Friday, April 3, 2009

String Time Arrives at C.F. Martin's FREE Guitar Clinics!

PHOTO: Display of Martin Acoustic strings for Studio & Performing. Listen to some Martin Guitar strings in action right now on Dr. M's Radio Show:

My guitar teacher agrees. One of the best things you can do for your guitar's sound and playability is to change the strings frequently. In fact, for optimal performance, your strings should be changed after every 40 hours of playing. If you play a little more than an hour each day, you'll quickly rack up that much time in a month. Still in my experience, nothing makes your guitar sound brand spanking clean like a new set of strings.

Signs of the Times
The good times you've had with your guitar show up as dark patches and discolorations all along the length of the string. Your strings will also have a dull tone and not resonate well. Once they get "patchy", there's not much you can do to remedy the situation except change them. With a bit of forethought, you can extend your strings' playability.

Getting the most life out of your strings means taking a few steps to keep them clean and ringing true. Also keeping the humidity level between 40-45% in your guitar case will also be a great help. This is because over-humidification which often comes with the spring rains, will cause your strings to accelerate in oxidation. That means rust city so be sure to be extra careful when using your guitar at outdoor folk festivals and jams.
See our article here on Spring Guitar Care:
Players also should make a habit of washing their hands before picking up their instrument. Corrosive acids and salts in your sweat will transfer from your fingers onto the strings. When you are playing, pass on the salty, greasy chips and other such snacks that may be around. Salt is a true enemy to string life!

GHS makes an excellent line of electric guitar strings and guitar care accessories. To extend the life of your strings, you can use their String Cleaning Cloth. This specially treated cloth is used dry over steel guitar or bass strings to clean and restore tone.

Another product from GHS that I like to use is their Fast Fret. Like the cloth, it is a string cleaner but also benefits the fingerboard. It comes in a stick which just glides along your strings and fingerboard. Wipe off the excess with the cloth that is included and you're ready to play! These products won't damage or stain your guitar's finish and are made in the U.S.A. I keep them handy as they are easy to pack for the studio and the road. Some say it allows them to play faster along the fretboard. I'll take any help I can get but practicing is the only way I've seen to really increase my speed. Visit GHS online for all of their quality products at:

So there is a lot that you can do to keep the life in your strings and improve their sound along the way. The Martin Guitar Clinics are completely FREE and allow you to meet other musicians and see some new model guitars up close and personal as they usually allow you to play them. You can ask questions and gain some insights on your guitar. You'll also have the opportunity to try a free set of new strings and have them put on by an expert luthier all at no cost. He'll check the action and make suggestions on the best type of strings based on your instrument and playing style. You may have been playing with the wrong strings all these years. You owe it to yourself, (and your audience), to get the right strings on your guitar. Don't miss out on an opportunity like this! See the upcoming dates and locations under our CONCERTS-SHOWS-JAMS header down at the bottom of the page. You may also contact C.F. Martin directly to schedule a free factory and museum tour or for more information about their Free Guitar Clinics. C.F. Martin website:

Photo: Dr. M. & her Martin D-16GT, in solid spruce & mahogany

The Next FREE Martin Guitar Clinic is on Saturday April 11th 2009 in Hackettstown, NJ with master luthier Dave Evans. Get a set of premium Martin Strings installed FREE! See Details under SHOWS-CONCERTS-JAMS
Now that Spring is here, it's jammin' time! Don't sit at home. Come out to the Concerts, Folk Festivals and Jams coming up. (Check the listings in our banner ad section) We'll have more FREE Guitar Gear Give-Aways too!
Up Next!!! Listen in to Dr. M's Radio Show Podcast at:

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