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It's about time to change my strings, and I'm wondering about fingerboard conditioning.

I read some advice that when you change strings, you should do them 1 at a time to keep the neck from going through too much change in tension.  However, I want to clean my fingerboard and condition it with some Dunlop lemon oil I bought awhile back.  I expect it will be a little tricky to wipe the fingerboard down if I'm only replacing 1 string at a time.

Is anybody worried about taking off all 6 strings once in awhile so it's easier to clean/condition the fingerboard?  Is that something most people routinely do?

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Hi,

I change my strings taking them all off and then replacing them. No harm in  that. Easier to wipe the fingerboard clean and maybe put some oil.

I replace my strings by taking them all off and cleaning my guitar top to bottom, shine it up real nice and put the new strings back on. Takes about half an hour.  String winder and a wire cutters are a big help.  There is a whole discussion on what cleaners and such to use, check it out.

I take them all off too.  Clean and condition every time too.

Check your saddle before flipping the guitar over, if it's a little loose it may fall out and find that deep dark corner under your desk!

Yep, that's an old wives tale. I think it dates back to the days before the truss rod, but don't quote me on that. Taking all the strings off at once won't affect the neck in the slightest!

All 6 off at once, any cleaning needed and back on.

Only takes a few minutes and never had an issue.

Old video now  from Taylor guitars on string change. Works well once you get the hang of it

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXEkDR_-D88

No worries IMHO ... Both Taylor and Martin have official "re-stringing videos" where they say to take all strings off at one time.  Even though I've seen occasional contrary opinions, I trust the combined knowedge of those two companies.

Same here. All off, clean, condition, new strings on, check action and neck relief.

I check the neck relief before changing the strings because you have to slack the strings (at least the D & G) to adjust the trust rod.  I've had the G string break a few times from loosening and tightening a few times.  But that was on a a few new (to me anyway) guitars that probably had never been adjusted and the truss rod was loose, it took many adjustments to get it right.

I take them all off starting with the outside strings and working in to the D and G strings.  Oiling the fingerboard is a necessity in the dry climate where I live.  After restringing loosely, I pull up on each string (gently!) while tightening them from the inside out and get close to tuning level, then take a short break before final tuning.  The new strings seem to stay in tune longer.

This discussion hasn't been touched in awhile however... My recent Seagull purchase came with a small pamphlet that states that all the strings should not be removed at the same time due to the neck tension topic. I like changing my strings this way and would do so on this new guitar but the pamphlet also states that the position of the under-saddle pickup might become upset if all of the strings are removed. I am under the impression that if I don't remove the saddle, the pickup won't be going anywhere. The guitar lays flat on it's back when I change strings pretty much the way the Taylor guitar video shows it. I'm just not quite as fast as the Taylor people. Has anyone had any experience the pickup moving? I really don't want to go back to the "one string at a time" method.

Probably has most to do with how snug your saddle is. On two of my S&Ps, the saddle is in pretty tight. I need pliers to pull it out. But on the third, it is quite loose. If there were a transducer under that one, I can see how it might shift around. But I think if you're careful, it shouldn't be a problem. I use the Taylor method too, and always take the time to clean the top and condition the fretboard. The other thing I like about this method is being able to reach inside and feel the ball snug up against the bridge plate. If the saddle is loose, you could leave one string on to hold it in place while you clean/condition. Then remove it after you replace the other 5 strings.

My Maritime can easily lose both the nut and the bridge when all strings are removed. I remove all but the high E, dust & clean, then put on the low E & ear tune from the high E (helps get it in the right neighborhood for the electronic tuner to pick the right key) and then remove the high E. Then put on the rest of the strings....I always stretch each string after tuning and retune. Sometimes it helps to "reseat" the bridge when all (or nearly all)  the strings are off. The bridge transfers a lot of vibration to the guitar top, and the reseating can get you back to the optimum sound. Sometimes a degradation of sound isn't all due to old strings, and changing one string at a time won't alow you to reseat the bridge.

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