When parents come in to lease a string instrument for their children, they often wonder about the care and maintenance of this fragile piece of wood.
A frequently asked question is how often should the strings be changed? There is no warning light that comes on anywhere when the strings are ready for a change and no set rule, like change every 3,000 miles. Really, what it comes down to is how often one plays.
Rosin will naturally build up on strings, as well as the oil and sweat from your hands.
Wiping down the strings after every playing will help prevent this. While you can’t do anything about the oil and sweat, you should never play with dirty hands.
You can CAREFULLY clean strings with rubbing alcohol. This will help your strings to last longer, but when they start to sound dull, it is time for a change.
Professional musicians can change their strings every month, but a beginning student can go for 1-2 years before needing a change. Most students are on child-sized instruments and trading for the next size up as they get bigger, so they are probably not even going to be on one instrument for more than a couple of years.
Parents of beginning students will probably not have to worry about changing dull strings, unless one breaks.