Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Discuss the Mandolin lesson: How to Change Mandolin Strings, String Study & More!

https://banjobenclark.com/lessons/how-to-change-mandolin-strings-string-study-more-mandolin-beginner

Changing mandolin strings can seem daunting, but we’ll take the guesswork out of it! Plus, we talk string types, advantages of each, as well as cover different styles of tailpieces and more! What are your favorite mando strings? Comment below and let us know!

4 Likes

@BanjoBen and @Jake ,

In the sincere Interest to help…

HEADS UP… the Tailpiece segment isn’t functional or playing.

You fellers did a fantastic job on the other segments! Thanks for clear and insightful instruction!

You guys are the BEST. Well, it will be better when @Jake’s shoulders are smaller next time round… :smirk::face_with_hand_over_mouth::facepunch:

3 Likes

Great subject matter. I wish you had this out before the first time I changed my strings :grinning:. J74’s are my normal strings. Looking forward to trying out some alloys besides phosphor bronze.

4 Likes

Great lesson! My favorites are EJ67s on mandolin, Elixer Nanowebs on guitar, and GHS PF185s on banjo.

@WillCoop, the tailpice video seems to be working fine now. It did give me an error message a few minutes ago, though.

3 Likes

@Michael_Mark,

I sent @BanjoBen an email right away - knowing he would want to fix it quick like. He quickly responded that the issue was resolved but I am happy to have pointed it out as he was unaware. :+1:

3 Likes

My favorite mandolin strings would be D’Addario EJ74’s. I have tried thier EXP74’s (coated strings) and they were pretty good, but I prefer the uncoated EJ74. My next string change, I’m going to try nickel bronze D’Addario NBM1140’s. Once I tried Martin 80/20’s and did not care for the sound of them on my mando at all - swapped em out pretty soon afterwards.

4 Likes

I have changed strings before but always like to review a video to refresh This one came in the nick of time and the best yet! Really appreciate it!

1 Like

Thank you for posting @lsangulo2 and welcome to the Forum.

If you aren’t so familiar with the Forum, there is a lot of wonderful people here who are eager to help you (and all Forum members, really) to become the best player you can be.

The collective experience found here is extensive and sincerely make this one of the most valuable features of the site to augment @BanjoBen’s awesome instructions.

Please come back, post and say hello often. :smile: :banjo:

2 Likes

@BanjoBen and @Jake, Very good information and presented well. I noticed there was no mention of rubbing a #2 pencil in the nut slots to reduce string catch on the nut. Is this practice still considered to be ok? Thanks.

1 Like

Yeah, sure!

2 Likes

Good content and great filming by Ben “Spielberg.” :movie_camera:

1 Like

Especially the “around the shoulders” panning… :+1:

2 Likes

Hey guys. So I’ve changed strings a lot on my 1980s Kentucky mandolin. I’ve always taken all the strings off so I can give the fretboard a good cleaning. Good to know about the stresses it can put on the instrument. Thankfully, the color of the top has aged so that it is lighter under the bridge and easy to position the bridge again to restring. How often do you recommend cleaning the fretboard and how would you do it with the method of string changing you describe here? I usually put Lemoil on the fretboard and use a fine steel wool to get the finger oils and dirt off the frets and fretboard. Thanks so much.

2 Likes

That would be what I call a deep cleaning and I do that very rarely, depending on the condition of the instrument. Otherwise I clean right before I change strings so I don’t worry about cleaning agents deadening the strings, then I get under the strings with a thin cloth or q-tip.

5 Likes

Do you ever use the Luthier’s Knot on guitar or banjo strings?

2 Likes

I do, yep.

3 Likes

Thanks Ben! I’ll give it a try.

2 Likes

One thing I do to keep the loop end in place, is to use a capo to hold the string tight so I don’t have to work with just one hand winding the string. Once I put the loop end on the tailpiece, I pull the string tight and put a capo on the 7th fret (it doesn’t really matter which one, just so it’s out of the way) and it holds the string tight between the capo and tailpiece so I can work with both hands winding the strings.

8 Likes

That sounds like a really good idea. I’ll have to try that one!

5 Likes

Did you ever read something that was so brilliant in its simplicity it made you feel dumber for not thinking of it on your own?

5 Likes