Guitar Wiki

I use some terms that some beginners may not know. Go to Anatomy of the Guitar to answer any questions.

Often times a guitar player must change their strings to preserve the sound that the guitar was meant to make.  Some reasons someone would change the strings on a guitar would be:

     v  Rust or corrosion on the strings

     v  Slightly flat tone

     v  Strings don’t stay in tune

     v  Strings bend or break

Things you will need

        1. Wire cutters

        2. New guitar strings

        3. String Winder (optional)

      Changing your strings 

      1. The first thing you need to do is to pick the type of strings that you want. Most of the time the type of string is a matter of personal preference.  Lighter strings are for fast playing and heavier strings are for jazz and rhythm guitarists.  Keep in mind that the lighter the string, the less it will stay in tune and the heavier the string, the more likely it is to stay in tune.

      2. Once you have your strings, you will want to start taking ONE string at a time off of your guitar. Start with the 6th. To do this, detune one string until it gets loose enough to have a lot of slack in the string. (The reason to detune one string at a time is to prevent damage to the bridge of the guitar)

v  Once the string is loose, cut the string with the wire cutters in between the body and headstock of the guitar

v  Pull the cut string out from the body (behind the guitar) and pull the string off of the tuner by unwinding the string from the tuner

v  Throw away the old string

                        v  Clean the fret board and other areas the string covered since it will be easier with the string off.

      3. Now that the old string is off of the guitar, take the new string out of the package

v  Pull the string through the bridge and line it up with the corresponding groove that is in the nut of the guitar

v  Pull the string taught and measure out away from the body of the guitar, nut to headstock, 3 inches from the nut of the guitar and cut the string.

v  Dispose of the excess wire 

v  Place the end of the string in the tuner and apply tension between the nut and the tuner

v  Begin winding the tuner counter clockwise until the string is taught. 

§  NOTE: keep tension on toward the headstock on the string towards the tuner while winding the string.

v  Stretch the string after it is taught (this will help it stay in tune) by holding the string down on a fret and pulling out on the string away from the guitar body.

v  Repeat step 2 until strings are all changed

       NOTE: Make sure that you don’t tighten the string too much because it will snap.

      Next: Tune your guitar