Sometimes there is the ideal guitar maintenance solution, and sometimes there is the quick fix. This little tip I am going to give you is definitively the latter.
Changing your guitar strings on a regular basis is important for a few different reasons. For one, having newer strings sounds better. As guitar strings get older and dirty they loose their tone.
But another reason to keep up on changing your guitar strings is those old, dirty…corroding….maybe even rusting…strings can cause damage to your guitar’s frets. This is even worst if you are an electric player and do any string bending.
As strings start to gain a layer of crud and corrosion, they get rougher. And as you bend a string, or do any kind of vibrato it’s like taking sandpaper and rubbing it against your frets. So you can start to see grooves or dips in your frets in short order if you are not careful.
One of the first things you can do to prolong the life of your guitar strings is to simply wash your hands before you play. I don’t mean just after changing the oil in your car, but always.
Even if you just sat in a corner with your hands in your lap for a couple of hours, your hands naturally sweat and produce oil. So having clean hands before playing your guitar is your first line of defense.
Wiping down your strings with an old cotton tee-shirt or other cloth after playing is another way to cut down on the crud build up on your strings.
Using a string cleaner after you play is a step up from just wiping down your strings.
Alright, so you have not been doing any of the ideal guitar string maintenance…your strings are cruddy and you want to play now …and not damage your frets. Here’s what you can do. I call it, “scraping off the barnacles”.
Scraping Off the Barnacles
Repeat on all of your other strings.