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July 15, 2011

How to string a guitar

I admit it, it took me over a decade to learn how to string a guitar properly. I used to just wrap the string 5-6 times around the capstan (or pole), and then tighten. It can work pretty good that way actually, but sometimes I got "slipping problems", because I didn't always get all those laps around the capstan really tight.

There is a better way to string a guitar, and I have made a video for you showing how it's done. I used an electric guitar in this case, but this method works the same for any kind of guitar that has a hole through the capstan. There some tuners that have just a groove instead of a hole. This same principle applies, but you'll have to make sure the string doesn't pop out of that groove, by keeping it pushed down as you wind up the string again.

If your guitar has locking tuners, you don't need to wrap the string around several times - tightening the screw will secure the string.

One thing to add, that I didn't cover in the video - the first thing to do when stringing a guitar is to remove the old strings. Never cut them off - unwind them with a simple tool like this one - Planet Waves Pro Winder String Winder and Cutter. Cutting the strings results in a very sudden change in tension, which can damage the neck on your guitar.

If you are REALLY paranoid, the best thing is to remove and replace one string at a time, instead of taking off all strings at the same time. The reason for that is the tension on the neck is only loosened a 1/6th at the most, (because you have 6 strings), which is (theoretically) better for your guitar's neck. I always remove and replace one string at a time, just because I'm paranoid and I've always done it this way.

I also recommend you use an old t-shirt or cloth over the guitar's body when you change strings, just to protect the finish. You never know when things go wrong.

Finally, make sure you pull on the strings hard after you have tuned up. I always do this, several times too, to get all that stretchiness out of the strings. Play a bit, do really huge bends, pull on the strings a bit, and re-tune. After doing this a few times, the strings should not stretch any more, and if you have followed my instructions, your guitar will now be in tune.

How To String a Guitar

By Robert Renman - www.dolphinstreet.com


Posted by Robert Renman on July 15, 2011

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