9 Easy Steps to Changing Your Acoustic Guitar Strings

9 Steps to Restring an Acoustic GuitarDo you have to pay to restring your guitar?

Don’t feel ashamed if you don’t know how to restring your guitar yourself, this is what we are here for!

In this article we will cover some general instructions on how to accomplish replacing your strings on your own.

Learning the ins and outs of your guitar only empowers you to continue with your music passion.

Let’s stoke that fire!

 

9 Steps to Restringing Your Acoustic Guitar

It goes without saying that you’ll need a clean working space and the right tools.  Here’s what you’ll need in preparation to change the strings on your acoustic.

 

1

Support your guitar

Rest your guitar on the ground or on a table.  Place something soft underneath the neck to balance it.

 

2

Start at the headstock

Loosen the strings by turning the tuning key all the way to create slack.  Unwind the strings completely off the posts.

 

3

Remove the bridge pins and strings

Typically, pushing the string into the bridge hole causes the bridge pin to pop out.  However, use the bridge pin puller if your pins are significantly tight to pull out.  You can also use the notch that’s grooved into the top of your string winder to pull the pins out.

 

Look at the condition of the pins.  If they’re worn out, misshaped, or damaged, it’s time to replace the pins.  Place them to the side remembering their correct positions in the bridge plate.  Remove the strings.

 

 

4

Clean your guitar

Now is the perfect time to pull out all the works to clean your guitar if it’s the first time.  Be sure to get into the fret edges to remove all that grime.  Condition and nourish the fretboard and polish the soundboard.

 

5

Insert ball-end string into bridge hole

Ensuring that you’re placing the correct strings in their proper order softly bend the ball end of the strings to give it a near 45-degree angle.  This angle keeps the ball end from getting caught underneath the pin and pulling it out of its place when tuning and playing.

Place the bent ball end strings into the bridge hole with the angle facing inwards towards the body and soundhole of the guitar.

 

6

Insert bridge pins

The bridge pins have a groove to fit the slot for the strings.  Ensure that this groove faces the body and soundhole of the guitar to line up with the string and push it into the bridge hole while also gently tugging on the string to secure it in place.

 

7

Knot the strings

We provide instructions that requires a ‘knot’ to eliminate string slippage.  Slippage creates slack that can cause tuning issues.  First, pull the string up over the saddle, along the fretboard, and over the nut.

Loop the string through the post from inwards to outwards and pull it through to get a somewhat tight tension.  Then take the string and wrap it around the backwards side of the post (towards the top of the headstock) and loop it under itself and then back over the top.  This creates a ‘knot’ that keeps it securely in place. You can see this demonstrated in the video below:


8

Wind the strings

Use your string winder to tighten the tuning key to wrap the now taut strings.  Use your wire cutters to cut the excess string at the post.

 

9

Tune and stretch

Tune your restrung guitar.  Now, it’s time to stretch the strings.  Not everyone does this step, but it can help in the long run to keep tuning issues at bay and to help strings settle.  At this point, you’ll need to retune again.  Stretch each string, and then retune until your guitar sings out with true acoustic purity.

But, if you’re dead-set against stretching, try bending.  Bending new strings is a great way to get them to settle in by applying tension that they haven’t experienced up until now.  This way, your guitar won’t go out of tune in the middle of a song, especially if you’re being brave to bend on an acoustic.

 

Ask for Help

Don’t stress about it if you’re new to guitars and still figuring out the basics.

When you go into the shop for a setup or new strings, ask to watch the process or to be included in it so that you can get the hang of it. If you are not yet sure when you need to replace your strings, check out this article to learn the 5 signs to watch out for.

Learning the ins and outs of guitar maintenance takes time, patience, and practice.

You’ll also have a new appreciation for the guitar and your passion.

Don’t be afraid of the nitty-gritty, embrace it!

While I don't have an arts degree in music, I have spent enough time around musical instruments & musicians to pass on some useful information. When I'm not rocking out to a sick beat on my stereo, you will find me sitting on a bean bag, in the corner of my room with a guitar trying to emulate the prowess of the great Mr Eric Clapton.