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The Trials And Tribulations Of The Devil's Instrument.

How To Change Strings On An Acoustic Guitar

Break a string? Strings feeling grimy or leaving black marks on your fingers when you play? Does your guitar just not sound the same as it did? Has it been a couple of months since someone changed them, but you don’t know how? Frustrated paying someone to change your strings? Don’t fret. We have you covered. Just follow these simple steps to change your strings…

First of all, find a level surface, such as a tabletop or desk, and make sure you have plenty of room. You’ll need a couple of towels, a new set of strings, some lemon oil or wood conditioner if your neck is dry, a pliers, a tuner, and a wire cutter.






Set out one of your towels on your flat surface so you don’t scratch the back of your guitar. Next, take the rest of the towels and roll them up so you have something to set the neck on, this way your guitar is balanced.

Don’t remove all the strings, just do one at a time.  We’ll start with the low E string, unwind the string until it’s loose against the fret board.  Now unwrap and remove the string from the tuner.  Never cut a string while it’s under tension, it could slap back against your face.  Next, pull up on the bridge pin.  If it won’t pull up with your fingers, use the pliers to gently work it out.  It should just pull up.







At this point you take some of your wood conditioner and a rag and gently rub some on the neck and let it dry for a moment.

Now we’re ready to put the new string on.  Take the new string out of the wrapper and unwind it.  Take the bridge pin and line the slot up with the ball end on the string and push it into the hole.  You don’t need to hammer it in, just push it in as far as it will go.









Take the other end of the string and thread it through the hole in the tuner.  Pull the string so it’s taut and then back it off about an inch.


Now crimp the string about 90 degrees toward you…








and start tightening the tuning peg counter-clockwise, make sure the excess string goes UNDER the string on the  first wrap and OVER  the string on the next pass.










All other wrappings will go under the string.



You can use a  little trick to keep the string from going all over the place by using your right hand to hold the string while turning the tuner with your left hand.








After that, just tune the string up to pitch using your tuner.  After it’s tuned, pull on the string for a couple of seconds and retune, keep it up until it no longer goes out of tune and then cut the excess string off with a wire cutters.

If you wanna be really different, you can run a quarter along the excess string to make them curly.



Just run a quarter along the excess length of string with the string in between the edge of the quarter and your thumb.  It looks like this when you’re done.

Written by

As a private guitar instructor, and as a performing musician, I’ve come across all types of guitar players. Some good, some bad, and some just plain out there phenomenal. Always curious into what makes some people more adept at playing guitar than others, I’ve done a lot of research into what it takes to be a great player. As I pass this information on, keep on mind that there’s no secret ingredient, no fast and sure way to get instantly better, and no substitute for putting in the time on the guitar.

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