12 - Guitar Restringing

Guitar Restringing – Beginners Guitar Lesson 12

 Unless your guitar is fitted with special locking tuners or vibrato tailpieces, for which you should consult the owner’s manual or website, restringing guitars is very similar no matter what make you have. First up is an audio guitar lesson, followed by a written step by step instruction on Guitar Restringing.


Guitar Restringing – Step 1

Place the guitar on a flat, padded surface, such as a table covered with a blanket or towel.

Step 2

Elevate and secure the neck by placing a small cardboard box or foam block underneath the neck below the nut.

Step 3

Notice how the previous strings were installed, and make mental or physical notes if necessary. In particular, note the wraps around the tuning posts, and the direction in which they are wound. Of course, this is assuming that the strings were installed correctly in the first place. Plan to restring your guitar one string at a time to minimize neck tension shock.

Step 4

Loosen the 6th string (low “E”, or thickest string) by hand or with a peg winder, turning clockwise until the windings are loose.

Guitar RestringingStep 5

Unwrap the windings, and pull the old string out of the tuning post hole.

Step 6

Remove the string from the tailpiece, which will be on the top or underside of the guitar, depending on bridge type. You can snip the string with wire cutters to facilitate easier removal, as the bent winding end of the string may be difficult to pull through, but this is optional.

Step 7

Thread the new string through the bridge hole, and pull all the way through.

Step 8

Wrap the string around the machine head several times, and insert the tip into the tuning post hole. Pre-wrapping takes the guesswork out if some other string slackening methods, and allows a suitable number of wraps to prevent string slippage.

Step 9

Secure the string by grasping the end near the tuning post hole with needle-nose pliers and pulling snug. Bending it up at a 90 degree angle will lock the string into place.

Step 10

Bring up to pitch by turning counter-clockwise. Hold the string and pull up slightly as you tune, which will help to pre-stretch the string, but don’t pull too hard! This may need to be repeated several times until the string stabilizes.

Step 11

Repeat steps 3 through 10 for additional strings.

Guitar Restringing – Step 12

Guitar tuning after restringing – Stretch and tune all strings two to three additional times with a tuner, pitch pipe, or tuning fork, to further stabilize.
That’s about it! Guitar Restringing does require some practice, but is a vital part of the learn the guitar puzzle. You may investigate other methods, but over many years of professional playing, this method has proven to be quick and reliable