Changing Guitar Strings
Changing guitar strings on most accoustic guitars can seem like a daunting task, but with the proper tools and know-how it is simple.
Changing strings on most accoustic guitars is an easy task that will improve the sound of the guitar and make it easier to play in minutes. To make the job even less difficult, you should have a pair of wire snips handy, and you might need a pair of pliers to remove the bridge pins.
Since most accoustic guitars are the steel string folk variety, you should be sure that you have bought "ball end" replacement strings to put on it. If you have a guitar with nylon strings, or one without pins in the bridge(the strip on the opposite side of the sound hole from the neck, into which the strings are placed), you may have a classical style guitar, and not a standard, steel string accoustic.
Once you have all of the above in order, simply follow the step by step method below. Strings should be replaced one at a time in order to disrupt the tension on the neck of the guitar as little as possible.
1. Removing the old strings:
A. The old strings should be loosened (turn the tuning knobs on the head of the guitar until the string no longer sounds a note when plucked). Using the wire snips, cut the string somewhere over the sound hole of the guitar.
B. Unwind the upper portion of the string from the tuning peg on the head of the guitar, removing it from the hole in the tuning peg.
C. Use the pliers or a tuning wrench to remove the pin from the bridge of the guitar, and pull the ball end of the string up through the hole. Keep the pin handy and discard both portions of the old string.
2. Replacing the the string:
A. Select the string from the pack that coresponds to the string removed. The string has probably come coiled, but by handling it gently, it should open up in your hands.
B. Place the ball end of the string into the pin hole in the bridge. Lightly replace the pin, pulling up in the string until the ball and the pin touch, and press the pin home with a finger or thumb.
C. Guide the string down the neck of the guitar, making sure it does not get wrapped around the other strings and slip it through the hole in the tuning peg on the head.
D. Leaving enough slack on the string to allow it to wrap around the peg at least once, begin turning the tuning peg to tighten the string. The string should sit in the notch at the base of the head of the guitar and wrap from the inside to the outside of the tuning peg. Once the string has been tuned to the desired pitch, snip the remaining string about a half inch from the tuning peg.
3.Repeat steps one and two until all the strings have been replaced, then re-tune the entire instrument.
Some helpful tips:
Grasping an old, already cut, string near the bridge pin and pushing it down into the hole sometimes makes removing the pin easier.
If you are unsure what type of string to buy, ask an attendant at the music store to assist you.
If you are having trouble removing a bridge pin, and you do not have pliers, wrap an old string around the head of the pin and use it to pull it out.