Tips On Restringing Guitars

These are just some simple things i do after breaking or changing strings on my guitar. I thought they might be of some use to someone reading this.

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First off, always keep your guitar in an average temperature. Never carry your guitar outside with no cover (unless performing). Wipe the dust of your guitar frequently to reduce the possiblity of a breakage. These are just some of the things that you probably already know about. I just wanted to cover them. Ok, here are some of the things that I do. I am one of those guitarists who wants to make the strings last as long as possible so I dont change them on a regular basis. I always change them when they break, or when they are a pain in the ass to tune or when they are all messed up with fret indents and rust. Most of you probably change on a regular basis so I dont want to read any lame comments about how there is a difference there. One thing I do is try to always keep my guitar inside of its gig bag when I am not using it or playing it. This will keep the strings from getting covered with dust and it will reduce the time it takes for them to erode in oxegen. It also helps to always after taking a string off to look carefully at the bridge, neck, and tuning machines. If you look closely, you could possibly find a small ident or a crink in the metal. These can be the number one reason for strings constantly breaking. If you see one of these, contact your local guitar repair shop (most music stores can fix them). What they will do is fill the indent up with pencil graphite and/or file the crinks down. (by the way, I'm not sure how you spell "crink" so dont be too harsh). After putting the string(s) on my guitar, I always tune them very slowly. What I usually do is put the string on and tighten it halfway. Then in about an hour, I tune it very slowly the rest of the way up. The reason for this is that when a string is taken out of its package it is immediatly introduced to a different temperature and a different air chemical. If it is tightened all the way really quickly, the odds are it will break right then, if not within a few days. If you give the string(s) time to stretch, adjust to the air and temperature, and become fitted into the guitar, they will play much better and wont break as easily. Another thing is when you have extra string at the tuning machine of your guitar, always wait a day or two before clipping it off. Usually they dont but sometimes strings can slide out of the knob after being put on. If you have a trimmed string, it could slip completely off and you wouldnt be able to reuse it. When you have extra string, it can slide down without falling off and you wont have to (re)restring. Believe me, if it happens to you it will "piss ya off". Well this isnt really an official guite to strings but I find these things very effective when restringing my guitar. I hope these tips can work for someone else too.

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90 comments sorted by best / new / date

    titan metal
    OH WOW, i didnt even know this article made it up. I did this one a long time ago an it didnt make it up within the first few days. Well, i think some of you people dont belong on here, like the guy who was saying he put on guitar strings with his dick, and the guy who said he eats ice cream with his ass. i think i did better in this one then when i did the metallica vs megadeth article eh....eh? oh, BenitoBandito, Even though i highly disagree with some of the shit that you are saying, you made me laugh there (seriously). Im just saying that these tips work for me and maybe they will work for you too. Now if i a-bombed your guitar with these tips, im sorry. Oh, and if you break a string in a gig, that is what other/extra guitars are for, later
    BenitoBandito
    What the hell was that!?!? This 'article' was such a pile of horseshit (can I say horseshit on here or do I have to say horsesh*t?) I don't really know where to start crtiticising it. Maybe at the beginning... "Always keep your guitar in an average temperature", what's your point? Don't keep it in the fridge? Don't leave it in the boiler cupboard? And that stuff about leaving the strings half wound for an hour before tuning up the rest of the way? Are you kidding me? You don't think those strings are designed to be strung in one go? What if you're in the middle of a gig: "Er, sorry guys, would you mind waiting around for an hour while my new string adjusts to the difference in air chemicals. Thanks." What are these mysterious 'air chemicals' anyway? And are they not found within your all-protecting gig bag? If you're so clumsy and ham-fisted you break strings immediately upon attaching them then maybe an instrument requiring any digital dexterity - i.e. a guitar - is not for you. Try the tambourine, or maybe the kettle drum. Was the article a wind up or a re you seriously that stupid? Well done for attracting such a broad spectrum of what can almost be described as hate mail. If I could give this no stars I would, and I recommend you never write down any thought you may have ever again, especially if you intend to inflict it on innocent people.
    VelvetÆnema33
    Oh forgot to put... if you put on your strings right... they won't slip off. I've never had them do that... You just do the one loop and tighten so when you turn the tuning peg, it tightest up on the string, locking it into place.
    VelvetÆnema33
    All wood guitars aren't effected by the weather as much or moisture for that mater. And you should change them on a regular basis... don't wait 6 months... that's stupid.
    SethMegadefan
    Get the hell out of here, Iruleeverything. Er... unless you're serious. In which case I'm going to need evidence.
    titan metal
    oops, guess my eyes played a trick on me, sorry for dilivering the same message twice people
    travislausch
    always wait a day or two before clipping it off.
    I do that, but for a different reason. If one of my other guitars has a broken string, and I'm short on extras, I can take one off one guitar for use on another when they have different scale lengths. I know that contradicts everything else you said, but in a pinch, it works!
    Aioua
    and, ynxyg, you don't even have your stereotypes right... "To be super Max Guitar player you must play solos and play fast and practice everyday on Strat" is much more engrish than anything else
    AxeAbuser#2
    im sorry to say this but... (" *** you you rascist dick, go and wank over your goats.")
    ynxyg
    Do the UG staff even bother to look at peoples Colum before they post it? Someone should at least read colums and make sure its a complete artical not 1/3 of a article before they upload to the UG servers and plublish this crap online for the world to rant at. This is why we get crap articles by Pakis that bearly speak english and there Article basically go like this: "To be super Max Guitar player you must play solos and play fast and practice everyday on Strat" Goodone UG Staff. -_-
    SethMegadefan
    I've never gotten cut by a string before. How exactly is it? Does it bleed, or is it kind of like a paper cut? Does it sting as much as a paper cut? DaveGilmour1189, shutup please. Just because this article wasn't as helpful as you thought it would be doesn't mean you have to be an ******* about it. All titan metal wanted was some constructive criticism, not for you guys to be jerks. As for the article, it was really lacking in certain areas. There is a lot more you could have covered here, but maybe next time, right?
    titan metal
    OH WOW, i didnt even know this article made it up. Well, i think everyone has made thier points, except for that dickhead who said he put on strings with his dick Benitobandito, you just made me laugh, you are sopposed to bring more that one guitar to a gig.
    monkey_xxx2003
    Hey i thought this article was very helpfol. Most of this shit makes real sense, i gave it five stars
    philipp122
    Mark0 wrote: Ohh shut up all you whiners. Why flame the guy for something he spend his spare time writing to help us? If you don't like it, dont read it. duuh.
    How would we know if we liked it or not if we didn't read it? And besides that, if someone posts an article on the Internet and it has bad tips in it, we have every right to criticize him for it.
    philipp122
    Kroach wrote: How can your strings slip out :S
    When the moron who strings the instrument pulls the string through the body/bridge, wraps it around the pin several times, then carelessly inserts it through the pin hole and tightens it up, instead of stringing it right.
    shredder_666
    rackmesideways wrote: I use strings on my guitar
    Really? I dont, i use shoe laces, shoe laces and liscence plates for pickups
    RaDja
    Don't listen to this fool. If you don't tune your strings right away, it will greatly change the tension on the neck and that's very dangerous. Also, change your strings one at a time. (take out 1st string, put on 1st string, tune. then take out 2nd string, put on 2nd string, tune. And so on). prevents great tension shift on the neck.
    RaDja
    so you're saying your room temperature changes before and after you open your strings? plain stupid. I've been tuning right away for 9 years and the only time they broke was when I was still a noob and couldn't hear that I was already way past the E note on my 1st string.
    ahmyfingers
    if i was a redneck hillbilly, i wud use string to hold my trousers up, cause its fun!!!!!
    kennethdave
    How the hell can your string slip off ? That's stupid, i've been cutting my strings immediately after restringing.
    BasketCase87
    *** that i aint waitin an hour to restring ma guitar..... BTW if your worried about "air Chemicals" go protest for Greenpeace or something.
    Jack3n665.5
    Wow this article and some of the responses made me laugh so hard I actually cried! THe air chemicals??? What in the Fuck???..
    pg84
    If you know what you're doing it should only take 6 minutes to change a set of strings.
    madi_smith
    I agree with mark. I stopped reading it because it was stating the obvious, and making things up.
    Mark0
    Ohh shut up all you whiners. Why flame the guy for something he spend his spare time writing to help us? If you don't like it, dont read it. duuh.
    Mental Hop
    After putting the string(s) on my guitar, I always tune them very slowly. What I usually do is put the string on and tighten it halfway. Then in about an hour, I tune it very slowly the rest of the way up. The reason for this is that when a string is taken out of its package it is immediatly introduced to a different temperature and a different air chemical. If it is tightened all the way really quickly, the odds are it will break right then, if not within a few days. If you give the string(s) time to stretch, adjust to the air and temperature, and become fitted into the guitar, they will play much better and wont break as easily.
    What? Whenever I put on new strings I take them out of the package and put them on and ya know what? They don't break off immediatly, or in a couple days or anything like that. What strings are you buying that they're snapping as soon as you put them on the guitar?
    DaveGilmour1189
    STRAT811: reading this was 2 minutes of wasted time that i'll never see again. It pains me to think of all the things I could have done from 4:36 to 4:38 on a thursday instead of reading this. If you wanted to steal other peoples time, then great job
    Just think, in those two minutes i could have been practicing. Now i won't be better next time my band gigs. The record exec won't like our music. We won't get our recording contrat. That record we never will record won't top the charts. I'll never be that international superstar i was destined to be. THANKS FOR RUINING MY DREAM!!!!.....quiet sobbing, slowly gains composure Wow i got carried away with that one.
    AxeAbuser#2
    i hate to say this mate, but you have wasted your time writing this article, poorly planned out and not enough of the most needed infomation. keep writing though, you should get better
    slash111391
    its an okay article, there wuz alot more to tuning that u could have put in, but i dun feel like goin into details
    LeoKhenir
    Well. This guide was better than karma_carver's article on the same subject (and that article I and others already have flamed thoroughly) and I guess that it was that article that made this guy write a similar article. However, it can be done better. But many nice tips here. I comment some here (somehow, my comments always get very, very long) 1. Waiting before clipping loose ends. Good point. It has never happened to me, but then again, I don't clip it at the tuner, I leave a little bit (about 1-2 cms or half an inch, if you prefer) 2. Using an hour to tune your string. Well, that's one way to do it, I suppose, but what I do, is that I tune it to E (or C#, if it's my strat with 011s GHS boomers). Then I play it till I can hear that it's out of tune, and then leave it to the next day (perhaps not the thing to do if you need it right away, but if I've changed the whole set as maintenance, I have the time. If I've changed just one because it snapped, I don't wait) before I tune it again. Giving it the extra day takes up much time you perhaps could have used for playing, but if you change them just before you go to bed, that would be sufficient. And to the guy going about "GHS being a cheapo brand", please go die. GHS is of the better strings on the market (Though I always recommend D'Addario or D'Orazio or D.DeSalvo to people asking me. I am a music store tech, you see) - I use some GHS Boomers right now on my downtuned guitar, they do the deed, and they seem to be coming along just nicely.