How Much Slack To Put On Strings For Electric Guitar

Do you find yourself wondering how much slack to put on strings for electric guitar every time you give your hammer a new set? These recommendations will set you straight on the matter and keep your guitar humming along.

  1. The amount of slack to put on strings will not have much, if any, effect on the sound of your electric guitar. It is important, however, to leave enough slack to wind a few times around the tuning pegs. This will prevent the strings from breaking or slipping off the pegs when you’re bending or strumming hard on your electric guitar.
  2. The low E, A, and D strings are much thicker and will not wrap easily so many times around the tuning pegs as the higher strings. Leave less slack for these strings – about enough to wrap two full times around the peg.
  3. The higher strings are thinner and more prone to slipping and breaking. Leave enough slack to wrap them three or four times around the peg. Make sure to use a wire clipper to remove the excess string poking through the eyelet.
  4. If you are planning on using alternate tunings for your electric guitar, especially ones requiring you to loosen your strings for some extra twang, you may want to leave a little bit of extra slack. One extra wrap around the peg should plenty.
  5. You don’t want to have to guess and check too much. Once you wind a string up, the wound end becomes significantly more brittle and prone to breaking. Therefore, make sure you have enough slack to complete the previous recommendations. Once you run the string through the eyelet of the tuning peg, you should be able to lift the string at the center of the electric guitar neck about one and a half to two inches above the fret board. This is a more accurate measurement than the amount of string poking through the eyelet. Remember, each tuning peg is at a different position relative to the end of the electric guitar, meaning the amount of string poking out from the eyelet is really irrelevant.
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