Restringing Your Guitar

A short desciption on what strings you should use on your guitar and how you should put them on.

Ultimate Guitar
I've noticed a problem, people (especially begginers) don't really know what to do with the most important (and occasionally most annoying) part of your guitars playablity. Don't deny it, you can't play properly with out all your strings, to*ser c'mon don't argue, I'm right. So I'm gonnna help you learn what to do with your ever more precious little nickel lines.

Part A: Chosing Your Strings

Ok very important, the strings you will need depend essentially j*ew on what you want to play and what guitar you play, or more to the point, what kind of bridge your guitar has. For instance a c*ckshaft Floyd Rose bridge won't take strings with a 11-56 gauge, it'll break your guitar. So heres a rough guideline:
  • Type Of Music: - Rock: Nickel wound 9-42 - Jazz/blues: Flat wound (more expensive) 10-52 - Country: Steel/nickel wound 10-42 - Metal: Rhytm, Nickel 9-42: Lead Nickel 8-38 - Heavy Metal: Steel 11-58 - Punk rock: Nickel 10-48 - Reggae/funk/hiphop: steel 8-38 - Classical: Flat wound 10-52 - Baritone: Steel/nickel 12-65
  • Type Of Bridge On Guiatar: - Hardtail: whatever you want - Floating tremolo: low gauge "8's" or standard "9's". no heavy - Stop bar: whatever you want - Floyd rose: Standard, it just wont take anything else.

    Part B: Fitting preparing your guitar.

    If you have a hard tail guitar, like a les paul for example. You d--khead can take off all the strings at once by loosening them and then cutting them off with wire cutters. After that clean your fret board and get-rid of any unwanted dust c--k and skin on the pick-ups and scratch plate. But if you have a Floating Bridge, the strings must be done one at a time. Starting with the high e string (string 1) loosen the string and cut it off, following the instructions for you ji*z specific guitar (some are very different) to regular. Then clean the area where the string you have just removed was. Put in a new string (wind around 3 times) and then tune up before removing the next string, Remember to always stretch a string when you fit it. Do this once you have tuned the string in. Put the fleshy bit of your index finger underneath the string at the 12th fret and pull upwards strongly enough to meet heavy resitance but not too much. Don't be afraid, strings often work at around about 200 pounds of pressure, it takes alot to break one by stretching it! Once you have done this until you are satisfied thats as much as the string needs (it takes about 15 seconds) re-tune and then repeat the procedure with the next string down. Once you have fitted all the strings polish them with guitar polish, this will make them last longer and it will make your fingers smell of lemon. Something you cant brag to your mates about. Once your satisfied play your guitar for about an hour, then re-tune. Do the same about 3 times, then remeber to re-tune every day. this will keep the strings in good condition.

    Part C: Knowing when to execute your old strings.

    Ok so you've been playing with these strings for about a month now, it doesnt metter how often you play, or how softly, oxygen will have begun to erode them along with the oils and acids from your fingers. Time to think seriously about a new set. If your wondering if you really need to check the tone compared to a guitar with new strings (or whatever s on your CD player) and then feel the underside of your strings. If there are little bumps where the frets are or there is a kink on one of the strings change them.

    Part D: Acoustics

    Just like electrics, but you'll have to use more expensive strings which are harder to put on and be extremely careful not to bend the neck. I think that's long enough, I'm surprised no-body thought of doing a coulumn on this before.
  • 138 comments sorted by best / new / date

      how can u play rock music with a 9-42? your rock music must sound really 'tinny and crap. i would say at least 10's, but i use 11's.
      fa- stop writing such sh-t articles and stop the f-ck-ng swearing. g-yw-d.
      ok, this guy obviously doesnt know how to restring a guitar, the article wasnt even about that, it was about if you have a les paul, your a D__head. Dont listen to this guy, especially if ur a begginner. 8-38 for metal? Wtf! I play metal wit .10's on my Floyd Rose with my RG Custom. And... The Floyd Rose would probly be one of the strongest bridges. This article is 100% fictional information. ONly to waste our time. May god have mercy on you.
      Sorry, but that was pretty useless! Totally vague, and it didn't actually tell you how to physically change the strings on a guitar! And the swearing was totally needless, sorry mate.
      Actually, rereading that article, it looks as though someone has just gone into the article and edited it, adding swear words completely at randum, none of the sentences woith the cursing make any sense whatsoever?!?!
      Hugh .G.Rection
      I saw the cussing well I guess thats what it is at first I saw it and I thaught it was some code or something I was saying to my self what the *** and I was stunned for like two hours trying to figure it out
      Um... I have .09mm first string, is that 9 guage or whatever? Oh, btw, I think terrets is spelt torrettes or something.
      Hugh .G.Rection
      then I started reading the comments and it cleared it up this didnt help at all so thanks for nothing
      pickpro 14
      As been said time and time again, that swearing made you sound like an idiot. If you don't know your stuff don't waste our time by writing about stuff you clearly know nothing about
      good articel...especially for BEGINNERS...all you people area real pro's at tuning and restringing...good for you..but u hav to realise that there area some people new to this site...some these article are aimed at stop your bitchin and post some positive comments even if u think the article sucked...he/she is trying to help you...
      ha! sucks to be you! flamed in front of the whole of UG! - i cringe on your behalf!
      lolol, i was sitting pissing me pants as i read this, how old is this guy...3? cuz he cant cuss worth anything, it totally ruined the article, i didnt get a thing he said around the cusses that didnt fit, and DONT INSULT YOUR READER!!!!
      difference between metal and heavy metal? u cant cover a WHOLE genre under metal, and then talk bout a different sub-genre of it
      i say it again, this article really blowed. i could write a better article if i could be arsed, or heres a re-enaction of the above article Karma_karva wrote: i suck C-CK and i like to j-zz over my brother for haha's, then i write a sh-t article on how to w-nk up a guitar
      wow c-cks-cker article sucked major b-lls i wish you would burn in h-ll u f-gget.
      how 'bout you re-string your balls Captain Obvious
      and dont insult the people ur aiming it at. for gods sake, that doesnt take a genius to fihure out.
      hmmm ok, so i was searching this site for an interesting article and saw this article that caught my attention. I was expecting accurate suggestions as for what type of strings to use for different music, and i'm betting that most beginners that don't know how to string a guitar (which i know a few, but not many) would have loved to read how to string a guitar rather than how not to write an article. you are a moron, and the next article you write should be titled "How to Prove that you are a Moron" then copy and paste this article into it. And just for kicks, i'm gonna write an article right here that is at the equivalent level of your writing capability: you dips--t i f-ckin hate you b-tch. you love the c-ck and are just p-ssed off cuz you j-zzed up you dog's a-- and he din't return the d-mn favor. F-CK YOU!!!
      Err, yeah.... Pretty rubbish really, badly written, didn't even mention the finer/rarer points of restringing, which might have actually been useful. tut tut!
      fender rocker16
      if you have a les paul you can wrap the string around the back of the bridge first before stringing the guitar. i dont personally have one but my friend does. he got the idea from zakk wilde. apparantly it makes the strings bend a lot easier for all you metal fans out there. OH one more thing. How stupid do you have to be to not know how to string a guitar? even if you just started playing, you go to the store where you bought it and they show you. Who looks this crap up online anyway?
      yay! I have butterflies and flowers coming out of my bum! I love my elevens, thicker guages rule even more.
      ^ string gauges... and I use 11's on my floating trem, and it handles them beautifully...
      wow this article sucks. and you seem to have a strange obsession with cock and jizz and massive cursing. are you gay? apparently...
      hey, if u are aiming at beginners, u have to explain stuff. a beginner probly doesnt even know wat type of neck he has, and wat u mean by all those different string types.
      you forgot the most important parts and the most tedious parts (althought its easy once you get it) is actually winding them up on the tning pegs people that are ingornate need to know how to lock them in and all that jazz. As for the swearing: like all others have said, its really dumb and inmature im probably younger then you but hardly ever swear unless its at a pecker-head like you. It just isnt cute and dosent make your article easier to read. My time has been wasted becuase of screw balls like you. Go go suck your dad while you put polishing oil on your fretboard and then whine to your rich parents to buy you another guitar cuz you dont know diddly $hit about anything
      dude...what in the world was all of the swearing for?
      You d--khead, dust c--k,to*ser,j*ew
      what is all that crap? i mean really, it doesn't make you seem smarter or more mature, it just makes you look like a freaking idiot...besides that, your artcile isn't even all that accurate...i am sorry, but this article sucks...1 star...
      if your going to swear... at least put it in the right context. we go from unwanted dust to cock in one sentence...
      Ive just re strung my guiatar but the Heavy E, A and D strings all sound tingy like its rubbing aainst a piece of metal... but I've checked and it isnt.... what have a done wrong? or is causing the sound?
      wasted guitarst wrote: never use elixer strings they suck both acoustic and electric never again will i use them
      no way their the bomb use the nanoweb 9-42. they last soo long
      i cant work put which is funnier or more satisfying to read the article or comments
      dude i couldnt get head nor tail of what you were tryin to say ! stop the swearing in real life ok but not on important websites like this which many people trust your obviously a bit of an dick head yourself stop being a spanner and hide your face in shame!
      Wow, you diss on beginners and yet your article sounds like it was written by someone who doesn't know anything about guitars. The cursing was completely idiotic. I don't prefer a Les Paul myself, but i wouldn't diss on one of the most amazing instruments in guitar history. You're a moron. Please don't ever write an article again.
      Ok, first things first, shit article too much swearing made this article make no sence. Secondly, know what your talking about before you create an article as many people will most likely use the information presented. Thirdly i rekon a beginner is now kicking himself coz he ****ed up his fretboard because he used guitar polish on his strings. Final thought your a jackass and les pauls are awsum
      Absolute crap. What a farkin' goofball. Never trust a guy who can't even spell "GUITAR" to tell you YOU how you should care for your instrument. What an asshat...
      man i read an article a 12 yr old kid did and it is better than this. And umm why random swearing. it didnt even make sence? i hope your embarresed to have written this rubbish
      Honestly...i didn't need to waste my time reading this peice of crap... negative 12 1/2 stars