How To Restring a Guitar

by Tod Woodward

Professionals will tell you there are key rules to following when knowing how to restring a guitar. Three significant rules to consider. I am a trained guitarist and have changed strings 1000's of times. Please make use of these points if you are a newbie.

The first rule is to make certain you have a good set of strings. Loads of people seem to believe that any old set of strings will do. Well you get what you pay for but if you desire to know a decent set, the reality is in the sustain. Any new set will sound decent but may lose it's sustain sooner than the decent ones. Older strings are in addition more wearing on the fingers. It depends on a few things like your playing method, how hard you whack the strings, whether you make use of a lot of skin on the string and how much you bend, but by and large a decent set of strings will last a long time no matter how much you batter them.

For an acoustic guitar I would definitely suggest Elixir strings. They are more costly but there is a good reason. Elixirs and loads of others now come coated, they are a protectant and in general give more life to the strings

Number Two. Winding. An added tip to aid when learning how to restring a guitar. Make sure to leave enough of the string in order to make a couple of winds around the machine head as this offers strength to the grip and makes it less prone to go out of tune. Be careful not to wind too much either, this can also cause bad tuning. I would suggest about 3 to 5 rotations. 3 for the thicker strings and 5 for the thinner ones.

Number three. Stretch. I don't mean limber up, but you need to stretch the strings because when they're new, they have a lot of give in them and you need to get the initial give out of them. Pull on the strings gently but firmly. Then wind again. Play an open note before and after the stretch and you will see just how much a difference it makes. Then retune the guitar and repeat the process around 3 times or until you remain in tune even after a 2 fret bend.

This point is probably the most important on how to restring a guitar as you may have done everything else right, but if you haven't done this then you will be out of tune after your first bend.

Another tip is to make sure your fretboard is clean. Wipe away all the dirt and skin residue from the neck and spray some lemon spray or similar on and rub it in. You can buy these at your local music shop. You can also buy some finger ease or similar, to lubricate the strings under your fingers for ease of playing.

And last but not least, always wipe down your fretboard and especially the individual strings to keep it clean and new. You will be amazed at how much dirt they pick up.

I hope these tips help.

About the Author

Tod Woodward is a professional singer/guitarist and has many articles related to singing and guitar at his website For more information and in depth video's on how to restring a guitar please visit

A good guide on buying acoustic and electric strings can be found here <>;

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