How to Restring an Acoustic Guitar

John John (304)
30 minutes

This guide will show you how to restring most acoustic guitars. Some acoustic guitars are built slightly differently but overall these principles can be applied. This guide uses the most common style of guitar, but you can tweak some of the steps to fit your guitar.

Note: While restringing other instruments like ukuleles involves similar processes, there are some steps unique to each instrument. Make sure to follow our guide on how to restring a ukulele, if you're needing to restring that uke!

guitar string cutter ×1
guitar string winder ×1
acoustic guitar strings ×1

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Unwind the string by turning the tuner counter-clockwise

Using your guitar string winder, being unwinding by turning the tuner on the low 'E' string counter-clockwise. If the guitar was strung improperly you may have to turn clockwise to unwind. For this guide I will show you how to completely remove a string before moving on to the next string.

Remove the string from the tuner

Once the string is completely unwound you can remove the string from the tuner.

Remove the bridge pin and pull out the string

Once the string is completely loosened from the neck, remove the corresponding bridge pin and pull out the string.

Place the new string into the proper hole in the bridge
Place the bridge pin and pull up gently on the string

Place the bridge pin into the hole and pull up slightly on the string. This should secure the string and bridge pin in place.

Place the other end of the string through the tuner hole

Place it so the end of the string is facing away from the guitar. Pull the string tight enough to leave a few inches of slack in the string.

Pull the string behind the tuner then underneath the string

As seen in the picture, this will lock the string in place once you start tightening it.

Begin winding the tuner

Wind the tuner until you can easily pull the string and create a 2-3 inch space between the string and the body of the guitar.

Cut the excess string

Using pliers or string cutters simply cut away the excess guitar string from the tuner.

Make sure to pay attention to the string sizes and place them in order. It's sometimes difficult to tell by looking at them, but the string sizes are often written on the package.

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