#1
So, i've been playing guitar for about 3 years now... and this is completely embarassing, but since i taught myself and such, I never had anyone show me how to change strings.
So, I tried a couple videos on Youtube, and most of them didn't make sense to me, and I could never get it to work.
So, I found this video..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ae7HsWFRdYY
Which I was able to do flawlessly. However, most guitars I see restrung have like, 3-4 wrap arounds, where this one has like... 1. Is this going to rob tone or sound terrible?
-D
...
This is a clever, witty signature. Rofl at my glory.
#2
More wraps is better, in general, since it provides more grip for the strings to stay put with.

I usually use 3-4 myself. 1 wrap might make things go out of tune more quickly than you'd like, but so long as it's in the saddle and the nut and has the right amount of tension in it, it should be fine tone-wise.

*edit* Having actually watched the video, I prefer to wrap strings around and then once I've put enough string on the peg put the end of the string through the last wrap around the peg. Then use pliers to pull the whole thing at the peg tight; and use the tuners to put it in tune.

Other good habits when tuning are to only have one string missing from the guitar at once (so the neck doesn't bend, probably paranoia on my part since the neck won't warp permanently over the amount of time it takes to change strings), to take dirt/dust/etc off the fretboard/ other bits the string's usually over when changing strings (because dirt can't be doing any good).

I think that's all.
Last edited by MopMaster at Aug 25, 2008,
#4
Quote by xkingd117x
So, i've been playing guitar for about 3 years now... and this is completely embarassing, but since i taught myself and such, I never had anyone show me how to change strings.
So, I tried a couple videos on Youtube, and most of them didn't make sense to me, and I could never get it to work.
So, I found this video..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ae7HsWFRdYY
Which I was able to do flawlessly. However, most guitars I see restrung have like, 3-4 wrap arounds, where this one has like... 1. Is this going to rob tone or sound terrible?
-D


I watched that vid and to be honest, I wouldn't trust that guy to string up an Esteban, much less a Fender strat which he has there. Did you happen to notice how loose his tuners were? And he's attempting to teach how to restring a guitar? Naa, no thanks.

There's an even better way to do it than that. I've written it up in these threads a bunch of times already. It's flawless, provides ample wraps, and allows for very stable tuning. It's the only way I wrap up the strings at the tuners.

So here we go:
1) Replace strings one at a time, or all at once, it doesn't matter apart from the fact that it's a prime time to clean the frets and fretboard. Also is a good time to polish up the pickups if you have chrome or metal covers on humbuckers. If by chance you have a Gibson style guitar with theTune-O-Matic bridge and stop bar, you might want to leave one string in place, either the D or G string, to keep everything stationary on the guitar, and prevent changing any of the action settings. No damage, warping, twisting and so on will happen to the neck for the short amount of time it takes to change out a set of strings.
2) Pass the string through the trem or stop bar making sure the ball end is seated fully in the hole. A couple firm tugs on the string is all it takes.
3) Pass the free end of the string through the hole in the tuning peg for that string. The hole should be lined up with the string.
4) While holding the string taught, grab the string at about the 5th fret or so, and pull it up and away from the fretboard while point to and touching the 5th fret. This part is very important as it's giving you the excess string with which you'll wind up on the tuning post later on. Pull the string up to about mid palm.
5) Keeping that excess amount of string on the long part of the string, hold the string in place in the tuning post and start winding up the tuner. Watch your rotation here! You want the wraps to go around so that the string is coming off the tuning post to the inside of the post, not off to the outside of it. Very important!
Keep winding up the tuner and as the pigtail end of the string comes around, allow it to pass UNDER the main part of the string. Your first loop will go over the top of the pigtail in other words. Keep winding. A string winder helps a lot with this step. When the pigtail comes around the second time, make sure the wrap goes under the hole now, and all wraps afterward go under as well. There will be enough excess string for 2-3 wraps in between the hole of the tuner and the face of the headstock.
6) Wind up the excess string just until a little bit of tension is on the string. Check that the string is seated in the right place on the bridge saddle and also in the correct slot in the nut. Bend the pigtail up so it's aiming away from the face of the headstock.
7) Repeat steps 2-6 for the remaining strings. That first wrap in step 5 is the critical one as it creates a lock on the string by passing over itself, then under itself when it comes back around. This lock is what yields the stable tuning I mentioned earlier. It works great with the coated slippery strings from Elixer and D'Addario and others like them. Note that I am not winding up a bunch of wraps on the post first, then putting the string through the hole and yanking it tight with a pair of pliers. That way is just plain foolish and will not provide the lock needed for tuning stability. If you've been winding up strings this way, then please think about changing the way you are doing it. You are getting incredibly lucky that the strings aren't slipping at the tuners, and the only real thing keeping them there are the amount of wraps on the post.

Once all strings are on the guitar and each has some but not much tension on them, it's the stretching out part. NOTE: if you are restringing a classical guitar with nylon strings, DO NOT PRE-STRETCH THEM. Doing so will cause thin spots in the string and cause them to fail prematurely.
Grab the string at the 12th fret and lift it up and away from the fretboard about 1-2 inches, and move it from side to side as though you are doing a bend. Do this to all strings.
Bring up the string tension on all strings to about halfway. Stretch them again, but don't pull them away quite as far this time.
Bring the strings to within a half step of standard tuning, then stretch them one last time.
Fine tune to standard, EADGBe.
As a final step, I snip off the pigtails of all the strings about 1/4 inch from the top of the post. It tidy's up the job nicely and you won't have any annoying rattling going on up there. Watch out for the pokies! Those snipped string ends are sharp man! If you have a cat like me, she likes to play with those string ends, but I don't dare let her. They can put her eye out as easily as mine. Same goes for curious little kids too.
And that's it. It's a longwinded read I know, but well worth it if you want a professional looking and sounding job of replacing strings. Do it like this a few times and you'll get the hang of how much extra string to keep back along the fretboard for those wraps. Remember, the fatter the string, the farther you need to pull it away to get the same number of wraps. 1 over and 2-3 under is what you are shooting for. 3-4 wraps under is ok, unless it's the low E string, which could get a little cramped on that tuning post. 3 tops for that one.
By the way, I've been using this method for years(20+), and it truly is flawless. It works equally well for acoustics as it does for electrics with the standard single hole tuning post. It's not intended to be used with locking tuners or a Floyd Rose setup. See manufacturers instructions for those.
Enjoy everyone!