Do I Ever Have to Change My Guitar Strings?
If none of them break then no, you really don’t. I know people who don’t even think about changing their strings and would never choose to. But what if you don’t have a choice? There are some factors that could be a clear sign that you should change your guitar strings.
The Sound– This is an easy one. If you don’t like the tone of your guitar strings any longer, slap a new set on.
Dirt and Grime – The oils, sweat, and even dead skin from your hands can easily build up on your guitar strings over time. If too much of this gunk builds up it can really hurt the strings tone and even hamper your ability to play. If your strings are really dirty this might be a time to restring your guitar.
Stiff Strings – If your guitar hasn’t been played for months or years the strings may become stiff and difficult to fret or strum. You can bring that guitar back to life by replacing the strings.
A Broken String – Many different things can cause a string to break. It could be normal wear and tear, an impurity in the string, or an intense jam session. When you break a string it’s my opinion that you should just replace the whole set.
Strings Wearing at the Fret – If you leave your strings on for a long time you will notice they will develop some flat spots caused by friction at the frets. Although this isn’t reason enough to warrant changing your strings, it will affect the tone and a string could eventually break at one of those spots.
Extending The Life of Your Guitar Strings
Factors like frequency of play, cleanliness and humidity can all play a part in the life expectancy of your guitar strings. A new set of strings sound bright not only because they are completely unfatigued but also because they are free of dirt, grime, and corrosion.
Play your guitar with clean hands-
You don’t have to develop an OCD but try to keep your hands clean of anything that could transfer to your guitar strings. You can also use a hand sanitizer which will even remove some of the natural oils on your hands.
Wipe down your strings with a dry cloth after playing-
Your hands might get a little sweaty jamming in the hot months. If this happens wipe all that moisture away from the strings after playing. Use string cleaner lubricants.
Keep your guitar clean-
If there is grim and dirt in your guitar body parts and the fret, the strings will catch them from your hands faster to worn out.
Keep your guitar in a guitar case–
This will prevent dust or anything else in the air settling on your guitar or its strings.