All guitarists should learn how to string an acoustic guitar, when doing it for the first time it can be a little intimidating and there is a temptation to take it down to the shop and have an expert do the job, this really is a waste of time and money as the process is quite straight forward and unless you do something spectacular, you are not going to break your guitar. So let’s see how to string your acoustic guitar.
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How to String an Acoustic Guitar?
Although my post is about stringing an acoustic guitar, but in this moment I’ll just be looking at the steel string acoustic guitar on this page, I will create a separate post for all the nylon plucking classical and flamenco warriors out there.
I’m also going to have a look at when strings should be changed, the different types and try and make sense of the brands, gauges, coatings etc.
No One Likes a Worn Out G String
So when should you change your strings? Ask 100 guitarists and you’ll get 100 different answers, of course how often you play and to what standard are very significant details in this.
Some change their strings after every performance, others every three months religiously, a friend of mine who used to perform regularly only changed them when they broke.
Ultimately it’s down to the individual, if you think your strings sound dull then change them, if (like my friend) you think they sound too tinny when they’re new then don’t change them. It’s down to your preference, if someone tells you you need to change them, the fact is you don’t if you like them the way they are.
Of course when you break a string you have no option and unless the broken string is relatively new it’s not a bad idea to replace them all, as one bright new string against 5 warn in strings can create a bit of a contrast. Other times when they will probably need changing are when they loose their tone, when they become corroded or if the strings are damaged.
Where’s Your Tool
It’s not a necessity but I would always recommend buying a peg winding tool, they only cost about £6-8/$8-10 and they do make the process a lot easier. Make sure you buy one that is also a wire clipper and bridge pin puller. Trying to make do with whatever you’ve got in your tool box could be the exception to my previous statement of not damaging your guitar during this process.
There is some debate as to whether all strings should be changed at once or one string at a time, the latter theory came about because it was thought that the change in pressure could damage the truss rod (the steel rod running up the neck of the guitar), this myth has pretty well been debunked for any guitar made to a reasonable standard but may hold some weight with a poorly built guitar.
Removing all the strings also gives you a good opportunity to give the guitar a good clean. I will go into more detail about this on another day.
You may also like: How to play an acoustic guitar for beginners
Lord of the Strings
I told you the beginning that I’ll let you know how to string an acoustic guitar. So here are the basic steps of how to change acoustic guitar strings, in this basic steps will helps you to know the best way to change acoustic guitar strings.
Each string will need retuning after a new one is added and then again after every 10 minutes or so of practice until they have stretched out.
How Long Is It Going to Take Me to Choose a Piece of String?
Choosing a set of guitar strings is a little like choosing a bottle of shampoo, there are too many Martin: M170 80/20 Bronze Acoustic Guitar String Set (Extra Light) choices for something that to the uninformed seems so simple. It can feel a little over whelming, I can clearly remember buying my first set, I thought my question was quite simple. “Can I have a set of guitar strings please?” The long haired youth behind the counter who looked like he’d just returned from a bogus journey with Bill and Ted pointed at the rack behind him with dozens of packs of guitar strings lined up, looked at me like I was an idiot and asked “Which ones?” The young man was very patient and explaining the difference which took some 10 minutes or so, all the time I was just thinking that it would make no difference which ones I used as I could barely put two chords together anyway.
The strings you choose will depend on a combination of four things and I will explain them in simple Elixir:
My advice and the advice of many I have spoken to is shop around and try different combinations, if you come across a set you don’t like you won’t have wasted a fortune and you will be one step closer to finding the best ones for you. I’m not keen on bronze but I only found that out after trying them, it is all a learning curve.
No Need to String it out
So now you know how to string an acoustic guitar, it’s not exactly rocket science, admittedly the first couple of times I changed a string I felt as though I needed about 4 hands, I then learnt that simply laying the instrument on a table makes it a whole lot easier. Of course after re-stringing your guitar you’ll need to tune it, if you’d like to learn more about other acoustic guitar components please click here.