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changing guitar strings

The Sandman 26 Oct 14 - 07:20 PM
GUEST 26 Oct 14 - 07:24 PM
Mark Ross 26 Oct 14 - 07:49 PM
GUEST,gillymor 26 Oct 14 - 08:02 PM
Seamus Kennedy 26 Oct 14 - 08:59 PM
Backwoodsman 27 Oct 14 - 01:41 AM
Musket 27 Oct 14 - 03:00 AM
Acorn4 27 Oct 14 - 03:29 AM
GUEST,colin holt 27 Oct 14 - 04:30 AM
Leadfingers 27 Oct 14 - 04:32 AM
Backwoodsman 27 Oct 14 - 04:32 AM
GUEST,trews 27 Oct 14 - 05:26 AM
JHW 27 Oct 14 - 05:48 AM
GUEST,gillymor 27 Oct 14 - 08:47 AM
GUEST,gillymor 27 Oct 14 - 09:27 AM
PHJim 27 Oct 14 - 09:31 AM
Backwoodsman 27 Oct 14 - 10:06 AM
Mark Ross 27 Oct 14 - 03:53 PM
michaelr 27 Oct 14 - 05:47 PM
GUEST 27 Oct 14 - 07:46 PM
PHJim 27 Oct 14 - 09:31 PM
Backwoodsman 28 Oct 14 - 01:49 AM
GUEST,Bignige 28 Oct 14 - 06:00 AM
Musket 28 Oct 14 - 06:31 AM
The Sandman 28 Oct 14 - 07:36 AM
GUEST,Ray 28 Oct 14 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,gillymor 28 Oct 14 - 01:30 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 28 Oct 14 - 01:37 PM
Musket 28 Oct 14 - 02:42 PM
Backwoodsman 28 Oct 14 - 02:49 PM
GUEST,gillymor 28 Oct 14 - 04:12 PM
Backwoodsman 28 Oct 14 - 04:19 PM
GUEST,gillymor 28 Oct 14 - 04:33 PM
Musket 29 Oct 14 - 02:43 AM
Stanron 29 Oct 14 - 09:11 AM
GUEST,gillymor 29 Oct 14 - 09:16 AM
Musket 29 Oct 14 - 01:00 PM
GUEST,Rahere 29 Oct 14 - 02:32 PM
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Subject: changing guitar strings
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Oct 14 - 07:20 PM

Does it make a difference to tension on the body, if guitar strings are changed in a particular order, for example string one then string six,then strings 5, 4, 3, 2.


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Oct 14 - 07:24 PM

Depends, is it a Trad Folk or a Contemporary Folk Guitar ?


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: Mark Ross
Date: 26 Oct 14 - 07:49 PM

If you change your strings and let them sit for 24 hours before playing they will last 3 times as long. It doesn't make any difference the order in which you change them.


Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 26 Oct 14 - 08:02 PM

Ditto what Mark said. Let them sit 24 hours.


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 26 Oct 14 - 08:59 PM

Mark - I've been playing guitar for donkeys' years now, and I never heard about letting them sit for 24 hours. What is the rationale/science behind it? I agree with you that it doesn't make any difference which order you change them in. And that it's OK to end a sentence in a preposition...


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 Oct 14 - 01:41 AM

It makes no difference whether you take them all off at one go, or change them one at a time, or whatever order you change them in. The notion that un-stringing/stringing puts damaging stresses on a guitar is widely-held, but it's a complete fallacy.

Ask any luthier.


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: Musket
Date: 27 Oct 14 - 03:00 AM

They are certainly a bit lively to begin with! I haven't taken notice of the 24 hour wisdom in forty years of guitar ownership. I tend to change one at a time but invariably that is to protect any under saddle pickup rather than to prevent movement. The sound certainly mellows in the first 24 hours but playing them helps rather than hinders the process.

I agree with Backwoodsman but would point out warping might happen if you have a guitar strung for many years and then leave it sans strings for a few months, as my youngest did when borrowing my 12 string. Grr...

The tension on the bridge and headstock, especially at the fulcrum points of saddle and nut of a steel string acoustic is, from an engineering aspect, rather high. The truss rod is doing an important job. One of my guitars does not have a truss rod, relying on the strength of carbon fibre instead (Rainsong OM1000 N1) and whilst mine is fine at the moment, I notice Rainsong have stopped doing the N1 trussless neck as many people haven't been as lucky as me! The point being that string tension can affect a solid lump of carbon fibre, it's that tight.

Google the acoustic guitar forum. You will find threads galore to bamboozle you with perceived wisdom for every view on strings you can find. The good news is that you won't get anyone claiming only the traditional method is the right one

😇 I didn't say a thing.


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: Acorn4
Date: 27 Oct 14 - 03:29 AM

I always change one at a time because you can tune the new strings to the old ones.


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: GUEST,colin holt
Date: 27 Oct 14 - 04:30 AM

Never heard of a 24 hour rule... Can't see any wisdom in that at all. Neither have I heard of a "Trad Folk" guitar or a "Contemporary Folk Guitar"......I tend to change mine all at once, but agree with "Musket", in doing this you have to be careful if you have an under saddle pick up.... Gives me chance to give the fingerboard a proper clean over though


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: Leadfingers
Date: 27 Oct 14 - 04:32 AM

The only time I ever managed to let strings settle for 24 hours I had a 3rd break after twenty minutes of playing - Though In My Opinion that was down to the strings !


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 Oct 14 - 04:32 AM

I have a Peterson Stroboclip, six Snarks and a Boss TU-3 so I don't need to rely on tuning to the other strings! I usually (but not always) take all six off when I'm changing strings, so I can give the body, neck and F/B a wipe over with a warm damp cloth. But it's each to his own! :-)

My first post was merely intended to blow the myth that the order strings are changed in, or removing them all at one go, creates issues with tension changes that are 'damaging' to a guitar - greater guitar-building minds than ours say not.


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: GUEST,trews
Date: 27 Oct 14 - 05:26 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=80EuGOXgoOo

remove the bridge pins with side cutters?! get a plastic string winder with a peg remover notch (eg Planet waves)


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: JHW
Date: 27 Oct 14 - 05:48 AM

I was told to leave at least a couple of strings in tension throughout the change so as to keep the Fishman pu under the bridge in place (if you have a pu of course). I do still clean the fingerboard and dose it with fb oil.

I overtension all the new strings and let them sit. We did this with conductors when building electricity overhead lines. Then when they are let back to pitch they don't keep needing correction.


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 27 Oct 14 - 08:47 AM

I first heard of the 24 hour technique about 3 decades ago. In an issue of the now defunct Frets magazine Dan Crary suggested it but didn't claim to know why it works. I tried it then and have been using it ever since. I wouldn't say that, for me, strings last 3X longer as Mark suggests but it takes them a lot longer to go dead if you give them 24 hours before playing.
Zepp Country music, mostly a banjo dealer, demonstrates a good way to restring banjos on his website which also works well on guitars at the tuning heads.


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 27 Oct 14 - 09:27 AM

Changing strings at zeppmusic.com.


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: PHJim
Date: 27 Oct 14 - 09:31 AM

I always change the 3 bass side strings first, then the three treble side strings. No reason, it's just the way I've always done it. I love playing on new strings and could never wait 24 hours. In fact I will change someone else's strings for them if I can play the new strings for the first 20 minutes.
I fasten the strings at the bridge or tailpiece, then pull them tight around the tuner post, wrap twice and through the hole. Then I use a string winder to bring them close to pitch before fine tuning. I like to stretch them by pulling them away from the fingerboard.
I always try to clip thestrings, but if I find myself changing a string without a tool to cut it, I will take a loonie (Canadian dollar coin) or a quarter and use it to curl the string (like my mom used to curl Christmas present ribbon with scissors).


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 27 Oct 14 - 10:06 AM

Here's the method I use to string 'em up ...... Bryan Kimsey's Stringing Video

No slipping, quick 'n' easy.


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: Mark Ross
Date: 27 Oct 14 - 03:53 PM

Leaving them on for 24 hours seems to give them the opportunity to stretch out. I used to be able to kill a brand new set in 15 minutes due to acid sweat. In fact I still can. I have just found that leaving them sit for that length of time makes a difference. I only have to change strings a couple of times a year now.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: michaelr
Date: 27 Oct 14 - 05:47 PM

JHW - "I do still clean the fingerboard and dose it with fb oil."

Facebook oil??


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: GUEST
Date: 27 Oct 14 - 07:46 PM

Leave them for 24 hours? Not exactly the most practical option for a gigging musician!


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: PHJim
Date: 27 Oct 14 - 09:31 PM

How often do you change strings? When I saw "a couple of times a year", I realised that I change 'em often compared to this. I used to change strings before each gig, but now I change when they start to feel like they need it. My most used guitars seldom go more than a month. Banjo and mandolin strings will sometimes go 3 or 4 months though.


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 28 Oct 14 - 01:49 AM

Same here Jim! When they start to lose tone, off the come! Can't stand a guitar with strings that sound like someone thumping the side of a packing-case.

I don't understand Mark's comment that his sweat can kill a set of strings in 15 minutes, but he only changes them twice a year? Bit of a disconnect there?


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: GUEST,Bignige
Date: 28 Oct 14 - 06:00 AM

Tommy Emmanuel gives a great lesson on changing strings, its on You Tube and worth a look.
My personal pet hate is artists who swap from one tuning to another during their performance. Guitar tuning can be fickle at the best of times, without altering the overall tension every five minutes. Added to which I don't pay good money to hear an Artist tune up.


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: Musket
Date: 28 Oct 14 - 06:31 AM

Dunno. I used to get more negative comments for taking a few guitars with me, so these days, I tune between songs unless I'm in a band, in which case, I take three or four with me. People pay good money for hearing the songs and to be fair to the professionals, if they are more comfortable over getting the right sound out of a guitar, that's the one to use. It's what their audience want.

The best acts use the tuning time to talk to the audience, either jokily or giving the provenance of the song. It's been a UK folk club tradition since year dot. If punters want them without the tuning up, I suggest they stay at home and play albums all night

ZZZ


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Oct 14 - 07:36 AM

A good idea IMO is to use one tuning in one set and another tuning in the second set, and retune in the interval, I use a concertina and banjo as well, so I might only do 3 songs on guitar in a set. thanks for everyones comments and opinions.
The guy that told me about changing guitar strings in a certain order had some experience in guitar repair, that does not mean he was right of course.


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 28 Oct 14 - 11:53 AM

I thought that the rule was 24 hours for Gibson guitars but only 12 for Martin guitars? Still, if you've been following the rule for years how on earth can you ever know! Just take the old ones off, stick the new ones on (all at once or one at a time it doesn't matter - if it does there's something wrong with your guitar) and get back to playing.

And seeing as someone mentioned bridge-pin removal, if you need some sort of device to remove them, you're pushing them in too hard. The pins simply hold the ball end in a notch in the bridge plate inside your guitar. They are not a friction device to hold the string in place. Sometimes the ball end does make them stick and, if this happens, simply push the string back down the bridge hole and the pin should come out.
Ray (Owner of numerous high end guitars and guitar re-stringer for over 40 years!)


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 28 Oct 14 - 01:30 PM

Getting back to the original question I pull off all the strings before restringing as it makes the fingerboard a lot easier to clean and to treat with Dr. Duck's Ax Wax (also apply it to strings which makes them fast and increases their life) and none of my instruments have suffered for it.

I also use a Jim Dunlop string crank which has a built in pin puller. Those things do get stubborn some times.
Guitar Grease from Stew Mac is great to apply to the nut and makes the strings glide through the slots easier. Before I found this stuff I just ground some graphite from a pencil lead into the slots which does the same thing.
All this stuff is cheap and IMO makes stringed instruments operate better.


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 28 Oct 14 - 01:37 PM

.. and not forgetting archtops with floating bridges...


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: Musket
Date: 28 Oct 14 - 02:42 PM

Doing one at a time, you can still degrease the fretboard with lemon oil as you go. Between restrings, I can recommend fretfast. Been using it for donkey's years.

I have been reading elsewhere where people say putting goo on your strings impairs the sound. All I can say is violins, voilas, cellos and basses all have sticky resin drawn across them from the word go and tend to last just as long as guitar strings before degrading....

On a practical level, you can give yourself a sliding scale of string quality to time. So forking out on Elixir strings and changing less often is a similar cost to cheap Martin strings and changing more frequently. I advise people to check the sound after a few days as a comparator rather than price and reputation. If a cheaper string changed more often sounds better, go for it. I have owned many guitars and even now, a custom made one I have had for two months? Still not sure which strings I will settle on. Whereas my workhorse guitar has been on Elixir Nanoweb for three years now and whilst I occasionally try something else, I keep going back to them for that particular guitar. Another guitar seems to prefer the cheaper bronze D'Addario.

The common link is that my method of changing, two at a time (some manufacturers coil 1st and 4th together etc and I got used to it) is common to all of them. Mandolins get them all removed for ease of cleaning the rather than any other reason.


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 28 Oct 14 - 02:49 PM

Now on my mandolin, I change them a pair at a time. I don't take them all off at one go because the floating bridge would....errrmmm.....float off! 😬


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 28 Oct 14 - 04:12 PM

I put a piece of blue safe release tape at the back of the bridge when I change mando strings to mark it's position then remove all the strings. I change strings so infrequently on my octave mandolin that mung builds up against the frets and removing all strings makes it easier to get at it with a scunge.


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 28 Oct 14 - 04:19 PM

Mmmm, I have very dry hands, so I don't get any gunge build-up. On the odd occasion I remove all of my mandolin's strings, I use masking tape to mark the position of the bridge. It can be repositioned by measurement of course, as long as you know the scale length, but tape's easier! :-)


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 28 Oct 14 - 04:33 PM

Probably the closest I'll get to being a grunge rocker.


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: Musket
Date: 29 Oct 14 - 02:43 AM

The mandolin bridge has left a decent indent so no problem putting it back where it was. Of course, if I felt, harmonically speaking, the bridge needed a slight move, the indent might provide an unwanted fulcrum point and tilt the bridge. My viola is easy to see where to put the bridge too.

Banjos are easier to see where to put the bridge but that gets a string at a time too. I recently set it at an angle as a compensator (monkey see monkey do- Martin Simpson) but too much and it slips....


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: Stanron
Date: 29 Oct 14 - 09:11 AM

I've just restrung a cheapo nylon strung guitar. It was given to me for free because of a split between sides and top, an easy glue repair, and it needed a new saddle. So all the strings came off for the new saddle. However it reminded me that there is a convention when restringing classical guitars of trapping string ends at the bridge under adjacent strings. The first string end goes under the second string, the second string end goes under the third string, etc, until only the sixth string is left. This dictates the order that strings are put on and also the order they are taken off. It also means that all the strings have to come off before any can be replaced.

Of course all this only applies if you are using the basic plain strings. These days you can buy ball end nylon strings and all that complicated tying at the bridge is not needed and you can change ball end strings one at a time and in any order.

If GSS was referring to plain nylon strings which tie onto the bridge then remove strings bass to treble and replace them treble to bass.


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: GUEST,gillymor
Date: 29 Oct 14 - 09:16 AM

I do banjo strings one at a time and I mark the head with a light pencil mark at the bridge if I have to take them all off.

I use Moon Bridges on both of my banjos. They're canted forward and radiused which makes them very stable. They're also compensated and a day after install there was a marked improvement in tone, it really opened up the sound. Mileage may vary as a buddy of mine installed one and didn't notice much difference in the sound but liked the improved intonation.


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: Musket
Date: 29 Oct 14 - 01:00 PM

Gillymore -thanks for mentioning Moon bridges. A compensated bridge is just what the doctor ordered. I shall try one.


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Subject: RE: changing guitar strings
From: GUEST,Rahere
Date: 29 Oct 14 - 02:32 PM

The reason you've got this red herring of not doing all at once is because it's been imported from instruments designed to push back against the pull of a lot of strings: take all the strings off and it pushes back against nothing, causing serious damage. Usually, these have 20-plus strings, harps, dulcimers and the like. But 6-12 strings? No way.


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