Posted Jun 28, 2004 03:08 PM
I've noticed a problem, people (especially begginers) don't really know what to do with the most important (and occasionally most annoying) part of your guitars playablity. Don't deny it, you can't play properly with out all your strings, to*ser c'mon don't argue, I'm right. So I'm gonnna help you learn what to do with your ever more precious little nickel lines.
Part A: Chosing Your Strings
Ok very important, the strings you will need depend essentially j*ew on what you want to play and what guitar you play, or more to the point, what kind of bridge your guitar has.
For instance a c*ckshaft Floyd Rose bridge won't take strings with a 11-56 gauge, it'll break your guitar. So heres a rough guideline:
Type Of Music:
- Rock: Nickel wound 9-42
- Jazz/blues: Flat wound (more expensive) 10-52
- Country: Steel/nickel wound 10-42
- Metal: Rhytm, Nickel 9-42: Lead Nickel 8-38
- Heavy Metal: Steel 11-58
- Punk rock: Nickel 10-48
- Reggae/funk/hiphop: steel 8-38
- Classical: Flat wound 10-52
- Baritone: Steel/nickel 12-65
Type Of Bridge On Guiatar:
- Hardtail: whatever you want
- Floating tremolo: low gauge "8's" or standard "9's". no heavy
- Stop bar: whatever you want
- Floyd rose: Standard, it just wont take anything else.
Part B: Fitting preparing your guitar.
If you have a hard tail guitar, like a les paul for example. You d--khead can take off all the strings at once by loosening them and then cutting them off with wire cutters. After that clean your fret board and get-rid of any unwanted dust c--k and skin on the pick-ups and scratch plate.
But if you have a Floating Bridge, the strings must be done one at a time. Starting with the high e string (string 1) loosen the string and cut it off, following the instructions for you ji*z specific guitar (some are very different) to regular. Then clean the area where the string you have just removed was. Put in a new string (wind around 3 times) and then tune up before removing the next string, Remember to always stretch a string when you fit it. Do this once you have tuned the string in. Put the fleshy bit of your index finger underneath the string at the 12th fret and pull upwards strongly enough to meet heavy resitance but not too much. Don't be afraid, strings often work at around about 200 pounds of pressure, it takes alot to break one by stretching it! Once you have done this until you are satisfied thats as much as the string needs (it takes about 15 seconds) re-tune and then repeat the procedure with the next string down.
Once you have fitted all the strings polish them with guitar polish, this will make them last longer and it will make your fingers smell of lemon. Something you cant brag to your mates about.
Once your satisfied play your guitar for about an hour, then re-tune. Do the same about 3 times, then remeber to re-tune every day. this will keep the strings in good condition.
Part C: Knowing when to execute your old strings.
Ok so you've been playing with these strings for about a month now, it doesnt metter how often you play, or how softly, oxygen will have begun to erode them along with the oils and acids from your fingers. Time to think seriously about a new set. If your wondering if you really need to check the tone compared to a guitar with new strings (or whatever s on your CD player) and then feel the underside of your strings. If there are little bumps where the frets are or there is a kink on one of the strings change them.
Part D: Acoustics
Just like electrics, but you'll have to use more expensive strings which are harder to put on and be extremely careful not to bend the neck. I think that's long enough, I'm surprised no-body thought of doing a coulumn on this before.