#1
I'm sorry in advanced because I know this question has probably been answered before. How do you know when to replace your strings? I'm not exactly sure what gauge of strings to buy, is there a website I can go to in order to hear different string gauges? Thank you.
#2
Quote by Steel guitar28
I'm sorry in advanced because I know this question has probably been answered before. How do you know when to replace your strings?
If you have to ask, it's probably past time. They sound "dead", lose any metallic sound, and have poor definition. I know it's not a word usually attached to sound description, but they tend to sound "blurry".
Quote by Steel guitar28
I'm not exactly sure what gauge of strings to buy, ...[ ]...
Virtually all steel string 6 string acoustic, or acoustic electrics, do well with an "acoustic light" string set. The gauge is .012 to .053. Generally, "Phosphor Bronze" is the choice with respect to tonality.

This is a very popular, good sounding, long lasting string set: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/daddario-exp16-coated-phosphor-bronze-light-acoustic-guitar-strings/104340000000000

If you have other issues, such as insufficient hand strength, or perhaps a heavy playing style, the string set gauges can be adapted to your needs.

There are also 80/20 "brass" string sets which are brighter than PB. They're too bright for my taste. But of course, "your results may vary".

Quote by Steel guitar28
.... is there a website I can go to in order to hear different string gauges? Thank you.
There wouldn't be much point to that, since you need to listen to YOUR guitar, at YOUR location to match the sound with YOUR personal taste. Really, you should have that internet dependence looked into..
Last edited by Captaincranky at Jan 22, 2012,
#3
I change my strings every month. They are cheap, why not. I ran as a test the same strings for 2 years on my Blueridge (I played every day 2-3 hours min) and never broke one. Changed them, and realized its worth the $10 every month.
'11 Gibson LP Jr.
'07 Gretsch 5120
'69 Tele
'10 Godin 5th Ave. Kingpin
'03 Blueridge Dreadnought
'02 Custom Martin D-28
Premier Twin-8
Fender Hot Rod Dlx
Boss SD-1
#4
What is the best way to replace them? I ask because my buddy tried it on his own today for the first time and busted his G. I'd like to do it perfect the first time. Thanks.
#5
There really is no "best" way to replace them. Ill detail how I do it below:

Every month I replace strings from the inside out in pairs (E and e, then A and B, then D and G) and pull each string up incrementally (E half way to full tension then e, then full tension for both).

Every 6 months I pull all the strings off and give my fretboard/ frets a good cleaning then put all the strings on, tighten to 1/4 tension each string in pairs (inside to outside), then to half then full. When I do this I tension them by hand as they are going to be under greater tension than if there were still 4/6 strings to tension. (note: capoing the strings at the 5th fret helps to keep them from pulling back, just remove once there are a couple wraps around the pegs)

Tips:
I pull and clip the bass side (EAD) strings at a length equal to the distance from E to D tuning pegs. (So the E string would be clipped at the D tuning peg, the A at an equal distance, and so forth.) For GBe I double the length.

Tune strings down half tension then cut at the 12th fret to remove them.

Poke the string through the hole, then bend it at a right angle, wrap it by hand a couple turns (if able) then wind. The first winding should be above the hole, the rest below. (this serves to "lock" the loose end in place)

Take your guitar into a shop and have them see what size string gauge your guitar is set up for (most good shops will have a box of individual strings or a set of gauges they can use). Do not make the mistake of putting too light or too heavy gauge string on your guitar.

Putting the strings in:

Steel: Push ball end of string in hole (slightly bent at end of "over wrap") till it is past the bridge plate, then put in the pin (slot towards neck) and pull up on string while holding in the pin.

Nylon/ Gut: Push string through hole, tie it off (there is a special way to do this I cant remember for the life of me).

Once the strings are on, pull up on them lightly, then push down (towards the top of the guitar) and repeat a few times. Retune. Strum a few chords hard and bend each string at the 12th fret as hard as you can. Retune. Your guitar should be good to go, just retune as needed until the strings have stabilized.

Tools needed:

Safety glasses- they are indispensable. Seriously, get them, eye patches may look cool on pirates, but they just look funny on guitarists.

Wire cutters- ditto the above, I HATE people who do not clip the loose ends of the strings, they look bad and they are a safety hazard for you and those around you.

Tuner- get a good chromatic one, a cheap one may be great for playing out, but it's no substitute for a quality tuner. I'd say a $40 minimum should be good. (Note, I'm not saying go buy the most expensive one you can find, I'm just saying don't use the el cheapo EADGBe flat/ sharp ones that are $10-$20)

String winder- Get a manual string winder, the ones that mount on dremels and drills are great, but only if you know what you are doing. I've seen people bust whole sets of strings trying to use one.

Extra set of strings- Sometimes sh*t just happens and a string is bad and busts on you (usually G strings...), nothing you can do but give it another go. I usually have 3 or 4 extra "scrap" sets lying around for just an occurrence.

Something to rest the neck on- Anything from a rolled up t-shirt to a shoe, as long as it makes reaching the tuners convenient.


That should be about it...

Edit:
I'd recommend looking into John Pearse Phosphor Bronze strings, they've always been good to me, hold tune well and last a long time if needed.
'11 Gibson LP Jr.
'07 Gretsch 5120
'69 Tele
'10 Godin 5th Ave. Kingpin
'03 Blueridge Dreadnought
'02 Custom Martin D-28
Premier Twin-8
Fender Hot Rod Dlx
Boss SD-1
Last edited by Ranger01 at Jan 22, 2012,