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every time I replace guitar strings, the strings will always relaxing for a few hours to become stable.

how do I speed up this process?

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See here: music.stackexchange.com/questions/1821/… –  Jduv Apr 10 '11 at 13:07
    
duplicate (per previous comment) –  Michael Easter Apr 10 '11 at 20:27
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I do not think this is a duplicate. While the answer is covered in a different question, the question itself is different. The question linked above already assumes the answer to this question. A new user searching for this question would not find the link above. And if they did, they wouldn't necessarily realize that it was their answer. –  yossarian Apr 12 '11 at 19:29
    
I've heard, not that I'm an expert or anything, that it's better to just let them settle in on their own, because any kind of manual stretching will produce weak spots and irregularities in the string. –  jprete Apr 13 '11 at 23:09
    
I'm not sure if this should be tagged with something else, like wearing-in? –  Matthew Read May 27 '11 at 23:28
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4 Answers

When I replace my strings, I follow the same process.

I take the old strings off, and then place the new one on. After this, I tune it to roughly the right pitch, and then place my thumb on the top of string and push down, while underneath my two fingers pull it up against the pressure of my thumb, stretching the length of the string a fair bit. This trick helps stretch the string ready for tuning, so that when it is tuned it settles quickly.

After that, I leave it, and repeat exactly the same process for each new string. At the end, I tune each string on the guitar up to pitch. The strings stay in tune very well after that, perhaps requiring a very small amount of fine-tuning after about 5 minutes, but they 'settle' very quickly.

Hope this helps!

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That's pretty much what I do, or, just before I have it at true pitch I'll grab the string around the 12th fret and pull upwards a couple times to stretch it. It's basically the same after that. And, yes, I'll do another tune up after having played for a little bit and done some string bends. After that mine are stable for a long time. It takes a major string bend to make one go out a little bit. –  Anonymous Apr 10 '11 at 17:39
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I used to stretch them in much the same manner as Alistair mentions, but I don't bother any more; I just tune 'em to pitch and deal with minor re-tuning. I find that steel strings rapidly settle in.
If they aren't... It may be your string attachment procedure is not correct... Check out the Frets.com re-stringing guide to get the straight skinny.

Also, you don't mention, but nylon strings take MUCH longer to settle....

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+1 I stretch every new string, but it has the best effect with my phosphor bronze acoustic strings. Perhaps it is something about that material which means they take longer to settle. And you are right about nylon strings, expect 1-2 weeks of retuning before they calm down :P –  Ali Maxwell Apr 10 '11 at 15:22
    
And then there's the fun of trying to adjust tuning with a neck that has a hairline crack somewhere. It'll NEVER settle down. :-) –  Anonymous Apr 10 '11 at 17:36
    
it is nylon strings. thank you for the advice –  Anonymous Apr 13 '11 at 10:48
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On guitars with Floyd Rose trems or similar, I just tune them about right, give them a good stretch by pulling back on the bar a few times and re-tune them.

That gets them pretty close so I just lock the nut at that point and any fine tuning can be done at gig time using the fine tuners at the bridge.

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I also readjust my fine-tuners at that point to somewhere around the center point, otherwise I'll find one or two will bottom out just when I need it. :-/ –  Anonymous Apr 10 '11 at 17:34
    
Oo - good point! Although with mine I have them at almost the lowest point, as I invariably have to tune up, not down. –  Dr Mayhem Apr 10 '11 at 18:42
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Anwar,

When removing the old strings DON'T take them all of at once! :)

Remove the old string, then replace it with the corresponding new string.

If you remove all of the old strings at the same time, then proceed to string the guitar with the new strings you will be greatly decreasing, and then increasing, the tension on the neck.

This is not good for the neck, and could lead to tuning stability issues concerning the new strings you installed.

I usually remove/replace the strings ONE AT A TIME in this order and find it has greatly cut down on my tuning issues.

A G e B D E

Down then back up again. Remember to *stretch each string and tune to pitch about 3 or 4 times before moving on to the next string. Then when the guitar has all the new strings on it, go back and tune the entire guitar from low E to high e.

*Stretch a string by gently pushing it towards the floor then pulling it towards the ceiling a few times with the guitar in your lap. Then hold down the string at the 3rd fret and pull that string out, away from the body a few times; rinse and repeat at at frets 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21. Careful not to pull or push to hard or you WILL break your new string! :(

Stringing a guitar takes some time. Maybe 20-25 minutes including setup and cleanup time.

Just don't rush through it and you'll be fine.

Hope this helps to solve your tuning issues!

Josh

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A neck is much more stable than that. Removing all the strings won't cause any troubles. I remove all the strings at once when I restring and I have seen several sources both online and in books mention this approach as correct. Otherwise how do you clean/oil the neck? I also have had the strings removed for 2+ weeks on one of my guitars, beforehand I asked both a licensed Fender tech and on the TDPRI if it was ok and both assured me it was. –  Anonymous Apr 12 '11 at 16:00
    
Of course it will cause trouble. Removing all strings dramatically changes the pressure exerted on the neck of the guitar. Relieving this pressure, and then quickly adding this pressure back by putting on a new set of strings can cause some serious problems for your instrument. –  Anonymous Apr 12 '11 at 17:21
    
I clean and oil the neck without removing the strings so I don't see it as an issue. Removing all the strings and restringing may shock the neck when you release it from all of the tension that the strings provide. This decrease in tension/counter tension may require an adjustment of the truss rod, and will ultimately HAVE AN EFFECT on short-term tuning problems. IMO, unless you are an experienced luthier, it's best to restring one at a time in order to avoid the possibility of any complications. Assuming we are talking about traditional steel string electric and acoustic guitars, of course! –  Anonymous Apr 12 '11 at 17:29
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