Questions tagged [strings]

Flexible material that provides vibrations in string instruments

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67
votes
21answers
41k views

How often should I replace the strings on my guitar?

When and why should you replace your guitar strings?
64
votes
21answers
69k 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 ...
37
votes
15answers
145k 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 ...
35
votes
17answers
64k views

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

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 ...
34
votes
10answers
13k 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 ...
33
votes
5answers
21k 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?
32
votes
17answers
36k 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 ...
31
votes
15answers
18k 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 ...
30
votes
5answers
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 ...
29
votes
5answers
13k 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?
28
votes
6answers
22k 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?
22
votes
12answers
17k 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 ...
22
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 string ...
21
votes
4answers
163k 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?
20
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
19
votes
5answers
15k 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....
18
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
18
votes
7answers
13k 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 ...
17
votes
5answers
600 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 ...
16
votes
10answers
17k 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
31k 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 ...
15
votes
8answers
2k 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?
14
votes
3answers
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 ...
14
votes
9answers
46k 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 ...
14
votes
7answers
29k 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'...
13
votes
4answers
51k 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 ...
13
votes
7answers
9k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
6k 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?
12
votes
9answers
6k 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, ...
12
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...
12
votes
10answers
42k 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
21k 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, ...
12
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What physical effects cause ageing/worn guitar strings to change their tone?

Guitar strings wear out over time and are prone to oxidation due to sweat. As a result, they change their tone usually sounding more "bright" when they are new and "dull" when aged. There's been a ...
11
votes
7answers
38k 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
7k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
10k 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
561 views

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

My band and I are planning to play some Slipknot and maybe Korn (A) but we don't want to get 7-s guitars so what string should we use?
11
votes
2answers
105 views

Do pegs for stringed instruments require holes?

We bought some new pegs for a cello but they came without holes. As a result, it seems impossible to tighten the strings as they keep slipping. But there must be some use for pegs without holes, ...
11
votes
1answer
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.
11
votes
4answers
4k 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
2answers
10k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Does string length affect intonation?

Does string length affect intonation? Like on a Les Paul Jr. that has a wraparound bridge but intonation is still flat. If I use a Bigsby type tailpiece to correct the intonation would that correct ...
11
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
10
votes
11answers
6k 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
8answers
14k views

Should you change the strings on a brand new guitar?

I'm a beginner to electric guitar, so I'm not sure what a proper guitar setup feels like. In attempt to execute my own setup, I've adjusted string action and tailpiece height to my preference (with ...
10
votes
6answers
12k views

guitar strings still hurt my fingers after 6 months of play

i have been practicing my guitar for over 6 months , i use extra light gauge and also built calluses , but strings still hurt my fingers ! Any tips please ?
10
votes
2answers
3k 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?
10
votes
11answers
17k 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'...