The Best Ways to Change Guitar Strings
Every aspiring musician who wants to play guitar sooner or later has to grapple with replacing guitar strings. And, as practice shows, not many of them are able to do it the way it’s supposed to be done. In this article, we’ll guide you and teach you how to restring a guitar correctly and make no mistakes. So, if recently you have decided to become a world-known musician, it’s better to learn in advance about the best way to change guitar strings.
What kind of strings are there?
Strings are divided into two types: metal and synthetic. The first type is made of steel and the second is made mostly of nylon. In simple terms, acoustic guitars are built for certain strings, so the construction may differ. The difference is due to the tension metal and nylon may cause. For instance, metal strings have a stronger tension than nylon does. Therefore, guitars, which are designed for steel strings, have a reinforced fingerboard and a solid body. You can put nylon on such an instrument, of course, but the sound will hardly surprise you because this material is much softer than metal. In contrast, if the guitar is made for nylon strings, it is better not to put the metal one on it. Only the one way you may want to do so, is to break the musical instrument. A lot of tension can just wiggle the fingerboard and tear out the bottom plunger. So, before removing guitar strings, try to understand which type of string you have.
It’s easy to distinguish one guitar from the other. You have to look closely at the bottom plate and the fingerboard. Nylon is attached to a special sub-string and steel strings are attached to the body of the guitar with additional mechanisms inside the instrument. Now, you are ready to change guitar strings.
How to change guitar strings, which are made of metal
After determining the type of instrument you have, and you know for sure, that yours is designed for the metal strings, you should go through the following steps of changing guitar strings.
- Buy the right strings. You can choose exactly the same ones you had last time, or you can try something new. After that, you need to loosen the picks on the instrument. Some use special devices, so-called, turntables for strings, and others rely on their own hands. What to choose is up to you.
- Once the string has been completely loosened, you have to unwind it completely and remove it from the tuning fork.
- Once the fingerboard work has been completed, move on to the bottom threshold. It is necessary to remove the plugs that hold the string. There are also tools for this procedure, but some do it with ordinary pliers.
- After removing the pin, the string should be completely removed from the instrument. It is necessary at this stage to wipe the dust off the instrument, clean the fingerboard and the body.
- Once all the cleaning procedures have been completed, the installing guitar strings process begins. This can be done in any order, but it is considered more convenient to start with a pair of 1-6 and end with a pair of 3-4. The process repeats the steps already taken but in reverse order. A string is inserted into the bottom threshold, in the hole, with the balls inward, and secured with a cork. The other end is put through the spike and turned. Thin strings are strung clockwise and thick strings (4-6) are strung counterclockwise. Remember that the fewer turns you make, the less often the guitar will get restring.
- Tension the new string until it is almost working. Do not forget to hold the pin with one hand, as it can tear from the strong tension and you will have to start all over again. It is necessary to pull slowly and carefully because from the sharp movement it can burst. Also, try not to over-tighten the string, follow the golden rule – it is better to under-tighten than vice versa.
When all previous steps about how to replace guitar strings were applied to all six, take out the wire cutters and carefully cut the ends at the pins.
Nylon: how to replace guitar strings
If you’ve come up with nylon strings, you should do the following steps of restringing a guitar.
- It all starts with buying strings. Once you have the new strings, you can get the job done.
- First of all, remove the strings from the guitar. Gently unscrew the pegs until you will reach the tip. There is, of course, a more radical way – just cut the strings. Do not use it, because it can harm you. So, better choose a slower way, but safer.
- After untwisting, go to the bottom threshold and untie the freeing, knots and strings. Clean the instrument from dust. It is necessary to wipe everything, both fingerboard, and body.
- Now it is time to restring guitar. Put one end of the string through the threshold and fix it with a knot.
- When you have succeeded in the previous point, move on to the other end of the string. It has to be inserted into the hole in the stake. And after that, tighten and do the same process with the other strings. Do not forget at the end to cut the ends.
- In the case of nylon, you can not follow the rule not to over-tighten. Nylon strings are more times softer than strings made of metal, and you can stretch it a little more than required.
We have listed the best tips for putting off and putting on guitar strings, we hope, that these instructions will help you not to lose your nerves. Stay tuned to have more free guides!