10 Steps To Changing Guitar Strings

If it is your first time changing all your guitar strings at once, you might feel a little overwhelmed. Once you’ve done it a few times though you will be an old pro.
steps to changing guitar strings. This is how I personally change my strings every time. Note the trick I use to keep from having to re-tune my guitar over and over again after changing my strings.

Here Are The Basic Steps To Changing Guitar Strings:

1. Gather All Needed Supplies

This will usually include: anew set of guitar strings (duh!), something to trim the strings with, a rag to clean with, a string winder and a comfortable chair (or a carpeted floor if you are a bit of a klutz like me).

2. Put Your Guitar In A Secure Position

Make sure you aren’t going to drop or scratch the guitar while changing the strings. Laps can be good if you are steady but often it is easier to do on the couch, a carpeted floor or even if you have a leftover piece of carpet or a thick blanket to pad it, the kitchen table.

3. Remove all of the old strings

Remove all the old strings from the guitar and throw them out. My wife hates finding old strings laying around the house cause I forgot to throw them away. Do your wife, or mom or sister a favor and get rid of those rusty old things.

4. Clean The Guitar Before Putting On The New Strings

Now is a great time to clean all that grime from the fretboard and to get into places that you can’t normally when the strings are on. Try to get as much dust, dirt, and crud out now.

5. Put On The Strings

Put on the new strings one at a time. Make sure they are laying in the saddle and nut properly.

6. Tighten To Half Tension And Pull! (This Is A Personal Trick That Keeps New Strings In Tune The First Time You Tune Them Up)

Only tighten the strings to roughly half tension for now. Now put one finger across the nut to keep the strings from popping out and grab one string with your other hand right around where you would strum it. Pull away from the body. Do this up and down the string a few times. Do each string individually. Stretching the strings like this will keep them from having to be turned over and over again when you start playing. Don’t be shy, you can tug pretty hard without hurting them.

7. Tune Up!

Now tune up to regular tuning

8. Rock Out!

Play something with lots of hard strumming and bending, this should put the guitar a little out of tune and get the rest of the slack out of the strings.

9. TuneUp Again

Tune up one last time

10. You’re Done!

That’s it. Now instead of having to re-tune 3 or 4 times within the next hour, your guitar should stay in tune pretty well.…

Keep Your Guitar Clean

When recording in the home studio one of the most overlooked things is keeping your clean guitar. This will help reduce fret buzzing and any other extra noises created by bad strings and a gunky fretboard.

It is very important to clean your strings and your fretboard often. This will make your strings last longer and you won’t need to change them as often. Plus it will feel a lot better when playing.

Something as simple as wiping your strings down after playing your guitar could make a huge difference. There are also a ton of products made for extending the life of your strings, but some of these can get a bit expensive and personally I’ve never had to use any of them.

Look at your guitar, are your strings really dirty, caked with gunk? You might have to look on the underside to see all the icky stuff that has built up on them. If your guitar strings are built up with gunk, change them immediately. Once you have the new strings on your guitar, be conscious about wiping them down after playing. You’ll be surprised how much longer your new strings will last.

Another thing to avoid is playing your guitar after working on your car or digging in the garden. If you have dirty hands, your strings and your fretboard will get dirtier faster. I know it sounds like first grade, but make sure you keep your hands clean before you play.

Check your fretboard. Is there gunk and dirt built up? I recommend cleaning the fretboard everytime you change your strings. I also clean the gunk around my frets every time I change the strings as well. Just use a damp cloth or a guitar cleaner to clean the fretboard. Don’t ever use steel wool or anything that will damage the finish of your fretboard.

I also use a dry cloth to clean around my pickups every time I change my strings. I don’t like any extra stuff on my pickups, strings or fretboard. After I change my strings, I give it the “white glove test.” If I have time, I also give the body of my guitar a good polishing. I hate fingerprints!

Anyway, by now you think I’m completely anal about keeping my guitar clean. I am. It is pretty simple. Basically, just wipe down your guitar after playing and clean the fretboard when you changing your strings. Doing this will prolong the life of your strings as well as keep your fretboard from building up gunk.

A clean guitar is a happy guitar.…