In case you are a music lover and possess a guitar, it is very necessary for you to know how to change a guitar string. Though it is not too difficult and does not require much technical knowledge, there is a particular way of doing it. In case you are an amateur and you have never re-stringed a guitar before, then you must be quite careful, as even a slight mistake can make the strings break or detune the guitar. For your convenience and help, given below are some easy steps, following which you can comfortably string a guitar.
How To Change A Guitar String
- Start removing the old strings from your guitar. You can either do this one by one, or all at once.
- Secure the 6th string to the bridge or tail piece of your guitar. This usually depends on the brand and type of guitar, but it is usually straightforward.
- Align the tuning peg with the nut slot and pull the string through the hole of the tuning peg. Make sure there is about 5 cm gap between the string and the fret board. This will enable 3 windings on the tuning peg. Avoid excessive winding, as the strings might slip and get detuned.
- Bend the string towards right and put it underneath itself, where it goes in the hole.
- Give the string a sharp bend upward and turn the tuner in clockwise direction. Tune the string to the right pitch with a guitar tuner. Make sure the windings go down from the top.
- Now, stretch the string by pulling it upwards. This increases the stability, as new strings go out of tune easily.
- After stretching the string properly, tune it again and stretch once again. Repeat this until the string doesn't detune anymore.
- Cut the extra string with a wire cutter or a toenail clipper. Don't cut the strings too short or it will become loose. Don't leave it too long either, as the string ends are quite sharp and you may hurt yourself.
- Repeat the process for the other 5 strings as well.
- It is highly recommended to wash your hands, before playing a guitar. This would help in preserving the longevity of the strings.
- After each use, make sure you wipe the strings of the guitar with a dry cloth. It would also be handy to clean the fret board and keep it oiled.
- In case you tend to break a lot of strings, check for sharp edges on the bridge, saddle or tuning pegs. Remember, there can be other reasons for the breakage of strings, apart from being worn out.
- At times, while tuning down the guitar, the strings gets stuck in the nut slot. Such a problem can solved by putting a bit of flake graphite in the nut slot, to remove friction so that the string can slide more freely. If you are worried about where would you find a flake of graphite, fret not. All you need to do is scratch the lead of the pencil and here it is, right at your disposal!!
- Just when the strings start losing their brilliance and intonation, change them. It doesn’t matter whether you brought them just a year back. Remember, the life of a guitar strings mainly depends upon two factors - usage and care.
- At the time of replacing, reinstate all the strings instead of just the string that is broken. A new string would create a completely different sound, which might not sync well with the other strings. So, to attain synchronization and harmony, replace the used set completely.