Take the guesswork out of changing your guitar strings by following these five steps:
Know the frequency of changing guitar strings
Your first question could be: “how often should I change my guitar strings?” It actually depends on several factors. If you use your guitar frequently and you spend hours playing it aggressively, you’ll need to change the strings more often than if you’re just using it a couple of times a week.
Your strings will also be affected by things like humidity and sun exposure, smoke and even sweat, so you should change them regularly if they’re exposed to these conditions. It’s also very important to store your guitar properly to avoid faster wear and tear on your strings.
Determine the right string gauge
Guitar strings come in sets or individual strings and they have different gauges or thicknesses. The larger the gauge of a string is, the heavier it is. Your choice of string gauge will depend mainly on your playing style, preference and the music that you’re trying to achieve with your guitar.
For instance, beginners usually prefer lighter strings because they’re easy to press and play, but they can also break easily and are harder to keep in tune.
Professional players use heavier gauge strings because they have bolder sounds and better volume. If you do not use what strings to use, bring your old strings to the guitar shop and buy the same variety.
Remove your strings
Loosen each string by turning the pegs five times or more. Cut the strings on the 12th fret and remove them from the tuning pegs. Using your fingers, a pair of pliers, or a Winder Tool, carefully remove the string pins and the rest of the strings from the guitar. Make sure to dispose of the strings properly to avoid accidents.
Clean the neck of your guitar
Once the strings are completely removed, you can clean the neck and the fingerboards with a damp cloth or using lemon oil to get rid of any dust and dirt that would be hard to remove with the strings on.
Replace your strings
Kink the string and place the ball end 10 centimeters into the hole to replace the peg. Slowly pull the string until it is tight enough while putting some pressure on the peg to make sure it doesn’t come out.
If you have the right tightness, attach the string to the right tuning peg by lining up the hole in the peg before putting the string on the hole and pulling it back so you can gain some slack. Slacks will depend on the thickness and placement of the string.
For instance, the 1st string may reach about 10 centimeters while the 6th string only needs about 5 centimeters of slack.
Finally, wrap the live string (the one you’re playing with) around the top of the peg on a clockwise motion. Then, hold this string down the neck and start winding the tuner to wrap the rest of the dead string (the slack) under the live one.
Aim for at least 5 wraps on the 1st string and 3 wraps on the 6th string to avoid breaking the string easily. Once all the strings are set, you can start tuning them and get ready to play.