A Step-By-Step Guide to Changing Your Guitar Strings

As you may know, changing your guitar strings regularly can make a big difference when it comes to a clean, clear guitar sound. Not sure how to do it? Check out these step-by-step directions from Brooklyn guitar and vocal instructor Chantilly W...


I’m always doing DIYs, so today I thought I’d share with you a music DIY… how to change your guitar strings! For those not in the know, here is a very simplified version of how to do it.

You’ll need a pair of pliers, some wire cutters, and some guitar strings. And of course, your guitar!

changing guitar strings

1. Loosen all the strings on your guitar, and clip them near the bridge (the bottom part). I always skip the clipping part, but it’s safer if you do… if there’s still tension in the strings, and they let loose, they can whip you!

2. Take out the bridge pins with your pliers.

changing guitar strings


changing guitar strings

3. Take out the old strings, and untangle them from the tuners (on the top of the guitar).
4. One at a time, insert new strings in the pin holes, in their correct placements (E, A, D, G, B, E).
5. Insert pegs back into place, with the groove of the peg facing the string. Push them down hard, so that the new strings will not slip out.

changing guitar strings

6. Bring each string all the way up the neck, and through the corresponding guitar tuner at the headstock. To tune to the correct pitch, turn the tuners so that they are going clockwise on the right side, and counter-clockwise on the left side.

7. Clip the excess string off the tuners when you are done.

This is the weirdest part, and the first time I saw someone do it, I thought they were nuts! You have to stretch your guitar strings – otherwise, they will go out of tune easily. You do this by taking each string and giving it a good pull!

changing guitar strings

You are sufficiently ready. Now go take your guitar and your sassy self up on stage, and act the fool. As I have done here.

chantilly @ pete's candy store


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Chantilly W.Chantilly W. teaches guitar, singing, music theory and songwriting lessons to students of all ages in Brooklyn, NY. She joined the TakeLessons team in November 2012, with a degree in Studio Composition from Purchase College. Learn more about Chantilly, or search for a teacher near you! 

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