Flexible material that provides vibrations in string instruments

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50
votes
18answers
6k views

How often should I replace the strings on my guitar?

When and why should you replace your guitar strings?
44
votes
16answers
15k 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 ...
29
votes
14answers
45k 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 ...
27
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 ...
24
votes
7answers
3k views

When tuning a guitar, should you always end with tightening the string rather than loosening it?

I used to have a guitar teacher that said you should always finish tuning each string by tightening/sharpening the string. So for example if the top E is a little sharp, you should turn the peg to ...
24
votes
7answers
5k 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?
23
votes
2answers
5k 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?
22
votes
13answers
8k 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 ...
22
votes
9answers
3k 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 ...
22
votes
5answers
4k 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?
20
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
18
votes
5answers
5k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
60k 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
3answers
2k views

What's the difference between the “smooth” strings and the “rough” strings?

On my acoustic, the first 4 strings are "rough" - that is they are covered in a type of metal corkscrew. The last 2 strings though are completely smooth, and don't have a corkscrew finish. Why are ...
14
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
273 views

Is it acceptable to play the same note simultaneously 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
13k views

Is there a preferred string gauge for different styles of music?

Generally speaking is there a preferred string gauge for different styles of music? E.g. Will the fingerpicking folk player choose one gauge and the rock lead guitarist another gauge, how about the ...
12
votes
4answers
833 views

Are there guitar strings for very high tunings?

David Gilmour used a special tuning for the rhythm guitar in the song Comfortably Numb. It was a regular EADGBE, but the lowest two strings were two octaves higher, and the middle two were one octave ...
11
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Can I split guitar string gauges?

I want to know if I can split guitar string gauges, ie. using 12s on the bottom and 10s on the top, both for standard and drop tunings.
11
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
734 views

String configuration on a bass guitar

Having swapped my 4 string bass about 12 years ago,for a 5 string, I'd never go back. Lots of players love them, but some hate them. The advantage for me is having an extra low string, not necessarily ...
11
votes
2answers
2k 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
11answers
1k views

Really light electric guitar strings and the blues

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 ...
10
votes
7answers
6k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
278 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?
10
votes
1answer
1k 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?
10
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
227 views

Stringing alternatives on classical guitar (headstock)

While looking at several images of classical guitar headstocks, I noticed that there seem to be several ways people wind their strings on the capstans. I have always used the variant where I wind the ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

What's the difference between two notes played on strings of different thickness?

I'm working on this piece of music on a sequencer, and I'm trying to emulate the effect of playing the same note on different strings of a guitar, say, an E3 on the 5th fret of the B string and an ...
9
votes
8answers
15k 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
388 views

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

Is there difference between black and white nylon?
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.
8
votes
4answers
3k 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
6k views

How do I know what size guitar strings I need?

I'm about to buy strings and begin playing my acoustic guitar, but I don't know if there are different sizes of strings.
8
votes
2answers
128 views

What is the proper way to notate the end of a section played “sul ponticello”?

That is, what is the standard way to tell a string player to play normally again?
8
votes
2answers
103 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
3answers
134 views

Why are guitar strings numbered this way and not the other way around?

Considering that pitch goes up from low E to high E through all 6 strings, why is the high E called the 1st and low E the 6th string? I find it a bit confusing... just curious if there are any ...
8
votes
2answers
423 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
326 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 ...
7
votes
6answers
12k 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
6answers
8k 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 ...
7
votes
9answers
4k views

What electric guitar strings are the most rust-resistant?

I constantly have to return to the music store with the same problem: My strings keep rusting within a day of playing. I used Ernie Ball and the first four strings rusted on me, then I tried ...
7
votes
3answers
894 views

Why do strings break when I am not playing?

I have had a few strings (maybe 4) break on my guitars; always when I was not playing. That is, I come home in the evening (or wake up in the morning), and one of the strings is broken. I don't have a ...
7
votes
1answer
137 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
2answers
177 views

Breaking In New Cello Strings?

I changed the strings on my cello about a week ago, and it seems that these new strings just aren't as "slick" as the old ones. It feels as if they stick to my fingers, and I have to fight to shift ...
7
votes
3answers
278 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 ...