Most of the people who are beginners to the world of music often find themselves inclined towards learning the guitar as their first instrument, as it is also one of the most versatile instruments in the market and the most commonly learned string instrument known to people.
Although most beginners may believe that the guitar is an easier instrument to play, they are proved wrong as it can be a very tricky instrument to master, along with the occasional blisters and cuts caused by the metal strings.
Learning to play a guitar may take a while, but what’s as important as playing the guitar is maintaining it.
1. How to Change Guitar Strings?
An instrument like a guitar requires regular maintenance, such as tuning the instrument, changing its strings, and keeping it in proper condition.
So, how do you change the strings? You may want to change your guitar string for a couple of reasons, e.g., The strings may be dirty or just sound dull, or maybe you just broke a string while playing the instrument.
Although there may be different variations in types of guitars, the most well-known are acoustic and electric. This article provides an easy and proper guide on how to change strings in acoustic and electric guitars.
Here’s a video to help you find the best guitar for you, which would accompany you on your musical journey.
1.1 Acoustic Guitar
1.1.1. Materials Needed
The materials needed to change your guitar strings are easy to find and can be easily found in any music store. However, if you have not found so, you can also find them online.
1. The materials needed are
2. String winder (optional)
3. Wire or String clippers (also known as wire cutters)
4. A new set of strings
1.1.2. Removing Strings
When dealing with an acoustic guitar, you need to be gentle and patient with the process. An acoustic guitar’s body is much more fragile than an electric guitar due to its wooden body and soft guitar neck.
Hence, not all the strings will be removed at once, but they’ll be replaced in pairs. You can also change one string at a time, but if you want to speed up the process, it is recommended to clip 2 strings at a time.
This is to ensure that when you are clipping off two strings, the rest four hold onto the guitar and maintain the tension or pull on top of the guitar.
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Take your string winder and loosen the two strings, starting with the low E string. If you do not have a string winder, you can simply use your hands to twist the pegs and reduce the tension or tightness of the strings.
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Grab your string clippers and clip the two strings above the sound hole. Although a pair of scissors can be a cheaper alternative for clippers, it is highly recommended to get clippers to reduce any possible chances of slip-ups and injuries.
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The next step is to unwind the strings you clipped from the tuning pegs. Maintain a slow pace to ensure a smoother process. You can twist the strings into a ball before throwing them away to ensure the ends don’t poke someone.
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Now, use the winder to lever up the post from the guitar’s bridge. Although you can use your hands for the same, it is recommended to use proper tools to prevent any damage to the guitar and yourself.
Make sure that once you remove the post from the bridge, remember the order of the post to prevent a mix-up. Now, remove the rest of those clipped strings still attached to the bridge.
1.1.3. Installing Strings
Although any kind of guitar strings would work, make sure to research brands or consult someone who knows their string instruments.
Ensure you know which string belongs in which post because not all strings are identical.
So it’s better to go for string packs that have a guide with different strings marked on the package to make it a lot easier to identify which strings are supposed to be added where.
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Start with the low E string, consisting of a ball end. Now, take the bridge pin, which you may notice has a little cutout corresponding with the string when inserted into the bridge.
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Put the string into the bridge first, then put the pin in with the cutout facing towards the string. Now gently press it down and later on pull it up. Let it stay in that position and move on to the next string. Repeat the entire process.
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After repeating the process, both the strings are ready to be attached to the machine head or pegs. Ensure you do not pull the strings too much, which might make the end strings pop out again, creating a mess.
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Hold your E string and measure it. Mark the string length a few inches from the peg and clip off the excess. You can also do this at the end of the process, but clipping off the excess helps ensure a much safer and non-irritating procedure.
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Now thread the string through the peg through the center or the middle of the guitar’s headstock. Most acoustic guitars have six pegs, with each side having three pegs.
After you pass the string into the peg hole, grab your string winder and start winding slowly until the string is completely wrapped around it, just like it used to be, before clipping off the strings.
Now, repeat the process for the next string. Once you finish the first two strings, move forward to the rest of the strings. Remember, two strings at a time.
And now you have finally changed your strings!!! Now, just tune the chords and play your favorite songs.
1.2 Electric Guitar
Not a fan of acoustic guitar? Looking for a more modern and edgy vibe to showcase your guitar skills? Then the electric guitar must be it for you.
Although mostly associated with rock music and bands, the electric guitar has gained a huge fan base over the years. And while learning to maintain any instrument, having a proper guide is important.
Let us guide you and teach you how to change guitar strings in an electric guitar.
1.2.1. Materials Needed
The acoustic guitar strings may not necessarily require all the tools listed earlier, but in the case of an electric guitar, you are recommended to strictly follow the rules and get all the tools required for the task.
1. String winder
2. Wire or String clippers (also known as wire cutters)
3. A new set of strings
1.2.2. Removing the Strings
220.127.116.11 Step 1:
Firstly, grab your string winder and begin loosening the old strings. You can even use your hands to wind the pegs and loosen up the first string.
This is not to ensure that they don’t bounce back when you cut the strings due to the tension and hurt or poke you. This simple step can prevent injuries or inconvenience while clipping the strings later.
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Clip off the strings after the strings loosen enough. Unlike the acoustic guitar, this guitar is much stronger. Hence, you can clip off all the strings simultaneously instead of going slow with two strings at a time.
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The next step requires holding the strings collectively and unwinding them from their tuning pegs. Do it at your own pace and then dispose of the strings in a safe place or safely remove them from your guitar to avoid any injuries.
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Before continuing the removal of strings, flip your guitar. You may notice a back plate covering and protecting the bridge block where all the strings are fitted.
Take your screwdriver and gently remove all the screws to open the plate. Remember to keep the screws aside in a place where you don’t lose them.
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Unlike the acoustic, removing the guitar strings from the body of an electric guitar can be tricky, but it sure is possible.
Hold onto the strings and flip the guitar over to its side. Now that the bridge block is revealed, push through the non-ball end strings from the front of the guitar and then pull them out through the bridge on the back.
1.2.3. Installing the Strings
Just like the acoustic guitar, any brand of strings might work for your electric guitar. But make sure to choose a brand that works for you. Some recommended brands of electric guitar strings are Fender, Ernie Ball, Rotosound, etc.
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Starting from the lowest string, push the string through the bridge back from the back of the guitar. The holes are known as grommets, and each string is fed through the individual grommets as you proceed to install the strings.
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Repeat the process with the other five strings, and remember to screw the plate back on the guitar’s back after it’s done.
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Pull the string you want to attach first, preferably the lowest string, and make sure to measure two machine heads or pegs away from the actual peg.
This clip reduces the labor required while winding the string to the pegs and the chances of possible slip-ups.
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Now, clip off the excess, feed the string through the hole on the peg, and pull back to create some tension. Hold down the string to ensure it doesn’t slip or move places.
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Grab your winder and start turning the pegs a few times to ensure the string is locked in well and tightly. Do not worry about tuning your guitar right now; focus more on tightening the string. Repeat the process and attach all the strings first.
Chop off any excess string left hanging and tune your guitar. Finally, you are good to go. Play some fun tunes and sink into the musical journey.
2. Commonly Asked Questions
1. Can I change guitar strings myself?
You should use 2 sets of strings as they could get damaged and need replacing them. You also require a Tuner, and this is explained in this lesson. It would probably be possible to change guitar strings with no equipment.
2. What is the best order to change guitar strings?
Most times do the same string. We recommend starting with the 6th string (the thickest string) if the strings have changed. This is the easiest string to replace. Keep the cord in good order before taking the strings out.
3. How do I put a new string on my guitar?
Unwind the string with tuning knobs first. Delete it. Then, start with the highest, thin string of the string. Put a new string in the bridge and pull it through the tuning peg. Turning your strings and tuning your guitar.
4. Are string winders necessary?
A string Winder simplifies the change of strings. However, as we mentioned earlier in this article, it is not necessary to use one, although it is highly recommended to have string widers in your guitar kit.
Music plays a vital role in an individual’s life. It is known to have immense emotional attachment and has the ability to comfort people. So, it’s only natural for someone to yearn for the ability to be part of the musical world.
Regardless of the instrument you learn or the genre you play, music in all its glory is an inclusive art form with a place for every one of you. So, explore your abilities and take care of your beloved instruments that’ll accompany you on this journey.
A curious and creative writer with a keen interest in poetries and fiction writing. Currently a bachelors student in the field of psychology. With an interest and passion for research and writing, she provides insights to various places she stumbled upon during research.