Questions tagged [strings]

Flexible material that provides vibrations in string instruments

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71 votes
21 answers
49k views

How often should I replace the strings on my guitar?

When and why should you replace your guitar strings?
gak's user avatar
  • 1,915
69 votes
21 answers
106k 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 ...
Silver Light's user avatar
  • 8,082
42 votes
17 answers
88k views

How to minimize the pain for a beginning guitar student so they won’t give up before they develop calluses?

This is a common problem and solving it will ultimately lead to a much higher success rate for beginning guitar students. So I wanted to share the information here on Music and Theory. Many of my ...
Rockin Cowboy's user avatar
39 votes
15 answers
176k 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 ...
jrb's user avatar
  • 493
36 votes
10 answers
18k 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 ...
Alexander Troup's user avatar
35 votes
19 answers
60k 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 ...
Yoav Weiss's user avatar
35 votes
6 answers
37k 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?
user avatar
31 votes
15 answers
21k 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 ...
user avatar
31 votes
5 answers
3k 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 ...
Jduv's user avatar
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29 votes
6 answers
33k 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?
user avatar
29 votes
5 answers
16k 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?
phoibos's user avatar
  • 531
26 votes
4 answers
181k 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?
slim's user avatar
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23 votes
1 answer
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 string ...
seseorang's user avatar
  • 4,137
22 votes
12 answers
24k 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 ...
topwik's user avatar
  • 361
20 votes
3 answers
14k 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 ...
bobobobo's user avatar
  • 1,865
19 votes
5 answers
6k views

Why do lower pitched string instruments have a larger body?

I know that increasing the length of the string will decrease the pitch, but that doesn't explain why the body of a cello is larger than a violin, only longer. What would be the "problem" with ...
nanotek's user avatar
  • 403
19 votes
5 answers
21k 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 Internet....
Ignacio's user avatar
  • 290
19 votes
2 answers
3k views

Does the horse hair in a bow all go in the same direction?

As the title says, I want to know if the horse hairs in a bow all go in the same direction? I know that human hair has a direction which it is smooth and a direction which it is rough. I assume its ...
Sam Holder's user avatar
19 votes
8 answers
15k views

What determines how hard it is to press a guitar string?

When playing on different steel string acoustic guitars over the years, I noticed a huge difference in how hard it was to press down a string. This made me wonder why. There are two obvious factors ...
Joachim's user avatar
  • 293
18 votes
5 answers
43k 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 ...
Jasarien's user avatar
  • 2,037
17 votes
7 answers
30k 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, ...
Anti Earth's user avatar
17 votes
5 answers
805 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 ...
nanofarad's user avatar
  • 273
16 votes
3 answers
66k 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 ...
beginner's user avatar
  • 161
16 votes
11 answers
23k 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 ...
Dwayne Charrington's user avatar
16 votes
3 answers
3k views

Can you record several individual string instruments and put them together to sound like a real orchestra?

During these times of the pandemic, our senior school orchestra missed out on the traditional final performance before graduating on with the rest of our lives. Due to the stay-at-home order, we aren'...
Jimmy Wang's user avatar
16 votes
7 answers
48k 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 don'...
Luke's user avatar
  • 435
16 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
Tim's user avatar
  • 192k
15 votes
9 answers
9k views

Piano vs Guitar Strings? Tension vs length?

Why do pianos have different length strings, while guitars have the same length strings? According to the guitar, it would seem that the pitch of a string is determined based solely off of tension, ...
Ryan's user avatar
  • 569
15 votes
8 answers
3k views

Violin - Can double stops be played when the strings are not next to each other?

Suppose I wanted to play a double stop on the violin. The double stop played the G string and the A string simultaneously. Is this possible? Can you play a double stop on two non-adjacent strings?
xilpex's user avatar
  • 2,202
15 votes
9 answers
51k 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 ...
MdaG's user avatar
  • 573
14 votes
3 answers
6k views

Why do people in tutorials destroy/cut their old strings when restringing?

I'd like do try out different gauges on an electric and an acoustic guitar, but if I don't like them I would like to put the old strings back on. Is that even possible or are they ruined after ...
sezanzeb's user avatar
  • 380
14 votes
10 answers
15k views

Do I need to replace very old strings of my guitar if I just start learning?

I found an old acoustic guitar and am thinking of starting to learn it (as a complete beginner). The guitar still has steel strings on it. These must be very old, I think, twelve years at least if not ...
h22's user avatar
  • 4,504
14 votes
5 answers
5k 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 ...
Cynthium Roses's user avatar
14 votes
10 answers
50k 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 ...
kylex's user avatar
  • 793
14 votes
3 answers
44k views

What are "silk and steel" strings?

I've just heard of "silk and steel" strings, but can't find out what they are. So, what are they made out of? Do they produce a significantly different amount of tension in the neck?
Dave's user avatar
  • 17.8k
14 votes
5 answers
4k 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 ...
krookedking's user avatar
13 votes
7 answers
12k 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 ...
bzrr's user avatar
  • 595
13 votes
6 answers
4k views

Should I change my guitar strings?

I received my guitar a few years ago and haven't changed the strings. I don't know when the previous owner had last changed the strings, but it seemed as though it had just been sitting around for a ...
Maggie's user avatar
  • 131
13 votes
1 answer
9k 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?
slim's user avatar
  • 36.1k
13 votes
2 answers
14k 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 ...
user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
Chris Lercher's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
13k views

My Guitar came with both metal and nylon strings, what replacement strings should I buy?

I have the Katoh MCG20 Classical Guitar. As you can see, the guitar came with 3 metal strings and 3 nylon strings. I understand that this is a classical guitar and should be replaced with nylon ...
guitarhe40's user avatar
12 votes
7 answers
45k 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 any ...
Quazi Irfan's user avatar
  • 1,712
12 votes
13 answers
32k 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 d'...
Tony's user avatar
  • 121
12 votes
3 answers
17k 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.
segiddins's user avatar
  • 733
12 votes
2 answers
8k 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?
Casey Rule's user avatar
  • 2,305
12 votes
5 answers
6k 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 ...
Lee White's user avatar
  • 5,931
12 votes
1 answer
3k 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.
user393's user avatar
  • 707
11 votes
7 answers
148k views

Can I use nylon with steel string guitar?

I was wondering if it possible to put nylon strings on a steel string guitar. Is it possible? If not why?
Prabhanjan Naib's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
1k views

How does string age affect intonation?

I had a recent issue with my high e string where the saddle was adjusted as short as possible but the twelfth fret was still very flat. I read online that a new set of strings may fix this, and that ...
Awalrod's user avatar
  • 808

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