Every guitar player knows that you need to be changing your strings regularly. But how often should you restring a guitar?
You should restring your guitar regularly, about every 2-4 months depending on how much you play. Or, when you notice corrosion or discoloration on the strings.
How often you should restring your guitar really depends on how much you play and the environment you keep your guitar. You can keep your strings sounding bright for longer if you take good care of your guitar.
How to Know When it’s Time to Restring Your Guitar
Guitar strings will degrade over time. the oil from your hands, and the humidity in the room all play a part in how long your guitar strings will last.
When you start to see any kind of build up, or discoloration on the strings, it’s time to restring your guitar. Keeping your guitar in its case can also help them last longer, but only moderately so. If you have dirty strings, please change them immediately.
If you have more than one string on the set of guitar strings break, it’s time to change your guitar strings. Broken strings can happen on a whim, but it is more common for older and corroded strings to break. a string break can be an indicator that it is time to restring your guitar.
Also check the winding of the higher gauge strings. If you notice any breaks or unwinding along your strings, it’s time to change them.
Dead skin cells from your fingers will undoubtedly find their way onto your strings, mix in some sweat and oil from your fingers and you have a slow acting combination that will corrode your strings over time.
Although it is personal preference, I personally stay away from string cleaner and other similar products. I simply opt for a fresh pack rather than clean old strings.
How much does it cost to restring a guitar
If you can restring your guitar yourself, it will only cost you about 10-25 dollars, depending on your preference of strings. I recommend always trying out a new type of strings at least every third or fourth string change.
If you’ve never restrung a guitar here’s a link to a great guide and a simple video. The tools they use are nice to have, but you can get by without them.
There’s simply SO many different types and brands of strings, you could try out a new pack every month for the rest of your life and never try them all!
You’ll quickly develop a preference, but still try out new set, you might be pleasantly surprised.
If you choose to bring your guitar into a shop to have it restrung, you’ll be paying a little more. I recommend trying to find a good mom and pop music shop to support, but all music shops will likely offer a guitar restringing service.
At these shops, the cost to restring a guitar will likely be between 20-45 dollars, and that price included the cost of new strings.
Most shops will also give your guitar a little clean up/ minor tune up while they restring it. This can be a nice thing to do once and awhile, but I still do all my own restringing.
How Often to Restring an Acoustic Guitar
You should restring an acoustic guitar every 2-4 months of playing. Less if you are able to maintain a good environmental setting for your instrument. If you play more than the average hobbyist, you may want to restring your acoustic guitar more frequently.
I’m not scientist but for some reason I find that my acoustic guitar strings do not last as long as my electric strings. Even though I keep all my guitars in the same environmental conditions. The quality of the strings are also about the same.
My guess would be that some metal alloys used in the manufacturing of acoustic strings are more susceptible to rust and discoloration. This can reduce sound quality more quickly than their electric counterparts.
How Often should you restring your electric guitar
If you typically play more rhythm style guitar you’ll need to change your electric guitar strings less.
Restringing your electric guitar strings will help keep your strings fresh and ready for anything. If your play style is more about vibrato and big bends, it will decrease the lifespan of the strings.
Don’t change how you play though! That’s simply what strings are made for, shred away!
Restring a Classical Guitar, How often?
Restring your classical guitar every 3-6 months, depending on your play style and needs. Classical strings are made of nylon and do not have the same corrosion problems that metal guitar strings have.
Therefore, you typically do not need to restring the nylon type of classical guitar strings as much as other varieties. Nylon strings have a little more longevity than their metal cousins!
Still, I would stay away from string cleaners for classical guitar strings, once you notice build up or winding breaks on any of the strings you should restring your classical guitar as soon as you are able.
Bass Guitar: How Often they need to be restrung
You should restring your bass guitar every 2-8 months depending on your style and level of play. Bass guitar strings are far less likely to break, as the gauge of each string is far higher than your average 6 string guitar.
Bass guitar strings are also far more expensive than 6 strings. Bass guitar strings can cost 25-60 dollars per pack depending on your preference. Luckily, they are just as easy to restring yourself, which I recommend.
Bass guitar strings are a higher gauge, which means that they will have more space for build up to occur between the windings of each string.
I hate to admit it, but when it comes to bass guitar, if you want to cut costs, consider a string cleaning solution. I never recommend it for 6 string guitars, but bass strings are much more of an investment.