Acoustic guitar strings should be changed as needed. Depending on how much you use them, the strings can last a long time or a short time. For instance, if you’re the type of guitar player who plays your instrument several hours a day, chances are your strings will wear out faster than, say, a person who plays their guitar once a month.
How do you know when your strings need changing? Look for string wear in the form of corrosion on the surface of the strings and/or little kinks making them feel gritty to the touch. Coated strings may start shedding and look a little fuzzy. In general, acoustic guitar strings tend to start showing signs of wear after about 10 hours of play. Just like a car needs an oil change every couple thousand miles, guitar strings need changing, too. After about 100 hours of use, consider changing them.
If you ask around, you’ll discover that most guitar players swear that Elixir strings last longer than any other brand. They last a long time because they have a protective material on them. This coating may affect the tone of the guitar. Whenever you feel like the tone may be “off,” consider changing the strings to see if that remedies the problem; it often does.
Ask an average guitar player how often they change out their acoustic guitar strings and he or she will tell you they do so on a monthly basis. If they don’t use Elixir strings, they’re likely to go with D’Addarios. Both brands are considered high quality and durable.
One more thing: some players like to keep the same strings on for years…or even decades. It’s really about personal preference. Newer strings tend to sound bright and fresh. Older strings can sound dull. However, keep in mind, some guitar players want a duller sound, giving their guitar a dirty old acoustic tone and a “unique character.”