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How to Restring a Guitar

Introduction

If one of the strings on your guitar is broken or you just want to change the strings because they are old or don't sound good, you can restring your guitar without spending a dime. However, it's a tricky job to do, especially if you are a beginner and have never done that before. Have no fear, the process is really intuitive and with the proper guidelines, you would do it right.

Do's

Detune

  • Strings are tuned E, B, G, D, A, E, where E string is a "12", which means it's 0.012" in diameter. According to this scheme, B string is "16", G string is 24, D is "32", A is "42", and E is "53". The first thing you want to do is detune your old strings. Start with the 4th string by bringing the pitch down. Touch the string as you go to hear it changes the sound. Once you loosened the string, you need to use a special string winding tool that has a little peg. What you want to do is put that peg underneath the bridge pin (a tiny little thing at the base of each string) and pop it up. Remove the pin and inspect it: it has a little slot, and you want it to match the string when you get your pins back.

Attach new strings

Pull the string out and get it out of the way. Grab a new string (some manufacturers sell strings with small colored balls on the end which makes them easier to define) and put it inside of the hole.

Take a pin and insert it back so that the slotted end lines up with the string. Pull the string tight and make sure it doesn't pull out. Bring it all the way over the neck up to the head stock and find a little hole in a tuning peg of this particular string. Put your string through the hole going from the inside of the head stock. Make sure you did it right and not the other way round because you're going to wind it counterclockwise, which is impossible if the string was inserted incorrectly.

Take the end of the string, pull it around, bring it under the string, and then pull it over. Thus, you have a little loop that secures the string and holds it in its place. Turn the peghead and watch as the loose end of the string goes down. Feel free to use a string winder to make the process faster, or do it manually if you don't have a winder. Keep turning it until the string is nice and tight.

Use a wire clipper to cut off the excess on the end and bend it down a little bit because it's sharp and you don't want to hurt yourself. Now, all you left to do is tune the string as you usually do and repeat this process with the rest of the strings if necessary.

Don'ts

Don't confuse the strings!

Make sure the string you insert is the same that you removed. You won't have a chance to replace it once you cut off the excess.

Don't bend the strings too heavily

Besides, be careful when you tighten it - you don't want to overdo it.

Video

Conclusion

Nothing lasts forever, and any guitar needs new strings every once in a while. It's good to know how to change the strings when you feel that your old ones don't do a good job anymore. Just choose the right strings and follow the instructions.

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