Free Online Guitar Lessons
Changing a Guitar String
Before you start - Make sure you've got the right strings!
What kind of strings do you need?
Classical guitars use
Electric and Acoustic guitars use
Steel or metal Strings
What string gauge do you need?
Gauge refers to string tension. The higher the gauge, the tighter the string and the harder it is on your fingers. Beginners should start with low gauge strings.
Extra light or 11-gauge should do.
Elixir guitar strings are coated with a special Polyweb or Nanoweb coating which protects the strings and slows down the rate of corrosion. These strings feel like new strings for longer and the coating provides a slick surface for your fingers to slide over when you're playing songs with lots of slides. The bright sound of the guitar strings also last longer. I've used them for many years, and recommend it as the best. Get it cheaply from Musician's Friend.
Changing a guitar string
For this exercise you should have a pair of wire cutters handy as well as a replacement string. Start off by removing the broken string for the neck of the guitar by unwinding it from the matching head.
Step 1 - Remove Bridge Pin
Using a pair of wire cutters, or pliers like I did in this photo, gently grab unto the base of the head of the bridge pin you want to remove. Gently apply light pressure and remove the pin.
Step 2 - Remove the string
Pull out the remainder of the string and throw the whole thing away.
Step 3 - Get the new string
If you've bought a new set of strings, make sure you get the correct string to replace the broken one. Strings are always labelled clearly and sometimes color coded. Don't make the mistake of replacing the wrong string.
Step 5 - Connect the string
Align your new string into its groove on the nut and insert it into the accompanying machine head of that string (always from the inside of the peg). Some people prefer to cut the strings before they wind them in which case you should leave yourself enough slack to wind the string (one tuning pegs distance is okay). Otherwise you can cut the string after you've winded it.
Step 6 - Wind your string
Strings need 2-3 wraps around the tuning pegs. The first wrap should be above the hole and the rest below. Use your thumb to guide the string as your turning the tuning peg. Pegs for the Bass strings (E,A,D) should be turned anti-clockwise and pegs for treble strings clockwise. After 2 or 3 wraps, if you haven't done so already, shorten your strings with the wire cutter.
Step 7 - Tune!
Changing a guitar string is only half finished until you're tuned! New strings sometimes detune for the first couple of times you play on them, so keep that tuner close by.
Check out the tuning section on my site.
Need to replace a snapped string? Changing a Guitar String is a easy and simple process. This page explains everything you need to know in a step-by-step guide...
Step 4 - Insert new string
Take the new string and insert the end with the small metal ring into the hole where the bridgepins go. Use the bridgepin to push the string into the hole. The bridgepin should be inserted with its groove facing the guitar's neck.
Step 5 - Secure the String
When inserting a new string the trick is to push the bridgepin down, while simultaneously pulling the string up.
Use your hand to press down on the bridgepin while using the other hand to apply some pulling pressure to the string itself. This should ensure the string is connected securly to the bridge.