How to get strings to settle quickly?

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lucy
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How to get strings to settle quickly?

Post by lucy » Fri May 26, 2017 6:57 pm

I'm wondering about how to speed up getting strings to "settle".

Previously, before a performance, I'd change them at least 5 days before, maybe even 7 days. This gives them plenty of time to settle and lessens the risk of string squeak.

Well, now I don't have that luxury. I've got events on Mon 3rd, Wed 5th, Sat 8th and Thur 13th July! It's possible that for either the 3rd and 5th, I'll be using my electro-classical, but for the events on the 8th and 13th, I'll be using my normal classical instrument.

My current plan is to change strings early-ish, in the week before the first of these events and to leave this set on until I've done my recital on the 8th. That afternoon, I will change them, ready for the one on the 13th. That only gives them 4 clear days to settle.

The problem may be that usually when I put new strings on, I only tune them up before I practice, each day, so they are not being stretched regularly enough? Perhaps, if I get my guitar out a few times a day and and just tune it, even if I don't play it, this will speed up their settling?

The thing is, I'm not one for practicing hard up to the last minute, I tend to give myself a break from it before an event, in the main. I will run through the set, a couple of times, but I prefer to spend the days before doing something else! I feel there's nothing further to be achieved by practicing that close to an event and I find that leaving it alone, largely, is more conducive to playing better on the day.

So, how do those members who face this situation, regularly, deal with it? Please let me know your views. Any advice gratefully received. Thanks.
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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: How to get strings to settle quickly?

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Fri May 26, 2017 7:32 pm

Tune it every half hour or so if you can, slightly sharp, and keep doing so. I find it takes the stretch out faster than just letting them drop a lot and occasionally bringing them back up a lot.
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Laudiesdad69
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Re: How to get strings to settle quickly?

Post by Laudiesdad69 » Sat May 27, 2017 3:59 am

Stephen is right. When I change my strings, I will sit there and keep re-tuning the guitar every few minutes for a couple of hours, usually while watching TV. The following day I will take the guitar out of its case every couple of hours and re-tune and play it just a bit and keep rechecking it. I just keep re-tuning and usually by day three, I can leave it in a stand overnight and check it in the morning and all it needs to bring it up to pitch are micro adjustments. How I know that the strings have settled is that when I come back to recheck it, it's still in tune.

The nature of nylon strings is the reason why I gig with two guitars. If you break a string, you don't have to take intermission ( although honestly this has only happened a couple of times to me personally . I've also found that the strings are more prone to break if I tune the guitar sharp. Also, my luthier says that the increased tension of tuning them sharp isn't the best thing for the neck, and also may shorten the useful life of the strings.

So you can have them settle quickly if you are constantly attentive to the process of retuning it (I've had them settle and stay in tune in just a couple of days, but I sat with the guitar in my lap through a lot of late night TV.). And you say you have 4 days, so you should be golden.

kirolak
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Re: How to get strings to settle quickly?

Post by kirolak » Sat May 27, 2017 6:50 am

Thanks for this thread - I've just snapped 2 upper e ProArte High Tension strings in quick succession, by tuning them up to g to stretch them in :( And here I can only buy a full pack, no single strings, so it works out really expensive. . . .on my way to the music store right now. Patience would seem to be a virtue after all.

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James Lister
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Re: How to get strings to settle quickly?

Post by James Lister » Sat May 27, 2017 9:28 am

Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Fri May 26, 2017 7:32 pm
Tune it every half hour or so if you can, slightly sharp, and keep doing so. I find it takes the stretch out faster than just letting them drop a lot and occasionally bringing them back up a lot.
I do this, and usually tune all the strings a semitone above pitch. I know many professional players who change their strings the day before a performance, and have no problem with tuning stability (well, no more than usual with nylon strings). Once an hour is probably enough if you can't manage every half-hour. After half a day or so the bass strings will be pretty stable, but the trebles will probably take longer.

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: How to get strings to settle quickly?

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Sat May 27, 2017 10:43 am

James Lister wrote:
Sat May 27, 2017 9:28 am
Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Fri May 26, 2017 7:32 pm
Tune it every half hour or so if you can, slightly sharp, and keep doing so. I find it takes the stretch out faster than just letting them drop a lot and occasionally bringing them back up a lot.
I do this, and usually tune all the strings a semitone above pitch. I know many professional players who change their strings the day before a performance, and have no problem with tuning stability (well, no more than usual with nylon strings). Once an hour is probably enough if you can't manage every half-hour. After half a day or so the bass strings will be pretty stable, but the trebles will probably take longer.

James
I was going to say semi-tone because I usually do that (though not exactly cos there's no point, its falling the second you do it) but didn't feel confident that it would always be good for everybody - so thanks James :D
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Brynmor
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Re: How to get strings to settle quickly?

Post by Brynmor » Sat May 27, 2017 11:15 am

I don't tune the strings any higher than their working pitch but just keep the guitar out and tune to pitch every 30 minutes or so. The strings will settle sufficiently in a day.

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Luuttuaja
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Re: How to get strings to settle quickly?

Post by Luuttuaja » Sat May 27, 2017 9:11 pm

I learned this "semitone higher" trick on this forum and I have been happy with the tuning stability since. After keeping the strings one semitone higher for one day, the strings stay on the normal pitch pretty well.

oc chuck
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Re: How to get strings to settle quickly?

Post by oc chuck » Sat May 27, 2017 11:13 pm

Over stretching, a whole tone or more, can cause
intonation problems by creating thin spots along the
length of the string.

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joachim33
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Re: How to get strings to settle quickly?

Post by joachim33 » Sun May 28, 2017 9:57 am

kirolak wrote:
Sat May 27, 2017 6:50 am
Thanks for this thread - I've just snapped 2 upper e ProArte High Tension strings in quick succession, by tuning them up to g to stretch them in :( And here I can only buy a full pack, no single strings, so it works out really expensive. . . .on my way to the music store right now. Patience would seem to be a virtue after all.
Typically the bass strings wear out quickly, in particular the 4th string (D). You should be able to keep (some of) the trebles when changing strings next time.

kirolak
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Re: How to get strings to settle quickly?

Post by kirolak » Sun May 28, 2017 11:28 am

Yes, the d string is a nightmare, within days it goes ugly, but then the trebles lose their intonation after a few weeks, so I change sets every 6 weeks or so.

But I've only ever had the upper e break; now I'm using a ProArte J4501 in place of my fluorocarbon high tension EJ46FF upper e, & am not enjoying playing at all . I wish D'Addario would make single strings available, I'd buy a dozen upper e and a dozen d . .. . they don't import them singly here; they tell me it doesn't pay them! Which I can well believe, as I have to by a whole set each time one breaks, so they definitely are scoring! Grrrrr! :(

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Re: How to get strings to settle quickly?

Post by simonm » Sun May 28, 2017 12:10 pm

kirolak wrote:
Sat May 27, 2017 6:50 am
Thanks for this thread - I've just snapped 2 upper e ProArte High Tension strings in quick succession, by tuning them up to g …
I wouldn't be brave enough to go that high. Like others have suggested here I go about a semi-tone up initially. I retune a couple of times also as other have suggested. Overnight it stabilizes pretty well.

SteveL123
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Re: How to get strings to settle quickly?

Post by SteveL123 » Sun May 28, 2017 12:29 pm

simonm wrote:
Sun May 28, 2017 12:10 pm
kirolak wrote:
Sat May 27, 2017 6:50 am
Thanks for this thread - I've just snapped 2 upper e ProArte High Tension strings in quick succession, by tuning them up to g …
I wouldn't be brave enough to go that high. Like others have suggested here I go about a semi-tone up initially. I retune a couple of times also as other have suggested. Overnight it stabilizes pretty well.
e to g is 3 semi tones! You may get away with that on nylon, but not carbon as you've found out. I don't think that is good for the top either with the extra tension. I'd bet if you stop tuning up to g you will not have any more string breakage, and the string may keep its intonation longer than 6 weeks.

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scottszone
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Re: How to get strings to settle quickly?

Post by scottszone » Mon May 29, 2017 12:45 pm

I make sure there is no slack at the roller, I tighten the string by hand and knot it before tuning and then carefully stretch each string an inch or two off the fretboard after tuning (with two hands around the 5th and 12th frets). After doing this several times, I tune it up a semitone and let it sit overnight, it's usually set to go the next morning. Within a couple days the strings are fully stretched and settled.
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malc laney
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Re: How to get strings to settle quickly?

Post by malc laney » Mon May 29, 2017 1:14 pm

Someone i knew used to pull them back like a bow and arrow and twang them against the fretboard.Worked for him.

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