The Workbench

String Stretching…do you?


When changing strings, do you tug and pull to pre-stretch the strings?

I don't. I find letting them gradually reach their balance a benefit.

D' Add's seem to take their set quickly. T-I suggests tuning close to pitch then let everything rest a day...

I especially don't like to stretch Bass Strings, which can take a while to settle down.

What do you do with which brand of strings?


I stretch them a little bit just to make sure they are wrapped tight around the tuners.


Stretch, then snap or pop. Yep, every time. Otherwise it takes longer to get them to stay in tune.


For roundwounds, yep, stretch and 'pop' every time. On guitars with flatwounds, I don't bother.


Stretch always.

– wabash slim

Me too.


i used to, but i don't any more. occasionally it deadened the tone of a string or 2, so i quit.


I always seem to change my strings fairly close in time to when I need to play a gig. So, I stretch the strings to try to accelerate the time when they will remain in pitch.


I use D'Addario flattops on acoustics and Half Rounds on electrics. I stretch all strings when I change them. They need tuning up the next day and only a touch after that.


Always stretch ,i use mostly D'Addario EXL 140 Nickle Wound light top/heavy bottom 10-52.


Of course I do. I have to play a concert afterwards. I change them after every third show.


I always wondered if you just worked your bigbsy back and forth would it be a good way to stretch strings?


Always do. I used to be a guitar tech for a bit and the strings had to stay in tune straightaway. Be reasonably gentle about it, though, and stretch the length of the string (bridge to nut and back - or the other way round). I’ve seen people yank the strings up five inches somewhere in the middle. Don’t be that guy, it kinks the string.


Every time. Stretching is good for both athletes and guitar strings.


I fully appreciate the time constraints of wanting to play a fresh set of strings for an audience...that's maybe why I like D' Add strings.

For those of you with no such constraints, observe the benefits of when you let the metals reach their apex of elastic and plastic deformation!


Yes indeed. This came up here years ago and one of members said tune his guitar up a half or whole step and left it overnight. He’d bring it down to pitch the next day.


I stretch them evenly along their entire length; including passed the nut and passed the bridge. If the guitar has a tension bar type Bigsby, stretch them passed the tension bar too. Do it firmly but don't yank on them too hard or you will ruin them. Yanking up on them in the middle can over stretch them in that spot unevenly.

S Mac


Of course stretch them.

In practice, the “stretching” is lilely a minor effect vs. the “bedding - in” of the new strings, which is much of what is accelerated by yanking on the new strings after they are installed.

You are pulling the (hopefully extremely few) turns around the tuner posts to better match the overall string tension. You are also slightly deforming the steel string and brass “ball end” back at the tailpiece. And sure, actually stretching the string slightly.

All well worth doing if it is “money-tine” and you need to play well and accurately with new strings.

In my opinion.


Should you stretch strings after re-stringing your guitar?... An absolute MUST do! Electric or acoustic... no matter what brand instrument.


I stretch, actually bend as far as possible, the strings prior to tuning up.

When you say stretch on new strings, do you mean tuning up a whole step or something like that?

Register Sign in to join the conversation