ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Restring a Guitar

Updated on June 23, 2013
By woot [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By woot [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By RalfSkjerning (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By RalfSkjerning (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Restringing an acoustic steel string guitar

One day you're sitting with your guitar in hand either tuning it or playing a sweet tune when suddenly you hear an aweful noise and look down in disappointment at the sight of a freshly snapped string. It happens to the best of 'em but if you're passionate about your instrument you'll have to replace your strings ASAP. The inevitable restring has just become your problem and the only expense you should have, in my opinion, will be the strings themselves.

You have two choices:

  • Take it to a shop where they restring it for you
  • Or buy the strings and restring your guitar yourself

Notice that I specifically said "acoustic Steel string guitar". The process is very different for a nylon strung classical guitar and I have never in my life needed to restring one of those, so I'm not going to attempt to explain that. However, on the steel string guitar, replacing strings isn't a huge job. It can be done using the following steps:

  1. Take the old strings off by unwinding the machine heads far enough to be able to pull the end of the string out of the little pole piece of the machine head. Once you've pulled it out remove the endpins (the circular pins that protrude from the bridge at the end of the string) from the bridge. Be careful when you do this. It's a good idea to put a soft cloth on the guitar (so as not to scratch the guitar) and then try to employ some leverage to pull them out with a pair of pliers. If they're really stubborn, you can stick your arm through the sound hole of the guitar, feel around carefully for the endpins and push them out from the inside while pulling them out with the pliers from the top of the guitar. You should be very cautious, especially if you have a guitar with a pickup system. There could be wiring and delicate components inside the guitar.
  2. Now that your strings are removed, your guitar's fretboard and soundhole are exposed. This is a great time to give it a thorough clean and polish using a soft cloth and some guitar polish and some lemon oil. I know this is a guide on restringing a guitar but I'll quickly give you some tips on cleaning the guitar. I recommend using products that are meant specifically for use on guitars so as not to cause any harmful reactions on your beautiful child. When polishing the guitar, do one surface at a time. First spray on some polish (on the guitar body) and then wipe thoroughly with a dry cloth. Softer cloths give a better shine. Be sure to clean the bridge and sound hole area thoroughly as this is the only time they'll be easilly accessible. Now use some Lemon Oil for the fret board and the bridge. These parts are often unfinished and can crack easily if the wood isn't properly treated. First spray a fair amount on the unfinished wood and let it stand for about 10 minutes. The lemon oil is, well, oily so try not to get too much of it on the guitar body as it might cause unwanted smudges on your prestine surfaces. After 10 minutes, clean the fretboard properly. This requires some elbow grease in between the frets but it's definitely worth it. if you don't do this regularly, you might never get it off... no jokes...
  3. Now you have to take the new strings that you bought and stick the ball end of the strings into the holes on the bridge of the guitar. Take time to make sure that you put them in the correct order and then you can put the endpins back into the holes. Pull on the string a bit to make sure it doesn't slip later on and to check that the end pin is fully in. If it isn't, it could end up being launched out of the guitar and breaking on impact with something or some-one. Pushing it in requires a bit of force but be careful not to damage your guitar.
  4. Take the other ends of the strings and put them through the correct tuners. It's a good idea to wrap the string around the pole piece just once below the actual hole on the pole piece just so that the string isn't place under too much pressure at a specific point. Then tighten each tuner slowly and carfully, making sure that your strings don't slip off, until your guitar is in tune. With most guitars it's a good idea to "Cross tune". This means that you tune the top string then the bottom string then the second string from the top and so on. This minimizes the flexing of the neck laterally. Your guitar will appreciate this in the long run.
  5. Now you can cut off the long ends of the strings if you want to. Be careful after you've cut them though, cut string ends are extremely sharp and they will cut you if you aren't careful.

That's it! You've just saved some money and have a functional guitar once again. You shouldn't have to pay someone else to restring your guitar. It's an easy and rewarding process that, in the long run, could save money.

By Patrick Despoix (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Patrick Despoix (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

How to Restring an Electric Guitar

The steps for an electric guitar are pretty much the same with just one fundamental difference: there are no endpins. The implication of this is as follows

  • The string must first be pushed through the back of the body of the guitar in such a way that it can be pulled throughout of it's correct position in the bridge of the guitar. This might require a screwdriver to loosen the back plate of the guitar.
  • After this the string is pulled through, rested on the nut and wrapped once around the pole-piece from the inside, over and out and then through the hole in the pole piece.
  • once again, care must be taken at all times and the string must be placed under tension at a reasonable speed.

Some electric guitars might have a different variation of a bridge and it seems a bit redundant to explain each type in detail. Feel free to post any questions in the comment thread below.

Woulod you rather...

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • DominicKondos profile imageAUTHOR

      Dominic Kondos 

      8 years ago from Gauteng, South Africa

      Thanks a lot

    • Guitplayer profile image

      Guitplayer 

      8 years ago

      Welcome to hubpages. Nice hub.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)