Friday, January 18, 2008

Guitar Tone: Change Your Strings and Sound Better Right Now

I finally got around to changing the strings on my guitar last night. I did some playing and was blown away by how much better it sounded. If you want to sound better right now, change your strings!

While I’m sure professional players observe this, us hobbyists with busy schedules may not. Fact is, strings wear out both from the strain of your incredible shredding technique as well as corrosive effects of sweat and other aspects of your body chemistry. While I have not yet acquired incredible shredding techniques, the big improvement in sound shows I've been leaving strings on too long.

Take a look at your strings right now. If you see divots or signs of corrosion on them (you know, they look like they were retrieved from the Titanic), it’s time to change them. Changing more often doesn't have to mean expensive though.

You can usually find deals on strings and when you do, just stock up is all. And hey, with the money you are willing to spend on other get tone quick schemes, a set of strings is a bargain! Review your stringing method too while you are at it as that impacts tone and playability. The Internet has loads of references to stringing a guitar. You can also find tutorials at the D'Addario website.

Keep in mind that after changing them, you can extend their lifespan (how long they continue to sound bright with good sustain) by wiping them off after each playing session.

By investing 15 minutes or so and changing your strings, you end up with much better tone and playability, a great return on time investmed (the aging wannabe rocker mantra). Also, don’t forget to condition your fretboard at the same time.

>>Related Articles
Guitar Tricks for Building Calluses
Guitar Maintenance: How to Take Care of Your Fretboard
Guitar Tone: Tips and Tricks on What Works for You

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