How to Change Strings on Grover Locking Tuners

Written by len harris
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How to Change Strings on Grover Locking Tuners
Locking tuners help to keep guitars in tune. (Guitar tuning image by cdbdi from

Guitarists have struggled for years with strings going out of tune because of strings slipping. Musicians sometimes need to change strings between songs. The innovation of locking tuners eliminated this particular thorn in guitarists' sides. Locking tuners have mechanisms that lock the strings in place so that the strings do not slip, and they allow for quick string changes.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Electronic tuner (optional)
  • Another guitar tuned to pitch (optional)
  • Wire cutters

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  1. 1

    Turn the tuner knob to loosen the low E string all the way until the locking mechanism releases.

  2. 2

    Pull the string out of the tuner and through the hole in the bridge.

  3. 3

    Turn the end of the string post until it clicks. Turn the tuning knob until the hole in the string post is facing away from the knob.

  4. 4

    Thread the new E string through the bridge until the ball at the end sits firmly against the hole. Put the end of the string through the hole in the string post of the tuner, and pull firmly to keep some tension on the string.

  5. 5

    Turn the tuning knob to tune the string. The internal locking cam turns first until it locks the string in place. The outer post turns to tighten the string.

  6. 6

    Repeat the process for all the remaining strings, one string at a time. Tune the guitar to pitch with an electronic tuner or a properly tuned instrument. Cut off excess string, near the post, with wire cutters.

Tips and warnings

  • Grover tuners can be detuned and still stay locked. You must loosen the knob all the way until the catch releases.
  • Do not remove all the strings and then install new ones. As each string is tightened up the neck, it can be destabilised from the uneven tension and may cause the neck to warp.
  • Remove one string and replace it, then do the next.

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