Boil Your Strings

By anonymous

I boil my strings to stretch them before I restring.

3 comments to Boil Your Strings

  • Rod C. Venger

    Why? What’s the rationale for that? -Rod-

  • George A. Harvey

    As a poor college student I used to remove and boil my strings periodically to remove grime, and it seemed to brighten them up a bit between changings. I wouldn’t do it now because the inconvenience outweighs any benefits, and, well, new strings just don’t cost that much. Manually stretching newly-installed strings doesn’t take very long, so even if it helps in this regard, boiling them first just seems to be a hassle. I think I read somewhere once that Van Halen used to do it, though.

  • Rod C. Venger

    I can’t see how boiling strings will make them stretch. Yes, metal expands when heated but that’s not the same as stretching the strings with both ends anchored. The idea is to get them to release their tension so that tension isn’t constantly detuning you. You take the stretch out, tension (tune) them, and they hopefully stay there unless the force of your playing either stretches them more or you physically move the tuners. I simply can’t see how boiling accomplishes any of this. When they cool, they’ll likely simply contract back to their original length.

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