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How To Tune New Guitar Strings

By Edited Apr 23, 2014 0 0

Want to know how to tune new guitar strings? Getting new strings into proper standard pitch is a problem for many guitar players, especially new ones to the instrument. When strings are new they can break very easily if you’re not careful when you tune. The small “E” string can often break as your tuning your guitar up to standard pitch. In this article you’ll learn how to get your new guitar strings into proper pitch and ensure that they last as long as possible for you as well as how to properly change them.

Tools You Need

The first thing you’ll need is a guitar string peg winder which makes changing your strings very easy and it’s a handy tool to have in your guitar case. You also need a good pair of sharp wire cutters to cut through the strings. It’s never a good idea to leave string excess on your guitar headstock because the sharp ends can end up jabbing someone and let me tell you that really hurts. Other tools you should have are some guitar polish and a polishing cloth to clean up your guitar each time you change your strings. You might wan to get a small block of wood covered in cloth to place under the guitar headstock that acts as a brace while you change the strings. The strings you buy are all a matter of preference to you. 

Changing Your Guitar Strings

First you will need to use the peg winder and slowly detune your strings until they are completely slack. If you have a guitar with a back plate such as a Stratocaster it’s always easier to take the plate off to change strings. Many Strat players leave this plate off for easy string changing.  Once the strings are slack, take them off the tuning pegs and then through the holes in the bridge. You may want to cut them so the sharp ends don’t scratch the surface of your guitar. Be careful when taking the string off because it’s easy to poke yourself with the ends. Wrap the strings up and dispose of them.

Tuning New Strings to Pitch

It’s easier to put all the strings on before you tune them so get all the strings on first. Don’t tune them very far just enough so they wrap neatly around the tuning posts. You don’t need a whole bunch of winds around each post just a few. Use a good quality tuner to tune your strings. First thing you need to do as you tune up is tug lightly on each string and then retune it. This helps the string relax on your fretboard and makes each new tuning easier. Tune your instrument very slowly; don’t do too much at once. New strings are fragile and they can snap without warning if you tune too high on them. Keep tuning and giving each string another tug. As you reach pitch, begin playing the guitar and do this for about ten minutes. Be sure to do some bends and test the pitch afterwards. After you finish playing go back and retune your guitar again. Your guitar should then stay in tune after you do this a few times.

When to Change Strings

Most players don’t change strings often enough and old strings can contribute to the wear and tear on the guitar neck due to the dirt and sweat you accumulate on your hands. Always wash your hands before playing your guitar which will help your strings last longer. After each playing session, take a soft cloth and go up and down the length of the string to remove dirt on the string. Old strings will lose their tone so depending upon how often you play you should look at changing your strings at least once a month. You not only will make your guitar sound better but you’ll help protect the fretboard from damage.

Tuning New Strings is Easy

Tuning your new strings is easy if you take your time with it and don’t get in a rush. Just remember to tune them slowly and give them a small tug to help them settle on your guitar and reach their pitch. Don’t tune hard on them as this can cause a fresh string to break without warning. Be careful on the little “E” string as this one is usually the one that breaks the most often. Have fun with your new guitar strings and keep jamming.  There ar enew guitars coming onto the market such as the Peavey AT-200 Auto Tune Guitar that will stay in tune by themselves. Guitar playing sure is changing!



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