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Thread: How often do you change your strings?

  1. #1
    Senior Member kv466's Avatar
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    Question How often do you change your strings?

    Pretty basic...I'm just curious for the instruments I only dabble with rather than play on a regular basis. For instance, my violin and cello I haven't changed in a couple of years but then again they spend most of their time in their cases...my cuatro, laud and tres I change about once a year; again, not much use...the ones that really pull my pocket are electric and acoustic guitar as I change them just about every gig so we're talking twice a week acoustic and once a week electric...bass, which is what made me think of this thread I use quite often...sometimes more than guitar...I was just looking at my strings while noodling around a little and remembered that I got this particular bass two years ago next month and while I've used it exclusively since I got it, it still has the same strings...that's at least 300+ hours of playtime...now, they are Elixirs and they still sound brand new but since I've got two fresh 6 string packs, I plan on changing them on the 2 year anniversary...piano, I've only ever changed 3 strings on my old upright...feels so weird when they pop on you...never popped a grand but I'm looking forward to it.

    So, how ofter do you change your strings?

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    Senior Member hawk's Avatar
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    I typically change strings only as needed. I have a full levered 36 string harp which I have had for about ten years. Got it new~If I remember correctly I have chnaged about 5 strings in it's life though admittedly I don't play it enough (read often). I also have three Kora's which I play quite frequently. When played regularly they seldom break strings~maybe 1-2 a year. Been playing Kora for about 17 years...

    Flutes are my main instrument though....

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kora_(instrument)



    Last edited by hawk; Aug-17-2011 at 05:03. Reason: Add links...
    Peace
    Hawk

  3. #3
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    For myself, as far as guitars go I generally don't like the sound of new strings, I find they sound better after about a week or so. I also find (especially on nylon string guitars) it takes a day or two at least before a guitar with new strings will consistently stay in tune as well as a guitar with broken in strings (very old strings are also problematic though). For these reasons, I generally wait at least two or three months sometimes longer depending on how much I've played.

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    Senior Member kv466's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdc View Post
    For myself, as far as guitars go I generally don't like the sound of new strings

    I actually quite agree with that and for my home guitar which I've had for almost twenty years I haven't changed the strings in about four months...however, for performing live that week or so of breaking in happens after about four songs...if you have month old strings and try to play a gig where you both strum fast and solo with bends and such you're bound to pop a couple and have to stop mid-set anyway...I found this out quite early and so with my acoustic gigs which are all on steel string I change the very next day so they have time to set in at least a couple days before the next...the band I play electric on is only a couple times a month and typically I'll change em every couple of gigs because with the amp and effects and rest of the band, you don't have to strum quite as hard nor play all the strings at once just about every song like on acoustic where you're the bass and drums and guitar.

    But yeah, for my home guitar I'll let em get a little rusty then think about changing up.

    I use Ernie Ball .10's on my electrics (except my Strat with a Floyd, it uses .09's) and on my acoustics I'll use Ernie Ball .12-.54's or DR; except my at home guitar which I use .13's on. My basses, although my six has the original Elixirs on it, only take DR...I mean, I really like this string for bass...before them I would use Rotosound which I still highly endorse...almost everyone I know, though, uses Smith...I don't like the feel but they're supposed to be great.

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    Junior Member Jobe's Avatar
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    Unless one has snapped, I never change my violin strings.

    I don't think I'm a good example of a musician, since it's stolen from the local music service (they never bothered to register me, but I did donate my old 3/4 from Argos in guilt).

    No, I'm not proud.
    Did I make a stupid mis cake? iPhone.

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    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    Oh, those strings. My marionettes, some of whom are members here, keep better track of broken strings than I do. But then, you are referring to musical instruments.
    Experience teaches you to recognize a mistake when you've made it again.
    - anonymous

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  8. #7
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    Strings go through stages. When new they often are very bright and metallic. After 2-3 days they settle down, then they sound good for quite a while. After some period of time they get dull sounding. Then it's time to change. How long that takes depends entirely on how much you play. A pro playing hours a day will chew through them pretty fast--especially the A which is flat wound with aluminum and wears faster.

  9. #8
    Andante
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    I used to change only when absolutely necessary (Double Bass but retired now) at one stage we actually used gut strings and these did not last long due to perspiration which tended to accelerate wear and cause unwinding and buzzing on the finger board this was murder on your fingers.

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    Junior Member grixxviolist's Avatar
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    i suppose i change strings just when they really need changing.. either because one of the strings have plucked itself out of my violin or the strings have changed their sound quality.. rarely, one week before my exam they are changed..
    music=home.

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    Senior Member MaestroViolinist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grixxviolist View Post
    i suppose i change strings just when they really need changing.. either because one of the strings have plucked itself out of my violin or the strings have changed their sound quality.. rarely, one week before my exam they are changed..
    Exactly what I do basically. Though since I seem to be putting bad strings on lately they're not lasting as long. I'm getting a really good expensive set soon.
    If there is anyone here whom I have not insulted, I beg his pardon.
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    Senior Member ComposerOfAvantGarde's Avatar
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    Every couple of months on my guitar. I do like to have new strings about a week before a performance for the sound and the tuning.
    Cheers, Jeff W (another awesome dude), thanks for the signature mention!

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    Senior Member Kontrapunctus's Avatar
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    I change my guitar strings once a month. I'm currently using Dogal Diamante trebles (they combine nylon and carbon) and Hannabach Super Silver 815 basses.

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    I haven't changed my G and A string on my cello for almost two years.
    Last edited by Toddlertoddy; Jul-17-2012 at 00:56.

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    Senior Member MaestroViolinist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toddlertoddy View Post
    I haven't changed my G and A string on my cello for almost two years.
    How much do you play on it?

    I find that my strings on the violin don't seem to last much after a year.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaestroViolinist View Post
    How much do you play on it?

    I find that my strings on the violin don't seem to last much after a year.
    Average of 30 minutes a day?

    It's weird because I played Shostakovich for half a year pretty vigorously.

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