If you’re wondering when to change guitar strings, you’re probably already long overdue. Most people seldom change guitar strings, thus when they finally do change them, their strings are far beyond grimy. So when should you change guitar strings? The short answer is around every2 months. In truth, it just depends on a lot of factors such as how oily your hands are, what climate you live in, whether or not you put your guitar in a case, how often you play guitar, and if you clean your strings before or after you practice. Here are some things to look for to know when to change guitar strings. If you’re not sure when to change strings, here are a few things to look for.
Your guitar strings will change from a bright silver, or bronze color to greyish then eventually black. The darker the color, the closer you are to a string change. Alternatively, if you run a polish cloth underneath the strings and the polish cloth turns black it’s time to change guitar strings.
Lightly run your finger underneath the fretboard side of your strings. It should feel smooth. If you feel bumps, build-up, or ridges then it’s definitely time to change guitar strings. You can lengthen the time between string changes by simply wiping down your guitar strings with a polish cloth after every time you’re done playing.
If you look at your guitar strings, the portion that sits directly over the fret wire typically takes a harder beating causing guitar strings to break at those points. You’ll want to check for ridges on the string right over the fret wire, and missing “wraps” from your strings in the same spot. If any wraps are missing, and you can see the core, then string breakage is imminent, and you’ll want to be careful when you play so you don’t break strings while you play.
You’ll also want to change guitar strings if you’re doing anything important such as a gig, recital or recording session. There’s nothing worse than playing a great gig only to have a string break with no replacements handy. Also, make sure to replace all of your guitar strings each time and not just the ones that look bad. If you happen to break a single string right after replacing a set, don’t worry, you can just replace it individually, but if the whole set looks worn, just save yourself the trouble of more broken strings and change them all.
Lastly, if you’re brokestock, you can always try the Van Halen trick, and boil your old guitar strings. Boiling strings let’s you reuse them while getting rid of all the buildup previously left on them. Since you now know when to change guitar strings, do yourself a favor and buy an extra set of guitar strings. This way when you break a string, you won’t have to wait a week to finally get to the store and buy a new set of strings.