Your guitar strings are an important part of your success at learning to love to play guitar! I am often asked this question from students, so I thought I would share my thoughts. There are a few factors to consider when deciding when to change your strings. Start by asking yourself these questions.
How often do you play?
If you’re playing every day for several hours, you’ll probably need to change your strings more often than if you only play once per week. You may start to notice wear after just 5-10 hours of practice however, after 3 months or 100 hours of practice time, your strings will show wear. As a general rule of thumb, I recommend changing your stings every 6 months.
2. How do my strings look and feel?
String wear on acoustic guitars show up as corrosion on the surface of the strings. Corrosion on your strings make them feel gritty and unpleasant to play and can be influenced in a number of ways. Your body chemistry, oils and dirt from your fingers as well as small kinks from the frets weaken the stings. To help increase the longevity of your sting life, wipe them off with a lightly damp cloth after you play.
3. How do my strings sound?
If your guitar sounds dull, you may need to change your stings. Many players love using coated strings because the tone tends to stay bright longer due to the protective material covering.
4. Ms Jan, what do you prefer?
Some professional players put a new set of strings on every week. However, others don’t change their strings for weeks or months at a time (like me). The question of how often you should change your strings is highly personal. If you feel your tone may be affected, or that the strings feel gritty and uncomfortable, it’s a good time to change them. I personally use D’Addario EXP Phosphor Bronze light gauge which range between $10 - $12 for a set. Gauge it by how they sound and feel.
5. How do I change my strings?
Once you purchase a new set of stings, I am happy to assist you with changing them out at your lesson. Or watch this handy youtube video to learn!