How Often Should You Change Your Guitar Strings?

Changing guitar stringsAre you wondering how often you should be changing your guitar strings?  It’s a common question for beginner guitarists, and it goes hand-in-hand with general guitar maintenance.  Read on for some great advice from one of our office rock stars, Megan L…


Learning how to take care of a guitar can seem like a mysterious and difficult undertaking. When I was first learning to play, I was surprised at how much care and attention goes into keeping this instrument sounding great. Between tuning, cleaning and changing strings, at times I felt more like I had invested in a strange new pet than in a guitar. Over time, I found that learning when to change my strings actually made my guitar sound a lot better, which helped me to become a more confident player.

Many factors go into determining how often you should consider changing your guitar strings. Dirt and oil from your hands can build up on the strings, causing the sound to become sort of flat or dead. (Learn how to clean your guitar strings here!) Strings stretch out as they are played and eventually do not hold tune well any longer. Additionally, steel strings can rust, which not only affects the sound of your guitar but also makes it kind of gross to play.

If you are playing for several hours every day, you might want to change your guitar strings as often as once a week. If you aren’t quite ready for that much string-changing, washing your hands before you play can help reduce the amount of dirt and oil from your skin that gets onto your strings. However, if you have extra sweaty hands when you play, you might want to change your strings more often. If you notice your guitar doesn’t hold tune as well as it used to or the tone sounds less rich, you might see a vast improvement if you just change your strings. Personally, I like to change my strings a day or two before a performance. Not only does it make my guitar sound better, but it helps me feel more prepared to succeed.

– Megan L., TakeLessons staff member

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