How often to change my guitar strings? 

Experienced musicians quickly know when it’s time to change their guitar strings. They can understand it by how the instrument sounds or feel it with their hands.

However, when you’re a beginner guitarist and haven’t gained enough experience, it can be hard to decide when it’s time to change guitar strings.

That’s why we have prepared detailed instructions to answer all your questions and make you more confident when you decide to restring your guitar.

Why should you change your guitar strings?

Over time, as you play, the strings collect dirt, dead skin, and oils from your fingers. They wear out and become old, negatively affecting the instrument’s performance. Strings lose tonality, become dull, are hard to play, and are easy to break. For this, it is best to maintain them diligently and replace them on time.

In general, changing guitar strings is not a complicated task and should be done regularly.

How often to change the strings depending on how long you play

How often you should change the guitar’s string depends on how much time you spend playing.

If you play a few times a year

If you only play your guitar a few times a year at family gatherings or are a collector who rarely touches your instruments, changing the strings once a year is fine. We want to remind you that strings oxidize over time, and even if you don’t touch them, they will still wear out.

If you play 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes

If you play two or three times a week for 30 minutes or are a beginner guitarist still practicing, you can easily change your strings every 6-8 months.

If you play almost every day for 1-2 hours

If playing guitar is your hobby and you do it almost every day for 1-2 hours, then change your strings more often. In our opinion, every 3-5 months is fine.

If you play every day for 3-4 hours

If playing the acoustic guitar is your passion and you spend 3-4 or more hours playing every day, or maybe you are a music student or have a band, then the strings should be changed at least once a month or two.

If you are a professional guitarist

Suppose you are a professional guitarist and make a living playing. In that case, the guitar is always in your hands – at rehearsals, recording, performing, or teaching guitar lessons. In this situation, you must change strings often and, sometimes, even daily.

How do you know it’s time to change strings

Although you just learn how often to change strings, there are some basic signs to look out for to do it on time and avoid breaking a string while playing in front of an audience.

Your guitar sounds dull

New strings have a clear and distinct tone and gradually as they wear, so does the sound they produce. The more worn the strings are, the flatter the sound becomes, greatly reflecting on your performance. And this is the moment when you need to change the old string.

The strings are dirty

When you play, your fingers should run smoothly over the strings. If you feel friction when touching the strings, they are most likely dirty. You can’t always see this dirt, but you can definitely feel it with your hands while playing. And that means you need to change your strings.

Strings are discolored or stained

Over time, the strings begin to change their color and become spotted. This can easily be seen if you compare the part of the guitar you hardly use and the part you use regularly. You will know how much the strings have changed from the color difference. That’s how you know if you might need to restring your acoustic guitar.

When you can’t tune your strings

When the strings are old and worn, they cannot be tuned. Even if you manage to do that, the strings will soon lose pitch again. If you have to tune your guitar too often, it’s a good time to change the strings.

If the strings are stiff

Over time the strings corrode, and this makes them stiff. To sound good, they need to be soft and flexible. If you feel unusual stiffness, the strings on your guitar need to be changed.

when to change my guitar strings

How to maintain your strings so they last longer

To be able to enjoy your guitar for a long time, you need to take good care of it. This also applies to strings. With proper maintenance, you can extend their lifespan so you won’t have to replace them as often.

Wash your hands before you start playing

The fingers leave oils, dead skin, and dirt on the strings. That’s why you should wash your hands every time before you start playing.

Clean the strings after each play

Wipe the strings with a soft cloth to remove dirt and corrosion-causing substances.

Use special string products

Cover the strings with products that protect them from corrosion. Coated strings can last longer.

Store your guitar in a case

It’s not demanded, but it will certainly help strings last longer.


Will my guitar sound better if I change the strings?

Definitely! New strings sound expressive and bright, while old ones lose tonality and start to sound dull.

Can I replace only 1 string?

If you have broken one string, you may replace only that one, but while doing so, pay attention to whether the others also need replacement. We recommend putting on a new set of strings to make sure your strings sound just as good.

What do “Corrosive Sweaters” mean?

There are people whose sweat contains chemistry that destroys the strings, causing them to rust quickly. These guitarists must change their strings much more often than others and take extra care.


If you’ve made it this far, you already know when it’s time to replace your guitar strings and how to extend their life so you can enjoy the perfect sound of your instrument.

Related articles:

Should you loosen guitar strings when not playing?

Why are my strings getting loose?


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