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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Tom Bliss Tech: How long to change guitar strings? (52* d) RE: Tech: How long to change guitar strings? 06 Sep 10

Just a couple of quick thoughts

I also snip my strings for ease of use (used to have 34+ to do before, and mid tour if more than 4-6 hot or damp gigs on the trot - autumn tent fests being the worst), but not without a pang of guilt.

There is a great charity that recycles strings to Africa run by ace guitarist Tom Toomey (Plays with Simon Swarbrick, Jingo Santana and, now, The Zombies).

Every now and then Tom N gives me a bundle for Tom T, and then I take the trouble to add a bunch of mine.

Re string winders, it really is best to have no more than 1.5-3 winds on the peg. Metal stretches and the more winds there are the more problems with temperature etcc, specially if you use different tunings a lot. This takes about 3 seconds with a winder - it would take longer to pick up and locate an electric one, plus I'm not sure you'd have enough control to pull as you go - but I may be wrong).

As someone said, start with the hole in the peg aligned across the head, pull the string up tight, wind round once for wound strings and twice for plain, then feed the string end through the hole, outwards, and pull tight (pliers are best or plain strings because they slip through your fingers). Then wind till fairly tight, with lots of pulls to take the slack and sit the winds tight on the peg. You'll end up with the correct number of winds and it takes no time.

If you change all at once (I do both according to circumstance), bring all the strings to a loose tightness, but not pitch - and only then tune, working inwards from top and bottom in stages to stop the neck twisting.

And only then snip off the end.

I usually do all my instruments together, bring them to a low pitch, then leave them for a an hour or two before tuning. It's not just about tension and temperature but also metal memory.


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