If you have a guitar that you play often, then one of the things that you will be interested in is how long do guitar strings last?
The typical lifespan of a set of uncoated electric or acoustic guitar strings is between 1 and 3 months. Guitar strings coated with Elixir, for example, can last for around 6 to 9 months.
In this article, I’ll discuss everything about guitar strings – from what material they are made of to how you can make your strings last longer.
So without further ado, let’s just get straight into it, shall we?
What are guitar strings made of and how do they work?
During the manufacturing process, there are different materials that combine to create a set of strings.
Titanium alloy for example is used in electric guitar strings because it can withstand higher tension and has an impressive tensile strength so you don’t have to worry about breakage during a performance.
Apart from titanium, stainless steel and nickel-plated steel are also used in guitar strings because they don’t corrode when you play for an extended period of time.
Guitar string quality and material are important to consider if you are serious about your craft and want to have the best experience possible – especially during a performance.
Strings that last longer can help you save money in the long run, especially if you are a touring musician.
Now, let’s move on and talk about how you can make your guitar strings last longer.
How to make guitar strings last longer?
There are several steps that you can take in order to help extend the lifespan of your guitar strings.
First off, when changing a set of new electric or acoustic guitar strings, it is best to wipe them with a damp cloth before putting them on your guitar.
This will remove the factory oil that is applied during manufacturing and help you get started faster so you can start playing right away instead of waiting for hours or days because the strings are too sticky.
There are also certain things that you need to avoid doing when using new strings.
For example, when you are changing your strings for the first time after purchasing them or if they accidentally break, it is best to avoid winding your new set of electric guitar strings around the tuning pegs too tightly.
This can cause damage and make string replacement more difficult in the future.
It also doesn’t matter how many times you change your guitar strings, you should always avoid letting them touch dirty surfaces.
This will not only make the new set of strings look bad but it can also cause damage to individual windings and corrode metal parts which in turn hastens string replacement.
Finally, there are various ways that you can help extend the lifespan of a set of guitar strings.
For example, you could invest in a guitar humidifier that will prolong the life of your instrument and its soundboard by regulating humidity levels after playing – preventing corrosion or damage to string windings.
Guitar accessories like this are not only easy to install but they can also be quite cheap depending on which one you go for.
Why should I change my guitar strings?
There are several reasons why you should change your guitar strings.
First off, when new guitar strings are put on a guitar that is used often, they will stretch over time to create a loose connection between the tuning pegs and bridge.
This can cause buzzing in the soundboard or even damage to individual windings so it’s best if you replace them as soon as possible.
Apart from this, if you don’t change your strings and they stay the same for too long, it will also affect their sound quality – especially when playing live on stage during a performance.
Over time new guitar strings lose some of the brightness in their tone which can make them dull and less appealing to an audience.
So if you want to use your guitar for a long time and make the most out of it, changing your strings regularly is very important.
It can help prolong their lifespan while also keeping them sounding great – especially during live performances when they need to be at their best.
How often should I change my guitar strings?
This depends on several factors like the type of strings that you use, how often you play, and your personal preference.
If you are looking for general advice, it’s best to change them every few months if they start sounding dull.
If you’re using a high-quality set of electric guitar strings, it might be best to change them every few weeks instead.
Depending on your playing habits and how often you use your guitar – this will vary from person to person.
When it comes to acoustic guitar strings, you should probably change them every few months or so.
This is because they are more vulnerable to damage by the elements like humidity and temperature changes since they sit right next to the soundboard on an acoustic guitar while being connected directly underneath it with metal wires instead of using tuning pegs.
How to change your guitar’s strings
If you need to change your guitar strings, you might find the process of doing so rather daunting.
Fortunately, it’s not too difficult and there are several ways that you can go about changing them depending on their type.
For example, if they are electric guitar strings then it is best to remove them by turning each tuning peg until all six slots have been unclipped.
This should allow you to easily slide the old strings out of place and replace them with new ones without any problems.
If they are acoustic guitar strings, it’s best to remove the metal wires by cutting each one near its base so that there is a little slack when removing them from their bridge connections.
It can be a little tricky to remove them this way but you should eventually be able to pull them free without any problems.
After that, simply slide the new strings into place and cut off any excess wire if necessary before tuning each string back up again until they are at their original pitch.
What Are The Signs of Guitar Strings Needing Changed?
Strings will not change dramatically in quality after the initial breaking in; it might take up to two months or longer depending on if you’re using a coated string.
Any of the following are indicators that your strings are beginning to wear and need to be changed:
- The strings will fade or become discolored as a result of the dye.
- The sound will become ‘thinner’, like a tin can, as the intensity is reduced.
- Strings will feel rough and difficult to slide on.
If any of these are happening, especially if two or more of them occur at the same time then it’s likely that your guitar strings need to be changed.
This can help keep you from having any problems with buzzing in the soundboard while also keeping their tone sounding great for a long period of time without becoming dull.
Do guitar strings go bad if not played?
The short answer is yes.
Even if you never play your guitar, the strings are still being affected by temperature and humidity changes inside of their packaging which can cause them to wear out over time.
While this doesn’t happen as quickly as when they’re actually in use with an instrument, it’s still a possibility that makes buying new ones every so often a good idea.
If you’re looking for a quick answer, it’s usually best to change your strings every 3 months or longer if they are coated in order to keep them sounding fresh and ready when needed.
That said, most people will need to replace their guitar strings about once per month on average even when taking preventative steps like using a humidifier in their case to ensure that they don’t change.
What Guitar Strings Are Best?
There are several different types of guitar strings available on the market today for you to choose from depending on how active your playing style is and what tone you’re looking for in your sound.
Electric guitar strings: There are two main things that affect the quality of electric guitar strings: their type of metal and whether they are coated or not.
Coated guitar strings will have a smoother surface which is usually preferred by people who play with a lot of palm muting as well as those that use the tremolo system on the bridge for effects like dive-bombing, etc.
Non-coated guitar strings will have a rougher surface which is typically preferred by people who play with less palm muting or do not use the tremolo system on their bridge.
Acoustic guitar strings: The biggest difference between acoustic and electric string types is that they are made from different metals because of their construction.
An exception to this would be carbon-coated strings which are designed to be used on both electric and acoustic guitars.
Acoustic guitar strings can potentially last for years if they’re coated because of their lack of use, but it’s best to replace them after about 12 months or longer depending on how often you play.
The tone that each type produces is also different by nature.
Coated electric guitar strings will typically produce a brighter, crisper tone while non-coated ones are designed to be warmer and more mellow producing the classic sound that people love.
Acoustic guitars can vary widely in their tones depending on what kind of metal they’re made out of; steel produces the brightest tone while bronze is warmer and mellower.
There are several different kinds of guitar strings available on the market today with each having its own unique properties that make it ideal for some applications but not so much for others.
It’s best to try out a few options before settling on which ones you like best as they can vary greatly in terms of sound, feel, and durability.
How long do nylon guitar strings last?
Some people don’t sweat much, leaving their fretboards clean.
The bass string coils are free of debris for these individuals. A set of nylon strings will last 2 months or about 80 hours of playing time before the sound becomes significantly worse for a non-professional, amateur guitarist.
On the other hand, if you are a professional who sweats profusely, your nylon strings will need replacing much more frequently.
How much does it cost to replace guitar strings?
The cost of restringing your own guitar is typically between $5 and $30, which includes the cost of the strings. The price to have a professional restring your guitar is between $25 and $50, or more if you want additional services.
Because stringing guitars is a simple operation, it’s worth giving it a go yourself.
You can also save a lot of money by purchasing your own string winder and cutters, which is an investment that will last for decades.
Stringing a guitar yourself is not difficult to do as long as you follow the directions carefully.
Before learning how to restring your own guitar, it’s best if you watch some video tutorials to make sure you do it correctly.