Changing guitar strings: everything you need to know

Changing electric or acoustic guitar strings isn’t a complicated task, but try convincing a new guitarist of that. It can seem plenty intimidating to a beginner.

Some players are so unnerved at the thought of restringing their guitar that they never learn to do it and rely instead on the local guitar shop to do it for them. Some players are simply too lazy to change their strings, while others don’t even realize that strings need to be changed!

As a guitarist, knowing how to change your strings is an essential maintenance skill. Guitar strings have a way of breaking at the most inopportune times, like during a performance. Knowing how to change a broken string right there on the spot is a must. But a broken string isn’t the only reason to change your strings.

While old guitars improve with age, old strings typically do not. As guitar strings age, tone and intonation are negatively affected by a build up of dirt, sweat, dead skin, and oils found naturally in the fingers. Strings start to sound dull, become difficult to play, and are prone to breakage. A fresh set of strings will remedy this. New strings have a brighter tone. They stay in tune better and are easier on the fingers.