When a string breaks on a guitar, it’s a nuisance. When it happens to a new player, it’s worrying. Their first attempts at threading a new guitar string are fraught with worry. This instrument, which cost a lot of money, now appears broken and it takes a lot of courage to change that string all on your own. The way to do it is shown below, to try and help players get over that nervousness and pat themselves on the back for having discovered how to do it all on their own.
All guitarists should ensure that they have a set of strings at all times. You never know when a string will break. It’s not worthwhile buying the cheapest. Buy good quality and if in doubt, do ask at a specialist guitar shop, showing them your guitar. Strings differ depending upon the type of guitar you own. Making sure that you have a set takes away half of the worry.
Examining the damage
This is the learning phase. Look at the string adjacent to the broken string. The way that it is threaded will show you how to thread yours. The reason this response is so general is because there are different methods of threading strings. Look at the bottom of the guitar. There are several systems of threading strings. For example, if your guitar has a pin system, this is very easy to thread. You simply take the pin out of the guitar to remove the string. However, if you have a classical guitar, then the rules are slightly different. It is likely that the strings will be knotted at the bottom of the guitar and it’s vital that you follow the example of the adjacent strings when you come to thread it. In this case, start to loosen the top of the string until it comes away. Look how the string is threaded into the nuts that tighten strings at the top. Leave taking the string from the bottom until last. You need to do this slowly because you need to remember in reverse how the string was threaded.
Replacing the string
You will notice that the new string has a hook at one end. This is placed under the pin at the base of the guitar. If the guitar is a classical guitar, refer to the information below. On a modern guitar with pins, pull the string up to the head stock and place the string through the eye, making sure that it is pulled over the correct notches in the guitar neck and will turn in the right direction, which is clearly visible on the other strings. Start to tighten the string, and be sure to have your tuner on, so that you can tune the string to perfection. The first time, it takes a little while. Be patient. You may be a little scared after breaking one string that too tight a turn will break the new one. Once you have it in tune, that’s your first string changed.
The Takemine guitar and other similar classical guitars have a threading system at the base of the guitar. It is here that the confusion begins. Cut the hook from one end of the guitar string because you won’t need this hook. Follow the clear instructions on this diagram to knot the string correctly at the base. It’s a little tricky but you will get accustomed to doing it. Neatness is what it is all about, and having a pair of pliers will help considerably to tuck the ends in when you have knotted the string as shown on this plan. The ends that stick out should be thread into the loop of the adjacent string as it looks untidy if this is not done.
Just as in the case of the pin system, pull the string up toward the headstock and then slot it into the hole. Tighten the string and use your tuner to tune it in perfectly.
Once you have changed a string for the first time, you get accustomed to changing the strings. Of course, all strings have different thicknesses and the string you replace must be the right one. Make a note that you have used that string, so you can remember to buy another set ready for the next string to break. It actually doesn’t matter that much that you broke it. Fresh, good quality strings may give your guitar a much nicer tone than overly stretched ones. Changing the string really isn’t that difficult and is a landmark in the career of a guitar player.