Why You Should Stop Worrying And Love New Guitar Strings
If you play the guitar or deal with any stringed instruments when making music, I welcome you, friend. An article especially for you has been long outstanding.
It is time.
Lets talk guitar strings.
Everyone who ever picked up the guitar for a while knows how quickly a guitar can start to sound dull, boring and entirely uninteresting.
Most people are attentive to this. And I’m sure you can guess what exactly the problem is.
If you’ve got old strings on your guitar, the sound can get a little muffled.
Just compare it to the auditory orgasm a new set of strings on your axe can set off.
It’s bliss, right?
So why aren’t you changing your guitar strings!?
Pardon the lingo, but holy ****, do I know a lot of people that seemingly just want to play on muffled, dull, boring strings.
Really, it’s so sad to see people pick up their guitar, ready to play some tunes, the crowd getting all excited…
…and then it just sounds as if their strings have been rusting away in an old wine cellar for ages.
Unlike the wine, and unlike the guitar body itself (most of the time), strings unsurprisingly don’t really get any better with age.
I bet you’re thinking you’re like “well, of course!”.
I mean, it all sounds so obvious when I’m writing to you about this.
It feels redundant.
It really seems like I shouldn’t have to be writing up this kind of post at all.
However, I keep seeing it all the time.
It just looks like I should explicitly point it out to you.
And so I couldn’t keep quiet any longer.
Maybe I do understand, though.
If you’re one of those people I’ve just described, if you’ve found yourself thinking – day after day, month after month – “I should really change my strings now, but …. meh….”, then please allow me take a guess at why you’re putting off setting up new strings.
It’s simple, really;
You think it’s a lot of work, don’t you?
Or you think new strings are expensive.
Or you doubt the fact that you really need new strings.
Heck I’ve even heard people claim that old strings sound better than new strings!
But you know what though? All of the above are myths. They’re not true at all. And I’d like to offer a little debunking.
Let’s find out together why, and see how we can take better care of our instruments
The myths about guitar strings
Myth 1. New strings are expensive
Yeah, if you’re playing the violin, I hear ya.
Those things can go for up to 100 bucks a pack! Talk about a lot of money!
But really, as a guitarist, this just isn’t the case. A set of budget strings go for about 10 bucks a set. Max.
That. Is. Cheap.
Now, I get it. If you play as much as I do, you’ll have to replace them quite a lot. Once a month, maybe, with a low tier set of strings. That’s quite often!
So then you’ve got a choice. I know a lot of guys who are totally okay with that and change them up once a month, just to pay less.
Me, I usually just go with a better quality set of strings (my preferred brand is Elixir for acoustic strings, but you can get whatever you feel comfortable with). It’s twice the price, but I can go up to 3 months with those coated beauties.
Anyway, my point is: this is not that expensive.
And you can go even cheaper if you buy them in bulk. There’s a lot of good deals to be made, and a simple google query will take you right to them.
Myth 2. Restringing a guitar is hard work
I know what you’re thinking: restringing a guitar takes like forever. It’s annoying. It hurts your fingers. It is an activity came straight out of guitar hell.
I used to think the exact same thing.
But then I got introduced to the right tools.
If you’ve got one of these little pieces of magic plastic, restringing is a breeze!
You can find these super handy string winders for like 2 bucks at your local music shop.
It’s worth the investment. Seriously,… it is. These days, I’ve been able to reduce my restringing time to anywhere between 5 to 10 minutes.
Myth 3. Old guitar strings sound better
Yeah,… I don’t even know why you’d ever think that’s the case.
Maybe it got born out of a period where grunge was all the rage and you wanted your guitar to sound dirty, ugly, broken?
Maybe the sparkly new sound hurts your ears?
I really don’t know, and frankly, I don’t care.
New strings always sound better than old strings. Anytime, in any situation, period.
Recording a new song? Please, change your strings. Or would you rather the mix engineer curses you and your entire family for generations to come, just because you were stubborn? New strings will always ensure you’re recording the best sound possible.
And then afterwards, if you still want to achieve a duller, muffled sound… Just let the engineer take care of destroying that sparkle in your sound.
Going on stage? Please, please, PLEASE… change your strings. Old strings won’t project your sound as well to the audience as new ones.
In addition, you’re guaranteed to break one of your old ones. (happened to me once. Exactly, only, never-again, but once.)
Change your guitar strings. Always.
You just don’t have any excuse anymore.
You want to sound good, do you? You don’t want broken strings on stage, don’t you? Want your girlfriend to melt for your special song, don’t you?
Then change your strings, as soon as they even hint at starting to sound dull.
You won’t regret it.
Talk to you next time. And as a small teaser: I’ve got something to say about my struggles syncing two computers for playing live electronics!