Should I loosen my guitar strings when not playing?

music lessons, guitar lessons, ukulele lessons, voice lesson, saxophone lesson, voice lesson

The first instrument I learned and became proficient at was the guitar. I also became very familiar with all the parts for both acoustic and electric guitars. Since I experiment a lot on guitar, not just on playing techniques, but also the overall schematics of the instrument, I once asked myself and wondered this same question.

Should I loosen my guitar strings when not playing? It is not necessary to loosen your guitar strings when not playing. The guitar’s neck can handle the strings tension in its tuned position when not playing, whether hanging on the stand or kept inside the case. This is especially true if you have a good quality guitar.

All guitars are designed and built for certain string tension whether one uses heavier or lighter gauge strings. You should probably be more concerned with where the guitar is made from and considering if it’s a real brand or a knock-off. The US made Fender Stratocaster or a Gibson Les Paul, for example, is not similar to a replica made from China.

Yes, they may look and feel exactly the same, and sometimes even its tone quality. But only time will tell if the wood stays the same or react differently with certain string gauge tension. You have a choice between solid wood and laminated wood. In short, solid wood is usually prone to changes in temperature and humidity, while laminated wood is a bit stronger and more resistant.

Similar to a good quality whiskey, the tone of a guitar (ex. acoustic) gets better as it ages. The wood of the guitar stands the test of time with the change in temperature and humidity. Therefore, if the guitar is built with a good solid wood, it does not need to loosen the strings when not playing. Continue reading “Should I loosen my guitar strings when not playing?”

What happens when guitar strings get old?

music lessons, guitar lessons, piano lessons, ukulele lessons, voice lessons, supportive environment

I have been playing guitar for over thirty years now and at this point, it is easy for me to tell when strings are old. In this article, I would like to share with you my experiences of having old strings on my guitar. Whether you play guitar for a while now or just a beginner, you are probably wondering “what happens when guitar strings get old”?

When guitar strings get old the sound is dull and kinda muffled, no presence. Although it may still look playable, when guitar strings get old they turn brownish in color and no more luster as compare to a fresh set of strings. The discoloration of your guitar strings is a sign that you might have to change your strings pretty soon, otherwise, rust will start to build up. You certainly do not want to hurt your fingers playing with browny-rusty strings on your guitar. If it feels rough, it’s definitely about time to change your strings. So those are the first sign that a steel-strings get old.

For nylon-string guitar, the sound will be dull too but you may not really see any visible change in color. The wound of the top three strings looks and feel uneven, and sometimes there’s a break or gap on the wound. Those are the sign that the nylon-string gets old. Continue reading “What happens when guitar strings get old?”