String Theory – Get More Life From Your Guitar

The guitar is still the most popular live performance instrument for bands, and it’s likely that most modern musicians (even those working in electronica) started out by strumming an axe. However, if you want to get the best sound out of your guitar, you’ll need to take care of your strings…

All Strung Out

There’s no point owning an expensive guitar if you use low-quality strings. Don’t skimp on your strings, and change them regularly – at least every two or three months, depending on usage. As strings get old and worn, they lose their tone and timbre.

Also, try using heavy and light gauge strings to see which suits your playing style. I generally use very light gauge strings, which I find easier to play and have a brighter, livelier tone. Heavy gauge strings tend to be louder and have better sustain.

Six-String Gigs

Some guitarists change their strings before every gig – however, it’s important to make sure they are properly stretched before going onstage. Otherwise, you might find they go out of tune in mid-song. It’s probably a good idea to change the strings the day before the performance, giving them a chance to break in.

Also, don’t let anyone sit on your guitar before you play it – this can also cause it to go out of tune (something I learned from personal experience).

For some more tips on getting the most out of your guitar strings, check out this list from Audio Jungle


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