I get this question all the time from beginner students, and so I figured I could help some of you out. Changing the strings on a guitar is a very simple process, there is no reason to pay someone a lot of money to have it done, unless it is a personal preference, or time constraints necessitate it.
I have made a video tutorial if it would help you to see me changing the strings you can find it HERE
Alright so lets get started, you are going to need two things to accomplish this, your replacement strings, and your string cutters. I prefer these cutters because they are cheap, and I like the angle of the blades, you will see why here shortly. You can use a string winder, but I never have, I don’t feel that they work all that well.
Alright, so first step, we open the strings, being very careful not to “kink” the strings. If you create a kink in the string, that is a weak spot that could cause the string to snap.
We will start with the low E string, check your chosen strings’ color coding system, and make sure you are using the correct string. Loosen the current string, until it has little tension, then simply cut, and unwind like so. It is very important not to cut the string until the tension has been relieved, otherwise the string could whip after cutting, and hit you in the face among other things, not fun!
This is the best opportunity you have to clean you guitar fret board, and dust below the strings. The fret board gets coated in oil over time from your fingers, cleaning it will make your strings last longer, and potentially make the guitar play better. It makes cleaning slightly more difficult, but I prefer to change one string at a time, this keeps tension on the neck of the the guitar, and prevents movement among other things that can happen taking all the strings off at one time.
This particular guitar is an acoustic, so it will be slightly different from stringing an electric guitar, but not by much, for info on that check out the other tutorials.
Once fed through the body, we will then feed the string through the tuning peg, when doing this make sure to leave some slack, as you will need it to wrap the string around the tuning peg, and make it stay.
When wrapping the string, the tuning peg should be turned counter clockwise. This leaves the string beginning its wrap on the inside of each tuning peg, make sure to keep this logic throughout, as it will make the guitar work better, and while tuning you wont have random directions to tighten or loosen the string.
Once there is a little bit of tension on the string, that one is done, just clip off the excess so you don’t poke yourself in the eye, another way to have a very bad day!
This process is repeated for each remaining string, make sure to add no kinks, (other than the unavoidable kink where the string wraps the tuning peg).
It is a general rule that the fewer wraps around the tuning peg, the better the guitar will stay in tune, I follow this rule, I don’t know if it is true, but it does look neater, so why not?
It makes cleaning, a little bit more challenging, but generally I only remove one string at a time while doing anything to the guitar, this keeps tension on the neck, and prevents any movement, (BAD).
As you move on to the treble, (thinner) strings, there is no texture like there is on the bass. This makes the string more prone to slipping, so make sure to get at least two complete wraps around the tuning peg especially on the G and high E string.
Thanks for stopping by, and remember to contact me any time, especially if you are interested in guitar, or piano lessons. I’m located in Mckinney on the border of Allen, very near Frisco and Plano.