The Right Tools and the Right Strings

I changed my strings last night. Now, normally, that would hardly be a topic to write about. I may as well write about combing my hair in the morning or taking the trash out. But, I'm going to write about it anyway.

I changed my strings last night.....and I didn't curse once. I'm not a handy guy. The dozen or so times I've changed strings over the last year was usually an exercise in frustration. Trying to turn the machines with that plastic string winder while holding the string in the right way so it coils down the peg only to watch the coil pop off over the top. ARRRRRGH. And once I got it done the headstock looked like a Medusa. How the plain strings ever stayed in tune with all the coils I was able to wrap up I'll never know. The difference that last night made was in some new tools. I found a video at Taylor Guitar on the care and feeding of your guitar. He used a string winder that you can attach to a power screwdriver. I decided that I'd give it a shot.

The change took all of 5 minutes and my windings look great! I'd recommend this to any guitarist, but I've learned from lurking around the guitar forums that opinions on restringing guitars runs deep and passionate. So, I'm certainly not saying this is the right way. It just my way (now).

I'm still a relatively new guitarist. I've been trying to find "my" strings since beginning. I've tried Phosphor Bronze and 80/20. I've tried D'Addario, Guild and DR. I've never been happy with the sound. My guitar is a Art and Lutherie Folk. I love it. It has a mellow midrange that none of the above strings did justice. Last night I tried D'Addario 85/15 strings. It gave my guitar the voice I knew it had but couldn't find. I guess the alloy is referred to as brass strings in guitarspeak. All I know is that, when I plucked the high E, my guitar sang in a clear, strong vibrato that I'd not heard before. It wasn't tinny. It was gold.

(Do I even need to say I have no affiliation with any online vendor I've linked to? No? Good)


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