Free Online Guitar Lessons
How to String a Guitar
Of course, every time a string breaks when playing, it needs instant replacement. No use playing a six string guitar with five strings! Never pay somebody to string your guitar for you - it's easy enough to do yourself. Follow these steps...
- Before you start -
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 refer 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.
Restringing your guitar
Every guitar player needs to know how to string a guitar. If you perform live on a regular basis, your strings will need replacement every three months to ensure that your guitar's sound remains optimum.
Even if you just use a guitar at home, it's still a good idea to restring your guitar every now and again since strings do wear out quickly if you play regularly.
What brand do I need? Where to buy?
Guitar Accessories like strings are usually cheaper at online stores like Musician's Friend, then at retail stores. Buy them online, have them delivered to your door and save a few bucks in the process...
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!
Step 1 - Loosen your strings
If you are replacing all the strings on your guitar, loosen them one by one. Instead of endlessly turning you tuning pegs by hand, consider getting a string winder tool. It's very cheap and a good investment if your strings break a lot.
Step 2 - Remove Bridge Pins
Using a pair of wire cutters, gently grab unto the base of the head of the bridge pins. These things break easily so be gentle. Push the cutters down on the saddle and use the leverage to raise the pins out of their holes. String winders also usually include a notch which can be used as a tool to remove bridge pins.
Step 3 - Clean your guitar
Once all your bridge pins and strings are removed, you have the rare opportunity to clean every fret on your guitar. Don't let it pass by! Grab a cloth and some guitar polish (or wood polish that's suitable) and shine those frets.
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. When inserting a new string the trick is to push the bridgepin down, while simultaneously pulling the string up.
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!
Now you know how to string a guitar, but do you know how to tune one? New strings sometimes detune for the first couple of times you play on them, so keep that tuner close by.