How To Get The Maximum Life Out Of Your Guitar
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
For thin strings
like the 1st and 2nd, wrap them around as many times as possible
before threading them through.
strings like 5th and 6th, there is only enough room for two or three
Once you have
wrapped the string around the tuning peg, thread the string through
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.
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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