NEWS & EVENTS
News: Palm Desert resident chases one last
dream before his time runs out
There are many opinions as to the correct way to string a guitar. I’ve been
using this particular method for several years and have been pleased with the
Here’s how I do it.
Things you’ll need:
-A new set of strings with gauges identical to the ones you’re
replacing. (If you install different gauges, you’ll need to adjust your truss
-A string winder.
-A string cutter (not a wire cutter but a specific guitar tool). -Safety
goggles. Strings can break unexpectedly and you don’t want to take the
Step One: Remove the old strings.
If you have a fixed-bridge guitar, you can take all the strings off, clean your
fretboard and install new strings without any additional steps. If your guitar
has a tremolo system, you should either remove and replace strings one at a
time or block the tremolo so that it stays in its normal position during the
Note: I usually remove the new strings from the package
and lay them out in order. If you don’t have a guitar workstation, place a
towel or blanket on a table, fold a hand towel a couple of times and place it
under the neck or your guitar.
Step Two: Install the new
Thread the string through your bridge assembly, making sure it hasn’t snagged
somewhere in the bowels of your guitar. If your headstock is of the
six-on-a-side variety, pull the string two tuning posts past the one that
you’re using and cut the string.
If your instrument is three-on a side, pull
the string a little more than one tuning post before cutting
Step Three: Thread the end of your string through the post
hole until the end justpeeks out then put a kink in the string right against
the post to stop it from sliding back out.
Now, with one hand keep the string tensioned and turn the string winder so that the wind goes (a) on the inside of
the post, and (b) down the post.
Step Four: Tune to pitch. I do this by ear after each string and then
use my tuner when I’m done.
Step Five: (optional) I like to stretch my strings so that
they stay in tune right away. Insert your hand under each string and stretch it
at four or five points along the fretboard. If you omit
this step, it will take a half-dozen tunings before the strings stretch out
on their own.
The benefit of this method is that you don’t have to snip
the strings after you install them. I’ve seen people miss the end of the string
and snip the actual string resulting in a string under extreme tension suddenly
releasing right in your face. WEAR SAFETY GOGGLES!!!
By John Hardie
For years I had a problem with breaking strings. I would
put a new set of strings on my main guitar, “Roach,” and--three out of four
times--would break the 2nd string during the first song.
Now, when I restring Roach, I perform an extra step. This
step has resulted in my never, ever breaking a string. Have I
piqued your interest? Hope so. Read on:
When you tune your guitar or bend a note or apply vibrato,
you’re stretching the string in question and causing friction at the nut and at
The bridge on electric guitars is made of metal.
Imagine that same length of string constantly sawing back and forth over a
metal saddle and you can see why eventually you could break a
Nuts used to be made of bone but nowadays it’s usually some
kind of plastic; smoother and softer than metal saddles and kinder on your
strings, sure, but that’s not where the problem lies.
If the nut slot
isn’t cut exactly right for the particular gauge of string that you use, the
string can “bind” in the nut. Ever heard a pinging sound when you tune? That’s
string binding. Over time, the string will be weakened and………SNAP!
There are a few things you can do to eliminate this
1). Replace your nut and bridge saddles with Graph Tech
parts (www.graphtech.com). These replacement nuts and saddles are made from a
special compound that virtually removes string friction from the
2). Use an abrasive cord made by Mitchell and available through
Stewart MacDonald (www.stewmac.com)
or a nut file to smooth the edges of the offending parts.
3). Finally, my extra
I discovered Nut Sauce
several years ago and have not broken a string since. Nut Sauce
is a special lubricant that is applied to the nut and bridge saddles prior to
installing new strings. It cushions the string and totally eliminates that
Want to try it? Just let