Flexible material that provides vibrations in string instruments

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46
votes
18answers
4k views

How often should I replace the strings on my guitar?

When and why should you replace your guitar strings?
35
votes
16answers
10k views

Changing the strings: one by one, or by taking all strings off at one time?

The title says it all. Should I change strings one by one, or take them all at once? Does this matter at all? If I take all strings off, will it damage my neck in any way, because the pressure is ...
22
votes
6answers
3k views

Do guitar strings wear when not used?

Do strings wear because of the pressure applied to them or any other factor, or do they stay in quite the same shape as long as you don't use them?
21
votes
12answers
28k views

Why shouldn't I put electric guitar strings on my acoustic guitar?

I've always found even the lightest acoustic (bronze) guitar strings to be a bit too heavy to play comfortably. Electric (nickel) guitar strings tend to be lighter. But nobody uses electric strings on ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

Recycling guitar strings

This one goes out to all my eco-friendly shredder pals. Does anyone know of an organization that takes guitar strings and recycles them? I run through quite a few packs per month on a heavy gigging ...
20
votes
5answers
2k views

Boiling/washing used guitar/bass strings - is it worthwhile?

I've read that some people boil their strings from time to time to make them sound again like they were new (and save some money). Is this really worthwhile, or are there any disadvantages to this?
19
votes
11answers
5k views

How often is it recommended to change bass strings?

With the risk of being a duplicate question of How often should I replace the strings on my guitar? I'd like to ask the same thing for bass guitar. Bass strings are pricier than guitar strings, so I ...
19
votes
2answers
3k views

Does leaving a capo on “hurt” the strings?

On occasion I've accidentally left a capo on (overnight). Does this decrease the life of the strings, staying in tune time, hurt the neck, or anything else that's bad?
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Why guitar sounds smoother in high frets?

When I (or you) pluck 2nd string fret 10, and pluck 1st string fret 5, which it's the same octave of the A note. Why when you pluck the 2nd string, it feels smoother than when you pluck the 1st ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

Why does the D string in a guitar breaks so often?

Well... that's about it. D strings (on acoustic nylon guitars at least) break way more often than the others. I guess there's a physical explanation but I wasn't able to found anything on the ...
15
votes
7answers
2k views

Coated Strings—Gimmick, or worth the money?

Never used them myself, but I had a friend who used to swear by the plastic-coated strings he bought for his electric to try and help keep them cleaner. While I realize this probably does do ...
15
votes
4answers
38k views

How does string gauge affect a guitar's sound and playability?

Guitar strings are available in a variety of gauges. What effect does my choice of string gauge have on the sound of my guitar? What effect does it have on playability?
14
votes
7answers
2k views

How do I properly stretch my newly strung strings?

I came across this string stretcher device. It's called The Stretcha. It claims to properly and evenly stretch new strings and maintain tuning. I never really made a point to properly stretch ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Tapewound strings on an electric bass

Recently tried Veillette and Rob Allen basses, both incredible instruments. Unfortunately, they're also incredibly expensive. Part of what I loved was the feel of the tapewound strings. What would ...
10
votes
5answers
240 views

What electric guitar string set should I use to go down to B?

me and my band are planing to play some slipknot and maybe korn (A) but we don't want to get 7-s guitars so what string should we use?
9
votes
4answers
3k views

How does string gauge affect intonation?

I have a problem with intonation adjustment on my g-string on my Epiphone Les Paul. It's correct now but the bridge saddle cannot be adjusted any farther in range. I need to change strings but I ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

How can I effectively secure guitar strings to the tuning pegs?

One of the bigger problems I face when restringing my guitars is properly securing the strings to the pegs. How should I wind the strings around the pegs before tightening them to prevent the string ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Flat-wound vs round-wound strings

What difference can you expect when playing with flat-wound vs round-wound strings on an electric bass/guitar? I know that they feel different - I am asking explicitly in terms of sound.
9
votes
2answers
168 views

Is it acceptable to play the same note sumultaneously on different strings on Cello?

For a piece I am performing with a local school orchestra, a final open A is to undergo an "insane" crescendo to a Fortissississimo, which our conductor interprets as "as loud as possible." A fellow ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Putting steel strings on a cheap nylon guitar

I was trying to get back into playing guitar. I only took lessons for a few years with a nylon string guitar that was fairly cheap. When I pulled the guitar out of the attic it needed new strings so I ...
8
votes
8answers
461 views

Can I use really light electric guitar strings?

I just got a new Fender Strat Mini. I have super weak fingers. Is it possible to replace the strings with some lighter-weight while retaining a good sound for blues? What repercussions does using ...
8
votes
7answers
4k views

How can I stop my electric guitar strings from rusting so quickly?

I suffer from hyperhyrdosis which means my hands sweat quite a lot. The problem is that because of this my electric guitar strings seem to rust quite quickly because of this. Is there anything I can ...
8
votes
4answers
948 views

Beginner replacing guitar strings

I am a beginner at playing the guitar, so I recently bought myself one and then managed to break a string whilst trying to tune it. After getting over the initial disappointment, I have ordered some ...
8
votes
2answers
313 views

Can a 24-year-old learn to play violin/viola proficiently?

I've seen a few of these questions asked, but it seems like most of the students to be where just starting out in music. They didn't have limber fingers, couldn't read notes. That's not a bad thing ...
8
votes
7answers
10k views

Does anyone make nylon strings for a standard acoustic guitar (non-classical)?

This may seem crazy, but I really love the sound of nylon strings, and I DO NOT want to buy a classical guitar though. I was wondering if any manufacturer makes nylon strings for a "normal" acoustic ...
8
votes
2answers
91 views

How can I keep my low end level constant across my strings?

I'm a bassist. I play a Warwick Corvette std 5 string with MEC pickups. I use D'addario strings. Ok now my problem, I play in a band and we play progressive thrash metal (kinda like Metallica meets ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Restringing a 12-string guitar with heavier strings - is it possible?

I'm considering using a 12-string guitar I don't play all that much as a testbed: Is it possible to restring an acoustic guitar as a baritone guitar, or even just string it so I can tune it down a few ...
7
votes
6answers
8k views

Is it good/bad to play guitar with low tension string?

When I started playing my acoustic(at an early age) I tuned the guitar just by matching notes. Like, matching the note of 5th fret of 6th string to open fret of 5th string and so on. I didn't used ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Is grease good or bad for guitar strings?

I was once told that playing a guitar with greasy fingers was actually good for the strings. However, this seems a bit counter-intuitive. Is there any truth behind this claim?
7
votes
1answer
272 views

Is there diference between black and white nylon in guitar strings?

Is there difference between black and white nylon?
7
votes
1answer
119 views

Strings stick to pickup poles when the tremolo is depressed.

Sometimes, when I depress the tremolo quite far, the strings magnetically stick to the pickup poles... Is this normal? Is there a way I can prevent it, aside from not depressing the tremolo so far? ...
7
votes
1answer
587 views

How do I use string gauge tables?

I have seen that string manufacturers publish tables of string gauges and tensions. For example, this one. How can I use these to choose a set of strings for my instrument?
7
votes
1answer
249 views

Should I replace unwound strings on my acoustic guitar as often as the wound ones?

The wound strings wear off quite fast, and start sounding dull even faster, so I replace them quite often. But whenever I do so, I replace the unwound strings as well, even though at that point, they ...
7
votes
1answer
279 views

What interval should frets be placed for the Tar (Persian Lute)?

I have recently come into possession of a Tar. But I have no idea how to place the frets on this instrument, which are made of gut (feels a bit like twine) tied around the neck. How do I determine ...
6
votes
3answers
110 views

How do you identify string gauge?

A friend broke a string on her bowed psaltery (a small zither-like instrument) and needs to replace it. Problem: what gauge? The source of the instrument is unknown and it didn't come with spare ...
6
votes
5answers
4k views

My high E string broke after one week of replacing my guitar strings. Could that be an installation issue?

I'm not sure if it's even possible for the string to break based on how it was installed. The only reason I can think of is that it was installed on a loose tuning peg, which it wasn't (I made sure to ...
6
votes
4answers
460 views

new strings always relaxing. how do I speed up this process?

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?
6
votes
3answers
229 views

Which strings do I need to play these notes?

I have been looking into creating the sound of a rainbow, (having taken four proposed ranges for each colour band, translating Terahertz to Hertz and taking the mean average mid-points of each colour ...
6
votes
2answers
380 views

Is it possible to tune a ukulele in GDAE (Irish tenor)?

I would like to change the tuning of my concert ukulele from GCEA to GDAE. Which kind of string do I need for that (diameter) ? Is it dangerous for the bridge ? (Ref. my ukulele is a Lanikai LU-21 CE) ...
6
votes
6answers
742 views

Violin strings breaking in fingerboard area

My violin's strings have been breaking every 3 to 4 weeks. I only practice about 10 hours a week. It is not normal for strings to be breaking constantly and though the problem could be an incorrect ...
6
votes
2answers
354 views

Alternate violin strings for gypsy music?

I will be playing traditional/gypsy music on my classical violin, and would like to have a sound that is stylistically appropriate (deep/rich/warm/old/woody as opposed to brilliant/sweet/ringy). Can ...
6
votes
1answer
140 views

How do different strings (of the same gauge) affect the tone?

Something I've been wondering quite long, but never had the time to really try it out myself: Let's say I buy two sets of strings, both with the same gauge, a cheap one and an expensive one. What are ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

Will steel strings wear out my nickel frets ?

I have bought some coated strings because I wanted to try that out. After my purchase I noticed that the package says the uncoated strings are stainless steel. Since my frets are made out of nickel ...
5
votes
6answers
3k views

What are the optimal string gauges for drop C tuning on electric guitar?

What are the optimal gauges of strings for Drop C tuning (C G C F A D) for electric guitar? Since this involves lowering the pitch of all the strings, heavier string gauges would be helpful; I need to ...
5
votes
4answers
6k views

What are the repercussions of using really thick gauge strings on my electric guitar?

I have a Jackson King V JS32T electric guitar in blue, see the linked text for specs and the look of it. Anyway, it came with 0.09-0.42 strings and I've been using 0.13-0.56's on it for a little ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

right handed bass into left handed bass

I can't easily find a left handed bass guitar. Can I restring the bass to be for a leftie (reverse the ordering of the strings)? I think that you can do this with an electric guitar, for sure with ...
5
votes
4answers
5k views

Why does my Stratocaster guitar sound worse with new strings?

My 4-month-old strings sounded much better than the new set that I just put on. I am using the same brand of strings that I used before. My guitar sounds like crap now. What's wrong? Should I stretch ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Which strings should I use for DADGAD tuning on my acoustic guitar?

I have recently switched to DADGAD tuning, before that I was using light tension strings ( 12 16 24 32 42 53 ). But because of DADGAD, to compensate for the lack of tension on the neck, I wanted to ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Playing Classical Guitar Pieces on a Steel-String Guitar

I'm an acoustic guitar player but have recently developed an interest in classical guitar. I'm not quite at liberty to buy a classical guitar (with nylon strings and what not) and the stool thingy, ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Which one has more impact on the sound, the string or the body?

Which exactly affects more on the sound of the guitar? is it the guitar body? or the string? How much the sound improves if I use good string on an old guitar? I know it really depends on the ...