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NJ Acoustic Music in the Park Message Board › do you pre stretch guitar strings?

do you pre stretch guitar strings?

Ron V.
user 12270271
Metuchen, NJ
Post #: 116
My friend showed me recently but before that, I had never done it. He runs his finger under the string while putting some out pressure. I did some googling and read another way is to just pull at the 12th fret. Does this pre stretching help? I will be restringing this week.
Joe G.
Annandale, NJ
Post #: 4
I don't know if you can call this pre-stretching, but I do bend the strings once it has been tuned the first time, then re-tune afterward. I may do this two or three times, especially with the wound strings. It seems to help keep the guitar in tune a slight bit longer, but regardless of doing any stretching, I suspect nothing will condition them completely, and you will have to re-tune more often when you have replaced your strings.
charlie p.
user 14169483
Morganville, NJ
Post #: 14
i remove all strings -
give the ax a thorough cleaning -
put on new strings and tune -
pull HARD at the 12th fret (or so) -
retune -
repeat 2-3 times -
very little retuning after that -

also - i try to do all of this fairly quickly - i don't want to leave the guitar lying around unstrung so it get's used to the idea -
Ken B.
Port Murray, NJ
Post #: 17
The Taylor factory steel string very detailed with photos instructions for changing strings has a step for "gently" stretching the strings several times until the string stays in tune. I assume that Bob Taylor does know how to do it. wink

See: Changing Taylor Guitar Steel Strings
user 11716931
Plainfield, NJ
Post #: 94
never remove all string except every few years for thorough every few years for thorough cleaning
David H.
user 29849452
Somerville, NJ
Post #: 9
I agree with Tom. I have always removed 1 string at a time, clean under it, and replace it immediately.
I start with the low E, then high E and work inward retuning and gently stretching repeatedly as I go. This keeps even tension on the neck and the bridge. 38 years with only 1 minor neck adjustment I guess it works.
A former member
Post #: 87
I do a side at a time. The neck is adjusted to accept a certain amount of tension, when that tension is released by removing all the strings at the same time, the neck has a tendency to spring backwards. If this happens too many times, bad things can happen to the neck. It may at the very least require adjustment. Also if you're changing the gauge of the strings the neck would also have to be adjusted due to more or less tension from the new strings.

I always stretch the strings after all are replaced. Grab the string at the 12th fret and pull up and down a few times vigorously. After re-tuning it stays in tune much longer than w/o stretching.

One more thing I've noticed. There are quite a few members who are playing with "dead" strings. Strings don't ring like the used to. It's a quick and cheap fix to bring life back to an otherwise dull sounding guitar/mandolin. Depending on how often I play a certain instrument, I change strings about every 1 to 2 months. Just my 2 cents worth.
charlie p.
user 14169483
Morganville, NJ
Post #: 15
ken -
thanks for the taylor reference -
that lays out what i've been doing for many years and does a nice job of explaining where to cut the strings -
as far as stretching the strings, i grab each string at the 12th fret and pull up on it a few times - since they are at pitch, it takes some pulling to stretch them out - then retune and repeat the stretch and retune 2-3 times -
if your neck needs adjustment after removing and replacing your strings (assuming same strings), you have a very delicate instrument there - don't worry - most guitars can take it -

The Taylor factory steel string very detailed with photos instructions for changing strings has a step for "gently" stretching the strings several times until the string stays in tune. I assume that Bob Taylor does know how to do it. wink

See: Changing Taylor Guitar Steel Strings

user 15381491
South Plainfield, NJ
Post #: 68
Hey Ron. Yes, every player should stretch new guitar strings since it greatly reduces the amount of time you will be "re-tuning" new strings. Electric guitar (versus acoustic guitar strings) need to be stretched even more because they are "thinner" (lighter gauge) , and therefore have a lot more give. It will literally make you nuts how often they will go out of tune if you don't stretch electric guitar strings. Also, whenever you move your instrument from a cold to warm environment, and vice versa, the neck of the instrument will tighten or loosen, sometimes necessitating a re-tuning, and then when it acclimates, a possible second retuning. Hope this helps!
da N.
user 12525508
Califon, NJ
Post #: 41
I do "da stretch" wit bass strings also. Change them one at a time, starting with the low B (5 string bass). It is a PITA to change heavy strings, as you can imagine, so I usually leave them on way longer than I should. I agree with Dusty that strings really do change over the course of their life and dull out after a few months of constant play. So if you can, change them on a regular basis.
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