If you are someone who is interested in playing the guitar or buying a new one, you must be wondering how long guitar strings last.
Those who have been playing the guitar for a long time are already used to changing guitar strings, but how often is it needed exactly?
In this article, we give you answers to these questions and explain the lifespan of guitar strings in a simple way. Continue reading to find out!
- The average set of guitar strings can last up to 90 days.
- If the guitar strings are left unopened, they can last for a few years.
- Guitar strings can degrade even without use, and it depends on the way they are kept.
- While electric and acoustic strings can last up to 2-3 months, nylon ones last about 1-3 months or less.
- It is recommended to clean your guitar strings after playing.
Table of Contents
So, How Long do Guitar Strings Last?
How long your guitar strings will last depend mostly on how much time you spend using your guitar if you take good care of them, and the type of guitar strings you have.
Generally, most guitar strings can last up to 3 months of practice. If you use your guitar more frequently you would need to change the strings more often. But if it is unused and kept well, the guitar strings can last for years.
If you play the guitar often, you should expect that this means you need to change your guitar strings when you notice they have begun wearing out because of humidity in the air, oils from your skin, and other factors.
The average set of guitar strings can last up to 90 days. In this case, as a frequent player, you will get a sense of when your guitar strings need to be replaced and do it regularly.
How long do guitar strings last if unopened?
Many guitar players like to keep packages of guitar strings just in case.
If they are left unopened both acoustic and electric guitar strings can last in a good condition for about 5-7 years. Although, if the conditions where you live are humid, it might last less.
Basically, guitar strings don’t have an expiration date, but as they are made from metal and they are prone to rusting if in contact with moisture and humid air.
Guitar strings usually come in air-tight packaging, but if it is damaged with even just a small hole, this will lead to rusting.
If you want to buy more packages of guitar strings in bulk, you shouldn’t be worried because as long as the packages aren’t compromised your guitar strings will stay in good condition.
If you don’t play your guitar so often, that means your guitar strings won’t need frequent change. When they aren’t played, the guitar strings aren’t exposed to the oils of the skin and because of this, they will not experience too much degradation.
But over time, the guitar strings can degrade even without use. How long your guitar strings will last if you leave them not-played for some time, depends on how you keep them. If you keep them in a place without a lot of moisture in the air, your guitar strings should be safe.
It is recommended to wipe them from time to time in order to keep them clean. By doing this and making sure the humidity where the guitar strings are kept is right, you will be able to keep them lasting longer.
How long do different types of guitar strings last?
As you know, there are a few different types of guitar strings, and they all have their specifications in terms of lasting time.
Electric Guitar Strings
Electric guitar strings can last up to about 2-3 months on average. They are made from metal (mostly nickel-plated steel) so they can endure temperature changes and humidity to some extent. But over time, the exposure to moisture in the air, frequent use, and oil from your fingers will make them wear out.
Electric guitar strings could last up to 6 months if they are kept well and looked after. This means keeping them in the right condition (not too much humidity), regular cleaning, and using string conditioners.
Acoustic Guitar Strings
Same as the electric guitar strings, the acoustic ones last up to 2-3 months. They are usually made from phosphor bronze. They can degrade because of oxidation from the air and the build-up of oils from your fingers. To keep them lasting longer they should be kept well in the same way as the electric guitar strings.
It is also good to note that in comparison to the electric guitar strings, the acoustic strings are higher gauge which means they can endure more before they reach the point of breaking.
Nylon Guitar Strings
When it comes to nylon guitar strings, they can last up to about 1-3 months. They last even less (4-6 weeks) if you use to play for at least 1-2 hours daily. Nylon guitar strings are made from nylon and synthetic plastics so they aren’t so good at withstanding humidity and oil from your fingers.
What can I do to make my guitar strings last longer?
As we can notice, there are different factors that determine how long your guitar strings will last. But the good thing is that you can make them last longer through regular maintenance.
It is great and recommended to clean your guitar strings after each time you play. There are guitar string cleaning products you can use to ensure the strings stay in good condition. After applying the cleaning product, you should wipe it with a dry microfiber cloth to prevent oxidation.
By doing this regularly, you will be able to remove the moisture applied to your guitar strings, oil, and debris from your skin. This way the guitar strings will feel clean, and fresh and they will provide a good sound.
Another thing worth knowing is the fact that coated guitar strings can have a longer lifespan than uncoated ones. It is noted that they can last up to 3-4 times longer. This is because the coating can offer protection from rusting and humidity.
How will I know if my guitar strings need changing?
There are a few signs you can notice while playing your guitar which will help you determine if your strings need changing. Usually, if the guitar strings are unable to stay in tune and offer a poor tone, this is a sign they are not in their best condition.
The same goes if there are noticeable signs of rusting and wear. If your guitar strings sound flat and lifeless, then it is not a good sign. Generally, you should go with your gut so if the guitar strings feel and sound good, then buying new ones can wait until later.
How long guitar strings last depends on a few factors.
Generally, they last a good amount of time if left in the package, but once you start using them more and more they can show signs of wear.
That’s why it is important to take good care of your guitar strings, and never forget to have fun!