How To Change Guitar Strings
For any guitar player, learning how to change guitar strings is an essential step to being a true expert in the craft. Though not necessarily glamorized like a killer solo or great riff, changing guitar strings is one of those necessary evils that comes with the territory of guitar playing. Neglected old strings not only look grimy, but will actually sound duller and make the guitar harder to play. Luckily, even those who aren’t mechanically inclined can change guitar strings with relative ease. All it takes is a little patience and the following steps.
What you need:
- A small pair of pliers (with an acoustic guitar)
- A fresh set of guitar strings
- Heavy duty scissors
- Begin by removing one string. To do it, turn the tuning peg so that the string becomes loose, and unwrap the string from the tuner. If it’s an electric guitar you’re working with, you’ll be able to just pull the string out from the back side. Most acoustics, however, will require that you pull out the plastic pins that secure the strings to the bridge with a pair of pliers.
- Put the new string on. In this step, you remove the appropriate string from the package (they’re color coded by string size to make your life a little easier) and thread it through the bridge. With an acoustic, replace the removed plastic pin to secure the string. Next, thread it through the corresponding tuner on the headstock of the guitar. Leave the string enough room so that it can be lifted about three to four inches from the fifth fret of the guitar. When this tension is set, hold it in place as you tighten the tuner. Keep tightening until the string is roughly in tune – it will take a ton of turns. When this string is nice and tight, you can repeat the whole process with the next five strings. After all the new strings are on, clip the ends hanging over the headstock with a strong pair of scissors.
- Pay attention to the details while you perform the task. The whole process of changing your guitar strings can be kind of laborious. A lot of people, as a result, tend to take shortcuts. They’ll, for instance, remove all the strings at once – which can cause damage to the guitar’s neck. As tedious as it might be, removing and replacing one string at a time is essential. Additionally, make sure you leave enough room before turning the guitar’s tuner so that the string can wrap around it a few times. Only leaving enough room for one or two revolutions leaves the strings susceptible to future breakage.