#1
There are really two parts to this question. Any advice / comments appreciated.

I bought a 40 year old classical guitar from a pawn shop a year and a half ago. Have been learning guitar since around then, on this guitar and on electric. Have not tackled changing strings till now.

These strings looked kind of crappy, I could see darker patches and lighter patches, like they were worn. Had feeling sound was duller. Have read about changing strings every few months, figured I was way overdue (but maybe that really applies to electric, and if you play a lot? Maybe I did not need to change them at all?)

Well, I figured changing them would be learning experience. I watched youtube videos on this. I bought D'Addario classical strings, normal tension. I removed the old strings, put on the new. The knots on bridge don't look entirely uniform, but seem to be doing the job. Same goes for tuners.

So, I got them on the guitar and tuned it up. Within a minute they were immediately out of tune. Since doing this yesterday, I notice the strings going out of tune within a few minutes.

Now, I understand in general that new strings stretch, and need more tuning. My question is whether the strings not staying in tune for more than 5-10 minutes during the first couple days is normal, or whether this might indicate that there is silppage going on and maybe I did not do such a good job either at the bridge or on the tuners, so I need to undo them an re-do them?

My second questions relates to the tuning pegs being hard to turn. Since buying the guitar, it has been really hard to turn the tuning pegs. It was not much of an issue because they never really went out of tune unless I jostled the tuning pegs (like traveling with the guitar). But when I did have to tune it, I had to apply so much pressure, I was kind of worried I might break off a tuning peg or tuning peg handle.

So, when I did the string change, and took off the old strings, I used a cotton swab & light oil on the gears (taking care for it not to get on wood). The gears seemed to turn easily. Then I did the restringing. At first, the gears still turned pretty easily. But as I tightened / tuned the guitar, the pegs got very hard to turn as I approached standard tuning. Basically, they are as hard to turn as they were before I re-strung the guitar, when the strings are at normal tension (i.e., standard tuning). But the gears turn easily without that tension (i.e., when strings are gone or very loose). Is this a problem that needs fixing and, if so, how would I address it?)

Thanks,
Ken
#2
i gently stretch classical strings when i string my guitars, but the guitar will go out of tune. every 10 minutes could indicate that the strings are slipping, but it could indicate you didn't gently stretch the strings after your guitar was strung. it's normal that tuners are harder to turn once strings are under tension. if the tuners are very hard to tune, you can replace them - or replace the guitar, if it's not good quality.

what tension strings did you put on your guitar?

btw, if your strings are discolored, it's a sign that they should have been changed quite a while ago.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#3
I don't know too much about stringing a guitar, but I can only figure that it was because you didn't stretch out the strings (GENTLY) before you started playing.

Well. Most people forget one of the most important steps to properly restringing their instrument. Stretching In Your Guitar Strings is EXTREMELY important to the playability of the instrument, and this directly effects how often your guitar goes out of tune.

ON alot of guitars, if you do even a slight bend on the higher strings (G, B, E) the string goes out of tune rather easily. This is because you haven't Stretched in your guitar strings.

Stretching In Your Guitar Strings is very simple, and at the same time, very important. IMPORTANT- YOU NEED TO STRETCH THE STRINGS IN WHENEVER YOU HAVE PUT ON A NEW SET OF STRINGS.

To stretch in your strings, grab one string at a time between your thumb and index finger and pull it up away from the fret board and back down several times. Do this at 3 different positions on the Fretboard. My personal favourites are 5th Fret, 12th Fret, 17th Fret. After you have done this, retune your string back up, and repeat the process. Do this to EVERY string, and then try a solo or a lick that involves Bends. You will notice that your guitar stays in tune after doing all those bends (But always expect it to go out of tune at some point in the bending process)

Even though there is no easy and affordable way to stop your strings going out of tune when doing large bends, This simple process can prevent the string going badly out of tune on the smallest of bends.


SOURCE: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/archive/index.php?t-328773.html
#4
I put "normal" tension strings on the guitar.

The two videos I watched on restringing did not say anything about "stretching" after you put them on.

Do you stretch them while they are loose? (i.e., before tuning them to standard tuning or something similar) Or after you have them at normal tension?

Is there any reason I cannot do the stretching now?

I suppose the stretching will test whether my bridge and tuner knotting were adequate, or whether there is slippage.

Thanks for the tips,
Ken
#5
i stretch them after they're tuned up, and there's no reason you can't stretch them now. they will drop in tone each time - but be gentle. if your strings aren't properly tied, they'll slip and also go down in tone, but if you look at the ends, you should be able to see them slip.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#6
There is a substantial difference between Steel String guitars and Nylon (Classical) stringed instruments. Stretching strings is more of a Steel String practice. Nylon strings need to settle and can take up to a week or so to actually settle into pitch. That doesn't mean that they'll be wildly out of tune during that entire week. However, installing the strings properly on the instrument can help prevent slippage which can make the strings seem like they're constantly out of tune. Give the guitar a few days to settle in.

Don Dawson
Product Marketing Specialist
D'Addario / Planet Waves
Don Dawson
Marketing Specialist
D'Addario / Planet Waves
#7
i took classical guitar lessons for years from 2 teachers, and both of them suggested stretching the strings, which unlike steel actually DO stretch. my husband is extremely experienced at guitar set-ups and work, and when i met him he had been stretching nylon strings for years.

yes, nylon strings do go out of tune, but with the stretching method they do it a LOT less frequently, particularly in their first few days after being put on the guitar.

Quote by ddawson2012
There is a substantial difference between Steel String guitars and Nylon (Classical) stringed instruments. Stretching strings is more of a Steel String practice. Nylon strings need to settle and can take up to a week or so to actually settle into pitch. That doesn't mean that they'll be wildly out of tune during that entire week. However, installing the strings properly on the instrument can help prevent slippage which can make the strings seem like they're constantly out of tune. Give the guitar a few days to settle in.

Don Dawson
Product Marketing Specialist
D'Addario / Planet Waves
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#8
I stretched them a bit. Did not notice any slippage, so I think my knotting was decent. They seemed to hold tune okay for about 15 minutes of playing. So I guess my concern is alleviated.

Now, my real concern, is I am just not all that fond of the tone with these new strings. There's a whole lot more "stuff" going on when I strum. Sort of a jangly, brightness, a bit more metallic sounding. My classical guitar now sounds a lot like my acoustic-electric steel string guitar. I miss the simpleness of the tone from the old strings, sounded more classical, more spanish, more soulful.

I've read strings start out "bright" sounding, and this fades, so I'm hoping that happens.

I've also read that some strings sound better on some guitars, and maybe these strings just are not right for this guitar (at least not to my ear).

Anyway, I'll give it some time before I give up on them. If they stay too bright / jangly / metallic sounding. Is that a typical tone for D'Addario classical strings, normal tension (red package)? Is there a classical string people would recommend for a simpler, narrower, warmer tone?

Ken
#9
i use d'augustines on my classicals unless i'm looking for a slightly more steel like tone, in which case i use d'addario pro artes. if you're not looking for bright, d'augustine strings might be worth checking out - they're the classical strings that were recommended to me by both my teachers, and were also recommended to my mother by hers. but it's best over time to try a variety of strings till you find the ones that you like.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#10
I was liking the D'Addario better last night. Getting use to the brightness, and more complexity in low strings compared to what I had. There is definitely a richness there that was lacking in the old strings. I think the lesson, for me, is to live with the new sounds of new strings (or a new brand of strings) for a while before I make judgments.

I'll probably mix it up trying a different brand each time I change the strings, till I've sampled a few, and then make up my mind.

Ken