Tag Archives: frets

Note to self: String it one at a time

I’ve probably strung a thousand strings on a hundred guitars over the years. I buy strings at a bulk, once I’ve found the right ones for that particular fretted concubine. But nevertheless I do it over and over: It’s time to change out the grimy old dead strings and re-invigorate the soul of sounds, to crisp up the ether of harmonies, to dress that slap of wood with new strings. It’s a task I’ve always undertaken with tremendous respect and awe but also with a great deal of weariness, it’s bothersome and it’s a goodbye to a phase that more than likely has been full of explorative joy. But it’s also like snuggling in to a fresh set of sheets together or slicing in to a fresh-baked loaf, so when the time comes I’m all gung-ho and off they come. The strings. All six or seven of them. All at once. And that is stupid.

Here’s how I always end up telling myself to do it: Take of 1 string, clean your fretboard on that lane, and attach a new string. Then the next and so forth. That way the bridge on your hollow body, which is only strapped down to the guitar by the concerted effort of all strings stays in that place where you found the sweet spot of intonation. Clearing out all strings leaves your bridge free-roaming and makes the entire endeavour even more tedious. Not to mention what the removal of all strings at once does to a free-floating floyd rose and its springs and shit. Sigh.

At least those all-nickel 0.011’s are sweet, slick and sooooo mmm under my calloused fingers. Now remember to do it right the next time, okay?

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