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  1. #1
    Senior Member crispyfunk's Avatar
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    Stretching your guitar strings after a change

    when ever you change the strings on your guitar they will need to stretch out before you can play them well

    ill grab the string with my pick hand down by the bridge and then grab the same string with the fretting hand a few inches above the other hand and this hand holds the string down to the fret board. pull it with the picking hand away from the guitar a little bit maybe a 2 or 3 inches and with it pulled away from the guitar move both hands up together to the first frets while keeping the string the same way the whole time you slid it up with one hand holding the string down and right next to it the other hand holding the string away from the guitar a few inches


    All strings need to be done like this but keep in mind that the D string is not as strong as the other strings because it has such a small core and you should not try to stretch that one as much
    on the other hand the thicker strings like the G string and others need to be stretched out a few times

    if the stretching does not happen then you will have to tune your guitar very very often even just pushing the strings to the fret board will cause it to get out of tune if the strings are not stretched well.


    when i first started doing this i was not to sure and i would sometimes break a string because i was pulling it to far away from the fret board but make sure you only pull it as far as you would bend it like a full step bend any more than that is not good

    Doing this will allow you to bend those strings like a mad man and still have perfect pitch after the crazy bends are over. stretching and a little graphite on ur nut. goes a long ways.
    Last edited by crispyfunk; 02-16-2012 at 07:56 PM.
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  2. #2
    To go along with the suggestions above; winding your string around the tuning pegs properly will help a great deal as well. If you have too much string to wind and you end up with multiple layers of strings (string on top of string on top of hte tuning peg), then you increase your chance of string slippage. Ideally you only have a couple turns of the tuning peg before you're in tune. this is why locking tuners are nice..you lock the string in place and only need half turn to be in tune. no string slippage.

    also, if your nut is of low quality (or just old and notched), your string might "snag" on it. you can put a bit of graphite in there to prevent your strings from catching. you'll know they are catching if when you turn the tuning pegs you hear a "pinging" sound from the string as it slides through the nut.
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  3. #3
    Moderator rcole_sooner's Avatar
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    Great thread topic, Crispyfunk.

    After my string change and initial quick tuning. I don't like more than 2 or 3 wraps around the tuning post for wound strings, 4 or 5 for unwound strings, and only 1 wrap with locking tuners.

    I put my finger over the string at the nut, so it won't slip out. Then at the 12th fret, I put my index finger on the fretboard, and grab the string with my middle finger against my palm, and push/pull up until my index finger is extended. A little more or a little less, depending on how I feel the string tension. I want to stretch it good, but not break it. I do this for each string. Then I retune.

    I repeat this process until the stretching leaves it in tune, or very close. It usually only takes a few passes.
    Last edited by rcole_sooner; 02-16-2012 at 07:14 PM.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member crispyfunk's Avatar
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    This is how I tie Strings, on a normal guitar peg. This locks them.

    http://imgur.com/rOVxm
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  5. #5
    Member nyteryder17's Avatar
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    I have never heard of that, but it seems unnecessary, because your tuning machines will do this anyway, and in a way the string was designed for. I wouldn't pull my strings away from my guitar in that manner, sounds like a good way to break one, or damage your guitar. tune up the new set, play a few chords, maybe strum a little harder than normal, for about 30 seconds, then re-tune. that is all ive ever done and i don't have any problems with new strings going flat.

    If this method works for you guys, though, don't change on my account, but i would say be careful when pulling on your strings...
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  6. #6
    I just leave my lock down unlocked and whammy the heck outta them and pull on them until I can keep a decent tune, within a few cents either way then I tune slightly low, lock down and fine tune with the tremolo and have no issues. Without a trem, i just pull and yank on them until they hold a decent tune and final tune and I'm good to go.
    Depends on the strings you use too, so strings constantly stretch and are just a pain to keep in tune, pick up some ghs boomers, these babies love staying in tune and rarely break
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  7. #7
    Moderator rcole_sooner's Avatar
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    I ain't got the time nor inclination to wait for my strings to stretch themselves.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member crispyfunk's Avatar
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    i hear ya i remember reading a post from someone saying they like to change their strings at least 5 days before a live show, thats fine if it works for you but i was thinking that sounds like five annoying days of tuning every time you bend

    i do understand your concerns but id say the worst that can happen is you break a string and have to open up another pack

    but thats if you do it wrong and bend /pull it past the Full step bend the strings are made to bend a full step and return without breaking

    this just makes sure the strings are at the maximum length right off so you do not have to worrie about it going out latter and doesnt take days to do just a few mins and its all done
    Last edited by crispyfunk; 02-16-2012 at 11:52 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by nyteryder17 View Post
    I have never heard of that, but it seems unnecessary, because your tuning machines will do this anyway, and in a way the string was designed for. I wouldn't pull my strings away from my guitar in that manner, sounds like a good way to break one, or damage your guitar. tune up the new set, play a few chords, maybe strum a little harder than normal, for about 30 seconds, then re-tune. that is all ive ever done and i don't have any problems with new strings going flat.

    If this method works for you guys, though, don't change on my account, but i would say be careful when pulling on your strings...
    It really is pretty standard procedure. From the sounds of things, I'm far more aggressive than some of the descriptions here. I'd probably scare the hell out of you when I do it. But it is common practice.
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  10. #10
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    Just did it last night on my electric and acoustic - always have. A sad side note is that one of the tuning machines went out on my acoustic last night and my 1st string wont tune higher than a C before the tuner starts slipping =( So i tuned it to a B for now, sounds a bit funky =)
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