Author Topic: TB-003 • How To Change Electric Guitar Strings  (Read 34220 times)

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Offline justinguitar

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« Last Edit: May 13, 2011, 05:34:04 pm by justinguitar »
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Offline Drubbing

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Re: TB-003 • How To Change Electric Guitar Strings
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2012, 01:35:55 pm »
Just changed the strings on my Tele for the first time, with Justin's help. Not as easy as it looks, I kept misjudging the slack required. One or two too many windings on some, not enough on the little E, which is the one I started with - made a pig's ear of it. Got about 2.5 winds on the E - is this a problem? String stretching seems to have locked in pretty well. Also dropped down to 9s from 10s to see how they go.

Also, have I fallen victim to new string placebo? They sound better. I don't (of course), but the strings do. The strings I changed came with the guitar. No idea how long it was up on the wall, but all were discoloured/marked. They stayed in tune fine though.

Offline jacksroadhouse

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Re: TB-003 • How To Change Electric Guitar Strings
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2012, 02:17:02 pm »
Well, let's hope they sound better than your "antique" ones :)

And no, you shouldn't have much of a problem with your high E string.

Not sure if Justin mentioned it in the video, but you can use the tuner pegs (or the distance between them) to measure the slack. Pull them all the way through the hole, and then back again "n pegs". How much that is varies from guitar to guitar, just try it out next time.


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Re: TB-003 • How To Change Electric Guitar Strings
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2012, 04:05:31 pm »
If you have one broken string, do you change all the strings or just that broken one?
What happened if I just change the broken string?

Offline shadowscott007

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Re: TB-003 • How To Change Electric Guitar Strings
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2012, 04:39:34 pm »
If my strings are relatively new I change the one; if they are old I used it as an excuse to change them all.

Old = "Hmm, I don't remember the last time I changed my strings."

New = "Well I just changed them last month."

If the rest of your strings are old enough and your ear is good enough you might notice the new string sounds better,

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Offline DA_music

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Re: TB-003 • How To Change Electric Guitar Strings
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2012, 05:10:21 pm »
Well, let's hope they sound better than your "antique" ones :)

And no, you shouldn't have much of a problem with your high E string.

Not sure if Justin mentioned it in the video, but you can use the tuner pegs (or the distance between them) to measure the slack. Pull them all the way through the hole, and then back again "n pegs". How much that is varies from guitar to guitar, just try it out next time.

Is 2-2.5 turns okay for the A and low E? I'm changing mine for the first time and finding that there's a lot of excess wire sticking out everywhere. I was using your advice and doing strings 1-2 3 pegs of give, 3-4 2 pegs and 5-6 1 peg worth of give.
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Offline jacksroadhouse

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Re: TB-003 • How To Change Electric Guitar Strings
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2012, 07:45:20 am »
That should be alright.

Offline Sustained

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Re: TB-003 • How To Change Electric Guitar Strings
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2012, 03:52:50 pm »
Very basic question. When I change a string, how tight should it be? For example, from a slack A string I can get to the first A while I wind the tuning peg from a completely very loose string or another one if I wind it more. Which one is right?  Thanks!!

Offline jacksroadhouse

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Re: TB-003 • How To Change Electric Guitar Strings
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2012, 04:12:22 pm »
Not sure if this helps, but the A (5th string) is an A2 (110 Hz).

If your tuner has a "guitar" mode, it should show you "5A" for the A string (as in A on the 5th string).

Other than that, you should try and learn to at least get in the ballpark by ear. There are numerous tuners on the web (and a few physical ones as well) that can give you a reference tone for each string, for comparison.

Offline Sustained

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Re: TB-003 • How To Change Electric Guitar Strings
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2012, 09:50:08 pm »
Perfect! Would you happen to have all the frequencies for the open strings?

Thanks!

Offline jacksroadhouse

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Re: TB-003 • How To Change Electric Guitar Strings
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2012, 09:55:26 pm »
Standard tuning (low to high): E2 A2 D3 G3 B3 E4

And here you can find the frequencies:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frequencies_of_notes

Offline BartNL

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Re: TB-003 • How To Change Electric Guitar Strings
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2012, 02:45:16 pm »
I am about to change strings on my electric myself for the first time ever, so naturally I turned to this lesson and video... I am ready to follow the method in the video, but I have also seen people use a different method, which is where they "manually" wind the string a couple of times without using the pegs, and once the string has been locked, start using the peg to wind. This is an example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkUr4mKYY1Q#t=70s

Justin seems to do it differently: align the hole so that the string does not make an angle, and then use the peg to immediately start winding.

What would be the (dis)advantages of each method?

Another question: should I change 1 string while keeping the other 5 on tension, then move on to the next one, or remove all strings and then fit the new ones one at a time? Does it even make a difference?

Thanks for your help!
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Offline Drubbing

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Re: TB-003 • How To Change Electric Guitar Strings
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2012, 04:07:16 pm »
There are many ways to do it. Some even fold the slack under to form the lock, before winding, not during. There's no wrong way.

I take all the strings off before restringing. I don't think it makes any difference.

Offline jacksroadhouse

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Re: TB-003 • How To Change Electric Guitar Strings
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2012, 06:37:12 pm »
@BartNL

With most electric guitars you need to thread the string through the bridge before you can start winding it. It you wind it "manualL" like that video shows, you also twist the string in itself, and that strikes me as a bad idea. You don't need to do that to lock the string,

All this locking/tying thing is not that important imho anyway. There's north of 10 kg tension on a tuned guitar string, and the end of the string has a 90° angle to the peg. If it were loose enough to slip, it would do so right away. Just make sure you have at least 2-3 winds on the peg when you're done. I use Justin's method, and it works very well. My guitars stay in tune and I never broke a string playing. I also make sure that I keep tension on the string while I wind, so the winds become rather tight from the start (don't overdo it though, the winds mostly take care of themselves).

As for you second question: generally speaking it's easier to change the strings one by one, it makes it easier to tune. But every once in a while you may want to take them all off in order to clean/oil the fingerboard (which is actually very important). With an electric I don't thing there's much to it. On an acoustic with undersaddle pickup, you need to be a little more careful though, making sure that the pressure on the saddle is released/applied by and large evenly.

Offline Kansaimon

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Re: TB-003 • How To Change Electric Guitar Strings
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2012, 12:03:39 am »
If you have one broken string, do you change all the strings or just that broken one?
What happened if I just change the broken string?

If you have a floating tremelo bridge and a quite old string breaks, putting on just one new one tends to hasten the demise of the others. Not sure why, a difference in tension or something? So i find it's advisable to change them all at the same time where possible.

Offline Kansaimon

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Re: TB-003 • How To Change Electric Guitar Strings
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2012, 12:20:43 am »
Another question: should I change 1 string while keeping the other 5 on tension, then move on to the next one, or remove all strings and then fit the new ones one at a time? Does it even make a difference?

Thanks for your help!

With a floating tremolo bridge, i tend to find it easier to change one string at a time.
If you decide to take off all six at once, one thing I would advise is: whenyou put on each new string, start with the lower heavier ones and keep the tuning slack, about two full tones down from your final target, until you have all six strings on, then slowly bring the tuning of all six up a semitone or so at time.
What you don't want to do with a floating bridge is, put on the high E then tune it all the way up to the E note with no other strings on yet. The weakest string will be taking the whole load of the tremolo springs in that case.
and like i said, you want to try to tune all six strings evenly. There's no point getting your high E exactly right, and stretching thr string etc. when your low E is still down at C or something. Once you tune your low E, you'll find the tension on the other strings will have changed and you'll need to retune them.

Offline Sweed77

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Re: TB-003 • How To Change Electric Guitar Strings
« Reply #16 on: August 25, 2013, 03:47:20 pm »
Changed the strings on my Epi Les Paul using Justin's instructions.  First time I have ever done this so I was  very nervous about trying as I didn't want to end up without an instrument to play in case I fouled it up.  Took my sweet time and did the strings one at a time figuring if I screwed up at least I wouldn't have issues with the neck due to the other 5 strings keeping proper tension until I could get help fixing things (at least I assumed they would).  Thought it was kind of funny the factory strings were not locked to the peg but instead just a straight wind.  It was easy though making the lock just had to be careful to keep some tension on the string throughout the winding process.

Took about an hour to remove, replace, tune, stretch and tune three times.  Not bad and easier than I thought it would be thanks to Justin's detailed instructions. The strings are staying in tune nicely. 

Anyway wanted to post in case there were any other newbies looking at doing their own string change, and like me, read this thread trying to decide if they wanted to try doing it themselves rather than going to the local Guitar Center etc.  I encourage any newbies to give it a go just take your time and keep in mind it would have been a nightmare without a string-winder.

 
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Offline mouser9169

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Re: TB-003 • How To Change Electric Guitar Strings
« Reply #17 on: August 25, 2013, 06:01:53 pm »
Thought it was kind of funny the factory strings were not locked to the peg but instead just a straight wind.  It was easy though making the lock just had to be careful to keep some tension on the string throughout the winding process.

Factory winds by machine. Much easier to do straight winds.

You don't _need_ to 'lock' your strings as long as you have two or three winds under them. I always do since I first learned the technique with rope, where it is very necessary. I'd do it anyway, helps keep the strings in tune once they settle.
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