How many strings do you change at a time?

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by TedEH, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I've always thought of this as an obvious one, but I've always changed all the strings on any instruments at the same time. It bugs me to have one new string and a bunch of dead/old ones on the same instrument. But I hear about people just changing one at a time all of the time- usually from complete beginners.

    Does anyone, outside of beginners, ever change just one string at a time?
     
  2. Unleash The Fury

    Unleash The Fury SS.org Regular

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    Unless i break one and have just one spare of that size, i always change all
     
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  3. jaxadam

    jaxadam SS.org Regular

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    I'm not a string breaker, and I've always done full string changes.

    I actually don't change strings very often, and if one broke a few days/week after a change I'll just replace the one. I usually have enough spares laying around.
     
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  4. NickS

    NickS Carvinite

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    I would pretty much never change just one, but I don't really tend to break strings.
     
  5. smokiekouki

    smokiekouki SS.org Regular

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    I don't understand how people break strings so often to be required to change one at a time. I change them all at once.
     
  6. tedtan

    tedtan SS.org Regular

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    Back when I first started playing, the bridge saddle for the high E string had a bur and would cause strings to break frequently. Sometimes more than once a day. At that time, I would change just the broken string.

    After a week or so, I figured out the problem and fixed it, and have only changed strings out as whole sets since then. I'd still change a single sting out if one broke while I was putting it on with the rest of the set, but that's only happened once or twice since I started playing back in '87 (Wow, 30 years ago now :eek: :nuts:).
     
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  7. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I used to break strings somewhere between weekly and monthly, depending on how much I was playing. It mostly came down to having cheap instruments at the time, so there was - I assume - too much friction between strings and cheap hardware. I've even broken bass strings this way. All the instruments I have now are, while not amazingly high-end, much better than they used to be in terms of the quality and finish of the hardware on it, so to break a string I have to really abuse it- and even that doesn't usually do it. Maybe quality control has just gotten much better in the last while. Or maybe I've been lucky. Or maybe strings have gotten more resilient. Most of the time, I'll change strings because they're worn and dull, long before they've broken.
     
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  8. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    If I break a string during a show I replace it, but otherwise, I change them all at once. I don't know how anyone can stand playing with one shiny new string and six old ones. I'd sooner wear one new sock and one old sock at the same time than consciously decide to just change one string.
     
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  9. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    If I break a string during a show I replace it, but otherwise, I change them all at once. I don't know how anyone can stand playing with one shiny new string and six old ones. I'd sooner wear one new sock and one old sock at the same time than consciously decide to just change one string.
     
  10. bpprox22

    bpprox22 String Breaker

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    String Breaker is my new custom title
     
  11. downburst82

    downburst82 SS.org Regular

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    I also *never break strings so I only do full restrings and I always take all the strings off so I can properly clean the fretboard and polish the frets.

    * Ok not never but its been at least 5-6 YEARS
     
  12. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    I tend to change them all at once. I don't play live so it's whatever use the guitars are having that wear strings down. I rarely break strings too but if I break one it depends on how long ago I changed the set and how fresh the rest are. If it's been a while, they sound dull and show they're old then I change them all. If it's relatively close to the string change then just one.
     
  13. CrazyDean

    CrazyDean SS.org Regular

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    The only time I would change just one was when I was using a guitar with high A. I was using .007s from D'addario which will break if you look at them too hard.
     
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  14. Konfyouzd

    Konfyouzd Dread-I Master Contributor

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    I only did 2 just recently because I broke two from a new pack so I went to the store and bought another pack for those 2 strings. :lol:

    That doesn't count does it?
     
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  15. erdiablo666

    erdiablo666 Do not go Djently

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    Haven't heard of many people changing only one at a time. I don't see why - just get a full set of crispy bois on there. I think I broke a string once in about 10 years, and it's because I was trying to do it.
     
  16. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire tinkerer/aspiring builder/8 string hoarder

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    i only change strings when they break since I hate having to change 8 strings at a time. The only time my strings break is when i'm swapping pickups and have to loosen the strings to slide the pickup in. I used to break a ton of .009s too, but I bought 30 spare single strings just in case.
     
  17. TheTrooper

    TheTrooper SS.org Regular

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    Well played Sir, well played. :lol:
     
  18. exo

    exo SS.org Regular

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    Kinda thinking that the "change strings one at a time" thing got misinterpreted by the OP. In my experience, "one at a time" usually simply means that YES, you are changing every string, BUT you are doing it sequentially and don't strip all the strings off at the same time. Typically guys with a floating bridge do it this way simply to keep string tension on the bridge so the trem springs don't pull it down into the cavity, and you don't have to spend as much time re-balancing things.

    I don't think I've ever heard of people literally changing just one string unless there is a breakage live, or they're experimenting with string guage.
     
  19. Go To Bed Jessica

    Go To Bed Jessica SS.org Regular

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    I broke the high e on my 8 string last week, and it was a fairly new set.

    Due to time/distance restrictions - I had to go to the shop that I don't really like, and within about 10 seconds of walking in I could hear the owner dude carrying on with his usual wankery.

    He annoyed me so much that I decided to only buy a single string instead of a whole new set.

    I realise that wasn't quite on topic, I just wanted to tell the story.

    Other than that, I change sets of strings one at a time unless I'm doing the whole deep clean and oil the fretboard thing.
     
  20. laxu

    laxu SS.org Regular

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    All of them unless the strings are new and just one broke. I first take all strings off, then clean the fretboard and body, fix any electrical issues and then put on new strings.

    The one at a time is sound advice for trems as you don't have to block them so it's less troublesome.
     

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