If you play guitar or bass a lot, chances are you go through a lot of strings. In a previous article we discussed how to know when it’s time for you to change strings. But what do you do with your old strings? While simply tossing them in the trash is the most straightforward option, there are numerous alternatives that are worth a try.
1. Recycle Them!
Many guitar and bass strings are made of bronze, nickel or stainless steel. So go ahead and toss them in your recycle bin instead of the trash. It’s as simple as recycling aluminum cans and will help the Earth in the long-term by reducing destructive metal mining. However, many municipal recycling programs do not accept strings, so it may be a good idea to find out if this is a viable option first.
2. Donate them to a local school or music program.
The cost of strings can really add up, and any local schools or institutions with music programs will be really appreciative of any donations. You’ll also get a lot of satisfaction knowing that you are helping out young musicians, especially considering how many schools lack funding for music and arts programs. If recycling isn’t an option, donating them is a very worthy alternative.
3. Send them overseas to musicians in need.
All over the world there are musicians who cannot afford to purchase new strings, or simply do not have access to them. Your used strings can really make a difference in their lives and allow them to keep their craft going! Awesome efforts like the Second Strings Project, founded by singer-songwriter Darryl Purpose and Kevin Deame, accept string donations and give them to less fortunate musicians in third world and developing countries. To date, they have delivered over 20,000 sets of strings to musicians in need. For more information about this project, visit the info page of Second Strings Project.
Even when your strings have served their purpose, they are still able to find a new life elsewhere. Do you have any other ideas for what to do with old strings? Let us know in the comments!