This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.

Welcome to Our Community

Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

Bad to remove all strings from a guitar at once? (HEY WILL)

Discussion in 'Backline' started by Nebulous, Mar 21, 2010.

  1. Nebulous

    Nebulous Daniel

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    7,291
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Brookfield, VIC, Australia
    A friend freaked out at me today when I loosened all my guitar strings to gain access to the fret board to clean it and apply lemon oil. Apparently he had read around the net that it was bad to take all the strings off at once as it puts stress on the neck. I'd never heard of this before and have been doing it to all my guitars.
    Is there any truth to this?
    I'd imagine that it would have to be done to a guitar at one point in it's life either for a good clean, refret/ fret job, etc.
     
  2. Harry Hughes

    Harry Hughes   ‬‬

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    Messages:
    4,356
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I've done it plenty of times to clean and wipe down the fretboard with lemon oil, polish frets etc.
    And nothing bad has ever come out of it.
    I mean fuck, a guitar isn't made with strings on it, there was a point in time before it had strings on it, and obviously the necks have held up fine on pretty much most good guitars.
    I guess he'll freak out when he finds out guitars don't magically drop from the sky completely, fully manufactured with strings on them :lol:
     
  3. Nebulous

    Nebulous Daniel

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    7,291
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Brookfield, VIC, Australia
    Lol, that was sort of my reaction too, but I'm not going to pretend that I know everything about guitars and wood. I mean, I could see that it would be bad for the neck if all the strings were cut at the same time once a week and the tension was INSTANTLY removed from the neck, but for it to be loosened over a few minutes and cause damage would surprise me.
     
  4. Harry Hughes

    Harry Hughes   ‬‬

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2009
    Messages:
    4,356
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Having come from a background of fucking with guitars with locking trems, I have a habit of only removing one string at a time anyway regardless of whether the guitar has a trem (or any kind) or not. I think as long as you only remove one at a time, it will be okay
     
  5. Ionei

    Ionei Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2009
    Messages:
    569
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Latrobe Valley, Australia.
    You'll be sweet for sure man.
    I've had strings off guitars for a while before and they've needed nothing more then maybe a truss rod tweak.
     
  6. kaomao

    kaomao Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Messages:
    5,475
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Bareggio - Milano - Italy (Shitty Town)
    It's because if you have a floyd you can set it up faster this way (removing one at a time) not because it stresses the neck, otherwise my old Jackson from 93 would be already broken while it's still alive and well.
    I always remove all the strings putting the back plate of the floyd, the one to access the springs, under the floyd itself so it's still straight, this way I always clean the entire fretboard.
     
  7. Melb_shredder

    Melb_shredder Orpheus: Melodic Death

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Messages:
    2,854
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Melbourne
    ^^^

    Exactly this. So long as you take them off one at a time, going from thickest to thinnest, that way the tension drop becomes less and less :)
     
  8. 16S

    16S all gods fail...

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    Messages:
    931
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    I've removed all strings to clean and re-string for 20 years. No probs!
     
  9. Metaltastic

    Metaltastic Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Messages:
    19,931
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    How would removing tension from the neck put more stress on it? :loco:
     
  10. Dalinkwent48@aim.com

    Dalinkwent48@aim.com Be Creative, Get Laid

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    2,087
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Jersey
    idk if this is right or wrong but anytime i take my strings off i go from the outside and work my way in.. IE- Low E, High E,A,B,D,G
     
  11. Metaltastic

    Metaltastic Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2005
    Messages:
    19,931
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Yup, same here, and also when putting new strings on or even tuning
     
  12. Force666

    Force666 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,096
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    It's fine. The only thing I wouldn't recommend is doing it right before tracking. You should let it set back up strung and in tune overnight. Otherwise you'll be fighting a tuning battle while the neck relief resets itself.
     
  13. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2004
    Messages:
    12,582
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Two words: truss rod.
     
  14. colonel kurtz

    colonel kurtz Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    3,990
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    for sure

    taking all the strings off won't cause any sort of damage. i mean, for god's sake, it's just a piece of wood!

    like someone else said, it's a lot easier to do one at a time if swapping strings on a floyd...other than that, shouldn't much matter
     
  15. Force666

    Force666 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,096
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I'm not sure exactly what Jeff meant. (As in, I think he was replying to Marcus and explaining how it would put "stress" on the neck)


    But, the truss rod puts counter tension on the neck to counter the strings tension. So in theory if you take off all the strings the truss rod is actually pulling the neck backwards. Taking off the strings for a bit and putting them back on won't make much of a difference, but if you leave them off for a long time you should consider relieving the tension on the truss rod.
     
  16. abt

    abt BT

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2009
    Messages:
    1,418
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I'm going to disagree with you all here. Many years ago I was talking to a guy who has been building, collecting, restoring and selling guitars since the 1960s. He told to me never take all the strings off unless absolutely necessary. I won't say who he is because I don't want to quote him out of context, but he and his is family have been involved in guitar building for a long time and are extremely successful.

    I didn't believe him until he showed me guitars that were 30yrs+ old that he had used this way. The necks were in great shape. He then showed me ones that hadn't been looked after and you could tell the difference. He then showed me identical acoustics that were 20yr+ old that he had performed this exacted experiment on. The one where the strings had be replaced one at a time where perfect. The ones that had all the strings removed were not. Strangely, the neck was not that bad but the soundboard raised up an a bit warped.

    For me it comes down to this: It is no risk to leave them on and it is no extra work to leave them on so I leave them on.
     
  17. Lasse Lammert

    Lasse Lammert HCAF Blitzkrieg

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2009
    Messages:
    8,423
    Likes Received:
    37
    Trophy Points:
    48
    it's different for acoustics than for electrics.
    electrics are fine, acoustics are a bit more sensitive
     
  18. no.mop

    no.mop Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    If you don't have all the strings off then how would you polish the frets or apply lemon oil to the fretboard? I can't think of a feasible way.
     
  19. Nebulous

    Nebulous Daniel

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    Messages:
    7,291
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Location:
    Brookfield, VIC, Australia
    Neither can I....
     
  20. MarcusGHedwig

    MarcusGHedwig Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2010
    Messages:
    3,455
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    New York
    Well it's not like it takes that long to do those things, I guess just keep the time all strings are off to a minimum! (or just not care, that's been working out ok for me so far, and I don't plan on having any of my current guitars for the next 20 years :Spin: )
     

Share This Page