Why the loose string curls on the headstock?

19 Apr 2010

Why the loose string curls on the headstock?

I see this question asked on a variety of forums - why do folks (myself included!) leave a coil of strings at the tuning pegs - in other words, why don't folks cut them?

I've seen a variety of reasons, which seem odd to me - but I can share with you the very simple reason I do it.

Ukulele strings last a good deal longer than steel guitar strings, so you can try to preserve them for a good while. You do however get string snaps occasionally.  String snaps tend to happen in one of two places - the bridge or at the nut.  On my ukes, if I get a snap at the bridge end (as I did twice on my new banjolele when putting aquilas on, due to a rough bridge), the fact I saved the spare length of the string in a coil means I can just tie a new knot and use the rest of the string!  Simple really.

Of course, if it breaks at the nut, its game over - but my method means that on law of averages, I can save 50% of my broken strings.

So, no, it's not because I am lazy, and not because I am trying to look "cool" or "different" as I read in one forum post - its just regular penny pinching!


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