Tuesday, 11 June 2013

How to restring your guitar – a step by step guide

If you’re new to playing the guitar learning all the ins and outs of being a guitar pro can seem a little daunting. One of the first things you’re going to have to learn is how to restring your guitar. Now you could ask a guitar playing friend to do it for you, but that’s lazy and pretty embarrassing. Even worse, you could take your instrument to a guitar shop and ask them to help, but be prepared for them to laugh you out of the shop.
Want to avoid that? The answer is almost definitely “Yes!” so to save you the embarrassment, here is a simple step by step guide to restringing your guitar.
What you’ll need:
  • A quiet place to carry out the procedure. You don’t need any distractions and you don’t want to lose anything vital!
  • Something to balance the neck of guitar on. You can get a specialist piece of equipment for this, but a curved piece of polystyrene will be just as good.
  • A tuning machine. If you’re a beginner it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to tune your new strings by ear.
  • A pack of new strings. The type you choose depends entirely of the sort of guitar you have and your own personal taste.
  • A pair of wire cutters.
  • A string winder. You don’t have to have one of these but it certainly makes the tedious task of winding guitar strings quicker and easier.
How to restring your guitar:
  1. Turn the tuning key until the tension in the string is loosened. You will then be able to unwind the string from the tuning post.

  1. Remove the string from the tuning post.

  1. Pull the bridge pins out of the bridge.

  1. Take the string out of the bridge of the guitar.

  1. Put the 6E string in the bridge hole. Then put the nut in the hole and put the bridge pin over the top of it.

  1. Put the string through the tuning post.

  1. Pull the string tight and then push about three inches back through the tuning post towards the bridge.

  1. Tighten the string by turning the appropriate tuning key. Don’t worry about it being in tune, it just needs to be tight.

  1. Repeat steps 5 to 9 placing the strings in this order: 5A, 4D, 3G, 2B, 1E.

  1. Tune your guitar. You might have to tune the strings several times before they stay in tune. If you don’t know how to tune your guitar then you might have to risk the music shop!

  1. Cut the excess string using wire cutters.
Job done!
You can follow these steps whether you’ve got an acoustic or a six-string electric guitar. Remember that an electric guitar will need restringing more often than an acoustic guitar, so you’ll become an expert pretty quickly! Wondering why you need to change electric guitar strings more often? It’s because the strings are lighter so they’ll corrode faster than the strings on an acoustic guitar.

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