Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Lengthen String Life

In the recent video about guitar tones, I mentioned as a first tip how that new strings will dramatically improve your guitar tone. Not only are they easier and more pleasurable to play, but they add beauty to even the ugliest looking guitar. 
The problem is that, as most things in life, good things don't last to long. Strings are of no exception. It would seem that most string brands only last at the most a week before they start to sound dull and lifeless. (Based on frequency of playing) Fortunately, there is something you can do to extend the life of those little jewels.
Here are some tips to help stretch out the lifespan.
1) Wash your hands before playing
Those oils and the acids your hands produce are the bane of new strings.
2) Clean them after every session
With a clean lint free cloth wipe off your strings, on top and underneath.
3) Play with a good pick
Unless you prefer to finger pick, which presents a whole new set of problems for new strings. A good pick will extend your string life. A pick that has been over used will become sharper on one side and can cause string breakage. Also, as covered in the last video, a small tear in the tip can also break a high E in seconds.
4) String conditioners
There are many brands out there, and all of them are good in their own right. The main purpose of a product such as this is to reduce fret noise, coat strings with an oil to preserve their finish, and to generally make it easier to play.
5) Play more
This seems counter intuitive but it works! The more you play the more you keep those new strings in a healthy stretch. Also, if you follow the above steps, you are cleaning them more. 
I hope these tips have been useful. Slap some new strings on that guitar and get to playing some music!