How to Change Guitar Strings


How Often Should You Change Your Guitar Strings

Changing your guitar strings will have a positive effect, the sound of your guitar.  Over time, the strings get stretched out and dirty and the sound of your guitar is degraded. Old strings also are much more likely to break than new strings. Many professional guitar players change their guitar strings before every session or show. For most people it is not necessary to change your strings that often. It is a good idea to change your strings every month or two if you play a lot.

Changing Guitar Strings

If your guitar has a floating bridge, it is probably a good idea to change one string at a time, that way your bridge will be kept in place. When putting on new strings, if you use much heavier or lighter gauge than were on your guitar, you may need to get your guitar set up for the new strings. If you don’t know how to do this, it is probably best to stick with the same size strings that were on your guitar. If you can’t tune your guitar by ear, you should learn to, but until then it is handy to have an electronic tuner. You can buy an electronic tuner at any music store.

First start with the low E string, unwind the tuner and remove the string. It is a good idea to put some graphite in the nut, a pencil will do the trick. The nut is the piece with grooves to space the strings at the top of the fretboard (see guitar diagram if you need any help with the parts of the guitar). Once you have removed the string, it is time to put on the new string. Slide the string through the bridge and then up through the tuning pegs on the headstock. After you have threaded the string through the tuning peg, pull the middle of the string out to the edge of the guitar and then bend the remainder of the string that is sticking throught the tuning peg up, to crease it so it doesn’t slide back through.

Keeping tension on the string with your finger, slowly tighten the string. Make sure you wind the tuners, so that the strings goes the same way around the peg as the original string did. When it seems that the string is close to the same tension as the other strings, use your tuner (or ear) to tune the string to the correct pitch. Repeat this process on the rest of the strings.

When first putting on new strings, they don’t stay tuned very well until you stretch them. Once you have all the new strings on your guitar, stretch one string at a time by pulling it straight out from the fretboard. Then tune the strings back up to the correct pitch.