Introduction: How to Restring a LP Guitar
Hello, my name is Matthew. I am a guitar player and have been playing for 7 years. There are always new players and some of them can be very unsure of what they are doing and attempt their first restring without knowledge of how to do it or pay a high price to have someone else do it. I am going to help you prevent either of those situations from happening, and in doing so provide knowledge which will be used and save you some money. Being able to service your guitar yourself will allow you the peace of mind that it is being done correctly and with quality. In a few easy steps, I am going to show the proper way to restring a guitar.
Step 1: What Will Be Needed
I will explaining how to restring a Les Paul or
similar style guitar, different guitar styles will have different required methods. This method is one of the most common that will be encountered. The things needed will include strings, tool to gut string ends off with, and a tuner. Make sure your work area is tidy in order to prevent from scratching the finish of the guitar.
Step 2: Removing the Old Strings
The first action that needs to be
completed is removing the old strings. Detune the old strings to remove tension from the strings. Take the cutting tool and cut all six strings off near the nut, or where they are connected at the top of the guitar. Pull the ball end of the string out of the bridge by pulling towards the bottom of the guitar. Now take the remaining portion of the strings and pull them from the tuning pegs, you might have to unwrap them from the pegs if they don’t come off right away.
Step 3: Putting the New Strings On
Now that the old strings are
removed, the new strings can be installed. Before putting the strings on, I typically take some linseed oil and a paper towel to clean and oil the fretboard. After having cleaned the fretboard, the installation of the new strings can commence. The strings I am using today are Ernie Ball 9-42s, but every player has their own personal favorite string gauges to use. I always start with the lowest string, or the thickest string, first. Remove the string from the package and unwind the string, then insert the end through the bridge and pull it tight to set it in place. Now run the string through the lowest tuner on the left side of the headstock. Pull the string through until there is just a slight bit of tension on it. Cut the end of the string off at the next tuning peg. Now, pull the string back through the tuner the opposite direction until about half an inch is sticking through the peg and kink it after tuner. Now turn the tuner counter clock wise until there is more tension on the string. Do not tune it to pitch yet. Repeat the previous steps two more times. After that, the lowest three strings are installed and half of the tuners have strings on them.
The highest three strings are done with most of the same steps. The major difference from the three other strings is that the tuners for the highest three strings on this style guitar must have the tuning pegs turned clockwise. If they are turned the wrong way, the strings will run into other tuning pegs and that is not ideal.
Step 4: Tuning
After all six strings are on,
tuning can be completed. I use a Korg GA1 tuner to do this. The tuning of a guitar is EADGBe. I tune the strings in the same order that I installed them, lowest to highest. Ensure that the strings are going into the bridge saddles correctly or the tuning will be a waste! After the initial tuning is done, play the guitar for a few minutes and retune it. This process can take many tries to complete because there are many factors that go into it, but typically it takes about three or four tunings to get it to hold steady. It is at this point that the cutting tool can be used to snip the end of the strings off.
Step 5: Outro
Now the guitar is completely restrung and tuned. It is ready to be played. I hope these instructions are able to help new players do their first restring with ease. So now with the new strings on, a player can enjoy playing music and no longer have to worry about old strings breaking or sounding poor.