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FAQ: New Guitar Strings?


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A:  If you've just bought a guitar, or just recieved it from the vendor, it's normally a good idea to replace the factory strings (that comes shipped with the instrument) with a new set.  There are two main reasons for this:

1.  If the guitar was bought from your local music store, keep in mind that just as you played, tested and tuned the strings, so did possibly hundreds of people before you.  You simply don't know how long the strings have been on the guitar, how many times its been tuned and detuned and whether its quality strings in the first place.  This leads me to the second point.

2. Many manufacturers specifically do NOT ship guitars with brand name strings since this incurs extra cost for them.  This is especially true with entry-level instruments where guitar vendors normally string their instruments with generic-type strings for the purpose of simply making the guitar playable to prospective customers.

So don't be too upset when you open the box and play a new guitar for the first time - if it doesn't sound as great as you'd hoped, a new set of strings should sort things out.  The existing strings on your instrument might be a year old, corroded and played to bits.  If the strings are of low quality to start with, the guitar's action also might seem high.  This makes it difficult to fret chords and notes.

By replacing the old with new guitar strings you'll sort out these problems with minimal effort.  As discussed in the 'What kind of strings' FAQ, beginners should focus on low-gauge strings (11 or extra light).  See that question for more info on string types and brands.

Q: I've heard and read that it's a good idea to replace the strings on a newly bought/shipped guitar?  If the whole thing is new, why is this necessary?
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