Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 26 to 35 of 35

Thread: What's the big deal about changing strings?

  1. #26
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Invergordon,Scotland
    Posts
    2,531

    Default Re: What's the big deal about changing strings?

    Quote Originally Posted by foldedpath View Post
    I have it down to about 20 minutes, taking it nice and easy. Once a month or a little sooner depending on when I might be playing out of the house at a gig or Irish session (no gigs these days).

    I pour a glass of wine or crack open a beer, and set it on the table next to me. A few sips to relax and start changing strings. The rest as a reward at the end, while playing some tunes to stabilize the strings. If you can frame it as a pleasant ritual instead of a chore like this, it goes easier.
    I agree with you. No rush.
    David A. Gordon

  2. The following members say thank you to Dagger Gordon for this post:

    chuck3 

  3. #27
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Key West
    Posts
    13,142
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: What's the big deal about changing strings?

    My method since forever has been to insert the end of the string through the hole in the tuning post and pull all the way through, pull the string back an inch, a little more for wound strings, and then loop that bit of slack around the post twice. Then tighten. I guess the idea was to anchor that end first, and then save winding time by doing that looping. But now I've seen that video, in post #13, I must say I like that method - wrap the string around the post twice and then stick the end through the hole and pull tight, and wind. I'll try that next time.

    My standard response when asked how often I change strings: "Every three months, whether they need it or not." Not always true, but always hilarious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Gnann View Post
    As for changing a string on stage I learned a long time ago to bring two mandolins.. Much easier to just grab my backup than trying to fumble through a string change. Talk about a way to kill an audience. And the rest of the band just stands there waiting. Not good stage presence or entertainment.
    Now of course that is perfect justification to have multiple mandolins on hand at all times.
    You can thank me later, like when buy your next mandolin and say to your significant other "But Bob said......"
    My last band, I had to play so hard I'd break a string or two every gig, sometimes three or four. I even broke a G string - twice! It was always a decision whether to retune without replacing and continue, or replace. I preferred to replace, as otherwise I'd have to tune twice - again after replacing on the next break. Sometimes there just wasn't time, in the middle of a set. But I could fix things the next time we did a song that didn't involve me much.

    Finally I got another mandolin - same style, same finish, same vintage - so I could just swap out right then and deal with replacing strings on the next break. That was the best method. And it's great to be able to have one to play while the other is in the shop.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

    Blues Mando Social Group
    Gibson Mandolins Social Group
    North Florida Mandolin Players Social Group

    Lucinda Williams and Eric Von Schmidt (who would have turned 90 5/28/21), the night devotee met hero (and both my heroes)

  4. #28
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Invergordon,Scotland
    Posts
    2,531

    Default Re: What's the big deal about changing strings?

    This is how to do it! I always really loved John Martyn.
    Warning - a certain amount of swearing and somewhat uncouth behaviour, but entertaining, and once he gets going , really fantastic.

    David A. Gordon

  5. #29
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    High Peak - UK
    Posts
    3,239

    Default Re: What's the big deal about changing strings?

    The time taken to re-string a mandolin also depends on what tailpiece you happen to have; if you need to resort to Bluetack it takes longer, but I don’t believe it’s possible withing 5 minutes.

    As for breaking strings, I can’t remember when I last broke one - it was certainly before 2002. If you’re regularly breaking strings, check your set-up.

  6. #30
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    928

    Default Re: What's the big deal about changing strings?

    What's the big deal about: learning tunes? memorizing lyrics? playing mandolin? building mandolins? spelling? bookkeeping? repairing motors? programming computers? riding horses? understanding Shakespeare? walking on high-steel girders? writing a university essay? writing a book? understanding whether to use "me" or "I"? As with changing strings, all these activities come easily to some people and not to others. Hands-on people, gifted with good eye-hand co-ordination, find changing strings to be easy. People with other gifts may not. Be thankful for what comes easily to you. Why worry about why it's hard for others, unless your purpose is to help them? As for those who worked in music shops, many of the rest of us would be very good at changing strings if that had been our paid work for a time (though I suspect that most of these string changers are good with their hands and good at understanding mechanics or else wouldn't have been doing that particular job). I imagine that the gifted mandolin players we most admire sometimes shake their heads in wonder at problems we discuss at length on the Forum.
    Last edited by Ranald; Jun-20-2021 at 10:30am.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  7. The following members say thank you to Ranald for this post:


  8. #31
    Professional Dreamer journeybear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Key West
    Posts
    13,142
    Blog Entries
    2

    Default Re: What's the big deal about changing strings?

    I love a good rant. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranald View Post
    I imagine that the gifted mandolin players we most admire sometimes shake their heads in wonder at problems we discuss at length on the Forum.
    I'll bet that's true. Though I have no way of knowing, for sure. But that is one thing I'd have in common with them.
    But that's just my opinion. I could be wrong. - Dennis Miller

    Furthering Mandolin Consciousness

    Blues Mando Social Group
    Gibson Mandolins Social Group
    North Florida Mandolin Players Social Group

    Lucinda Williams and Eric Von Schmidt (who would have turned 90 5/28/21), the night devotee met hero (and both my heroes)

  9. The following members say thank you to journeybear for this post:

    Ranald 

  10. #32
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    4,157

    Default Re: What's the big deal about changing strings?

    Lol, I generally wait too long to change my strings, but am always happy with the outcome. When I was playing at church more pre-COVID I changed strings more frequently, and would do so a few days before we played in any Sunday morning or special occasion services to let the new jangle wear off, but have gotten slack since I’m mostly playing for me now. Also, when I decide to do it, I generally change them on several instruments, so it’s a little bit of a time investment. I really should get on a schedule so I don’t do them all at once, but that’s tough given coated vs uncontested strings, electrics, and nylon strings all in the mix. So I wing it.

    The Avett Brothers did a benefit concert for our local CVAN women’s shelter several years ago, and Scott popped a string tuning before the first song, lol. They get after it, and it’s not unusual for Scott to break strings in the throws of a show, but the band mates all gave him some good natured ribbing for that one. That show was the night prior to a tour for them, and we all expected a short 5-7 song “EP” type show, but they played for almost 3 hours. Good folks, they are.
    Chuck

  11. The following members say thank you to CES for this post:

    chuck3 

  12. #33
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Rochester NY 14610
    Posts
    16,759

    Default Re: What's the big deal about changing strings?

    Quote Originally Posted by ajh View Post
    ...I asked him how often he changed strings. "When they break."
    Reminds me of "Mother" Maybelle Carter and Autoharp strings. I think there's some studio chatter included on the first Will the Circle Be Unbroken albums, where she's asked about it, and she says something to the effect that she changed strings on her Autoharp once and would never do it again. I have several 'harps with shinier strings standing out among their duller companions, where I've broken a C or a G or an F, while the adjacent C# etc. strings, possibly originally installed in the 1940's, still function as well as they did then.

    1940's? Hell, I've got a little 5-bar Zimmermann from the Philadelphia shop (you can tell by the red felt), that's 1880's-early-1890's vintage, and still has its original wound strings. Still play it, too.
    Allen Hopkins
    Gibsn: '54 F5 3pt F2 A-N Custm K1 m'cello
    Natl Triolian Dobro mando
    Victoria b-back Merrill alumnm b-back
    H-O mandolinetto
    Stradolin Vega banjolin
    Sobell'dola Washburn b-back'dola
    Eastmn: 615'dola 805 m'cello
    Flatiron 3K OM

  13. #34
    Registered User lowtone2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lower alabama
    Posts
    520

    Default Re: What's the big deal about changing strings?

    I need to change strings today, but i think we’re out of band aids.

  14. #35
    Registered User JonDoug's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Missoula, Montana
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: What's the big deal about changing strings?

    I've gotten over loathing string changes, but I still don't like it. I'm changing them today. I change when the annoyance of hard-to-tune and bad intonation exceeds the annoyance of a string change. That's about every four months for me with untreated phosphor bronze, I'd guess about 60 hours of playing. If I was in a band, especially competing with a banjo, and needed top sonic performance, I'm sure I'd step up the rate of replacement.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •