One of the most considerable challenges beginners experience is changing the guitar strings. Familiarization with the guitar is not something that beginners achieve in the early stages of playing. Managing most functions like how to change acoustic guitar strings is something they acquire after some time of thorough exercise and practice.
It is an adamant thing to have the strings changed by beginners, especially young ones. They may need the help of an older person due to various challenges.
However, when there is a proper guide to lead them, everything becomes simple, and achieving the objective begins to take a shorter time. We have done an excellent job here to provide a guide that will make the work easier for every beginner.
Why change guitar strings
There are several advantages that come along with changing your guitar strings. As a beginner, you will agree that you want to have a high-quality sound that will make you quickly master the playing art. Part of the guitar’s comfort lies in enjoying the simplicity that comes along with the whole process of playing your guitar.
You, therefore, have no option but to master basic steps on how to change acoustic guitar strings. This together with mastery on playing it gives more comfort. You own the instrument knowing how to do basic maintenance.
When you frequently change your strings, you will enjoy the following;
- Improved sound quality- The sound quality gets better when you have new strings. Every time you change the strings, you enjoy improvements such as a better sustain and improved production in good brightness.
- Improved service– For a more extended period, you will enjoy playing the guitar. The chances of having the strings making you keep the instrument away lower because the challenge has a solution.
- More comfort– Another thing you will have great moments with is the comfort of operation. You will be sure that the strings won’t harm the fingers when playing the guitar as they do not have rust and weak points.
You will also be sure that you will not get disappointed when doing your stage activities. Something that will make you smile while making the chords is the safety that comes with quality strings.
- Maintenance of the instrument– Most guitarists will admit that maintaining their instruments is slightly challenging. As a beginner, when you change the guitar strings, you get a chance to specific activities such as cleaning the parts below the strings and the soundboard.
- Cost-effectiveness- It is cost-effective to maintain your instrument every single moment. When you buy new strings, you make the instrument serve long. You will not have a reason to keep changing the guitars because of things you can do.
Understanding guitars and strings
As a beginner, after intermingling with the various types of guitars, you may have discovered a difference in the type of strings. A classical guitar will have different strings from a regular acoustic guitar and, of course, from the electric guitar.
Some of the strings you need to have some familiarity with are as follows.
- Nylon strings– If you have intermingled with classical guitars, you know about nylon strings. They are very good at playing classical music, have a better sustain, and are more user-friendly. Changing nylon strings is simple, but you will have to take more caution as they are prone to cutting off.
- Steel strings-Some strings have pure steel. One unique thing about them is that they are thinner and mostly found on electric guitars. Players who look for something more complex will prefer to use the steel strings than the other types.
- Steel coated strings– Acoustic guitars are more familiar with coated strings. The primary reason they have a coat is to ensure that they protect them from oxidation, especially your hand’s sweat. Steel-coated strings are less harsh and will make the whole process of playing and replacement easy.
- Gauge strings– Another standard method of string classification is according to their gauge. We have heavy gauge strings, light gauge, and medium gauge. When we get to the categories according to guitar types, the heavy gauge will mostly be electric guitars. The medium gauge will mainly be for acoustic guitars and a light gauge for classical guitars.
When changing the strings, always ensure that you pick the right strings and gauge for the acoustic guitars.
How to change the acoustic guitar strings
Acoustic guitars are guitars that have a wide body and a more extended fretboard. Classical guitars also lie under the acoustic guitars category, with the significant difference being the type of strings. When changing strings for budget acoustic guitars or non-budget acoustic guitars, the following process applies.
The three basic things you will need to have the job done are string winders, guitar strings, and wire clippers.
Process of changing the strings
The following is the process of changing the guitar strings for an acoustic guitar. It will work for acoustic guitar strings for sore fingers and non-sore fingers strings. As you will find out, the process is very simple especially if you have the right equipment.
Remove the existing guitar strings
Begin by unwinding and removing the existing strings. You will notice that on an acoustic guitar, the strings get attached using the bridge pins. The first thing you will do is to remove the bridge pins first. You will begin by cutting all the strings from the soundhole and then starting the pegs’ unwinding process.
There is some order that applies when unwinding and removing the strings. You will start by removing the string E on the lower side than the upper. A simple order that will quickly take you home is pulling strings 6,1, then 5,2, and finally 4,3. As you do the task, you need to watch the strings’ safe disposal so that they do not stab you.
When removing pins from the peg, you need to ensure that you use the proper materials. a string winder is the best thing you can always use as it provides safety to the guitar compared to the use of other substitute devices. Maintaining some order when storing the removed strings is crucial as it will help you conveniently return the new strings.
Note that the same string gauge and type will get back to the same hole from which they came. Proper storage will make the work more straightforward for you. This is part of the important steps in the process of how to change acoustic guitar strings.
Clean the guitar
You may not have another opportunity like this one to clean your guitar. Therefore, it iswise to have the parts of the guitar cleaned so that the strings do not begin another struggle with dust.
You can be sure that the guitar’s durability and the strings are outstanding when you maintain the guitar’s cleanliness.
Installing strings on the guitar
This is the step you need to caution regarding a procedure that you need to monitor keenly.
- Unpack the strings
The first thing you need to do is to unpack the strings. You will notice that the strings come in a pack that the manufacturer desires to have them on. For an easy installation, you will note that there is color choice and size dimensions. You will therefore get straight to the process of installation.
- Fix the strings
The process of fixing the strings involves having them getting into the guitar. You will begin by fixing string E on the lower side. When inserting the strings, you will notice that there is a ball at the end that must get to the pinhole and a notch that accompanies the string. Once the string gets through the pinhole, you can begin to fix another one as you let the first one hang.
You can always make sure that you have installed all the strings before fixing them on the headstock. When putting the pinhole strings, you can choose any order so long as you have the right string getting to the right hole.
- Attaching the strings to the headstock
The actual job begins at this stage as it ensures that the guitar is back. You will start with the E strings by measuring at least a full and some half-length, then cut it off.
Insert the strings through the peg and let them rest for some time. The slight adjustment that protrudes from the peg is to help you to wind the strings quickly.
- Winding the strings
You can now begin to wind up the strings one by one until you have them all fixed. When winding, you will hold the long part of the string towards the peg then begin to curve downwards. Do not focus much on tuning the strings, as the essential thing is to acquire maximum tension.
To have an easy time when winding, it is best if you follow some simple order. Starting with the first string, you can do the sixth one. An order of 1st, 6th, 2nd, 5th,3rd, and finally 4th will make you achieve the objective conveniently. Always wind the strings three times as it makes your work easier.
- Cut the excess dimensions
After you have achieved winding the strings, you will then remove the extra parts of the strings. Before you cut the extra parts, always ensure that the winding is proper and the extra parts are not so much in need. Make sure you make use of an accurate cutting, too, such as a suitable plier.
Tuning the guitar strings
Immediately you are done with fixing and tightening the guitar strings, you will need to do some tuning—the process of guitar tuning may be a little bit challenging, especially for beginners. You may need some guidance to help you to save time.
The major purpose of tuning is to ensure that each string has achieved the desired sound note. When doing this process, you may need to do it severally and at some point adjust the winding. If you take some time doing this process, you may not need to do it in your subsequent sessions unless you have done another replacement of the strings.
Challenges you will experience when changing the acoustic guitar strings
The guide and the process on how to change acoustic guitar strings prove to make your work very easy when changing strings. However, you will experience a few challenges that may make you give up. The good thing is that none of them will miss a solution. Below are a few challenges for beginners.
Choice of strings
String selection may be a slight challenge for beginners as they are exposed to buying the wrong string. Acoustic users make use of nylon and steel-coated strings. When purchasing them as a beginner, you will need to understand the kind of music you want to play.
If you want classical music, the best option would be the nylon strings. For any other kind of music to play, the coated strings may sound better.
Removing from the pin
As you work on the peg, you are likely to have the strings releasing from the pin. It is a normal problem that you will solve by fixing the strings back.
Mixing up strings
When installing strings, you are likely to mix them up. You will need to closely examine the strings that you remove and compare them with the new ones. Another method is by ensuring that you observe the color codes and the instructions that come along with the pack.
Cutting of strings
If there is too much tension, the strings will cut off. The best way to encounter this challenge is by giving the strings time to relax before you start adjusting them again. You may also need to take some caution and pull strings slowly to cut off. Holding them at the middle pulling them upwards when winding makes the work easier.
Installing and balancing strings
This process is a straightforward one that will make you quickly achieve the objective. When installing, it is wise to ensure that you follow the step to step guide. It is the major reason we have such a comprehensive guide. Adhering to the procedure will achieve the objective faster.
What is the gauge of guitar strings?
Guitar strings vary in thickness. The gauge of a guitar string is a standardized system used to measure how wide the string is. One set of popular guitar strings, for example, is .009-.042. This means that a .009-gauge string is thinner than a .042-gauge one.
The four numbers following the decimal represent the diameter of the string in millimeters (e.g., 0.009mm). The higher the number, the thicker and heavier the string will be—and typically, the louder it will sound when played.
The lower the number, the thinner and lighter it will be—and typically, the quieter it will sound when played without distortion or overdrive effects applied to your amp or other equipment settings.
If you’re shopping for replacement strings for your guitar and aren’t sure what type of gauge to buy, find out what gauge your original strings are before purchasing new ones! Thus, if they’re thick, go with thicker strings; if they’re thin or medium weight, choose something lighter or medium weight.
Different guitars have their guitar strings and changing processes. Without a good guide, decision-making can be a challenge, and achieving the installation objective can be a very tough task. Therefore, it is vital to ensure that you have mastered all the processes and requirements to make your work easier.
A comprehensive guide such as the one we have provided on how to change acoustic guitar Strings is valuable. It will guide any beginner who loves acoustic guitars to love and use them without struggling much. Understanding your needs as a player is critical in assisting you to make sound and reliable decisions.
As you become an expert, you will be able to change the guitar strings without bridge pins. This will enable you to enjoy the music you love with the strings you prefer.