FAQ / Frequently Asked Questions
Changing strings on any guitar will depend on a few things.
1 How often do you play?
2nd Do you wipe down your guitar when you’re done playing?
3rd How old are the strings (when did you change them last?)
The oil in your hands becomes a factor as well. So to answer the question of how often should I change my strings? When the strings need to be changed they will: *Lose the ability to stay in tune *Turn black or rust colored *Break or unravel
When you are done playing, take an old cotton Tee shirt and wipe off the strings. It only takes about two seconds and you will increase the life of your strings!
Everyone will have their own opinion on the different brands of strings so my suggestion is to try as many different strings as you can. When you find a set that feels and sounds right to you then that’s the best kind.
Another thing you can do is ask the opinion of guitars players that you know personally. All guitar players will have something to say on this subject!
If you are a beginner, the first thing to look for is appearance. Look to see if there are any broken or damaged parts. Sometimes the damage isn’t so obvious so look close.
Next on the list would be to plug it in if it has an input jack. If you can hear the strings clearly then you’re on the right track. If it is possible, take a guitar player with you that knows how to sight the neck and canplay well enough to know if the neck is straight and can test any of the guitars electronics if it has any.
First things first, if your guitar has a Floyd Rose or any tremolo that allows you to pull up and dive down, multiple tunings WILL NOT work!
You can set the bridge up in a different tuning, you just cant change the tuning on the fly in the middle of the song.
So how does Eddie Van Halen use a drop D tuning in the middle of a song? He uses a special piece on his bridge that allows the string to drop a whole step and the only reason that works is because his bridge is a dive down only and not a pull up. If you drop tune a single string on a two way Floyd Rose system, all of the other strings will go sharp just like when you break a string.
There are newer designs that allow the bridge to stay stable so if you are looking to buy a guitar that does that, they are out there. If you have an original type the best thing you can do if you need multiple tunings is have multiple guitars. The Floyd Rose systems are great things to have so don’t be turned away just because it is limited to a single tuning.
Here is a simple test you can do before you drive out to your guitar tech. First, plug the guitar in so you can hear the annoying noise, turn the guitar or stand in a different spot in the room while not touching the strings. If the noise changes in:
Frequency Pitch Over all level Goes away all together Then it isn’t your input jack (unless you’re moving the cable around). Usually when the noise changes like that, its something in the electricity. For instance, if I plug in a guitar while its on my work bench, turn the volume pot up to 10 and have the amp at speaking level then turn on my soldering iron it makes the guitar sound like its at an airport. Sometimes a refrigerator will cause noise through a guitar amp even if its not in the same room. It only has to be on the same electrical line to cause interference. So if you live in an apartment building you never know what your neighbors are using that could cause the noise.
If your ground is off or your input is bad, the noise will be constant! Then its time to see your guitar technician.
All guitars are different. As a general rule you should have your guitar set up when:
You change the gauge of strings you are using. When you change to a lighter or heavier string, the tension on your neck changes and can cause a concave or convex bow. The weather has an extreme change. Going in and out of air conditioning or a heated room can affect the neck as well. NEVER leave your instrument in the car in extreme cold or heat. Your guitar simply just doesn’t feel right. Time can change the guitar. Sometimes the change is so slight that it takes a while for you to notice.
No matter how busy a shop gets, you should never have to leave your guitar longer than over night. When you bring a guitar into Blue Alien Repairs for a Premium Set-Up, you can get your guitar back within a few hours or the next day! We are appointment only so we can work around your schedule. Call us anytime, day or night. Always leave a message and we will get back to you.