Stringed instrument repair in Manchester, UK

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Changing Strings

Changing strings can be awkward, fiddly and annoying. A lot of people change strings when they absolutely have to because of these reasons!

Whether you've got an electric, acoustic or bass guitar this walkthrough will help you battle with re-stringing your instrument and make sure you come out on top!

Why should I change my strings?

If a good idea to change your strings because they get worn out, sound terrible, are much easier to break and go out of tune to easily. I don't recommend mixing strings which are different ages as they behave differently and you risk of mixing different gauges accidently.

Pretty much, old strings are your enemy if you want any kind of performance from them!

Which strings should I put on?

There's loads of different brand of strings, types, materials and gauges - it can be very confusing. You need to make sure firstly you have the right type of strings for your guitar - you cannot put electric guitar strings on an acoustic guitar and you cannot put steel strings on a classical nylon string guitar! Different type of strings are designed to work with different types of guitar and they need to be suited. You're free to choose the gauge of string that you prefer.

See all about guitar strings

How do I change my guitar strings?

Heres the steps you should take:

  1. Remove old strings
  2. Clean fingerboard (if needed)
  3. Install strings
  4. Tune roughly to pitch
  5. Stretch strings in
  6. Work tremolo (if applicable)
  7. Bend string ends down
  8. Final tune
Tools needed:

1

First remove your old guitar strings and throw them away. Make sure you get all the annoying broken bits of string from around the tuning machine head and watch out strings can be razor sharp!

2

Give your guitar's fretboard a clean. If its too dirty it can ruin your new shiny strings in a couple of days. Some lemon oil is useful because it re-moistens the fingerboard's wood and also the citrus agent in it burns through crappy finger goo that might have built up alongside the frets.

If the finger crud is more severe you may want to upgrade to some wire wool or a nylon washing up scourer - go easy with these.

*Note - You should go easy on maple fingerboards. They are lacquered and if you damage the lacquer you will need to reapply it.

3

Install the strings

Click on the appropriate link How to change strings on an Electric Guitar
How to change strings on an Acoustic Guitar
How to change strings on a Bass Guitar
How to change strings on a Classical / Spanish Guitar


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