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Beginner's Guide: How Often to Change Your Guitar Strings (And 5 Signs It's Time)

Did you know in 2018 there were over 2.5 million guitars sold in the United States alone?

Although people think that guitars are dying it's simply not true. They are actually getting more popular than people realize as you can tell from the stat above, people are still buying guitars.  

With this number, it's no surprise that there are many newbies picking up a new hobby or passion. With a new guitar comes new knowledge and learning how to care for your guitar.

Have you been practicing lately and noticing that your guitar strings aren't performing as well as they did when you first picked it up? Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about how often to change guitar strings.

How Often to Change Guitar Strings

It's not fun practicing for your music lessons with your guitar and being totally into it when suddenly a string breaks. It's better to change it before it's too late and you're in the middle of an inspired piece.

After every 100 hours of playing your guitar, you should change the strings because they are getting used and worn. Another rule of thumb is every 3 months because even while they're not in use, they will wear with the elements and the moisture you left on it from your fingers when you played it last.

Whichever comes first 100 hours or 3 months is a good time to change those guitar strings and avoid them sounding "funny," breaking, or not tuning correctly. 

5 Signs It's Time to Change Guitar Strings

The signs below are important to keep an eye out for and not ignore when it comes to changing your guitar strings.

1. Dull Tone

New strings or strings that aren't worn sound clear and crisp, unlike strings that are worn out. This will cause your music to sound flat or dull. 

Even if you prefer a mellow tone and prefer the strings to be a bit broken into, whatever you play should NEVER sound dull. 

Dull means it's time to change those strings.

2. Feel Dirty

Every time you play you leave your finger marks behind. Yes, your fingers sweat believe it or not. When you play your guitar your fingers should be able to slide smoothly across the strings without any friction.

Friction is a sign that the strings are dirty. It's usually easier to feel the dirt on the strings than to see the dirt on them.

3. Splotchy Strings

Over time the strings on your guitar will begin to discolor and look splotchy. This happens from the oils in your fingers and the elements in the air. 

Compare the area of the guitar where you don't play too often because this will be more of a representation of the color the strings were when you first got the guitar. If the colors are a big difference it's time to change strings.

4. Won't Tune

Worn and old strings will cause an issue when trying to tune the guitar. You might be able to tune them but after a few short days, they will go back to not holding the tune. 

If they won't tune or won't hold a tune after a few days it's time for new strings.

5. Stiff Strings

If you're playing and the strings feel unusually stiff it's a sign. The metal is starting to corrode causing the string to feel stiff.

It should be bendable and flexible to sounds its best. 

Happy Playing!

There you have it, the answer to how often to change guitar strings and 5 signs it's time to change those strings. Now that you have this knowledge make sure to keep practicing so that you can soon show off those musician skills.

Are you still looking for the perfect guitar? Browse our online guitar store for your choice of new or refurbished instruments.

4 Responses

Hugh Mann

Hugh Mann

February 03, 2024

This is perfect article. Good!

Hugh Mann

Hugh Mann

January 01, 2024

This is perfect article. Good.



June 08, 2023

You’re very welcome, Lincoln. I’m happy you found our article useful!



June 08, 2023

Hi, Thank you very much for your advice regarding replacing of guitar strings. it really helps.

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