How To Change Electric Guitar Strings-7 Steps To Instant Success

       By: Steve Laney
Posted: 2007-07-17 15:19:59
How to change an electric guitar string must be one of the most common questions asked of any guitar teacher in the world. The thing is though, changing electric guitar strings has about as many different variations etc as there is kinds of music! I've got a method that has suited me for years and provides great tuning stability-here it is, so enjoy!Resources: These things are by no means necessary but they will make life a lot easier if you have them to hand-Long nosed pliers, Wire cutters, Electronic Guitar Tuner and Guitar string winder.How to Change Electric Guitar String: Step 1
Begin to remove the strings one at a time. When changing electric guitar strings, it's important to maintain the tension on the guitar neck at all times, so try to only remove and replace one string at a time. It's most common to begin with the high E string, but the low will be okay too. Unwind it using your string winder if you have one, and be sure that it's getting looser as you turn-it's very easy to turn them the wrong way by accident, so always double check. Something else to consider is that once loose, it is sometimes easier to cut the string with the wire cutters-this way you can remove the ball at the end and prevent tangling, although only do it when the string is very loose!How To Change Electric Guitar String: Step 2
As the Stratocaster solidbody electric guitar style is just about the most common, we'll assume that that's what's being used when changing electric guitar string. Different guitars require only slight variations though, so don't worry! You need to push the wire end of the new string through the back of the guitar body so that it feeds through the bridge, and then pull it toward the headstock so we can begin to wind it onto the tuning peg.How To Change Electric Guitar String: Step 3
Turn the machine head on the string we are changing until the hole points straight back down the neck of the guitar, toward the bridge. Now you want to thread the new string through the hole, and pull it nice and tight. An important point to remember when changing electric guitar strings is don't hurt yourself- strings can be sharp!How To Change Electric Guitar String: Step 4
Now that we've pulled the string tight, you want to loosen it a little by feeding some back through the hole. Ideally somewhere between an inch or two is okay-you'll get a feel for how much you want the more you do it. This slack is what we will use to wrap the string around the actual post, and you need to make a loop and wrap the string around the post in a clockwise direction (assuming a guitar where the tuning pegs are on the left like a strat-if they are on the right you would loop it counter-clockwise.How To Change Electric Guitar String: Step 5
Now you need to pull the loop you just made so that it's semi tight and the wire keeps it's shape around the post, and cut off the excess string. When changing electric guitar strings the excess string waving around can be pretty dangerous, so it's good to get rid of it as soon as you can. Use the wire cutters and take off anything you don't need-all but about 2 or 3 inches should cover it, although this is obviously down to personal preference.How To Change Electric Guitar String: Step 6
Changing electric guitar strings always makes me wish I had three hands, especially this next part! You need to start winding the string, but to ensure perfect tuning stability you need to make sure that as you wind the peg, the remaining string gets wound underneath the loop we already put there. The best way to do this is to slide a couple of fingers under the string, then you can use those fingers and your thumb to guide the strings as your other hand turns the string winder. It sounds tricky but it's not as tough as it sounds.How to Change Electric Guitar String: Step 7
Once you have the string reasonably tight (note-don't attempt to tune it to pitch just yet, just concentrate on getting the other strings changed over) you can cut away the remainder of the excess string from the tuning peg. Cut as short as is practical, and use the pliers to bend any sharp points out of the way.Now all you need to do is change the other five! Changing guitar strings can be tricky and a little irritating but it's much easier if you have a guide to changing electric guitar string like this one!
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