A much over looked but very important technique for any guitarist is how to properly re-string their instrument.
In this article I'm going to focus on installing steel strings (Click here to learn to string a nylon or classical guitar).
First off...be aware of the string gauge you're using in other words, what your guitar has been set up with. If you change the gauge you'll likely have to re-adjust your truss rod and intonation. Also, it's good to stay with the same brand of string once you've found one you like. Time and time again I've found that even if you've kept with the same gauge changing brands can result in further intonation adjustments.
The first method of re-stringing we'll discuss is the one I mainly use which I call the "Lock-wind".
First, turn the tuning key until the hole in the string post is in line with the nut slot. Next, pass the string through the hole pulling it up so there's about 2" between the finger board and the string keeping the string taught at the bridge end. This should allow for about 2 1/2 or 3 windings on the string post once you're done. You don't want any more than that - excessive windings can cause the string to slip continuously when tuning!
Next you pull the string toward the centre of the headstock and loop it underneath and over itself up against the string post. Next, start turning the tuning key winding the string on the post. Be sure the windings go from the top down thus creating a greater angle from the string post to the nut. This puts more downward pressure in the nut and increases your sustain. By installing the string in this manner it will have wound around itself once giving it something to "hang onto', and once properly stretched should stay in tune great!.
Next we'll talk about stringing a guitar with vintage style Kluson tuners which have a split post (these are found on many Fender Strats and Telecasters). What you do is pass the string through the bridge end and pull it tight. Measure about 2" past the tuning post of the string you're changing (I use the handle of my plastic string winder which is just about 2" long) and cut the string. Now stick the cut string end down the centre hole of the post and start winding. Cutting the string like this you'll have about 3 windings on the string post and once again be sure to wind from the top down!
Properly installed strings always stay in tune better, have greater sustain and take much less stretching to become stable. As Martha Stewart would say..."It's a good thing!".
Of course the first thing you'll need are Guitar Strings.
CleverJoe highly recommends these guys:
Musician's Friend Guitar Strings
For orders in the USA, Musician's Friend is truly one of the best online stores to buy guitar strings and musician accessories. Super fast shipping and great service. USA, Canada
Guitar Strings at Music123
Canadian, USA and worldwide shipping, Music123 has a massive selection of guitar strings and good prices too.
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