Changing Strings

Monday, June 10, 2013
By: Bob Taylor

Question: I have a Taylor 514ce using your recommended [Elixir] strings. To my unrefined ear, how do I know when it is time to change strings? -- Stanley J.


Answer: Stanley, one of the best ways to know is to train you ear. Don’t worry, it’ll learn. Just change the strings and notice the difference. It’s really that easy. You might like the sound of brand new strings better. Or you might favor the one-week-old string, or the 10-hour-old string. Elixir strings sound good for a long time. They really do. I’d say they sound like a three- or four-day-old string for possibly weeks or even a month or two, depending on how much you play them, unless you have the “Reverse Midas Touch.” For me, I can be happy with a set of Elixirs for a couple of months. If I were playing shows, I’d change once a week. If I were a super-pro playing every day, I’d change for every show. And it’s not just tone, but wear. If I were in front of paying people, I’d want new strings that won’t break or be out of tune, or anything else bad. But I mostly play in my living room, and sometimes my strings are three months old and totally fine. But the way you learn the difference is to change them. You will hear the difference. Pretty soon you’ll know when it’s time.