How you change guitar strings is vital to staying in tune. There is one way that I found works the best and that is to lock the string in place.
Changing your guitar strings can be a problem for beginners and people that have been playing awhile. If you string your guitar the right way you shouldn’t have any tuning problems.
Your guitar will go out of tune, this is normal. Temperature, altitude and humidity affect guitars, even electrics.
If you bend strings a lot or more than a whole tone or use real light gauge strings you will go out of tune more often but changing guitar strings right will lessen the amount of tuning.
Before You Change Guitar Strings
Changing your strings will take a little patience in the beginning until you get used to how much extra string to allow before bending it into the machine head hole or slot.
The heavier the string the more string you need to allow for wrapping around the peg. The string should wrap about 2-3 times around the post no more than this. The length will vary with each string because of the difference in diameter. A thinner string needs less wrapping length.
Experience changing strings will help make this necessary task easier.
Removing Old Guitar Strings
Loosen all your strings enough so they can be removed. Do not cut them with tension on them. Now is a good time to polish your guitar if you want.
A string winder speeds this up, another thing you can do is loosen the screw at the end of the tuner handle enough so its easier to turn. Don’t forget to tighten it after you have the new strings on and are ready to tune it.
Wipe Down Neck
You should wipe your fingerboard with a rough cloth like a wash cloth to remove dirt before you change guitar strings. A little tung oil can be applied sparingly (just a little) to the fretboard after it is clean(Check with Guitar Maker First). Allow the tung oil time to penetrate usually overnight and then wipe clean. Too much will gunk up your strings and dull their sound.
Check with your guitar maker for care on your particular guitar fretboard. They may have another method.
Acoustic Guitar String Removal
Make sure all tension is off before you pop the pin. To remove strings on an acoustic you have to remove the pins at the bridge. This requires you to pry up the pins. Most winders have a notch in them for removing guitar pins.
A string winder is a good tool to have for changing strings, they don’t cost much and they make the job easier. If you don’t have a string winder on hand carefully pry the pins up with something that won’t mark or break your bridge.
Putting Strings On
To change guitar strings on an acoustic you place the ball end in the hole and put the pin in lining up the groove if the pin has one with the string. You should be able to pull up on the string without the pin easily popping out. If it does just repeat untill the ball seats right.
Next pull the string with a little pressure up to the tuning key and through the hole in it
Next estimate about 2 inches past the tuning key for the 6th string. This distance will vary depending on the thickness of your strings and the diameter of the post. This is where you will bend the string on a 90 degree turn. Bend the string, small pliers can be used.
Next hold the string at the bend you put in it and set it in the slot in the nut if you can now. You may have to wait until you have a little tension on it. This is where a string winder comes in handy.
Next turn the tuning key so the string starts to wind around the peg from the middle of the neck to the outer edge. While doing this keep a finger on the string so it wraps on the post from the bottom and doesn’t lay on top of the string only against it on the post.
It should look like a tightly wound spring with 2-3 turns when finished.
4-5 Turns for the thinner strings
Don’t Tighten Too Much Yet
Only tighten up enough so the strings aren’t sloppy. You will tune the guitar after all the strings are on.
You just have to repeat this process for the rest of the strings. Remember the string turns around the post from the middle of the neck towards the outside. This will work no matter what type of headstock you have. If you have 3 tuning keys on each side one side will turn in the opposite direction
Click the link below for info on tuning if you need some help.
It takes a little practice to change guitar strings so don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t come out perfect the first few times. Just keep on improving until you got it down pat.
What makes this the right way is that the piece of string that goes through the hole gets locked in place by the coil of string on the post. This keeps the string from slipping and making the guitar go out of tune.
Cut the Excess String Off
After your guitar is tuned. Cut the excess string off about a quarter inch past the post, using a sharp pair of wire cutters. Thin strings can be hard to cut with old or dull snips, they just bend.Bend the cut edge in toward the middle of the headstock.
A small pair of needle nose pliers work good because you can cut the string and use the pliers to bend the string end in. What happens if you don’t bend them in is when you go to tune the little nub will jab the tip of your finger usually under the fingernail.
The reason for bending them in is so you don’t cut yourself, those cut edges are sharp and guess which fingers will get stabbed. Your fretting fingers of course because that’s the hand you turn the machine keys with.
About Guitar Tuning
Here is how I tune my guitars. It’s a simple process for tuning any guitar.
A Guitar Tuning Lesson Page
Tune It Up
Next you tune it to concert pitch. This is a world wide standard for tuning musical instruments. Very much like music notation which can be read by people all over the world who can’t speak your language but can read the music exactly as you do.
It’s important to stay tuned to concert pitch for you ear training that’s going on even though you don’t know about it yet.
Here is a link to the guitar tuner page.
Tune It Up
Electric or Acoustic
There are a ton of string brands out there, these links take you to the general category pages for acoustic and electric strings.
Acoustic Guitar strings
Here is a link to where I get my acoustic guitar strings sometimes. They usually have the best price and fast delivery.
Acoustic Strings (Opens New Window)
Electric Guitar strings
This link will take you to the electric guitar string section.
Electric Strings (Opens New Window)
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