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How often do you change your strings?

I asked Stephane Wrembel this question once and he told me, "when they break." I find they tend to lose their sound after 2 months as well as developing wear at the point where they hit the fret, especially on the G. Just curious how other people go about it.

Thanks
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  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,411
    Quite a bit, actually. Probably too often, especially as I play rhythm. I just don't like playing them if there's any hint they've lost life, which in my experience happens at least once a month or sooner, if I'm playing hard. My current set I've had on awhile, just being lazy. Funny timing though, since I was going to change them out today.
    -Paul

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • I'm with Stephane...when they break or when the plating starts breaking up on a single string (usually the G string).
  • Ian RossiterIan Rossiter Fort Vermilion ,Alberta ,CanadaNew
    Posts: 203
    Yeah, dents & flaking,but once they stop holding their tuning?? Adios,muchacho!!
    Practice ,Practice,EAT PRACTICE- Tommy Tedesco
  • I like new strings if doing something really critical like a concert or recording. Being essentially lazy I often leave them til the intonation goes off. Usually a combination of pick wear and indents on the G and D strings.

    Ideally I would change them every 10 hours playing or so which thesse days is about a week and a half to two weeks. After about 10 hours I notice a difference in the tone. Not huge but noticable.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Michael BauerMichael Bauer Chicago, ILProdigy Selmers, Busatos and more…oh my!
    Posts: 1,002
    Depends on the guitar...

    Some guitars like new strings, but I find nearly all vintage guitars sound way better, and frequently louder, with old, dead strings. I first noticed it on a Busato, when the volume dropped about in half when I changed strings the first time. I started calling everyone I knew trying to figure out what I'd done wrong. Then, as the strings started losing their newness, the volume and great tone came right back. At Django in June last year, we recreated the famous card game prelude to Django's "J'Attendrai" video. The next day, Craig Bumgarner was checking the specs on the Selmer, and changed strings, and the guitar sounded so terrible we couldn't complete the performance part of the video. The same strings are still on it, and they sound great now. I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but it's absolutely true, and true of every vintage guitar I own or have owned.

    I am not joking when I say I change them about once a year, although I don't put near as many hours on them as Wrembel does on his. "When they break" seems like a good approach to me. I hate changing strings, because then I have to go through a period where the guitar sounds awful, making me not want to play it. But if I don't, they never wear in.
    I've never been a guitar player, but I've played one on stage.
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,411
    Hmmmm....methinks there's something for me to learn here....
    -Paul

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • Hah. I was in the general vicinity when you were voicing your displeasure at the string change on the Selmer at DIJ.
  • Michael BauerMichael Bauer Chicago, ILProdigy Selmers, Busatos and more…oh my!
    Posts: 1,002
    Let me just say that I wasn't mad at Craig for changing them. It was totally my fault. I should have realized he was going to, and asked him not to, if that was possible, or had him wait until after we recorded the second part of the video before I handed it off to him. After five days at Django in June, I was barely sentient, let alone thinking ahead. He had been running specs on several of my guitars during the week, and as he had to get inside them, he removed the strings and replaced them with new ones. I agreed to let him have at the Selmer, so it was my own fault for not thinking about the strings being changed. But boy, did it ever change the sound of the guitar!

    It was all for the good, though. Craig makes such bloody good guitars, that if by letting him study them, he can make even better ones, it's my duty to the world of gypsy jazz. It was just bad timing on my part. Proper single malts will do that to a man...
    I've never been a guitar player, but I've played one on stage.
  • Now that is completely counterintuitive.......I am wondering why ..... Perhaps the new strings over emphasize the highs :? :?
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • Thank you for the replies. It's funny, I was at rehearsal tonight right after I made this post and as I was playing the G string stopped sounding notes at the 9th fret. I had to change the string right in the middle of everything and I plan to change the rest of them when I have time tomorrow morning. I've heard people say that, "wait till the strings get older it will sound much better," but I personally like nothing more than a new set of strings. I find I have to change them every month or so. To each his own.
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