Hot answers tagged

43

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 ...


42

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 ...


34

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.


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

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 ...


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. ...


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 D'...


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

Not knowing what the action is like on your guitar, it's difficult. You need to make the action - the distance between the strings and the fretboard - as low as possible, so the strings don't need pressing far.But not so close that they buzz. Also, you may well be pressing TOO hard, it shouldn't be necessary to squeeze too much, just enough to stop fret ...


14

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 ...


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 (...


14

Learning the guitar as a beginner has many inherent challenges from the very start. For one, you are asking the new guitar student to teach their brain how to tell their fingers to contort in very strange and unnatural ways that they have never before even remotely contemplated. And the finger strength needed for many chords has not been developed yet. ...


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 ...


13

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 ...


13

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 ...


13

With a top E, there are a number of things which could do this, but the most likely if this is your first time stringing the instrument is that you damaged the string on installing it - for example if it slipped at all when you were tightening the tuning pegs you may have the part of the string that was on the edge of the peg now between the peg and nut - ...


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

Sure, of course you can. But getting it to playable condition won't be quite so simple. You'll have to re-adjust the bridge to account for the fact that the thickest string is now located where the thinnest string was, and vice-versa. If you don't feel comfortable doing this yourself (although it's pretty easy), any competent guitar tech will do it for ...



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