How long do guitar strings tend to last you? What kind of strings do you use? How do you lengthen their life span?

  • Typically my strings die in around 1 or 1.5 weeks, I play usually more than 2 hours a day of moderate practice (lots of single note lead metronome practice, not really lounging and noodling)

    I use ernie ball 10s and sometimes 11s, the 11s last about a few days longer but it's probably due to the fact that they're harder to play so I take more frequent breaks.

    My hands get fairly sweaty and they'll corrode the string coating in about 2-3 days, after that it's downhill from there. I think the strings sound best with the coating on, I usually record stuff right after a string change and noodling for a few minutes so they don't detune right away.

    They start to get unplayable by a week-ish, the high e will start ringing oddly, then the b, then once the g starts ringing poorly I usually swap strings.

    I'm interested in other people's experiences with their guitar strings, share some.

  • If only using the one guitar 10 to 12 hours a week about a 6 to 8 weeks, for me this is where tuning becomes more difficult. I wipe the strings 4 or 5 times during this period with a microfibre cloth, I use Ernie ball 10-46 since forever, having said that I might delay changing strings for longer because I dislike the sound of new strings, takes a good few days to get rid of the zing😁 I dislike.


    Im a sweater but I don’t think my gunk is particularly corrosive.

    New talent management advice to Laura Cox -


    “Laura want to break the internet? let’s shoot another video of you covering the Nightrain solo in the blue singlet, but this time we’ll crank up the air conditioning”.

  • I tend to get about 30 hours of play out of Elixirs before I notice the sparkle is gone. For uncoated I use DR Veritas and they go about 10-15.

    I wipe them down after playing and have a cotton tea towel in each case that I leave on the strings.

  • I can get months before they need to be changed.. I do have a few guitars and I rotate..


    My son has the opposite problem. He can tarnish strings in a matter of hours..

    Definitely has to do with your body chemistry. and environmental influences.

    I use GHS Nickel Rockers, .050 - .011, or .046 - .010..

    I've used the NYXLs and they are nickel plated steel vs. nickel wound. Not sure why the premium price on those.

    That plating could wear off pretty fast.

  • I can also go months before changing strings, though if I have a run of gigs, I'l change them before every other gig, just to make sure I don't break any onstage. My hands don't sweat at all while playing under normal circumstances (stage lights and an energetic performance can change that, though). I use whatever strings are cheapest, though luckily that tends to be Ernie Balls in my neck of the woods, which I quite like. I used to use Dean Markley exclusively, but since you can't get them over here, I just went the "whatever's cheapest" route. I did try a few of the coated, high-end, high price variants (NYXL etc.) but really didn't like them. Too stiff.

  • It takes 2-3 days to get rid of that brassy twang you get with brand new strings, to me that sound is the sound of strings bedding in, they're struggling to stay in tune at that point. From there I'll change them when I can feel the frets wearing in to the D string. I have many guitars but I play most of them often enough that they don't get a chance to corrode or get too grotty before the D string wears out. Acoustic I'd do a bit more often

  • If only using the one guitar 10 to 12 hours a week about a 6 to 8 weeks, for me this is where tuning becomes more difficult. I wipe the strings 4 or 5 times during this period with a microfibre cloth, I use Ernie ball 10-46 since forever, having said that I might delay changing strings for longer because I dislike the sound of new strings, takes a good few days to get rid of the zing😁 I dislike.


    Im a sweater but I don’t think my gunk is particularly corrosive.

    Good point, I drink like 3-4 coffees a day, unironically it might do something to the sweat. :S

  • I've tried on dimarzio strings to have them ruined on the same day, not a fan of the tone either but that's definitely subjective. I think that kind of tone could do really well in mixing it was a lot less brighter than the EBs. At least there was less of a difference between the strings NEW and the strings ruined after some playing.

    I tend to get about 30 hours of play out of Elixirs before I notice the sparkle is gone. For uncoated I use DR Veritas and they go about 10-15.

    I wipe them down after playing and have a cotton tea towel in each case that I leave on the strings.

    what's your experience with other strings? I tried elixirs, the sound is okay. Definitely better than most of the strings you can buy, but I don't remember them lasting me enough to warrant paying 3x the amount of what slinkies are worth.

    It takes 2-3 days to get rid of that brassy twang you get with brand new strings, to me that sound is the sound of strings bedding in, they're struggling to stay in tune at that point. From there I'll change them when I can feel the frets wearing in to the D string. I have many guitars but I play most of them often enough that they don't get a chance to corrode or get too grotty before the D string wears out. Acoustic I'd do a bit more often

    Yeah, I don't particularly care about the twang necessarily, because I still consider them playable and you can do some EQ tricks to bring out more attack in the strings and that's okay. To me it's about when the strings start ringing in an annoying way, like they sound out of tune even though they are tuned.

  • I use Ernie ball regular (or power) slinky 10.46 (or 11.48 if Eb) .. sometimes I've used Cobalt that I prefer but they are too much more expensive. (For the Last 2 orders I ve paid 54€ for 12 set of regular 10.46 .. I ve never found an offer like this on Cobalt)


    I wash my hands before I start playing and they stay normally dry (in this period more than ever cause of alcool based gel/liquid we must use)


    Considering an avarage of 8 hours a Week, I usually change strings every 2 or 3 months or so, necessary when they start to have deep signs/bumps of the fret on the fretboard side.


    I clean them every time after playing useing a cloth with some drops of WD-40 or Svitol...it also smells good to me:)

  • I try to time a string change before a recording or a gig/string of gigs. Nowadays I use 10-46, usually Ernie Ball (ever since the move they pulled at Microsoft!) on all electrics except a Gretch where I put 11-52 I think. I use Elixirs 12-53 on acoustic. I never really cared about wiping down strings.

  • I get about 2 months of shiny sparkly string sound from coated strings, and 1 month of normal strings. I used to use blue steel until I saw them eating my frets, now I use GHS 9 in most guitars, and sometimes when I find a good price, NYXL on my gibsons (on strats they are too treble loaded). I have no particular problem with my sweat, but when I gigged, I used to change strings each 2 weeks. Mind you, I use the strings sometimes up to 1 month after they lost their shine, worn strings also have their charme when recorded.

  • I've tried on dimarzio strings to have them ruined on the same day, not a fan of the tone either but that's definitely subjective. I think that kind of tone could do really well in mixing it was a lot less brighter than the EBs. At least there was less of a difference between the strings NEW and the strings ruined after some playing.

    what's your experience with other strings? I tried elixirs, the sound is okay. Definitely better than most of the strings you can buy, but I don't remember them lasting me enough to warrant paying 3x the amount of what slinkies are worth.

    Yeah, I don't particularly care about the twang necessarily, because I still consider them playable and you can do some EQ tricks to bring out more attack in the strings and that's okay. To me it's about when the strings start ringing in an annoying way, like they sound out of tune even though they are tuned.

    I've been playing for 40 years, so I've played all of the major brands. I also do set up work for friends, so I've changed a whole lot of strings. Dean Markley, EB, Maxima Gold, Pyramid, GHS, Cleartone, D'Addario (XL, NYXL, coated, etc), DR, D'Angelico, GHS...


    Elixirs always last at least twice as long for me and stay pretty consistent throughout. I can't stand the coated offerings from D'Addario or others.


    DR Veritas last much longer than other uncoated ones and have the best sound for me.