How to Restring an Electric Guitar

Written by ehow hobbies, games & toys editor
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The electric guitar revolutionized the music industry when it was introduced in the early part of the twentieth century. Early models had strings made from the intestines of sheep. Today, synthetic and steel strings dominate the guitar string market. Restringing an electric guitar should take no more than 10 minutes.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • New strings
  • String winder (if desired)
  • Tuning device (if desired)

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  1. 1

    Remove the existing strings from the guitar. Unwind the strings using a string winder in the reverse direction or simply turn the string tuners counter-clockwise. Gently pull the string from the guitar.

  2. 2

    Purchase a new set of guitar strings that are a proper match for the guitar. Most acoustic guitar players insist on natural or synthetic strings, and steel strings are typically found on electric guitars.

  3. 3

    Loosen the tension on the tremolo assembly if the electric guitar has one. Many guitars have tremolo or whammy bars that bend the pitch of the notes as it is manipulated. This will have to be disengaged or loosened significantly to remove the strings.

  4. 4

    Restring the electric guitar by placing the new strings in position. Most electric guitar players begin by installing the high E string first. This is the smallest and thinnest of the strings. Secure the bridge end of the string and run the string up the neck and through the string tuner knob hole. Wrap around the tuning peg and finger tighten.

  5. 5

    Tune the guitar using a tuning device or by ear. Tighten or loosen each string to the desired pitch for that particular string.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a string winder to help prevent fatigue from winding each string by hand.
  • Tune the electric guitar only after taking the slack out of each string.
  • Never over tighten electric guitar strings. They can snap unexpectedly and cause injury.

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