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Neglected Gear By Strings By Mail

Our mission at Strings By Mail is to help each player and every instrument reach their fullest potential.

As players we all focus a lot of time on having the right gear and keeping it in working order, but too many of us neglect one of the least expensive and most integral parts of our set up. I am referring to guitar strings, they make a big difference in our sound and our playing.

Guitar strings don’t just impact our sound they impact our skills. It can be too subtle to notice as strings initially start to degrade but the loss of good response and tone causes us to alter how we play, and most notably how we use the right hand. We will usually start to dig in harder trying to get the same sound and action and often adjust our touch to try to make up for changes in the resistance and response of the string. That’s an unwelcome distraction from ease of playing with the right hand, but many players don’t’ realize that often the bigger problem is how that tension hits the left hand due to the body’s natural cross wiring system. As we dig in harder with the right hand the left hand naturally starts to squeeze the neck harder and that means we are losing ease of motion because we are simply using too much force. So changing those strings on a regular basis, before they are totally shot, can pay big dividends in making and keeping our skills consistent. That means better results in our practice and better performances. Not to mention how great new guitar strings sound, which can inspire us to practice more, again making us better players.

But even when we know this, too many of us still put off changing strings. Why? Because it just takes too much time, and we want that time for playing!

So we need to learn to change guitar strings faster, and more effortlessly.

This video series can help you solve that problem.

It presents a quick efficient way to get it done in 15 minutes or less. If you have the right approach, changing strings is a snap. You just need to be prepared to change them fast and change them well.

With some of the most popular strings clocking in around $5.00, for far less than we spend on the rest of our set up, we can insure that we give ourselves the best possible shot at playing and sounding our best.

And in the case of acoustic guitars, you will also be giving that ax its best shot at being healthy and being all that it can be sonically. Think about how instruments break in by being played. It’s because the vibrations the wood is exposed to actually loosen up the fibers of the wood that respond to those particular vibrations, so the guitar gets louder and more even. Well, when we continue to play a guitar with worn down strings that do not have a full even range of overtones, we are not vibrating the full set of fibers that respond to the clear and even sounds of fresh strings. Therefore some of the best sounding ranges of the instrument are not being kept active and responsive. If it goes on long enough, then even when you finally change strings, the guitar is not ready to sound its best. So not just the sound right now, but the potential sound over time is being limited. We are in effect undoing the breaking in any instrument needs to keep sounding its best.

So for the sake of your skills, your inspiration, and your instruments, it pays to become quick and efficient at changing strings. And it pays to stay ahead of the natural degradation of your strings. Do yourself a favor and change them before they are “shot”.

How often is often enough?

With the impact of individual skin chemistry, various wear factors of different touches and styles, and varying durability of different string materials; we cannot set any strict rules. While during busy periods most professionals change them on a weekly or at least bi-weekly basis, a hobbyist can easily get by for a month to 6 weeks. If you are playing less than an hour each day then you could get by longer. But the outside limit should be with the changing seasons, every 3 months. That may not keep you with the most crisp and inspirational sound and touch, but it will probably keep you from reaching the kind of low point where the strings are really hurting your playing, or your instrument. And once you become aware of these factors you will very likely be able to know instinctively when it is time to change them.

When it comes to guitar strings, from not changing them to not choosing the right type, we can miss being better players for lack of a little time, knowledge, and awareness.

In upcoming articles we will help you understand how to choose among the many different types of strings on the market. Materials and manufacturing techniques do make a big difference.

Future installments

#2 manufacturing and materials for electric strings
#3 manufacturing and materials for acoustic strings
#4 customs sets

About Us:

Our mission at Strings By Mail is to help each player and every instrument reach their fullest potential.

We are popular and respected for our comprehensive and low priced string offerings, fast order turnaround, and superior customer satisfaction. We sell strings, accessories, instruments, and sheet music. We welcome phone orders and specialize in providing complimentary consultations regarding string choices and design of custom sets for specific instruments, styles, and personal preferences.

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