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Old 05-08-2009, 04:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default First gig - Replace snares or not?

I have a question about my first gig in June.
I've heard a lot of guitarist replacing their snares before the first gig,
but also heard a lot who don't do it..
So my question: I have the same snares on for 1.5 years already,
should I replace them or not?
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:11 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Practice before the show.
If you sound fine and nothing out of the ordinary happens, don't worry about it.
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Old 05-09-2009, 03:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Ok, thanks mate
that's one thing I don't have to worry about anymore ^^
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Old 05-09-2009, 03:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I would really only consider it if you use your trem a lot or if your guitar has been going out of tune abnormally frequently, still not really something i would worry about.
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Old 05-09-2009, 05:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you mean guitar strings, then YES. PLEASE CHANGE THEM.

Most semi-pro guitarists, including myself, will replace strings once a month, needs permitting. Most pro guitarists will change them once a WEEK because of the amount of play they give the strings and because the tone of new strings, and the extra sustain, is useful in a recording situation.

Having your strings on for over a year is WAY too long for anyone except bassists, whose strings last much longer.

Advantages of changing guitar strings regularly -

1 - You'll get a brighter, more responsive sound.
2 - You'll get a MUCH easier feel to the guitar. Bends will be easier, moving between positions will be easier.
3 - Your guitar will sustain for longer, because it no longer has all of that gunk and stuff clogging up the windings of the strings, and the metal itself hasn't become fatigued yet, which means it will vibrate easier.
4 - You're much less likely to break a string if the set is new and has been stretched properly.


Disadvantages of string changes -
1 - If you have a floating tremolo (IE a floyd rose) then it can be a bit of a hassle at first, although once you're used to doing it its not really that bad.
2 - New strings need stretching and playing in before they'll hold tuning reliably. You can stretch the strings with your hands, or a few days of playing them regularly should break them in perfectly fine.



Your strings are WAY too old to be gigging on. I'm honestly surprised you haven't noticed the buildup of dirt and grime that MUST be on the strings and fretboard by now. Go on. Take a look at them. Take your fingernail and scrape the back or the High E string. See all the brown stuff coming off of it? Thats the dirt, sweat and grime that comes off your hands onto the string when you play. And some of that has been there over a YEAR. Doesn't that make you feel dirty and icky inside, knowing you've been touching that buildup every day for god knows how long?


Conclusion - CHANGE YO STRINGS DAWG. Your gig is in June, if you play even an hour a day, the new strings will be well and truly stretched out by the time it rolls round. I reccomend using D'addario strings.

Also, take a look at the fretboard while the strigns are being changed. Likelihood is that it will also need a clean pretty badly. Use spit, and a rag to get rid of the thick buildup. Then get some isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol and soack a tissue in it for a second. Pass that tissue over the fretboard and it will bring up all the dirt in the pores of the wood.

After that step, you'll notice you have 2 things - a really filthy bit of tissue paper, and a really dry looking fretboard. Here's where you need to buy something other than the strings - A bottle of lemon oil. You can get it from almost any guitar shop, just ask for lemon oil for a guitar, they'll find some for you. Put some on your fretboard, let it sit for 15 minutes, then wipe it away. It will nourish the wood and prevent it from cracking or splitting.

If you want to go the extra mile, I reccomend using this particular brand of lemon oil. Its cheap, easy, and its the best I've found: Bore Oil for the Fife and Fret Doctor



Let me know if you have any questions about any of this, and DO NOT do anything you don't feel comfortable doing. Most guitar shops will do all of this for you for a fee, some will do it for free, and ALL of them should be able to show you how to do things.
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Great advice, GB.

I honestly don't know how someone can keep the same strings on a guitar for 1.5 years. I can barely stand to have mine go a week on the same strings because I just love the tone and response of new ones cranked through some tasty distortion.

To the OP:
You might as well go ahead and invest in a box of string sets.
I use D'Addario XL superlights, got a couple boxes of 10. Cheap in bulk, and well worth it.

Bring a box with you to your gig. If you have another guitar that can serve as a stand-in, it might be advantageous of you to string it up and bring it along in case you break a string during the gig.
The last impression you want to make is having the crowd wait while you string and tune a guitar because you weren't prepared.

Have fun.
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Old 05-10-2009, 12:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I thought he was talking about his trem springs
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Old 05-10-2009, 06:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I thought he was talking about his trem springs
Yea I couldn't figure out which it was, so I just chose strings.
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Old 05-14-2009, 05:34 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I read somewhere that Brian May hates new strings? If true he must be very lonely in this opinion.

Yes, changing strings is a pain but after they have `settled` in, as per GBs post, and holding their tune, its a joy to slide up and down the fretboard!

As GB said, if you wiped a tissue over your old strings now, i`d imagine all sorts of grime & filth would show up - its like picking your nose, disgusting yet satisfying to view the results.....
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Old 05-14-2009, 05:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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^^^^^ Are you a lefty or is your avatar photo just reversed?
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