Guest post by Mark Woodburn
If you play your guitar frequently, your strings get worn faster and need to be changed every few months or even weeks, especially if you break a string or two. Buying replacement strings can cost you a pretty penny, but there are two major ways you can save money on guitar strings. One is by taking care of your strings to prevent excessive wear and corrosion, and another is by paying less for your string purchase. Let’s break those down into practical tips!
Clean your strings regularly
The first way to save money on guitar strings is to avoid having to replace them prematurely. The oil and perspiration from your fingers are the primary culprits behind corrosion, while dead or dry skin cells and dust contribute much to the gunk that builds up on the strings. Cleaning your guitar strings not only makes them last longer but also feel and sound better overall.
To keep your strings clean and in good condition, make it a habit to wipe them with a soft, clean, dry washcloth after playing, even if it’s just a practice session. Old terry cloth bath towels are a great material because they are highly absorbent. While you’re at it, give the fretboard and neck a good wipe too to remove buildup and avoid costly restorations down the road.
You can also invest in string-cleaning products that contain a mild detergent, which breaks down the oily secretions and gunk on the strings. Avoid using household cleaners and polishes, which can be too harsh on the strings and make them corrode faster. It’s a lot better to purchase guitar cleaners (a little goes a long way) than spend on strings every few weeks.
Consider better-quality strings
If your strings break easily even if you’re not thrashing about, it could be that the string quality is not up to par. Consider buying better-quality or coated strings instead. These may cost more, but are more durable and last longer. You may end up not having to replace them for a long time. Do the math to check if that would suit you and your budget better.
Wait for a sale
Music stores clearing inventory would often have discounts on guitar accessories. Check out your local music store to see the prices on guitar strings and ask if any of them is on sale. You may not need the strings right now but you surely will sometime in the future, so it’s best to buy today when they’re being sold at reduced prices.
Buy strings online and in bulk
If the music stores in your area sell guitar strings but price them a lot higher than online listings, then it’s better to buy online and in bulk. Online music stores offer discounts for bulk purchases on guitar strings, and many offer free delivery. This is a great option if you change strings often and if your favorite set of strings is among those listed in the promo. Some websites shave 30 to 40 percent off a 25 pack – a really sweet deal, so even if you don’t change strings much, you can still buy a set and save loads of money in the long run.