an essay by Jack Grassel
There have always been inconsistent opinions regarding how long strings should stay in service. We've all heard of a certain "star" who has an instrument with new strings handed to him before each song. Another guitarist's finger tips and strings turn black resulting in weekly string changes. Some players never change their strings. Early in my career, my strings wore out weekly. Now they last 5-10 years! I save a lot of money and time by not changing them. There are a lot of guitarists in the world and their experiences vary greatly. This is an hypothesis which has little scientific proof, but raises some questions.
If you pay attention, anyone can be your teacher, and a teacher will appear when you need him. In my case, a dentist who is not a guitarist gave me important knowledge. 30 years ago I was in his office, getting yet another cavity filled. Allan proceeded to measure the acidity of my saliva with strips of PH paper. The results indicated an unhealthy acidic state in my body. Apparently, the acid in my saliva was eating away at weak areas of my teeth. If this was happening in my mouth, it also meant that my perspieration was acidic and corroding my guitar strings. Why? My brilliant dentist informed me that my junk food diet was putting my body into an unhealthy acidic condition.
After months of getting acquainted with fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts and seeds, my strings stopped wearing out but I got more cavities. Upon returning to the dreaded chair, it was determined that I had over done it, forcing my PH so far to the alkaline side that my body wasn't absorbing the calcium in food, making my tooth enamel weak.
I began measuring daily with PH tape purchased at a pharmacy. I started adding a few ounces of (acidic) apple cider vinegar to my blender drinks. My PH entered the normal area of 7.35-7.40 within a month. This was the answer. By monitoring my PH, I could eat a healthy diet and keep my PH in the best range with apple cider vinegar. I learned which foods are acidic and basic. The complex chemical reactions in one's body are designed to work best in this range and a higher degree of health can be attained.
My guitar strings don't wear out anymore. I've lost weight, have more energy, and look better. I don't get cavities or colds either. (Teeth come in handy when you want to eat something.)
There is an important book with relatively new information: "Eat Right For Your Blood Type". The author has determined through experimentation which foods produce the best health in each blood type. This would help explain why a certain food might cause health in one person but diesease in another.
And what about exercise? There are five dynamic exercises that take a total of 15 minutes to perform. No equipment needed. They stimulate balance, unblock energy centers, and optimize the entire organism. Perform them once or twice daily for strength and stamina. I've been doing them since 1992 and they really work. Learn them at www.lifeevents.org
I recommend doctor Julian M. Whitaker's book "Reversing Heart Disease". In it he says to avoid foods high in fat and saturated cholesterol, with no fiber. Eat abundantly foods low in overall fats, no cholesterol and high in fiber.
Do these things which result in excellent health and more energy to play music. (You and your guitar strings will last longer).
1. Measure your PH weekly and keep in in the healthy range.
2. Learn your blood type and eat the foods your body wants.
3. Perform the "Five Tibetan Fountain of Youth Exercises".
4. Walk, bike, swim, and practice your guitar regularly.
"I enjoyed your article on PH level affecting strings. I too noticed that when I was in college, my diet was horrible and I changed strings weekly. Once I joined the USAF band, and they ran my butt everyday, my strings lasted at least a year!" (Aaron)