You might be working with a vintage guitar, or maybe you prefer a guitar with a built in amp. Regardless, changing guitar strings is part of the gig and is nothing too complicated.
Maybe the thought of doing it scares you. By learning how to change the guitar strings yourself, you won’t have to rely on the guitar shops around you. Change your guitar strings whenever you need, in the comfort of your own home. There are guitar players that know how to do it but are just lazy. There are even players that don’t even know that you should change the guitar strings.
Did you know those old guitars can improve through time but strings don’t? That’s because of all of the build-up of dead skin, sweat and natural oils that are found in our bodies. That takes away from the quality of the strings. You can see the change. Take notice of the sound that is becoming dull, breaks easily and immediately becomes difficult to play. The only solution to this is getting new strings. New guitar strings give higher sound quality and are easier to be played with.
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In case you’re don’t play guitar regularly, you can go longer without changing strings. Maybe, you don’t play guitar often but you maintain the strings in good shape. If you don’t play your guitar a lot and it’s tucked away in the closet, you would think that you don’t need to change the strings. You’re wrong. They need to be changed because they oxidize over time. Strings have a short lifespan and need to be changed regularly.
Signs That You Need to Change Your Guitar Strings
One of the first signs that you need to change your strings is when you notice that the guitar starts getting harder it tune. Also, this is a problem that can be caused by the instrument, not the strings. Another sign is the color of the strings. If the strings get discolored or you notice that they are becoming rusty, it’s time to replace them. If you have a gig coming up, you might want to replace your guitar to avoid any uncomfortable situations.
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How to Replace Guitar Strings?
The first thing you need to know before you change them is the types of strings that exist on the market. The whole process might take not only your time and patience but also money. Give a few brands of strings ago and feel the difference for yourself. Chose the ones that work best for you.
Usually, they are sold in sets or you can get them separate. They come in a variety of different gauges. The gauges are measured in thousands of an inch and it refers to the thickness of the strings. If you want to play heavier sounds, go for the larger gauges. Guitar players usually remove the decimal. They only refer to the number only. Take a 008 string gauge, that will be an 8.
Remove the Strings
You have two options. You can remove the whole set of strings or you can remove each one individually. The choice is yours. Keep in mind that if you separate each one individually, you have to keep the tension of the neck in order and the tension of the strings accordingly.
If you remove the whole set of strings at once, you can the fingerboard without damaging the strings. They can build up a lot of skin residue.
Try to loosen the strings until they are not under tension anymore. After that, take nippers or tunning machines and clip them.
2. Take away the bridge pins
Bridge pins look like knobs. They are gadgets that make the strings hook on the inside of the guitar. The best choice would be to get a bridge pin puller. They are sold at any music shop and come in different varieties. They might be a little difficult to work with if your guitar is brand new. You might grab them with some pliers.
3. Clean Your Guitar
After you have replaced the guitar, it’s time to give your guitar a good spring cleaning. Cover the fingerboard, back of the neck and everything else. Avoid using household cleaners such as furniture polish, glass or dust spray. They will damage the guitar permanently. Use a lint-free material or a moist chamois cloth. You don’t know how much dirt your fingers can build up through time.
4. Place The New Strings
There are a lot of ways of applying new strings. You can start by putting them at the thing end. After that, you can work your way up towards the thicker end. You should put the thin strings first and gradually align them according to thickness. If you have an older guitar, try adding them left to right pull makes tunning easier.
After you’ve set them up, take the knob end and pull it through the peg hole and add the end peg again. Keep in mind that you should be held in the string. Apply some tension on the strings going towards the head of the guitar. That’s good because it will keep the pegs from pulling away.
Your guitar should be cared for and maintained. That’s why the first step is to change your guitar strings. If you don’t, your music might suffer. Now, that we have summed up how to do that, it’s up to you to do the rest.