. And trust me: you don't want that)

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Last edited by shwilly at Aug 30, 2011,
As people have said, it depends on many things. If you're just playing in your bedroom, changing them often isn't that important unless they get really bad. 3 years is a bit ridiculous though. However if you were gonna record something for example, you should probably change strings right before you go into the studio to get the best sound quality.
Thanks shwilly for the extra info, I'll keep that in mind. The bass was a bit out of tune indeed, and it annoyed me. Couldn't find my spare strings though and never actually searched hard for them. Just found them when I was cleaning up my room. Main reason why I never changed it
i change my strings every couple of months or so depending on use, but as far as im concerned after six months there done and time for new. they loose tone from oxidization and when you spend big bucks on a guitar 15 bucks or so every six months to have your axe sounding top notch its a non issue.
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A guitar tech once told me that they would change the strings on a guitar after 2 hours of play.
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Recording/ playing live- every couple of sessions if not more depending on how die hard about your tone you are, I'd say max of 6 months though. I bought my electric from Guitar Center and the strings were rusted, just for the fun of it I played them till one of them snapped, didn't take that long.
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