How To Change Electric Guitar Strings
by Steve Bishop
Did you know that a surprisingly high number of guitar players
dont know how to change electric guitar strings
that is, they can change them, but they dont do it properly!
Heres a simple guide to getting it right every time.
1. CHANGE YOUR STRINGS REGULARLY!
Change strings regularly, even if they dont break. Otherwise
they may even damage the fretboard! How often you change your
strings depends on what sound you go for, and how often you
play. If youre playing 2 hours a day you need to change
them as often as every 2-3 weeks.
Strings are made of steel, so oil and dirt from your fingers
accumulates and makes the sound dull, but humidity causes corrosion
as well, even when youre not playing.
Its not difficult to change strings, but you may need
a few tries to get it right, and you may snap a few strings
at first, so you could practise on old strings before getting
the new ones out! Breaking your new E string when youve
just bought them from town is not funny!
Back you go!
2. CHOOSE THE RIGHT GAUGE
Using a lighter or heavier gauge (thickness of string) will
mean adjusting the guitar action (the distance between the strings
and the fretboard), so stick to the same gauge if you can unless
you have a reason to change.
Very occasionally, you might get a bad string amongst the pack
that wont tune properly, in which case you should just
replace it. But as I said that is only occasionally.
3. KNOW WHICH ORDER TO RESTRING
* Only remove 3 strings at a time either the top or bottom
3. This will keep some tension on the neck at all times.
* If your guitar has 6 tuning pegs in line, work thickest to
thinnest 6, 5, 4 then 3, 2, 1.
* If the guitar has 3 tuning pegs each side, work toward the
centre 6, 5, 4 then 1, 2, 3.
4. CLEAN BEFORE SETTING UP
Once you have 3 of the strings off, clean the fingerboard and
frets, and remove any accumulated dirt and grease. You may even
need to scrape this off, if so be VERY gentle! Twice a year
oil the fretboard lightly to moisturize it and prevent any cracking.
Then clean the other side when the other 3 strings are removed.
5. PUT THE NEW STRING ON
* Take each new string in order.
* Pull it through the hole in the bridge or tailpiece.
* Pull it tight and measure 2 posts up from the one you will
use, and bend the string here at a sharp angle.
* Run the bent string through the correct post and bend it again
where it enters the post when pulled tight. Your bends should
make a z shape so the string runs straight up, bends across
at 90 degrees and through the post, then bends back up again.
* Hold the string tightly at the first bend and wind the turning
* Always wind so the string wraps from the inside of the post
* Repeat with the other strings.
* When all strings are on, give a couple of firm tugs to each
string to stretch it, which will help it stay in tune better
when you tune the guitar.
* Cut off any spare string at the end.
So there it is!
Now youre ready to tune your guitar and do it up!
About The Author
Steve Bishop Is A Guitarist /Musician /Bass Player /Songwriter
Who Lives And Plays Under The Radar In London. Get His FREE
Report On 7 Ways To Boost Your Musicianship Skills In 7 Weeks
Or Less! Get It Now While You Can For Zero Cost at http://www.startguitar.com.
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