Why Guitarists Change Guitars Between Songs – Ultimate Guide

Why Guitarists Change Guitars Between Songs – Ultimate Guide

Guitarists have been known to switch guitars between songs for centuries. Throughout music history, guitarists have used different guitars and combinations of guitars to create unique sounds in their performances. Whether a guitarist is playing an acoustic set or an electric one, changing guitars, mid-set is often a key element to crafting a successful show.

In this article, we will explore Why Guitarists Change Guitars Between Songs and the benefits of doing so.

Why Guitarists Change Guitars Between Songs – Ultimate Guide

Not All Guitars Sound The Same – Why Guitarists Change Guitars Between Songs

Many factors affect a guitar’s overall sound quality, including the material used to make it, its size, shape and construction techniques. Depending on the guitar style, different woods, such as mahogany or maple, can produce unique sounds.

The strings a guitarist uses also play an essential role in creating differences in sound; harder or thicker strings can provide louder volume and brighter tone, while lighter strings will create a mellower sound with less resonance.

Why do Guitars Play Differently?

Guitars can be categorized into different types based on their performance and sound. But why do guitars play differently? There are many reasons, but one of the most important is that guitars are built to be unique. Guitars are specifically designed for player performance. Different materials, shapes and designs allow for another type of feedback and attack that will enable players to achieve a more powerful tone.

ComparisonElectric GuitarAcoustic Guitar
String GaugeLighterHeavier
Action (String Height)LowerHigher
Body Cutaway(s)DeeperShallower
FretsSmall to JumboMedium

Pros And Cons Of Having Multiple Guitars


  • It can add variety to your music.
  • You can practice with different guitars if you want.
  • You can mix and match different guitars to create custom sounds.
  • Experimenting with different techniques and sounds on other guitars can be fun.
  • You can learn new chords and strums on different guitars without buying a set of chords or strums specifically for that guitar type or style of music.


  • It might be challenging to track which guitar is which in a live setting. If one guitar goes missing, it can be hard to reprint it later on. 
  • Multi-guitar players may learn different songs or styles to sing with the band. This can be time-consuming and difficult.

Recording Issues And Considerations:

Recording issues and considerations can affect any musician, but guitarists may need help to switch guitars between songs. Here are some reasons why: 

Guitars typically have a different sound when played live than when recorded. This can be affected by the type of microphone used, the engineer’s preferences, and other factors.

Recording can also cause guitars to lose their sound over time. This is because the equipment used to capture audio recordings has a finite life and often deteriorates over time. Once the recorder has been used for a certain amount of time, many of its qualities will have gone away, including the sound of guitars.

Recordings can also be changed in ways that make them less faithful to the original performance.

Slide Guitar Can Be Problematic:

Slide guitar can be a complex instrument to play. For some, it can be entertaining to play, while others find it challenging to control the tempo of their songs. There are a few reasons why guitarists may switch guitars between themes.

Some people find that one guitar feels better than another when trying to keep their song’s rhythm. Others may prefer one type of guitar over another when performing covers or original material. Ultimately, deciding whether to switch guitars is up to the individual musician.

Alternate And Drop Tunings:

Alternate tunings can be a great way to get extra harmonic possibilities out of a guitar. By changing the strings’ intonation, you can create new chords and melodies that may not have been possible.

Drop tuning is changing the pitch of an instrument or voice so that it sounds more like the notes played on other devices. Drop tunings are commonly used in rock and blues music to improve the range and clarity of messages. However, dropped tunings can also be used in other genres of music, including classical and jazz. While there is no way to do Drop Tuning, most experienced players recommend starting with a low D tuning to achieve the best results.

Drop Tuning Comparison Chart:

Check out our Drop Tuning Comparison Chart to see which tuning method is best for you. Whether you want to improve your sound or find a new tuning approach, we’ve got you covered.

TuningString Gauge6th String5th String4th String3rd String2nd String1st String
RegularAny GaugeEADGBE
Drop D10-46D (1)ADGBE
Drop C12-56C (2)G (1)C (1)F (1)A (1)D (1)
Drop B12-62B (2 ½)Gb (1 ½)B (1 ½)E (1 ½)Ab (1 ½)Db (1 ½)
Drop A12-62A (3 ½)E (3 ½)A (3 ½)D (3 ½)F# (3 ½)B (3 ½)

Tremolo Bridge Guitars Can Be Especially Problematic:

Tremolo bridges add a detuning effect to the sound of a guitar. They can cause the guitar’s volume and tone to drop or even go out when misused. You could end up with a less-than-stellar-sounding instrument if you’re not careful.

Equipment Failure Can Be A Show Stopper:

It can be a show-stopper if your guitar doesn’t work correctly. Many people need to realize that equipment failures can significantly impact their playing. If you’re not careful, equipment failure can be the biggest enemy in your music career. You should have at least one backup guitar if you play professionally. Remember, the show must go on.

Consider Guitar Repairs And Modifications:

Various guitar repairs and modifications are available to those who want to improve their instrument. From Replacement strings to a new headstock, there is a repair or modification option for everyone. However, before any repairs or modifications can be made, it is essential to understand the types of repairs and what kind of return policy different repair shops have.

Seven Strings Can Be Better Than Six:

Seven-string guitars are typically placed lower than the low E-string on a traditional six-string guitar. This means it produces a deeper tone with improved bass response, giving players access to notes that would otherwise be out of reach without using an alternate tuning or an effects pedal. It also provides new possibilities for creating chord shapes and lead lines, adding more texture to your melodies and harmonies.

Going For A Different Look:

Why Guitarists Change Guitars Between Songs – Ultimate Guide

There are many different options on the market. You can find a guitar designed for a specific style of music, or you can choose a guitar more tailored to your unique tastes. Whichever option you choose, you must take the time to figure out what type of guitar will work best for you.

One of the world’s most well-known and respected guitar players, Steve Vai, is now making an impact with his new Hydra guitar. The guitar is unique, with a five-stringed design and other features that set it apart from other guitars.

Promotional Guitar Deals:

There’s a new trend happening in the music industry – promotional guitars. Promotional guitars are guitars that are given to artists as a way to promote their music and increase sales. This type of guitar is often given for free or at a discounted price, making it an excellent option for artists looking to promote their music.

Why do Players Minimize Guitar Changes?

Because they believe performing the same song multiple times with different instruments can result in a more accurate and realistic experience. By practicing with the same device multiple times, players can create a better connection with it and learn how to control its sounds. This can help them better understand their playing style and improve their overall technique.

  • Keeping Costs Down

Guitar changes may be minimized because of the cost of replacement parts. The average guitar player typically only needs one or two replacement parts, whereas a traditional piano or drum set may require multiple factors over time. Another cost-saving strategy for guitar players is to minimize the number of changes they make. By changing a few things regularly, guitar players can save money and maintain their equipment more efficiently.

  • Road Wear, Damage, And Theft

The most common dangers are road wear, damage, and theft. If you’re an avid musician, you must know these dangers to stay safe on the road. As a musician, you should always be mindful of your guitar’s road wear and damage. In addition, be sure to keep your guitar in good condition by keeping it clean and oiled.

  • Avoiding The Need To Scale Up

It might be necessary to scale up to produce high-quality music for several reasons. One reason is that the production process becomes more expensive as the size of the team or orchestra grows. Another reason is that musicians may need help to keep up with technology, which can lead to audio or video quality problems.

  • Murphy’s Law

Murphy’s Law states that “anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” This phrase is often used to describe the unpredictability of life, but it can also be applied to the guitar. Guitarists know that a new string may not hold up as well as an old one and that Tuning may need to be changed suddenly. Despite these seemingly small issues, they can often lead to significant problems if not corrected promptly.

  • Keeping The Audience Entertained And Happy

If you want to keep your audience entertained and happy, consider playing some guitar. There’s something inherently charming about the sound of a stringed instrument, which puts people in a good mood. Playing guitar can also be a great way to learn new songs or techniques.

When Do You Need More Than One Guitar?

If you are a guitar musician, chances are you own at least one, but if you’re like most people, you don’t have a second guitar. The truth is that having more than one guitar can be incredibly helpful in expanding your skills and creativity as a musician. Here’s why: 

Having more than one guitar allows you to learn different songs by playing them in other keys. This can help you develop your skills in all major and minor keys, giving you more options for melodies and chord progressions. 

Playing Electric And Acoustic Music:

Why Guitarists Change Guitars Between Songs – Ultimate Guide

Here are some things to consider when choosing an electric or acoustic guitar: 

Size and Weight: Electric guitars are typically smaller and lighter than acoustic guitars, making them easier to carry. Conversely, acoustic guitars can be heavier due to their larger size and elaborate construction.

Sound: Electric guitars produce a brighter sound than acoustic guitars. This is because electric strings have a higher tension than acoustic strings. Acoustic guitarists often use this difference in sound to create unique sounds that cannot be replicated with an electric guitar. 

Stringing: Electric guitars usually require fewer strings than acoustic guitars.

Enjoyment Of Playing Or Collecting Different Guitars:

Why Guitarists Change Guitars Between Songs – Ultimate Guide

Different people have different levels of enjoyment when it comes to playing or collecting different guitars. Some people enjoy the challenge of figuring out how to play a new guitar, while others are more likely to plug in and start playing. For some, the satisfaction of mastering a guitar can be addicting. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, there’s probably one guitar that you find enjoyable to play.

Can One Guitar Be Used For Any Musical Genre?

The theory behind this question is based on the idea that a guitar can be classified into two categories: classical and rock. Classical guitars are typically designed to be played in a specific way, such as with a flat fingerboard and nylon strings, which limits their ability to create the sounds of popular genres like rock. On the other hand,

Rock guitars are typically built with more frets and pickups, which allows them to produce a wider variety of sounds. So while one guitar may be able to approximate the sound of a classical guitar, it would not be able to recreate the sound of a rock guitar.

Conclusion – Why Guitarists Change Guitars Between Songs:

Guitarists change guitars between songs for a variety of reasons. Some guitarists might switch guitars to change the tone or sound they are looking for, while others might do it to change up the rhythm or feel of their playing. Regardless, guitarists should always be mindful of the different sounds their guitars can create and try to use them to their advantage to create a unique and personalized sonic experience for themselves and their listeners.


How do you determine which guitar to use for a particular song?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best guitar for a particular song will vary depending on the genre and music style. However, some tips may help, including listening to the song several times and trying out different guitars until you find one that feels comfortable and sounds good. 

What are some common reasons that guitarists change guitars between songs?

There are many reasons guitarists change guitars between songs. Some guitarists might switch guitars to match the music they are playing or to create a different sound. Other times, guitarists might change guitars because their current guitar is broken or needs to be repaired. 

How Many Types Of Guitars Are There?

There are a few guitars, but the most common are acoustic and electric ones. Acoustic guitars are typically played unplugged, while electric guitars can be plugged into an amplifier to produce sound. There are also semi-acoustic guitars with a partially hollow body, allowing them to make more sound than an acoustic guitar without being as loud.


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