When to change electric strings?

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MSEV
Posts: 92
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:08 pm
Location: Omaha

When to change electric strings?

Post: # 3286Post MSEV
Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:36 pm

So I am a long time acoustic player, and have a good sense when I should change the strings.
But I have no idea about how to know when it is time to change strings on an electric.
Any thoughts?
And I have a standard electric (290) and a semi-hollow body (I 35)--are they different in when they need a string change?
Thanks.
Bob K
Omaha

MSEV
Posts: 92
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:08 pm
Location: Omaha

Re: When to change electric strings?

Post: # 3338Post MSEV
Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:09 pm

Gosh, am I to take it that no one knows when it is time to change strings on an electric??? :roll:
Bob K
Omaha

Frank Sanns
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Real Name: Frank Sanns
Location: Pittsburgh

Re: When to change electric strings?

Post: # 3340Post Frank Sanns
Thu Jan 21, 2021 3:33 am

Electric guitars use much thinner strings than an acoustic. As such, the tension is only about 60% that of that of an acoustic guitar. This lower tension is below the point where the string creeps and loses its uniformity and goes dead. In theory, an electric guitar with light strings can sit in a case for a decade and play like the strings were new provided there is no oxidation or corrosion.

So the deciding factor of when to replace strings on an electric is nearly entirely related to the amount and aggressiveness which the guitar is played. Also the smoothness of nut, saddle and frets. The strings get mechanically worn down or deformed by playing most especially with bending and such. When it happens, it is time for a string change. There is no good recommendation for that timing as it could be in a few hours of shredding or a couple years of gentle noodling.

MSEV
Posts: 92
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:08 pm
Location: Omaha

Re: When to change electric strings?

Post: # 3347Post MSEV
Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:15 pm

Thanks, Frank. I appreciate your answering and thoughts.
Bob K
Omaha

Red Oak
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Re: When to change electric strings?

Post: # 3769Post Red Oak
Sat Mar 27, 2021 3:23 pm

Frank’s explanation is the best I’ve read on this question!!

franco63
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Re: When to change electric strings?

Post: # 4834Post franco63
Tue Nov 16, 2021 2:17 pm

If you play regularly....change the strings 4 times per year. Once a quarter......it's easy to remember and it gives you a chance to clean and condition the fretboard, maybe go over the frets with steel wool........it's just good guitar maintenance and keeps strings (relatively) fresh.

ripsaw
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Real Name: jimmy

Re: When to change electric strings?

Post: # 4854Post ripsaw
Tue Nov 23, 2021 5:08 pm

...and always remember to wipe-down your guitar, including the strings, after each playing - especially after club gigs and the like. Keeping your instrument clean is a good habit to fall into.

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