The String is the Thing

How To Restring An Acoustic Guitar

Are you noticing your guitar is starting to sound a bit muddy? Do the once-shiny strings look dark or blackened? Do you notice excessive buzz? Or have you broken a guitar string outright? It's probably time to replace your acoustic guitar strings.

New strings are important for your guitar to sound its best. Furthermore, a guitar needs a full set of strings to prevent its neck from warping, so if you've lost one, it's time to replace it, pronto.

This article will help you, step by step, to replace your acoustic guitar strings quickly and easily. It's not too difficult once you've mastered it. Let's get started.

Pick Quality Strings

Replacing Your Acoustic Guitar Strings

Broken String

Strings, like most other things, come in various price brackets. Most of the time, higher price means a better string, but not always. Ask your music store staff which strings are the highest quality, the answers might surprise you.

Also, make sure to pick the right weight of strings for your particular guitar. When a guitar is made, it's neck and other components are optimized for a certain string weight. For example, my guitar takes medium strings. The heavier the string, the thicker they are, and the more tension they'll place on the the neck and bridge. If you're not sure, bring the guitar in and ask the music store staff.

When you replace the guitar strings on an acoustic, pick the right weight and the highest quality, and you'll do just fine. 

De-Tension The Strings

How To Re-String An Acoustic Guitar

This next part is simple, just loosen the strings by turning the tuners. You'll need the strings to be nice and floppy to remove them from the guitar, or you won't be able to pull the pins out.

You want to detune and replace each acoustic guitar string one by one. Don't de-tension all the strings at once; it is bad for the neck, and it can get confusing really quickly. Going string by string will help you keep track of the string sizes, and make sure you don't mix up old and new strings. 

So de-tension a string, remove and replace it, and re-tension it before moving on to the next one.

Pull The Peg

Replace Your Acoustic Guitar Strings

Pull Pegs

Once your old acoustic string is loosened, the next step in replacing your acoustic guitar strings is to pull the little plastic or bone peg holding the string end into your guitar. It might be a little stuck, so you may need a peg tool from a music store. Don't use pliers, they can ruin your pegs. (I speak from experience!) 

Pull out the peg, and then pull out the string. Then unravel the string from the tuning peg on the head of the guitar, and remove the whole thing. 

Fit The New String

Replacing Your Acoustic Guitar Strings


Take your new string, and fit the end with the round doodad into the hollow part of the peg. Put the peg into the hole in the guitar, with the hollow, open part facing towards the neck.The idea here is the peg just holds the string in place, much like a tent peg. 

Then take the other end of the string, fit it through the hole in the tuner, and wind it up. Keep one finger pushing down on the peg at the other end: it will want to pull out. Just hold it in place, it will stay put as the tension builds. Once it's tense enough, you won't have to hold it in place.

Make sure you have one or two turns of string wound round the tuner. Too many turns, your strings won't stay in tune. Not enough turns, the string will fall out! Snip off any excess string, and tune your guitar normally. 

All Done

Replacing Acoustic Strings

You've replaced your acoustic guitar strings, good job! If you have any questions or need further details, please leave a comment and I'll try to clarify.

Good Luck!