How To Get The Maximum Life Out Of Your Guitar Strings

I guarantee you will be changing a lot of strings when you first start out. Until you get used to striking strings, you will still be developing your strumming style. Changing a string may sound simple enough, but it is how you change a string that determines how long it will last. What most people do is simply thread the string through the hole and start twisting the tuning keys. This is one way…to literally halve the life of your strings!

The secret here is NOT to thread the new string straight through the hole. The way to do it is to get the string and wrap it several times around the tuning peg. Then thread it through the hole. The following diagram illustrates how to do it.

Here is the empty tuning peg we are going to thread the guitar string through...

Grab the string, and DO NOT thread it through the hole!

Instead - wrap it several times around the turning peg as shown in the next picture.

For thin strings like the 1st and 2nd, wrap them around as many times as possible before threading them through.

For thick strings like 5th and 6th, there is only enough room for two or three wraps.

Once you have wrapped the string around the tuning peg, thread the string through the hole.

This reduces the tension and pull of the string.

If you simply thread it through the hole and tighten it, the string has NO LEIGH WAY. There is no space for the string to wear in. It is just being pulled to its maximum.

By threading the string around the tuning peg a few times, it gives the string more Leigh way and flexibility. This increases the life of the string as it allows it to wear in easier. Therefore, the new string has less pull on it, and is gradually stretched without snapping.



One more thing is that once you have installed your new set of strings, remember to tighten them slowly.

Strike the strings constantly as you are tightening them. This wears them in gently. The gentler you are at wearing your strings in, the longer they will last. If you pull them too tight the first time, they cannot wear into your guitar properly and will have a lot more tension. This is what causes them to snap easily.

Lastly, your new strings will constantly go out of tune when they are first installed. You can either keep adjusting them bit-by-bit, or you can do it all in one go.

One tip here is to physically lift and pull the string up all along the neck once your new strings are installed. This pulls your strings out of tune a lot easier than just strumming them. (You want your strings to go out of tune as much as possible). The trick here is to pull the string along the neck 2 or 3 times. This will reduce the tension in the string. Once the tension is reduced, the string is firm and tight in place. It will then stay in tune a lot longer.

Keep in mind that when you leave your guitar for a long period of time, remember to LOOSEN YOUR STRINGS! Your strings place a considerable amount of tension on the neck. If you leave you guitar for a few years without playing, the neck will bend because of the tension and sometimes-even snap.


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