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Tech: How long to change guitar strings?

lefthanded guitar 03 Sep 10 - 03:17 PM
mkebenn 03 Sep 10 - 03:27 PM
Phil Cooper 03 Sep 10 - 03:28 PM
lefthanded guitar 03 Sep 10 - 03:41 PM
Amos 03 Sep 10 - 03:49 PM
greg stephens 03 Sep 10 - 03:53 PM
Amos 03 Sep 10 - 04:00 PM
GUEST,whiteSG 03 Sep 10 - 04:19 PM
dwditty 03 Sep 10 - 04:55 PM
gnu 03 Sep 10 - 05:03 PM
Mavis Enderby 03 Sep 10 - 05:31 PM
Tangledwood 03 Sep 10 - 05:45 PM
Zen 03 Sep 10 - 06:21 PM
Rob Naylor 03 Sep 10 - 06:59 PM
Ebbie 03 Sep 10 - 07:19 PM
Folknacious 03 Sep 10 - 07:21 PM
olddude 03 Sep 10 - 07:45 PM
Will Fly 03 Sep 10 - 07:47 PM
alex s 04 Sep 10 - 07:50 PM
Bernard 04 Sep 10 - 08:18 PM
Dave Hanson 05 Sep 10 - 03:05 AM
Sarah McQuaid 05 Sep 10 - 09:44 AM
stephengriffith 05 Sep 10 - 10:19 AM
Mooh 05 Sep 10 - 10:20 PM
Bobert 05 Sep 10 - 11:10 PM
Gurney 06 Sep 10 - 12:53 AM
mattkeen 06 Sep 10 - 04:38 AM
Will Fly 06 Sep 10 - 04:47 AM
Jack Campin 06 Sep 10 - 05:55 AM
Will Fly 06 Sep 10 - 06:05 AM
GUEST,Silas 06 Sep 10 - 06:11 AM
GUEST,jennyr 06 Sep 10 - 06:17 AM
Leadfingers 06 Sep 10 - 06:24 AM
Backwoodsman 06 Sep 10 - 06:27 AM
Will Fly 06 Sep 10 - 06:28 AM
Backwoodsman 06 Sep 10 - 06:29 AM
GUEST,number 6 06 Sep 10 - 06:47 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 06 Sep 10 - 07:41 AM
alex s 06 Sep 10 - 09:32 AM
Sarah McQuaid 06 Sep 10 - 09:35 AM
mattkeen 06 Sep 10 - 09:59 AM
mattkeen 06 Sep 10 - 10:06 AM
Rob Naylor 06 Sep 10 - 10:09 AM
Bernard 06 Sep 10 - 12:12 PM
Rob Naylor 07 Sep 10 - 05:28 AM
lefthanded guitar 26 Oct 10 - 02:51 PM
Cool Beans 27 Oct 10 - 09:39 AM
Backwoodsman 27 Oct 10 - 10:17 AM
GUEST,Jonny Sunshine 27 Oct 10 - 10:28 AM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Oct 10 - 09:06 PM
GUEST,Ray 28 Oct 10 - 05:00 AM
Mark Ross 28 Oct 10 - 10:16 PM
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Subject: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: lefthanded guitar
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 03:17 PM

Does it take you a long time to change guitar strings? I really hate doing it, and it seems to take me about 45 minutes to an hour at least. I used to have a diagram (from an OLD OLD Guitar magazine) which showed which way the string went under itself, which may have helped in the past.Tho it didn't shave off more than 10 minutes time. But I've lost it anyways, and it's even more of an ordeal now). Is there some ez trick to putting on strings that I've somehow missed all these years? (besides actually paying someone to do it lol ?)

Also how long, if you play for say 5-10 hours a week minumum, can I keep the old strings on? I have a few small concerts to play at coming up and I hate to play with old strings but it's such a fuss to change 'em.   Waddya say? Is a year too long? lmao.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: mkebenn
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 03:27 PM

the more you change them, the less hassle it'll be. There is nothing like the ring of new strings. Mike


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 03:28 PM

I change them about once a month. More often if I'm playing out a lot. It takes me about 20 minutes to change them. Have you used a string winder? It takes a lot of time off the porcess.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: lefthanded guitar
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 03:41 PM

TWENTY MINUTES!! I wouldn't mind changing strings if I could get it down to twenty minutes or less than a Judge Judy courtcase. :D

No I've never used a stringwinder, never even seen one.... but I probably should use one if they shorten the time like that! I just looked them up on Amazon, but there's a few different types - do some actually THREAD the string?, cause that's where I have the most trouble.

Recommendations?


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Amos
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 03:49 PM

You get it down to a fast drill after practice. Mine runs like this:

1. Slacken all the strings enough to pull the pegs.
2. Pull all the pegs and loop the bottoms of the old set together.
3. With a pair of thin-nose pliers lift the loop off the winding post of the old strings one at a time and pull them off the posts.
4. Dispose of old strings.
5. ANchor low E with peg.
6. Thread through post hole and lead under itself, reasonably firmly.
7. While holding the lead down with one hand, crank the tuning key withthe other until it is tight enough to sound a note somewhere reasonably within the range of low E (don't bother with tuning it beyond that until later).
8. Snip the excess off the low E top lead.
9. Repeat for A, D, G, B and high E strings.
10. Tune the guitar.
11. Repeat 10 after a while as the strings settle in.
12. Repeat 11 as needed until stable.

Playing only occasionally I change strings every six months on my primary guitar, less often on the ones I don't use as much.

Hope this helps,



A


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: greg stephens
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 03:53 PM

I was told at an impressionable age to change them one at a time, to maintain tension on the guitar. Amos seems to think the opposite. Anybody shed any light on this conundrum?


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Amos
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 04:00 PM

Ah, ya know Greg, I never did get taught to do it and it is possible I might be overlooking a necessary part of the protocol. I look forward to hearing from any luthiers on the question.


A


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: GUEST,whiteSG
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 04:19 PM

I put second hand strings on a DIY guitar in 1995, and they still play OK after a rub down with WD40!!!


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: dwditty
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 04:55 PM

www.frets.com


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: gnu
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 05:03 PM

Greg may have sommat. A buddy of mine says the same thing. One string at a time. Dunno if it's cool, but I would do it anyway. Why not?


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Mavis Enderby
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 05:31 PM

One at a time or all at once? Take your pick...

If you want to give the fretboard a clean/polish, maybe the frets too, take them all off.

If you are doing a quick change, I'd do them one at a time. Easier to tune the new string to pitch if you've got the others there to tune to.

One at a time is a definite advantage for instruments with a floating bridge too as the remaining strings hold it in place.

I've never had an instrument expensive enough to worry about maintaining tension on the neck or soundboard!

20 mins sounds very reasonable to me, especially for 1 at a time.

Just my $0.012 / £ 0.0129

Pete


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Tangledwood
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 05:45 PM

The method that Amos describes is the way I go with the exception of point 6. Rather than thread the string through then wind, I wrap a couple of turns round the peg then thread the end through. That removes the guesswork in how much slack to leave, although it can be a bit more fiddly to do the threading. I do have a winder but find it a waste of time. It might be worthwhile if we were putting on a dozen windings per peg, but how difficult is a couple of turns? On another forum I've seen discussion about a winder attachment for an electric screwdriver. How many turns are these people putting on!

Advice I've read elsewhere suggests that there is nothing wrong with removing all strings at the same time and it's a good opportunity to give the fretboard a cleanup.

Not sure how long it takes to do this, what's the rush? As I said, it's the chance to give things a clean up, and have a general look over the instrument.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Zen
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 06:21 PM

The instrument will take longer to stabilise again if all strings are taken of at the same time (I used to be a full-time instrument repairer) but it won't do it any harm. I change mine one at a time and it depends on the guitar and type of strings... about every year and a half for my parlour guitar which is set up with Rohrbacher titanium and nickel strings; about every four months for my resonator guitar which has half-ground phosphor bronze and about the same for my mandolins which use the same. It largely depends on how much you play, the acidity and quantity of your hand/finger sweat and the preference you have for sound.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 06:59 PM

LHG: TWENTY MINUTES!! I wouldn't mind changing strings if I could get it down to twenty minutes or less than a Judge Judy courtcase. :D

Takes me about 20 minutes, too, and I've only been playing for about 2 years. I change them every 2-3 months on the Martin, a bit less frequently on the old Falcon I keep for taking on camping trips. Not sure yet how often I'll change them on the octave mandolin. I don't have a problem with it and don't see string changing as any particular hassle.

I'm amazed when I'm in our local music store and there's a constant stream of people coming in to have their guitars restrung by the shop owner. I was in there for an hour the other Saturday and in that time 4 people brought instruments in for restringing. It had never occured to me that for some people it's such a hassle that they'd rather pay someone else to do it!


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Ebbie
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 07:19 PM

When Cephas and - ha! I've gone blank; who did he play with?- were the guest artists at the Alaska Folk Festival, he changed his entire set of strings. Right on stage.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Folknacious
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 07:21 PM

Have you used a string winder?

More to the point, have you ever used one of those string winder attachments that fit in an electric screwdriver? With one of those you can easily get a change down to 10-15 minutes. At £2.95 from Highly Strung they're a bargain!


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: olddude
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 07:45 PM

Seems to take me forever, and I been doing it forever. Never been quick at it at all. I change them once a month if I am practicing like I should


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Will Fly
Date: 03 Sep 10 - 07:47 PM

Changed a set yesterday before the Black Lion session - took me 15 minutes using a string winder and changing one string at a time so that the neck tension would remain relatively undisturbed.

When I've brought the string initially up to tension, I press down hard on the bridge peg to make sure it's not been pulled up by the increasing string pressure. Then I pull the string up very hard, snap it back and retune, then pull hard on the string again, snap and retune.

Doing all this means that the string comes up to pitch and stays there. Got to the session, played for much of the night, and the strings needed very little tuning.

Although I use Elixir Nanoweb coated strings, I change strings every 3-4 weeks and always keep single spares with me on gigs. I always take a string winder, the spare strings and a small pair of pliers to snip the ends clean. If I break a string in the middle of a tune on a gig, I reckon to replace it and have it in tune before the start of the next number.

The slot in the string winder handle is also useful for extracting tight bridge pegs...


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: alex s
Date: 04 Sep 10 - 07:50 PM

I follow Will's routine almost exactly. He made an important point - stretching the new strings means far less retuning, very important if it's in the middle of your set.
In addition, I don't snip the strings straight away but loop them (tidily) to retain the full length - this is because I've sometimes had new strings snap at the saddle/bridge almost immediately. If you have the full length you can easily remove the ball end from the broken bit and knot the long string to it. A lot better than having to replace the old string.....
After a day or so I snip 'em.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Bernard
Date: 04 Sep 10 - 08:18 PM

Bridge pegs ought not to be tight (see below) - I find pushing the string down the hole a little is enough to release them. It takes me 10 - 15 minutes without a peg winder.

It's very important to take the tension of the string in your right hand whilst winding with your left, so that the string winds neatly round the post. That helps the string to stay in tune.

Bridge pegs ought not to work loose whilst bringing the string up to tension, either, if you do it properly! The purpose of the peg is merely to deflect the ball-end at the bottom of the hole so that it is pulling against the underside of the belly...


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 05 Sep 10 - 03:05 AM

Go to FRETS.COM and see Frank Fords very well illustrated and described method, so easy.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Sarah McQuaid
Date: 05 Sep 10 - 09:44 AM

It takes me about 10 minutes, but I change my strings every 3 or 4 days when I'm on tour, and my tours tend to last around 4 weeks on average (although I'm about to embark on back-to-back UK and US tours that will have me on the road for 9 weeks straight! That's about 16 string changes!) so I guess I've had a lot of practice.

I actually devoted 2 whole pages of my DADGAD Guitar Book (sorry, shameless plug) to detailed instructions on how to change strings, so you can read up on it there if you're interested.

Briefly, though -- yes, change one string at a time. Better that way, partly to maintain the tension and partly because you can then tune the new strings you're putting on to the adjacent ones.

Use a string winder. I have a little plastic one that I've had for over 25 years and it's still going strong; it also has a handy little notch for lifting obstinate pins out of the saddle.

Use a needlenose pliers to snip the strings you're taking off -- makes it much quicker to get them off at both ends. You can also use the pliers to bend the snipped-off ends of the new strings down towards the tuning peg, so that they don't prick your fingers.

Stretch the new strings as you're putting them on, but don't pull them out and let them snap back -- just give the string a gentle tug, retune, another gentle tug, retune and repeat a couple more times until the string stays in tune when you stretch it.

One of these days when I have time I'll make a string-changing video and put it up on YouTube ... Another thing to add to the long list of stuff to do someday!

Cheers,

Sarah McQuaid
www.sarahmcquaid.com


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: stephengriffith
Date: 05 Sep 10 - 10:19 AM

I change them once amonth whether I think they need it or not.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Mooh
Date: 05 Sep 10 - 10:20 PM

Ten minutes for six string, 30 for the 12 string. Powered string winder, sidecutters, but not checking set-up 'cause that takes longer. I change my own frequently, every month on most of the acoustics, and as needed on electrics. I change student strings several times a week.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Bobert
Date: 05 Sep 10 - 11:10 PM

What???

Ya' gotta change 'um???

What's that all about???

But seriously, I used to be a couple-times-a-monther to a couple-times-a-yearer but...

...seems that this Mississippi blues that I play like them strings well seasoned... Ya'll know exactly what I mean by that... Mean, new string wanta sing and old string wanta tell the stories... Kinda like life, ain't it???

B~


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Gurney
Date: 06 Sep 10 - 12:53 AM

LHG, are you talking about a Spanish, an acoustic, or what?
There are acoustic/electrics where the string must be passed from inside the body, and Spanish strings have to be knotted loosely onto the bridge.

I was just rereading a guitar book that recommended (for acoustics)that you wrap the string half around the peg and feed it through the hole from outside the head, which means that you would preset the hole 'across' the neck.
I put a little tension on the string by holding it 'up' with my 3rd and 4th fingers and 'down' with my first finger at the frets, putting a sort of kink in the as-yet unwound string. This gives enough slack for about two turns around the peg when tensioned.
And one at a time, as I was taught.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: mattkeen
Date: 06 Sep 10 - 04:38 AM

According to the people who made my guitar (Brook Guitars) there is no need to change one at a time = what with truss rods etc


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Will Fly
Date: 06 Sep 10 - 04:47 AM

Interesting, Matt. My view would be: test the guitar for yourself and see what happens. Try taking all the strings off and then timing how long it takes for the new set to stabilize at correct pitch. Then, the next time you change them, do one at a time and run a similar time check.

I certainly don't think it hurts to take all the strings off for the purposes of doing a decent cleaning job on the fingerboard. But I would only do this when the fingerboard really needed it.

Most modern guitars have truss rods - some double rods - but many necks on old instruments stayed straight and true prior to their introduction. I have a 1904 Windsor tenor banjo with no truss rod but a V-neck construction, and it's as straight as the day it was made. A friend of mine has an old Gibson Kalamazoo from the 1920s, and the V-neck construction in that guitar is just as good.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Jack Campin
Date: 06 Sep 10 - 05:55 AM

Is everybody talking about steel-strung instruments?

On my ud (nylon) I wouldn't expect it to be playable for a day after changing all 11 strings. I'd guess a classical guitar wouldn't be much better.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Will Fly
Date: 06 Sep 10 - 06:05 AM

Quite right Jack. It takes several days for my classical guitar to stay properly in pitch. It's playable within a day but requires a little regular tuning over 3 or 4 days to stay there.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: GUEST,Silas
Date: 06 Sep 10 - 06:11 AM

If you haven't already got it, get Sarahs book (and the accompanying CD) well worth the money!


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: GUEST,jennyr
Date: 06 Sep 10 - 06:17 AM

Thanks for the reminder that I really need to bite the bullet on this one - I've avoided playing my guitar (not my main instrument, I hasten to add!) for a couple of years because I'm too scared to take the strings off!

I did ask a guitarist friend's advice though, and his take was that it's fine to take all the strings off at once - you can't on a fiddle because the bridge is liable to fall off, and he reckoned that that was where the idea that you have to change them one at a time came from.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 06 Sep 10 - 06:24 AM

I do one string at a time , tune each string a semitone sharp , starting with the 1ist (Top E) and by the time I've tidied the dead strings up , retune to Concert an it all settles down very quickly .


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 06 Sep 10 - 06:27 AM

Ten minutes. Maybe 15 if I'm watching the telly at the same time.
I snip the strings at the tuner, like Sarah. It makes getting them off a lot quicker (esp. on the Lowden which has a pinless bridge, and the bit that's been round the tuner post doesn't want to go through the hole in the bridge).

"On another forum I've seen discussion about a winder attachment for an electric screwdriver. How many turns are these people putting on!"

If you were a luthier or repair-man, doing set-ups and other work on many instruments a day, you'd understand the benefit of that attachment!

For all the Johnny-Six-Thumbs guys out there:-

Here's a great resource


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Will Fly
Date: 06 Sep 10 - 06:28 AM

GUEST,Jennyr - don't be scared - go for it! To be honest, I don't think it really matters whether the strings are changed one at a time or all at once. In my experience, on my guitars, I've found that the guitar stays back in tune quicker if they're changed one at a time, rather than all in one go. But every guitar is different and, if you're not a gigging musician - where you might be playing later that day, for example - it hardly matters.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 06 Sep 10 - 06:29 AM

Forgot to say that Bryan Kimsey has a great piece of video on (I think) YouTube showing his stringing technique. Worth a watch.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: GUEST,number 6
Date: 06 Sep 10 - 06:47 AM

How long in duration .... about 1/2 hour

how often .... depends on the brand/quality of strings .... I use Elixirs and with these about every 2 months with daily playing.

When I change the strings (yes, one at a time) I initially tune them to a higher pitch. Leave the guitar in the case one day, then tune to desired tuning, Very rarely do I have to re-tune, and when I do it's always the 2 E strings.

biLL


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 06 Sep 10 - 07:41 AM

Just a couple of quick thoughts

I also snip my strings for ease of use (used to have 34+ to do before, and mid tour if more than 4-6 hot or damp gigs on the trot - autumn tent fests being the worst), but not without a pang of guilt.

There is a great charity that recycles strings to Africa run by ace guitarist Tom Toomey (Plays with Simon Swarbrick, Jingo Santana and, now, The Zombies).

Every now and then Tom N gives me a bundle for Tom T, and then I take the trouble to add a bunch of mine.

Re string winders, it really is best to have no more than 1.5-3 winds on the peg. Metal stretches and the more winds there are the more problems with temperature etcc, specially if you use different tunings a lot. This takes about 3 seconds with a winder - it would take longer to pick up and locate an electric one, plus I'm not sure you'd have enough control to pull as you go - but I may be wrong).

As someone said, start with the hole in the peg aligned across the head, pull the string up tight, wind round once for wound strings and twice for plain, then feed the string end through the hole, outwards, and pull tight (pliers are best or plain strings because they slip through your fingers). Then wind till fairly tight, with lots of pulls to take the slack and sit the winds tight on the peg. You'll end up with the correct number of winds and it takes no time.

If you change all at once (I do both according to circumstance), bring all the strings to a loose tightness, but not pitch - and only then tune, working inwards from top and bottom in stages to stop the neck twisting.

And only then snip off the end.

I usually do all my instruments together, bring them to a low pitch, then leave them for a an hour or two before tuning. It's not just about tension and temperature but also metal memory.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: alex s
Date: 06 Sep 10 - 09:32 AM

Thanks Backwoodsman - interesting


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Sarah McQuaid
Date: 06 Sep 10 - 09:35 AM

Thanks a million for the plug, Silas! Much appreciated.

Sarah


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: mattkeen
Date: 06 Sep 10 - 09:59 AM

Hi Will

Yes I take all strings off everytime to aid cleaning
Admittedly thats about once every month or so

It doesnt take any longer for the tuning to settle
Just the time it takes me to stretch the strings really - then I have a cup of tea and by the time I sit down again its all ready to play


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: mattkeen
Date: 06 Sep 10 - 10:06 AM

Its the string stretching thats key I think

I spend quite a time fairly vigourous pulling strings up at about the sound hole and further up the neck as well as making sure that on the first pull the pegs are still seated all the way in


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 06 Sep 10 - 10:09 AM

I tend to take all mine off at once, so that I can clean the fretboard. Changing them every 2-3 months means that in that time the fretboard has built up quite a light level of "gunk" that comes off easily.

I don't find that the strings take long to settle at all. I put them all back on with lowish tension, bring them up to tune, approx, give them a little pull then retune properly to pitch. They sometimes need another retune about an hour after that, but it's never been a problem for me.

The pins on my Martin never need pusjing down hard, but on the cheap Falcon I use on camping trips, if I don't give them a real push, they're likely to pop out when I apply tension.

I have a mate playing in a Pink Floyd tribute band who changes them before every gig on all the guitars he's planning to use (4 or 5 usually). Personally, I think that's a bit excessive, but he says he can hear the difference.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Bernard
Date: 06 Sep 10 - 12:12 PM

Rob - just try this next time you're re-stringing your Falcon... push the ball-end down the hole using the pin, and at the point where the ball deflects the pin will slip past. Push the pin as far as it goes, but not hard, and pull the string back. I guarantee the pin will not come out!


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Rob Naylor
Date: 07 Sep 10 - 05:28 AM

Thanks Bernard, I'll try that. First time I changed the Falcon strings was quite disconcerting, with pins flying out all over the place....something I've never experienced with the Martin!


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: lefthanded guitar
Date: 26 Oct 10 - 02:51 PM

Thanks for all the advice mudcatters -I went to a music store and bought one of those string winders, and they guy who owned the store said next time I come in he'll change my strings for ONLY $10 (not counting cost of strings) .... AND he graciously said he'll let me watch so I can get the hang of it myself...........so that's going to be my next adventure. :D


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Cool Beans
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 09:39 AM

Cephas and Wiggins, to answer the question from last month. And 20-30 minutes sounds about right. I once watched Robin Kessinger change all six strings in less than 5 minutes (he wanted to see how fast he could do it).
   I was thrilled to use a stringwinder for the first time until I discovered that I was scraping the hell out of the sides of my peghead, so if you use one, be careful and don't get carriefd away by how easy it is to turn. I stopped using mine, although I do use its little notch end for removing the bridge pins.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 10:17 AM

"and the guy who owned the store said next time I come in he'll change my strings for ONLY $10 (not counting cost of strings)"

It'd be an extremely cold day in hell before I'd pay anyone to change strings for me. Completely unneccessary - it's not exactly brain-surgery, is it? If you're really unsure, watch Bryan Kimsey's video that I linked to further up the thread.

CoolBeans, you can prevent a string winder from scraping the sides of the headstock by grinding an angle on it both sides of the hole the tuner-button fits in, so that it's no longer flat but kinda slopes 'upwards' away from the headstock (if you see what I mean!). Use a sanding disk on a power drill or, if you don't have one, some coarse emery paper taped down on a flat surface.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 10:28 AM

It takes me around 15-20 minutes to change strings if I'm in a hurry, though I'd usually leave a bit longer to give the guitar a chance to settle. I often take them all off so I can wipe the fretboard and dust the headstock, and it seems to be quicker that way too. Never had huge problems with tuning stability once I've done it.

A peg winder is invaluable, and I have one in each instrument case. Only problem is that the notch for pulling out bridge pins seems to get worn out on the cheap plastic ones- I have a separate tool for that. And since discovering that the bridge pins on my bouzouki are made of putty I always have spares on hand.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Oct 10 - 09:06 PM

Quick enough changing them. It's getting them to stay in tune that tends to take the time. Newtone strings are the exception - I've found they seem to get into tune more easily and stay there pretty well.


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 28 Oct 10 - 05:00 AM

Not only wouldn't I pay to have strings changed, I wouldn't even let someone in a music shop change them for me. I once saw a shop proprietor tapping bridge pins in with a hammer! The pin doesn't hold the string it simply prevents the ball end from slipping out of a notch in the bridge plate below - although with constant changing the notch can wear out.

Its difficult to estimate how much slack you need in order to get the correct number of windings around the post. One thing I learned by watching a luthier fitting strings was - (i) roughly line up the hole in the tuner with the slot in the nut (ii) insert string into hole and pull to tension (iii) keep some tension on whilst pulling the string back out of the hole a measured amount using the frets (I usually find 1 to 1.5 frets enough - more for lower strings) and bend the string through 90 degrees (iv) wind up to tension.

It matters not whether you change them one at a time or all at once. I find the latter simpler as you have a reference from which to tune.

If you don't like changing strings, don't buy a mandolin!


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Subject: RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 28 Oct 10 - 10:16 PM

If, after you change all the strings, and tune them up to pitch, you let the instrument sit tuned up for 24 hours or so, you will find that they will last a couple of months. When I would change strings and then immediately start playing (and I tend to have a fairly heavy right hand, and string killing sweat to boot), they wouldn't last 15 minutes. The other way, I only have to change them 3 or 4 times a year.


Mark Ross


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