How to Restring a Fender Stratocaster With Squier Strings

Updated February 21, 2017

Fender's classic Stratocaster plays beautifully with a new set of steel-wound Squier strings, which can be installed and tuned in 15 minutes or less. Squiers are equipped with bullet ends that make quick work of restringing the Strat electric guitar. Though it may seem complicated, restringing your Stratocaster is fairly easy if you follow a few simple steps.

Remove the old strings from the Strat by releasing the tension on each string with its tuning key then unwinding the string wire from the tuning post.

Push each old string backward toward the guitar body and pull out the string from the back of the guitar by the bullet end as it pops out of the string hole. There are six holes on the back of a Stratocaster--one for each string. Pull out each one and discard it.

Restring the Strat one string at a time, starting with the heaviest and working downward. When holding the Strat for playing and looking down at the fretboard, the strings from top to bottom are E, A, D, G, B, E, with the bottom string being the smallest.

Uncurl the top E string from the new package (almost all guitar strings are individually wound in paper envelopes and packaged together). Each string should be clearly labelled on the envelope.

Insert the wire end of the E string into the top hole on the back of the Strat and thread it through to the front of the guitar, pulling the string all the way out through the bridge so that the bullet end seats itself inside the string hole behind the guitar.

Lay the string flat against the fret board and place it in the grooved guides for the top E string on both ends of the fret board.

Thread the end of the E string through the hole in the tuning key on the guitar headstock. It is the tuning key closest to the headstock.

Wrap the string wire around the tuning key pole three times, taking care not to overlap the windings, then insert the end of the wire beneath the fourth winding so it will tie itself off.

Tighten the tuning key for the E string until the string is taut but not yet in tune. You will tune all the strings in one step in a moment.

Clip off the excess string wire after wrapping around the tuning post. Leave only 1/4 inch.

Repeat steps 3 to 9 for the five remaining strings--A, D, G, B, E--inserting each string one at a time through the corresponding string hole on the back of the strat.

Plug the guitar cable into an electronic tuner and tune all six strings, or use a tuning pipe to get your axe in tune.

Things You'll Need

  • Electronic tuner or tuning pipes
  • Wire cutters or needlenose pliers
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About the Author

James Clark began his career in 1985. He has written about electronics, appliance repair and outdoor topics for a variety of publications and websites. He has more than four years of experience in appliance and electrical repairs. Clark holds a bachelor's degree in political science.