How to Change Guitar Strings

How to Change Guitar Strings

When you are learning how to change guitar strings, there are a few simple rules to keep in mind. The first one is that it is typically best to not remove all your strings first, but rather to replace one string at a time. The reason for this is that there is an incredible amount of tension on the guitar's neck when it is strung up. Removing all the strings at once can cause unnecessary fluctuations in your guitar's neck and can lead to intonation problems. These first few images focus on changing the A string. After removing the string, first feed the ball end of the new string through the bridge.

Feed the String Through the Peg

Feed the string through the hole in the tuning peg. This part takes a little practice to figure out how much string to feed through before you start to wind the peg. You want to have enough slack to wrap around the peg two or three times. You will have to experiment the first few times you change strings to get a feel for it.

Wrap Excess String Around Peg

Take the excess string and wrap it around the peg clockwise bringing it under the string that is coming from the bridge of the guitar.

Keep String Taught Against Peg

Bring the excess string back over the top of the string that is coming from the bridge of the guitar. While you bring the excess string over, keep the string coming from the bridge of the guitar taught against the tuning peg.

Wrap String Around Peg

Turn the tuning pegs while keeping the string that is coming from the bridge of the guitar taught. Make sure the string wraps cleanly against the peg as you turn. Ideally, you will have three or four wraps when the string is tuned up to proper pitch. Again, you might have to experiment with this the first few times until you get a feel for it.

Tighten the String

As the string begins to tighten, make sure that the string is sitting on the bridge properly and is resting in the right slot in the guitar's nut. Sometimes you can get the string tightened before you realize that the string is caught on the bridge or on the edge of the guitar's neck. You don't need to worry about the exact pitch of the string at this point, but make sure that the string gets wound tight enough to produce a note. You don't want to over tighten the string at this point. If you're not careful, you could snap a brand new string by over tightening it.

Bring Excess Under String

Here is another photo of the initial stages of bringing the string through the peg. Wrap the excess string around the peg clockwise, and then bring it under the string that is coming from the guitar's bridge.

Twist the Excess String

Next, bring the excess string over the top of the string coming from the bridge. This "twisting" technique helps to keep the string in place and helps ensure that your guitar stays in tune.

Stretch Your Strings

Continue the above techniques for all your strings. When you have them all changed, an important final step is to stretch your strings. To do this, simply take each string individually and gently pull up on it several times. You can actually feel the string stretch and settle as you do this. Make sure you don't pull too hard!

Tune Up and Rock!

After you stretch each string, tune your guitar. Afterward, stretch them all a second time and tune your guitar again. Congratulations! You have just changed your guitar's strings! Now all you have to do is snip the excess string from your tuning pegs with a pair of wire cutters and you're ready to rock!

Be sure to check out Easy Guitar Chords.

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How to Change Guitar Strings