02-13-2013 06:58 PM
What's everyone's "policy" for restringing prior to a gig?
I've got a gig on Friday, and I'm at that awkward point where I'm worried my strings are getting a little bit old, but won't have adequate time to "play in" a new set before the show.
I like to have a fresh set on there but like to log an hour or two to make sure everything's fully stretched out and there are no surpises. How about everyone else?
02-13-2013 07:05 PM
02-13-2013 08:41 PM
02-13-2013 10:34 PM
Yeah, some people are definitely OCD with string changes. Then some people go to the other extreme and let them get gross. I fall somewhere in the middle, but don't follow any specific routine. I know when they need changed. I'd guess it's somewhere in the 25 to 50 hour range. Very much depends on how clean a person keeps their hands, whether they wipe the strings down, and their body's chemical makeup.
As far as when to change in relation to a gig, I like to change them at least a day or two before and get an hour or two of play time to make sure they are broken in and tuning is stable.
02-14-2013 04:55 AM
Change strings the day of a gig? NO. Change them a day or two before, and play on them for a bit (a half hour) to get them stretched out. Don't forget to stop and tune TO PITCH while you're breaking in the strings. They'll still have that bright "zingy" new string sound, but should be stretched out and not give you tuning problems.
02-14-2013 05:44 AM
02-14-2013 06:14 AM
I only change them if they need changed, or if it has been awhile since they were last changed, and they really don't need a couple days playing to stretch them...ten minutes and they are good to go if done properly!
02-14-2013 06:55 AM - edited 02-14-2013 06:56 AM
I used to change 'em a day or two before every gig, but have gotten to the point lately where I won't swap 'em until they start to feel cruddy or sound dead, which usually ends up happening after 2 or 3 gigs.
02-17-2013 09:02 PM
I'll usually change 'em at least on my main a couple of days before, unless I happen to have already changed 'em a few days before that. My backup tends to have fairly fresh strings on it all the time anyway, coz I'll change 'em nearly as often but use it nowhere near as much.
I'm not too bothered about them sounding brand new, more tuning stability and having them not break. I have to do a bit of unfortunately violent whammy work in the band, so I'm more just wanting a set on there that hasn't yet taken a massive beating.
Which reminds me, I still need to order some spare whammy bars, having been introduced to (at practice, thankfully) the reality that whammy bars can indeed break. Haha.
02-17-2013 09:19 PM
i'm in the "couple of days before" camp.
02-18-2013 04:35 AM - edited 02-18-2013 04:40 AM
i havent gigged in a while but when i did i would change strings at least a day or two before but not the same day or night before even. I like strings just a bit post brand new. also i dont stretch them. I string up, tune to pitch, play some chords and wank some bendy solos, retune then leave the guitar unplayed for 24 hours. I think this method I got from bill lawrence, its supposed to increase the life of the strings. supposedly stretching just puts undue stress on them making them prone to breakage.
does it work? who knows. I never break strings I know that.
02-18-2013 06:27 AM - edited 02-18-2013 06:30 AM
I've alwasy done it a day or two before, but you can do it right before you play:
String up, tune to pitch, and then grab each string on the 12th fret (middle of the neck) and pull it back and forth (perpendicular to the neck) 10 or 20 times. You want to give it enough force to simulate a reeeaallly big note bend, but not so much that you risk breaking the string. Do each string. Then re-tune. Repeat.
3 rounds of this usually does the trick, but you could do a few more if you're really worried about it. Takes 5-10 minutes, and is much more effective than just playing for a while.
02-18-2013 06:45 AM
I am firmly in the camp of leaving your old strings on. If your strings break often, then you (possibly) have miserable technique or (more likely) your guitar could use some new saddles, preferably from Graphtec. If I have a gig, and the guitar I want to play has really, really corroded strings, then maybe. But generally, I leave strings on until they are so old that they break. I have enough guitars that I'll just bring one without super corroded strings to a gig instead.
02-18-2013 09:23 PM
If I can I like to restring a day or two before hand to let everything settle and to subdue the new string brightness a little bit. Which reminds me I should change the strings on my Strat. The D string has bends it in all the way down the neck on each fret I have played two gigs with it that way and its still going strong.
HarmonyCentral.com is the leading Internet resource for musicians, supplying valuable information from news and product reviews, to classified ads and chat rooms.