FREEZE| Basic Guitar maintainance on changing guitar strings

I RECENTLY got nudged back into playing guitar and singing on stage after 40 years. Since I do noodle casually and compose jingles every now and then using the guitar as my main instrument, my fingers remain nimble enough to play simple songs.

A FEW of the locally available guitar strings. Prices vary but for amateurs, the sound difference may not be easily discernable – especially when the guitar is plugged in to an amplifier.

A FEW of the locally available guitar strings. Prices vary but for amateurs, the sound difference may not be easily discernable – especially when the guitar is plugged in to an amplifier.

 In my younger days, my friends and I change guitar strings only to replace the broken ones. If I remember correctly, we used the cheapest brand called La Mariposa. As long as the guitar was playable, we were all right with it. For over forty years, that was my mindset until an actual gig in a bar sucked me into a frenzy of researching songs online and tips to make the guitar sound better.

 Lo and behold! Experts say that guitar strings must be regularly replaced even when they are not broken. Professionals with a budget replace them as often as possible while others wait for the guitar to sound dull.

 Heaven knows how many guitars that I have bought through the years because I got impressed with new ones that brought clear and crisp tones. I could have simply replaced the strings on my old guitars to get that fresh sound. Indeed, ignorance could be costly.

 Also, I snooped around observing local professionals about what they do with their guitars. I snickered at those who bring a piece of cloth and wipe the guitar strings before and after a set. Well, that was actually the right thing to do to protect the strings from corrosion. The sweat from the hands left on the strings is bad.

 All six strings must be replaced at the same time and a set of new ones calls for money. There are relatively cheap brands but many buyers, swayed by decades of marketing, tend to opt for the popular but dear brands like Gibson, Martin, and D’Adarrio. Since knock-offs are hard to tell from the genuine brands in terms of packaging, the buyer could be duped.

 Finding the good in guitar strings may be subjective. Several online fora show different people recommending or criticizing different brands but one thing is consistent among those musicians: fresh strings do sound a lot better than old ones or what they call “dead strings.”

 So I installed different brands of strings on my acoustic guitars to make a personal assessment. Whether the ones I bought were fake or genuine, I found out that they all sound satisfying to my taste regardless of their prices.

 In addition to regularly changing strings, protecting guitars from excessive heat or cold for a prolonged length of time is a good idea to keep the instrument in good shape. A good guitar technician like Joey Narciso of The Don Band can provide precious advices on proper maintenance.

 Rock on.

Posted in Lifestyle