Many beginner and students over-estimate the lifespan of their strings, or play them until they break. As a guitar is played over time, it can be easy to forget how great your guitar sounds when you have a fresh set of quality strings.
What determines string life?
The lifespan of strings depends on several factors, not just how much play time is involved. Obviously a guitar that gets an hour of attention per day is going to need new strings sooner than one that is picked up only once or twice a week. But even a guitar that’s only occasionally picked up will see sound quality issues, especially in bass range as the strings age.
Besides age, there are some other factors that can affect life. For example, sweaty or dirty hands, the way you play, how often you retune, and how careful you are when handling your guitar.
How can I tell if it’s time to change strings?
Keeping in mind how much you play, you may start to notice that the bass range will start to loose volume, sustain and harmonics after about a month of moderate playing. You may also notice that the metal winding has broken through. This is pretty much an emergency “its gonna pop any moment” situation.
There are several schools of thought on string replacement, and some strings do last longer than others. For heavy to moderate use and beginners who practice 3 to 5 days a week, its important to swap out your strings about every 4 to 6 weeks. You own a beautiful instrument, its important to keep it sounding great!
Stringing a guitar doesn’t have to be painful or difficult.
Calido Guitars offers two great products to help you get back to playing as quickly as possible. The Planet Waves Drill Bit Peg Winder attaches to any drill or Dremel® tool for a quick wind. The Planet Waves Pro Winder String Winder and Cutter is a hand winding tool that includes a snipper (5 extra inches of string hanging off your guitar isn’t a fashion statement). 🙂