How To Install Guitar Strings

If you're new to the world of guitar playing, you need to know how to install guitar strings. Thankfully, being able to put new strings on your guitar is a snap. Differences exist between electric and acoustic guitars when it comes to achieving this, but by being aware of just a few things, you'll learn how to install guitar strings in no time.

To install guitar strings, you will need:

  • Guitar
  • New string set
  • String winder
  • Wire cutters
  1. Check to see that you have the right kind of strings. Those who play acoustic guitars need acoustic guitar strings. If you play electric guitar, you will need strings made for the electric guitar. As long has you have the right kind of strings for your guitar, you're ready to get started.
  2. Remove the old set of strings. Turn your tuners until all of your old strings are loose enough to remove from the tuning pegs. If you have an acoustic guitar, you will need to remove the pegs on the bridge to get the strings off of the guitar. If you play an electric guitar, just slide the strings out either through the back of the guitar (tremolo-style bridge) or out of the bottom of the bridge (hard-rail bridge). Remember that a large part of knowing how to install guitar strings has to do with whether you're playing an electric or acoustic guitar.
  3. Situate the low E-string in the bridge. When all of the old strings are off of the guitar, you are ready to install the new set. Take out the thickest string in your set—the low E-string—because this will be the first string you put on the guitar. If you play an acoustic guitar, you will need to place the end of the string with the ball into the bridge and push the peg down on top of it. If you're putting strings on an electric guitar, however, you will need to put the string either through the back of the guitar into the appropriate hole in your tremolo-style bridge or through the stop block on your hard-rail bridge. The main stumbling block for those learning how to install guitar strings for the first time is getting them correctly situated on the guitar's bridge. Don't forget how you installed the first string because the process is the same for the rest of them. 
  4. Tighten the string with your tuner. As soon as the low E-string is correctly installed in the bridge, pull it up along the neck, through the nut, and through the hole in the appropriate tuning peg. Leave enough slack so that only two or three wraps are needed to tighten the string. Use your string winder to tighten the string so that it is tight and secure on the guitar. When you've done this, you're almost finished learning how to install guitar strings.
  5. Attach the remaining strings. Repeat steps three and four with the five remaining strings in your set. When all six strings are attached, use the wire cutters to clip off the excess bits of string that hang off the tuning pegs. Leaving that part of the string hanging from the headstock is a safety hazard because the ends are sharp enough to pierce the skin.
  6. Tune your guitar. Use your pocket tuner, keyboard, or pitch-perfect ear to tune your guitar as you see fit. Now that you know how to install guitar strings, you no longer have to live in fear of breaking one. You will have a new string installed on your guitar before the rest of the band can even finish a song.


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