How often & why you replace strings

Following on from the `What Strings' thread, I'm wondering how often & why you replace strings.

I know this depends on many things, but until recently, I only played guitars with Floyd Rose trems and the snapping of the top E dictated when I replaced strings. I would get about 8 weeks max use out of a set and this was playing for 5-10 hours per week. In summer months, with sweaty hands and bad care, I have gotten through a set in 2 weeks.

These days I'm playing my Strat & Explorer and I can see strings lasing considerably longer. As I'm not in a band at the moment, I see no point in changing them in case they snap.


  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,314Member
    Changing strings on the basis of so many weeks would mean I would need to have to make the effort to remember when to do that, and also doesn't take into account the different guitars being played different amounts.

    I very rarely have strings snapping but I don't use trems which maybe helps - though I recall used to have strings snapping more when I was younger - maybe I used to hit them more energetically!

    So I tend to change strings when they start to sound dull and the tone suffers, &/or when they start to give problems with tuning. Or occasionally when they start to feel a bit rough on the fingers - but usually the tone is long gone by then. TBH I have no idea how long they last on average.
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,680Member, Moderator
    I find strings last between 2 weeks and 2 years. I use Mark's method of deciding when the strings need changing.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,190Member
    I'm a bit like Mark P and Lester re when I change the strings - it's just when they start to sound dull or lifeless. When they are new, I find most strings are just a bit too zingy to be ideal, after a few days to a week's use they are generally bedded in. And I have fairly un-sweaty hands, so after that the strings generally stay on for a couple of months at least, and often quite a lot longer. I use heavier gauges like 11s or 12s, and can't remember the last time I had a string snap.
  • SteerSteer Posts: 132Member
    As long as my wet handed mate stays away from my guitars - I find that stings last for ages.

    I just replaced my strat & my acoustic guitar strings that must have been nearly a year old! Those two guitars are rarely played in public these days - and I would replace the strings more regularly if they were.
  • martinsmith99martinsmith99 Posts: 375Member
    The problem is that because string gradually age and become dull, I don't really notice. It's only when I put a new set on that I realise how bad the old set were.

    I'm not using fast fret om my strings and that really has made a difference.
  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 949Member
    When I gigged regularly I would change strings mid week and make them last a whole week (single guitar) or a fortnight once I got a second gigging guitar.
    Now I don't gig very often and only noodle at home but have several guitars to choose from so the strings last months and get changed when they are too dull or won't tune the harmonics.
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