You recently got your guitar and started practicing twenty-four hours, seven days a week and at some point, from all the exercise, strings either got too dirty or dull or maybe one of them broke. Now you have to restring and doing it for the first time might seem like a hassle and a bit too arduous but if you know the basics and follow the instruction there is not too much space for a mistake. So let’s get started.

Change Guitar Strings

First thing to know is what tools you will need for restringing and these are: wire clipper, string winder, and strings (I know it is obvious but if there is a sign of “hot beverage” on your coffee cup every morning you order it at a shop, there might as well be “need strings to restring a guitar” step in this guide). Now that you have, hopefully, all of these things the first step it getting rid of the old strings. Decide on the method first; some people prefer to take one string off at a time and restring, some prefer a two strings at a time method while others prefer to take off all of them at the same time to clean up the guitar without having to go under the strings and stretch them when they are on. The point of it is that you should probably avoid taking off all the strings at the same time so as to keep the string tension intact.

The next step is sort of a safety measure, before taking off the strings loosen their tension with a peg winder so that when they come off they do not bounce and hit you in the face.

After that, you should remove the bridge pins that are there to keep the strings in the guitar. You can either do it by hand but sometimes when it is hard to remove them, especially with a new guitar, having a bridge puller is not a bad idea. After the pins are out, remove the strings (if you are doing them all at the same time) and clean your guitar or do whatever maintenance you think is necessary.

Now comes the point when you whip out your new, fabulous strings and start restringing. Do not fret, you will not mess this up. Most string sets nowadays come with great instructions that lay out the entire process and they are mostly color coded to help with understanding which string goes where. If you have removed one string at a time or two strings at a time you will not get confused. But if you removed all of them at the same time now is the time to think how you want to restring the guitar. Some prefer starting from thin strings and move up and some do the opposite. For me, the best method is 1,6,2,5,3,4 or to put it in actual words thinnest and thickest strings first and then move down in that order.

Now insert the knob end of the string into the hole and push it in with a peg. After pushing each string into its corresponding holes stretch the strings and we will start a similar process with the peg head. One string at a time, put the strings into the corresponding peg heads. What I like to do prior is measure out the length and cut it beforehand. Be sure not to cut it too short to avoid the string from slipping out. I usually cut the string when it reaches the third machine head (if you are cutting for the first machine head and so on for the others). So it is basically about the distance between three machine heads. Put the string through the hole of the peg from the center of the guitar and not the outside and as you start winding (preferably with a string winder) start from the top of the peg and slowly make your way to the bottom so that you have the right angle relative to the nut. Make sure the string stacks do not overlap one on top of each other. Also, keep in mind not the tighten the string too much at this point because you will finish that up during tuning. Do the same process with the rest of the strings and then you are basically done with the stringing process and can start tuning the guitar.

If you recently got your guitar or you always had someone else to string your guitar and the process was quite unfamiliar to you I hope this guide was somewhat helpful. You should never underestimate the importance of good strings or clean strings so when it is time to change up do not let this process put you off. Learning how to string and tune a guitar is just as important as learning how to play it. Good luck and have fun with your new strings!


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