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How long does it take you to change all 6 strings?

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  • #16
    Right now I'm using GHS but I've used lots of others and I like the playability of these ones.

    I always break the D string regardless of the guitar so I know it's me and not the instrument. The other one I break more often than others is the high E. I've accepted it and, like tuning, it's something I deal with in a way that least affects the music.

    For me, bringing a backup usually results in me not needing it. The times I break string are usually the few occasions when I only have one guitar available. It's sort of like buying insurance - I think "I'd better bring a spare so that I won't break a string" - or maybe I just notice it more when it's a bigger deal than just picking up another guitar.


    you can't control the wind but you can learn to sail

    contentment is true wealth

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    • #17
      Sometimes, I change only the lighter gauge strings, I like the bass response of the thicker strings as they age.
      Floyd Rose guitars, I just don't cut the ball ends, I string them at the tuning keys, lock it down and pull the hell out of them for a couple of minutes, that takes at least 15 minutes and sometimes I have to unlock the nut and repeat until it's perfect.
      I also have traditional Strats with Wilkinson tremolos, a Dragon Fire Roller nut / Fender LSR nut, Sperzel locking tuners and use Fender Super Bullet strings, since the fit snug in a tremolo block. I pull and tug until they are fully stretched, usually takes 10 minutes.
      With ABR / Nashville type bridges. I like to tug on the strings between the tailpiece, the bridge and between the nut and the tuning keys. That usually takes 5 minutes to string up and 10 minutes of string tugging and pulling.
      Guns don't kill people .... Fathers with beautiful Daughters do !!!!

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      • #18
        I agree with attitude of WRGKMC (or whatever his moniker is!). What's the hurry (unless you are at a gig, that is)? I clean fret board every time, polish frets with jewelers cloth, polish up whatever I couldn't get to because the strings were in the way. I like to think "If I am nice to my guitar, it will be nice to me". Put an album on, pour a cup of coffee and enjoy the journey. Strings don't last long in the tropics, and corrosion is nuts, so checking out all the metal is a must. Finish the whole thing off with a bit of polishing the body.
        I was kicked out of music class for passing notes...
        Tuned out, turned in and dropped off

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        • #19
          About an hour because when I change all six strings, I clean the fretboard, tighten all the screws (neck screws and tuners), and polish the guitar, making sure to polish the area under the strings (pickups, etc.) that isn't easy to get to without the strings off. If the guitar has a Floyd, it takes about an hour and a half, because i have to use an Allen key.

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          • #20
            On average, it takes me about ten minutes if I have a string winder and a set of side cutters.
            **********

            "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

            - George Carlin

            "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

            - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

            "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

            - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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            • #21
              Many Luther's will recommend replacing one string at a time then bringing that string up to pitch before starting the next. This way Tome bridge settings and neck relief is maintained so you don't have to go through having the truss settle back in again. I do this on a couple of my guitars that have thin necks which are susceptible to string tension changes. The rest I don't have to worry about doing them all at once.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by WRGKMC View Post
                Many Luther's will recommend replacing one string at a time then bringing that string up to pitch before starting the next. This way Tome bridge settings and neck relief is maintained so you don't have to go through having the truss settle back in again. I do this on a couple of my guitars that have thin necks which are susceptible to string tension changes. The rest I don't have to worry about doing them all at once.
                I don't wish to cast doubt - really I don't, trust me, maybe I've missed something really important - but I've been playing guitar for more years than most people on here have lived and I've never once touched a truss rod. I've heard of 'em. Do many people really feel they need to adjust them regularly?
                Last edited by Surrealistic; 08-24-2014, 09:58 AM.
                http://www.surrealisticpenguin.com

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Surrealistic View Post

                  I don't wish to cast doubt - really I don't, trust me, maybe I've missed something really important - but I've been playing guitar for more years than most people on here have lived and I've never once touched a truss rod. I've heard of 'em. Do many people really feel they need to adjust them regularly?
                  Generally I only need to adjust the truss rod when the previous owner has adjusted the truss rod.
                  Less is more

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Chordite View Post

                    Generally I only need to adjust the truss rod when the previous owner has adjusted the truss rod.
                    Ah, now, see, so often I think I'm really weird here because I don't seem to follow the prevalent memes, but at times like this I feel almost normal. Of course "normal" is probably a very bad thing to be
                    http://www.surrealisticpenguin.com

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Surrealistic View Post

                      I don't wish to cast doubt - really I don't, trust me, maybe I've missed something really important - but I've been playing guitar for more years than most people on here have lived and I've never once touched a truss rod. I've heard of 'em. Do many people really feel they need to adjust them regularly?

                      Well I dont so I'm in your camp. They guy talks good sense and utter crap in equal measure. And I dont mind saying it. This is up there with his inconsistent break angle by non uniform post windings ruining your relief.
                      Don't pick a fight with an old man,
                      If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.


                      '' Who, me Officer?''

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Surrealistic View Post

                        I don't wish to cast doubt - really I don't, trust me, maybe I've missed something really important - but I've been playing guitar for more years than most people on here have lived and I've never once touched a truss rod. I've heard of 'em. Do many people really feel they need to adjust them regularly?
                        I generally only tweak the truss rod if going to a different string gauge..
                        The exceptin being an Xavier guitar that I never could get exactly right until my tech went over it .

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                        • #27
                          I frankly don't know. I've never timed it. I guess half an hour or so. I'm reminded of an old joke where someone asked a farmer how long cows should be milked and he said "The same as short cows." I'm not a working musician (I don't consider praise band as qualifying) so I can take my time. I do make sure there are at least two wraps around each tuning post, more for plain strings. I also detest untrimmed strings but I understand there are mitigating circumstances sometimes. Break angle (at the nut end) is achieved by headstock angle or string trees so I don't worry about it. As for the truss rod, I adjust it (if needed) when I do a setup and otherwise I leave it alone.
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                          • #28
                            I can not change strings without doing some amount of cleaning as well and also check action and intonation so it takes me a bit longer than some would require.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Surrealistic View Post

                              I don't wish to cast doubt - really I don't, trust me, maybe I've missed something really important - but I've been playing guitar for more years than most people on here have lived and I've never once touched a truss rod. I've heard of 'em. Do many people really feel they need to adjust them regularly?
                              I'd have to guess you've been lucky to have owned quality instruments that aren't temperamental. With all the inexpensive guitars being imported and cheaper woods being used I've come across allot of poor quality necks doing repairs. Even in my own collection of 30 instruments I have several that seem to vary on a regular basis.

                              Some like my Rickenbacker, Les Paul and necks with a rosewood fretboard never need to have the truss adjusted. I have some others with thinner necks which are very sensitive. Several of those are all maple necks and the quality of the rod inside the neck is questionable.

                              When you remove all the strings you're taking between 100 to 200lbs pressure off the neck and it usually flattens out. If you've ever checked a fret board with a straight edge before and after removing strings you'd know a neck flattens out and can even back bow when you remove the strings.

                              When you put strings back on that relief may or may not come back quickly and it can be the cause of spending allot of additional time tuning the first few days till it settles. This is why a many Luther's will recommend the single string method. How long it takes a neck to settle can vary all over the place. I have some thicker necked guitars that don't vary at all.

                              Others can more take up to a week to settle in. If you haven't had the issue before then consider yourself fortunate you own a quality guitar that doesn't have that issue. Just realize there are allot of bum necks being made now and it can be one of the causes of tuning issues.

                              As an added note, they do make a special Luthier tool that measures the change between having the strings on (in the upright playing position) and strings off laying flat which is used for doing quality fret work on an instrument. These rigs aren't cheap but they are a step above just using straight edges to get the work done properly. http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools...rkstation.html

                              Not sure how many here do their own fret replacement or fret leveling but I've done more then I can count. The biggest issue you run into is getting the fret board flat before you level the frets. Having a jig like that would be a god send but I don't run a full time business where I can justify the cost of a $700 rig like that.

                              A thin neck with softer cheap wood can be a bastard to keep level because it flexes so easily when you loosen the truss nut. Thin necks rely on the truss rod for its stiffness. Just a small amount of flex applying pressure filing the frets flat can cause low spots by removing more material then needed. It only takes a few 1000ths of an inch in the wrong places to wind up with strings that fret out or buzz badly.
                              Last edited by WRGKMC; 08-25-2014, 07:55 AM.

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                              • #30
                                I always do all 6 strings at a time and have never noticed any problems with neck relief. I've also very very rarely had to adjust a truss rod. Maybe twice on 2 guitars of about 7 over the past 7 years or so. It's just not an issue.

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