Saturday, April 14, 2012

String durability and other stuff...

I am embarrassed to admit that I have a set of strings on one of my "go to" guitars that must be 6 months old. Daddario EXL 110's to be exact. No, there aren't bright any more. Yes, they are goober'd up with flat spots from the frets. But they just keep taking a beating as I stretch them and use my tremolo with reckless abandon. They are mounted to a Fender 50th Anniversary Deluxe Stratocaster.
I guess I'll change them but sometime soon. I swear that when you get a set that is robust and being the lazy person I can be, I leave them on and wait for a string to break then change the entire set. However, this set just loves my guitar and will not give up. I wonder if there is a market for distressed strings.

However, I generally change my strings before every gig. There after, if I am just practicing the guitar, I gauge my consumption based on hours on the string. If I am practicing a hour or more a day then I change electric guitar strings twice a month. Acoustics string definitely are replaced when they tarnish but generally I apply the same rule as my electric guitars. Never gig with old strings!

Always use a string winder.
Stretch your strings! Try this product - Stringstretcha (review) [purchase direct]

Install properly - Instructions link. Wear EYE PROTECTION!!
Beware that string gauge change will effect your intonation,neck bow, and pickup output at the least.

I usually buy my strings from Just but I will buy my strings and various assundries from Guitar Center or Musiciansfriend if they have a great deal.

Now it's time for me to change those old strings before one snaps and cuts me!



Uh, I'll spare everyone from telling how absolutelly epic & great my HM bands were - and one's making a comeback anyday, stay tuned for news - just dropped to read this n' say: I learned from the very beginning, at eleven or so, wrestling my neckthrough toy guitars made of plastic, to stretch the strings of a brand new set installed, to avoid tone decay. I just prime tune them, then STRRRRRETCHHHH each one, close as tight as I wanted to break them THEN I retune them all. The result: I can torture them overly for hours w/o count with my techniques - bends, double bends, vibrattos, extensive & agressive tremolo use - and they'll HARDLY pitch. Mebbe cause o the brand - which I won't mention for ethical reasons - but when we, Guitar Heroes Confederation Of The Universe gather for a jam n' butter, just EVERYONE goes like: "this guitar is crappy, I have to keep retuning it forever" - though it's top stuff - or "S***, these new strings just won't keep tune!" and - fasten seatbelt - NONE O DEM DUMMIES EVER HEARD OF PRETUNING AND STRETCHING STRINGS! Gotta keep teaching dem newbie disciples over &... Wal, guess I'm the case o' someone who was just born for the wuthering heights of olympic guitar glory... least the fame. =| K.U.T.G.J.

Anonymous said...

I agree that stretching them after installation is prudent and conducive improved tuning stability. I think that tool is handy for people who cannot play 24/7 because life gets in the way. Also, since I've been playing for decades, I found that warming up is super important in maintaining strength and flexibility - PLUS avoiding injury. Tendinitis and carpel tunnel syndrome is real! Yngwie Malmsteen, Steve Vai, Robben Ford are just a few names. Torture your strings but no yourself!


Great tip, "Anonymous". Warmups. That is some important part of my overall making that's been often neglected. I do jump start. Shame on me. Will get some henceforth, so I as you can play for decades, too. Wish I could play 24/7 w/o life gettin on the way...

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