How to change your guitar stringsWritten by admin on May 13th, 2011
Changing guitar strings is something all guitarists should know, but find intimidating. However with the right instructions and practice, it isn’t really that difficult to change guitar strings. Follow these steps to change your acoustic guitar strings. Changing strings in electric guitars however is slightly different.
- First you have to decide how you intend to restring your guitar. You can remove and replace each individual string or unstring and restring all the strings together. By restringing the strings one at a time, it is possible to maintain most of the tension at the neck. However removing all the strings makes cleaning the guitar easier than lifting each string individually and wiping around them.
- Once you’ve decided how you intend to change strings, you have to loosen strings and clip them using nippers or loosen and remove them through the tuning pegs using a peg winder.
- Next, you have to remove the bridge pins which are black or white knob-looking things on the inside of the guitar. New bridge pins or a new guitar are stubborn to remove. However though you may be tempted to remove them using pliers it is better using a bridge pin puller instead. It is better to lay pegs in the order you remove them so that you can easily place them back in the same holes you had removed them from.
- After the strings are removed from the peg holes, clean your guitar. Don’t use furniture polish, glass spray or any other household cleaner for cleaning; the guitar shop will give you a decent cleaner for cleaning your guitar. You could always clean your guitar using a damp chamois cloth, diaper or lint-free cotton cloth.
- Once your guitar is clean, you have to get your new strings ready to string the guitar. Some guitar strings have color-coded ends to help indicate how they strings have to be tuned. As different guitarists use different methods to restring the guitar, you can choose the method you find most comfortable and convenient for you.
- Some guitarists start at the thin end and work upwards or start at the thick end and work downwards. Some guitarists first string the thinnest string, then the thickest, and next, the next-thinnest and next-thickest strings, etc. this method of alternatively restringing the guitar gives a better left-to-right pull to the guitar neck and makes guitar tuning easy.
- While holding the string, you have to insert its knob end into the peg hole and re-insert the end peg. As you head towards the guitar, its better to apply some tension to the string.
- Once all strings are in its peg holes, stretch it to its appropriate tuning peg and insert its end into the peg hole and leave some string to wind around the tuning pegs. The guitar tuning key has to be turned rightwards to tighten the string.
- While tightening the string, each wind should stack below the previous one. This not only looks cleaner, but also prolongs the life of the string. While cutting the strings, cut a bit more than required as you can never add what you cut off but can always cut off excess string.