How To Restring An Electric Guitar (Step by Step Guide)

how to restring an electric guitar

The main issue with electric guitar strings is that they break more often than those on an acoustic or classical. However, the fact they are the easiest to replace makes up for it a little bit. You can't always just take your guitar to the store and ask them for restring, but as a guitarist, you must learn how to restring an electric guitar.


Matter of fact, choose a high-end electric guitar while purchasing because the high-end electric guitar is built with tough and durable string to avoid such string breakage. So now let's move on to the article and learn how to restring an electric string using simple steps.

THINGS required for restringing an electric guitar

You will need some tools to restring your electric guitar with much ease. Some are necessary; some aren’t. The necessary ones are:

  • New Strings (obviously).
  • String Cutter.
  • Tuner.

Coming to things that I recommend having but aren't necessary solely to change strings:

  • String Winder (for faster removal of strings).
  • Polish for fretboard (it is not often that your guitar is without strings, so this is a good opportunity to clean up your fretboard because, trust me, they get dirty).
  • Brush (for cleaning the bridge).

how to restring an electric guitar - guide

NOTE: This How To Restring An Electric Guitar tutorial is not for the guitars with a Floyd Rose bridge. Check the link for acoustic guitar restringing here.

step  1:

remove the old strings

Remove all the strings. Some people change their strings one by one, well that is not recommended. Unless and until you have just restrung your guitar and by accident one of the strings broke, then I understand why you would not remove all strings.


However, if it has been more than 3 months since you have added these current strings, I see no reason why you would want to keep these old strings attached. So, remove all strings first.

how to restring an electric guitar

step  2:

insert the new string in bridge

Electric guitar strings are just like the steel strings used on an acoustic guitar. They have a ball end and a sharp end. At the bridge, you will find there are 6 holes; your 6 strings go through their respective holes.


So, put the string's sharp end through its designated hole and then pull from the other end until the ball touches the bridge and anchors your string. This technique works for almost all guitars with some exceptions like guitars with a floyd rose bridge.

step 3:

wrap the new string in tuning post

You pull the string till the ball stops the movement and it is fixed at the bridge side. Now, take the sharp end and pull it through the hole on the pillar (also called tuning post) of the correct tuning peg. You have to leave some slack on the string so you can wrap it around the post a couple of times.


Also, while doing so, with your right hand, create tension on the string by either pulling it or putting your hand underneath the string. Make sure that after wrapping it around the tuning post, the string still has some slack as we are now going to wind it up and if it is already too tight, the string might break.

step 4:

TIGHTEN THE STRING

As I mentioned above, step 4 is the reason why there needs to be some slack. Now, you can free up your right hand and start winding the string up. Obviously you can do this manually with your hand but as I mentioned above, if you have a string winder, this process will take much less time. 


Tighten the string up enough and don't worry about the tuning right now as we will take care of that later. Just make sure it is now securely settled on both ends.

step 5:

cut the extra strings from the tuner

With your string or wire cutter, cut off the extra piece of string that is probably dangling from the tuner post. Do not cut it off completely, leave a tiny bit of string at the end, you will know why we did that in the next step. 


You might also wanna yank the strings a couple of times. Not like a madman, just, a little bit. New strings take time to settle in and doing this will help them get settled faster.


In all honesty, this is not a necessary thing process and I do not recommend it because I have seen some people yanking on it too hard but if you can control yourself, this does help and in that situation, yes, I recommend it.

how to restring an electric guitar

step 6:

tuning

It is time to get out and use that trusty 'old tuner. Tune the string up to the correct pitch. As I mentioned before, it is gonna take a while for the string to stay in tune. You leave it for 5 minutes or check the how to tune a guitar article, then come back and you will find it out of tune.


Tune it up again. The strings will take about 2-3 days to truly settle into their new home.

how to tune your guitar

step 7:

smooth the strings edges:

Take a tool, people recommend a screwdriver and I would recommend the same but anything hard can do the job rightly. After cutting the extra bit of string, there is still going to be a little piece of string left and it is going to be sharp! If you followed all the steps, at least. 


So, this piece of "extra" string is a bit dangerous due to its sharpness that is why what you should do is bend it towards the tuning posts. This will not only protect you from cuts but also, somewhat, make the string more secure.

step 8:

smooth the strings edges

Take a tool, people recommend a screwdriver and I would recommend the same but anything hard can do the job rightly. After cutting the extra bit of string, there is still going to be a little piece of string left… and it is going to be sharp! If you followed all the steps, at least. 


So, this piece of "extra" string is a bit dangerous due to its sharpness that is why what you should do is bend it towards the tuning posts. This will not only protect you from cuts but also, somewhat, make the string more secure.

Repeat these steps for all the strings. The process stays the same for all strings, just be careful with the thinner strings as they are, naturally, more fragile and break easily.

CONCLUSION

And voila! You now know how to restring an electric guitar. That wasn't too tough now, was it? It merely requires some dedication and patience. This method of changing strings works for most electric guitars, but some guitars may vary. If your guitar as some unique/different trait like a Floyd Rose bridge or a different kind of headstock, you have to google how to change strings on those specific kinds of guitars. 

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