How to Restring your Acoustic Guitar

Posted by Stringly Admin on

How to Restring your Acoustic Guitar



It's simpler than you think to restring your acoustic guitar. If you're only having your guitar strings changed at a nearby shop, now is the time to learn how to do it yourself! 

*We'd like to  caution you before we teach you how to restring the guitar. Guitar strings are under a lot of strain, and if they fall loose or break, it can be dangerous. Also, be cautious when discarding your old set of strings. Chewing on them is a risky habit for cats and dogs.

You should have at least two sets of strings on hand in case one breaks and has to be replaced.

TIP: Make sure you remember where you can put your guitar's bridge back in. When you're cutting the old cords, it's not unusual for the bridge to come loose.

When you read this, it can sound simple, but it's crazy how many people cut the strings with tension on, or don't coil the strings and end up with them sticking through the bin liner.

1. Slacken each string by at least 5 flips, or until they are so slack that they don't make a sound.
2. Around the 12th fret, cut the strings.
3. Remove the tuning peg from the strings.

4. Remove the String Pins with your Winder Tool's cutout, your thumbs, or pliers if necessary.
5. Remove all of the remaining strings.
6. Place the strings in the bin after they've been wound up.
If you cut a thread, the ball on the end of the string could have sunk onto the guitar's body. Shake the guitar to get the ball out of the soundhole.


Changing the strings on your acoustic guitar is simple with the right technique. Take your time placing the strings in the bridge; it's not impossible, but many people, even experts, are unaware of this technique.

1. Every string should be kinked about 2-3cm away from the ball.
2. 10cm (approximately) into the hole, insert the ball end of the loop.

3. Then, while maintaining some weight on the peg, gently draw the string until it is taut. While it seems to be insecure, if done correctly, it will be extremely solid.
If the peg seems to be slipping out, keep pressing it in (quite hard). There can be no give until it's pulled close.

This section is the same with all guitars (except classical guitars). It's critical to position the string on the correct side of the peg, and here's how:

1. Make sure the peg's hole is facing straight down the neck.
2. Pull the string back into the hole such that there is some slack. Depending on the situation, you'll need different amounts of slack.

3. Take the live string and loop it around the top of the peg.

TIP: Turn the winder clockwise on most Fender guitars and all pegs with left-hand winders. You'll wind on this first wind Anti-Clockwise on all the pegs with the winders on the right (the three facing the ground on Gibson model guitars).

4. Hold the live part (the part you'll play) firmly against the wood and begin winding the tuner so that the live string wraps around the dead string (the slack). When you tighten the knot, it will click onto the loop. All of the wraps should be under the first string, with at least 2 wraps on the thickest string and 4 wraps on the thinnest string (thinnest).

A clip-on tuner is recommended, but you can do anything you choose. Even, keep in mind that getting the strings closer to where they should be can require using your ears.