Hot answers tagged

42

Depends on two factors: What are the strings (what are they made of) How much do you play Some strings, like "bright bronze", can lose their sound qualities after a few hours of playing. Others, like "silk and steel", can be played for 100 or more hours. The correct answer is: when you feel that sound isn't bright as it used to be, it is time to change ...


40

When you lower the pitch by releasing tension, there might be slack in the gears in the tuning machines, which might make the string go below the intended pitch. By going further down and approaching the target note from below, there will be force applied to the gears and when you've reached the correct pitch the gears have less potential to move. So your ...


33

The answer is that electric strings are generally too light a gauge to properly "drive" the guitar. You need a heavy gauge string to provide the force needed from the vibrations to get the proper action out of the top to produce good volume and resonance. Unlike an electric, where the vibration is picked up directly from the string passing over a magnet, an ...


26

Partly due to the thicker string gauge, but also because you will be plucking the string closer to its middle point (if your pick or R.H. finger/thumb plucks in the same place.) This excites fewer of the upper harmonics of the string, giving a mellower sound. In classical guitar music you are often asked to play closer to the middle of the string to produce ...


24

The best-written summary I could find of this was on Wikipedia. Technical preliminaries (you can skip this if you don't care) All chordophones (musical instruments based on vibrating strings) can be analyzed using the same physics model of a string under tension that is fixed on both ends. The model is slightly simplified and differs from reality in two ...


23

I generally tune them to pitch; get a finger under them one at a time and slowly but firmly pull them away from the fretboard. Tune to pitch again - then repeat and rinse as needed. There is no need to buy a device for this.


23

Remove the steel strings immediately. They will permanently damage your guitar. Do not use light-gauge steel strings either. You should only use nylon strings on this guitar. Steel strings put much more tension on the neck of a guitar compared to nylon strings. Guitars designed for steel strings have very stiff, strong necks with a metal truss rod inside ...


21

The Second Strings Project I think this is exactly what you are looking for. From the site: ...a campaign to collect and distribute used guitar strings to needy musicians throughout the world. This effort will help keep musical creativity alive...Many touring artists use a set of guitar strings for a few gigs and then change them, and throw them away. ...


20

I can definitely attest to the fact that they last longer. I have very sweaty hands and I used to decimate acoustic guitar strings--we're talking a new set about every week and a half. Once I used coated strings I cut the change time to about a month. As to their tonal difference, I personally like darker sounding acoustics so it was a non-issue for me. As ...


19

It depends on how you keep the guitar; the higher the humidity the more likely the strings are get get rusty and tarnish; in fact the whole guitar needs extra care in those conditions; good rule of thumb is if the guitar is not to be used keep it in a dry place at room temperature in a case if possible. If you keep the guitar in good conditions the strings ...


19

The thicker the string, the more tension it needs, to produce the same note. Sound Thicker, tighter strings, have a more "focussed" sound. They reach their resonant frequency more quickly, because the extra tension leaves them less scope to flap around. Thicker, tighter strings, plucked the same distance, are louder, because they contain more energy. ...


18

It's a trick that's been around for ages, with many variations - I've even heard that the use of certain bodily fluids gives good results, but it isn't something I'm about to try. The main reason to do this is to save money, but you should ask yourself whether the savings are worth it. It's generally a better idea to keep your strings in good shape - wiping ...


17

The one and just about only suggestion I have is to use coated strings such as Elixirs. I used to have 'em on my #1 and #2 acoustics, and I liked the feel of them. I never had your problem, so don't know if that's an acceptable solution to you.


16

First, I agree with the question, when talking about nylon-stringed guitars - in nearly a half-century of playing classical and flamenco instruments, I find that the D string, the poor thing, breaking more frequently than any the others (other answers and comments are probably based on steel-stringed experience). I've asked luthiers, and even one of the ...


16

Technically speaking two notes with the same pitch have the same frequency as the fundamental. However this does not explain why two notes of the same frequency also called unisons, sound different on strings of different diameters or lengths or both. The guitar and the entire orchestra string family as you may know have numerous unisons (unlike the piano). ...


15

String diameter and scale length and tension are all factors, but you are overlooking an entirely different dimension to your question. Frets. A guitar string has a fixed length, but have you noticed the frets? When you stop a string against a fret, you are then temporarily creating a shorter speaking string length. So one string on a guitar can be stopped ...


14

IMO frequently broken strings indicate a mechanical problem. I never break strings and I haven'tt broken one for maybe 30 years. Causes include: Too-sharp edge on nut or saddle. burr or sharp edge on a tuning post, or the hole though same. Nut slots cut too wide (or maybe you installed lighter strings) allowing the string too much side-to-side movement. ...


14

There is a shortcut, yes. The secret is to practice smart. I used to tell my students there is a difference between practicing and playing; between cleaning up all the difficulties and going into the small details, and playing just for fun or for others. The more time you spend in cleaning grey zones, being careful with sound quality, with fast exercises ...


13

The reason we have wound strings is due to the physics of the string's vibration. A heavier string vibrates more slowly, causing a lower pitch. The wound strings could be solid wires, and achieve the pitch we need, however getting it to bend correctly across the bridge and nut, be easily fretted, AND be tunable, would be difficult. Imagine trying to do a ...


12

While I've read several different sources recommending not removing all the strings at once, I've never read a good reason why not, and I've always restrung by removing all the strings first. The main reason is exactly as you say: to be able to clean and condition everything under the strings. I clean the fretboard and body area, oil the fretboard, and even ...


12

There seems to be a general agreement among the answers here that strings go through several distinct phases: New. Bright, Crisp, Harsh. However you describe it, new strings have more top-end. Worn-in. Like a broken-in pair of shoes, they don't cut your ankles anymore, but they still feel "pretty new". Seasoned. They've lost the "newness", but they're not ...


12

If you get sweaty hands when you play the sweat will remain on the strings and cause them to corrode. Give your strings a wipe with a cloth after you play and this should help to mitigate the problem. You can also get string cleaning products but I don't think much of them.


12

There is a balance between the strings and the top. If you put too much tension, it'll sound awesome until the top snaps or the bridge comes flying off. If you don't put enough tension, you don't get the top moving and it doesn't sound good. Nylon strings are for classical guitars and vice versa. There are silk-and-steel strings from string makers like ...


12

I have played for many, many years. I have never been comfortable with heavy gauge strings and, a couple decades ago, put some light electrics on an old acoustic I had. Was there a noticeable difference? Only to my ear because I was familiar with the guitar. The volume lessened a little and tone was more trebly. That's it. The guitar was more playable and ...


12

If you would like to get scientific about it, the D'Addario company has a chart discussing string tension and tuning and string gauges for alternate tuning schemes. http://daddario.com/DAstringtensionguide.Page?ActiveID=2681 You can also download this PDF which explains the recommended tuning, pitches and tensions for every type and gauge of individual ...


12

This is not an unusual idea. Any 4-string bass should be easy to set up for B-E-A-D. You (or a qualified guitar repair technician) will need to file the string slots in the nut to make them wider to accommodate the thicker strings, and you will need to adjust the position of the bridge saddles to achieve proper intonation. You may or may not need an ...


11

Disclaimer: I'm not an expert in this, yet try to make an attempt to summarize what I know on this subject. What does Grease consist of? Grease consists mainly of dirt, dust and sweat. Dirt and dust consist of human skin cells, plant pollen, human and animal hairs, textile fibers, paper fibers, minerals from outdoor soil, and many other materials which ...


11

I would certainly not leave the capo on my fretboard when not in use. I cannot say it visibly hurts the neck for sure but it does wear out the strings. Here is a wonderful piece of advice from Lee Griffith in his article, A Capo is a Wonderful Thing: One caution is important to mention. Do not leave the capo on the instrument when not playing it. The ...



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