10 Easy Steps On How to Restring an Acoustic Guitar

By Monica | Guitar Care

Oct 26
how to restring an acoustic guitar

Learning how to restring an acoustic guitar properly is quite important. Even if you are an amateur or professional, having this skill is beneficial in all aspects. After all, the strings of the instrument will require constant changing from time to time. Sometimes, the restringing could happen unexpectedly if some of the strings got damaged.

Take note that an acoustic guitar requires less restringing compared to its electric counterpart. But despite that, it doesn't mean that you can be too careless about it. Otherwise, you cannot get the best tonal quality out of your instrument. Therefore, if you want to get things right for you and your instrument, you should acquire this skill.

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How to Restring an Acoustic Guitar

Step 1: Finding a Quiet Time

Restringing a guitar is like inspecting its tone. Because of this, it is important that you can hear every bit of details out there. You should restring the instrument in the place where external noises are at a minimum level. In fact, I do recommend that you do this during night time. People are asleep during the evening, anyway!

Another thing that you should do is clean the acoustic guitar. You can easily work with your instrument if it doesn't have traces of gunk and dust. Moreover, a squeaky-clean instrument sounds better than a dirty one!


Step 2: Gather All the Materials

Various tools are needed whenever you are restringing your guitar. They are the following: a new set of strings, string winder, tuning machine, and a pair of wire cutters. If you are already playing the guitar for quite some time, you may not need the help of a tuning machine at all. Professionals can already tune their guitars by their ears alone.


Step 3: Balancing the Neck

balancing the neck

Source: wikihow.com

Lay the guitar on a solid and flat platform. The neck of the guitar should be secured properly so that it won't wobble throughout the restringing process. One good item to try is polystyrene. It is a curved and soft material that can adapt to the shape of the guitar.


Step 4: Loosening the Tension of the Strings

Loosening the Tension of the Strings

Source: wikihow.com

You should start the restringing process by loosening the tension of all the strings. Use the peg or the tuning key for this part. Loosen the strings until such time you can remove them. You can unwind all the strings from the post and detach them.


Step 5: Taking Out the Bridge Pins

Taking Out the Bridge Pins

Source: wikihow.com

After you have removed the strings on the headstock, the next thing that you should do is to remove the pins on the bridge. You can accomplish this thing by using the notch of the string-winder. Clasp the bridge pin and gradually pull it out from the bridge. Once you are done, you can already remove the strings from the guitar, too. Make sure that you support the ball portion on the end of the string so that you can maintain the tone.


Step 6: Placing the New Strings

When restringing new set of strings, you should always start at the 6E bridge. The bridge pin groove should be pinned against the hole on the bridge together with the new string. While you are affixing the pin on the hole, you should also pull the string simultaneously. This would ensure a tight and secure hold.


Step 7: Pull the String to the Tuning Post

Pull the String to the Tuning Post

Source: wikihow.com

If you have already secured the end of the string in the bridge, you can already work your way through the tuning post. Pull the string towards its respective tuning post. Insert the string into the hole in tuning post and rotate the tuning key counterclockwise. Doing this would pull the strings to the bridge.


Step 8: Using the String Winder

Using the String Winder

Source: wikihow.com

The tightening of the string should be done with the use of a string winder. Be careful on the tightening process so that all the strings would attain proper tension and playability. Do not yet tune the string. You can only start tuning once you have tightened all the strings correctly.Ideally, you should tighten the string in this order: 5A, 4D, 3G, 2B, and 1E. That is the best way to avoid confusion and repetition. While tightening, make sure that you stretch the strings, too. In this way, you can assess if they have been set properly.


Step 9: Tuning the Strings

Tuning the Strings

Source: wikihow.com

Now that all things are properly set, you can already start tuning the instrument. This is a process that may or may not need the help of a tuning device. If you are a seasoned player already, you can just tune each of the strings out of a whim. There is no need for an assistive gadget anymore. But for novices and amateurs, I definitely recommend that you should use a tuning device. The latter will ensure that your guitar will sound the way that it should.


Step 10: Cutting the Excess Strings

When you are done with the tuning, you can do the finishing touches. Use a wire cutter and cut the excess strings that are protruding on the headstock of the guitar. You should never forget to trim the strings whenever you are restringing your instrument. These loose wires can be deleterious, as their ends are quite sharp. Moreover, they can cause difficulties in playing the instrument. Your playing hand can't course freely through the entire instrument if there are loose strings that constantly annoys you.

Conclusion

Knowing how to restring an acoustic guitar is a necessary skill for every guitar players. This particular process ensures that your instrument will always be in its best shape. Furthermore, it allows you to test different kinds of guitar strings as well. This would improve your overall versatility as a guitar player.

Of course, restringing is an essential maintenance procedure to your acoustic guitar. A flimsy or old set of strings will never sound good at all. You need to replace them immediately. Otherwise, your tone would suck.

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About the Author

Hi everyone! Im Monica and I am an avid lover of guitars and everything in-between. My current profession is not really music-related. It is quite discouraging but I just don’t want to drop my zeal–especially not to guitars! I created GuitarTrance.Com so that I can keep up with my hobby. Of course, I want to engage with the community as well! Hope we can all get along!