Simplest Way To Schedule Your Guitar String Changes
I know you may think this is a silly topic to discuss. I assure that, “how often should I change my strings?” is one of the most asked questions at any guitar store or studio. This question is usually followed by a reply of, “when was the last time you changed your strings?” Therefore, let me offer a simple but effective way of assuring yourself that you change them consistently.
But before we do, why is it important to change strings?
The most obvious reason is that strings wear out. As you play, your fingers deposit oils and skin onto the strings causing them to corrode. Depending on your genetic disposition, you oil, sweat, and skin will have an effect on the lifespan of the strings. Everyone knows what a difference in sound a new set of strings brings to the guitar.
A little less obvious reason to change strings is the resetting of tension for the guitar. As you keep strings on the guitar they continually stretch and increase the tension being pulled between the bridge and the nut. This ultimately pulls the fretboard and top up over time. This is one of the main causes of high action on older guitars. By changing the strings regularly you are decreasing the tension to the level initially required by the guitar for tuning. This is especially true for classical instruments that typically do not have a truss rod.
So what is the method?
Easy, after you change your strings take out a Sharpie and write the date you put the strings on the guitar. Then, through it inside the case for a future reference. This obviously accomplishes two things. It tells you when you changed the strings last and what type or brand of string you used last. This helps you determine whether you want to go with the same brand or try something new.
How often should you change strings?
I recommend the average player to change classical strings every six months at minimum. If you play more then maybe every three months. This insures you will always have good sounding strings on your instrument.
I know this may not be rocket science but it sure takes the guess work out of when to change strings. Just do the simple things and your guitar playing life will have one less thing to think about.