How To String a Guitar From Start To Finish

As COVID closures and lockdown come to a slow end, we’re seeing plenty of optimistic returns to public spaces. People are going to the beach, protesting in solidarity with BLM and seeing a lot more of each other.

At the end of the day, we all need a little relief. What better way than to pick up your guitar, and sing a tune with friends? In this article, we’ll show you how to give your axe some attention and replace the strings. We may be compensated for purchases made using the links to products below.

Materials You’ll Need

You’ll need a few things before re-stringing your guitar, first and foremost: a guitar! We’re assuming you already have one but if you don’t we’ll give you a few good options below. After that, you’ll need to settle on strings.

Various options have their pros and cons that affect playability, durability, and cost. Finally, there are a few other accessories you may want to have that will make the job easier. Read below to assemble your gear!

Pick Up a Guitar


Photo by Yurii Stupen on Unsplash


We won’t spend too much time on how to choose the right guitar for you in this article. Obviously, though, to re-string a guitar you will need a guitar. So go find yourself a steel-string acoustic guitar, classical guitar, or electric guitar.

We’ll assume for this article that you’re using a regular non-bass guitar. Though the process is the same for bass guitars, you just use fewer strings (usually).

The main difference between steel-string acoustic and classical guitars is in their tone and build. Classical guitars tend to have wider necks and full bodies while acoustic steel-string guitars have cutouts so you can access the higher frets.

As the name suggests, steel-string guitars utilize steel strings as opposed to the nylon strings in classical guitars. Electric guitars can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but all use metal strings.


In order to re-string a guitar, you’ll need to have strings! Duh! If this is one of your first times completing the task you may be overwhelmed by options. We’re here to help you sort it out.

Guitar strings will fall into a few categories, and be based on the type of guitar: acoustic or electric? Acoustic guitar strings will be designed for classical-guitar or steel-string acoustic guitars. Both allow for different types of playing styles because of the string material and how they respond to touch.


Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash


As we mentioned earlier, classical guitars utilize nylon strings, that’s a major part of what sets them apart. They also use metal wrapped around nylon for the top three strings. In the picture above you can see what we mean.

Classical nylon strings are more mellow than steel strings. They’ll sound gentler and less twangy. They’re a bit thicker and thus easier on the fingers, so a good choice for beginners.

Steel strings are thinner and may ‘cut’ into the fingers – not to the point of slicing your fingers – and they may leave an indentation. With enough practice, you won’t notice.

Below are a few options for acoustic guitar strings.



Next up is the electric guitar strings. Which kind will you want? The material and stiffness will determine how your fingers feel after shredding.

The main options are stainless steel, nickel, or nick-plated strings. Nickel strings were originally used in the 50’s so they have an associated vintage sound. Alternatively, steel strings are stronger and will sound punchier.

Your final consideration will be the string gauge or thickness. Higher gauge strings will be louder and sustain longer – this makes them great for rhythm guitar playing. If your focus will be more on lead guitar, then you’ll want lower gauge strings. They will be easier to play as they bend easier, and your fingers won’t get nearly as tired.



Check out the options above and explore! Guitar strings are an understated part of the guitar playing experience. Buy a few sets and try them all out!


There are a few accessories that will make your life easier during this process. They are small purchases that should last you many years and worth the investment. First, is the guitar tuner. You can use this while stringing the guitar in addition to any future playing you do.

There are handheld tuners, digital tuners, neck-clamps tuners, pedal tuners, etc. The list goes on and on. We’ve included just a few options below, feel free to explore on your own to see which works best for you.



Next up is the peg winder. This will save you so much hassle, don’t overlook this purchase. It’s essentially a wrench, but you lock it around the tuning pegs and can crank it. Look at the options below.



You can opt for the winder by itself, or use or favorite – the multitool. It comes with a wire cutter attached so you can clip away the extra string. The one listed above isn’t necessarily our favorite brand, just the style.

Finally! Read the tutorial below.

Time to String the Guitar

Now that you’ve got all your materials, you’re ready to do the deed. Grab your guitar, strings, and any accessories you may have and follow the instructions below.

Acoustic guitar strings will typically be secured to the action of the guitar by tying them into knots. If you’re stringing up an acoustic guitar go ahead and route them through the action, then lace them three or four times around so they don’t come out. Then you’ll bring the other ends of the strings up to the guitar head for tightening.

If you are re-stringing a guitar, make sure to loosen each of the strings a bit first, then clip them in the middle. If you don’t have clippers then loosen each of the strings a bit at a time, working your way to all of the strings loosening gat the same rate. This way the tension in the guitar neck is released slowly and evenly.

Electric guitars typically secure strings by routing them through holes in the action and are held in place with nuts. See the images below.



Please excuse the dust, I haven’t picked up that guitar in ages. Anyway, as you could see, the strings are routed through the body, then over the action, then up to the guitar head where they are twisted into place.

Guitars can have one of many head styles, but they all use the same insert and twist method of tightened the strings. You run the string through the hole/slot in the tuning peg, then wind the peg tight in a counter-clockwise direction. Make sure the strings don’t overlap on the peg, you want them to rest evenly.

Make sure you use the correct strings for each tuning peg. The thickest string is the lowest in pitch and meant to go in the peg nearest to you when holding the guitar in a playing position. Place the strings in decreasing thickness from there.

Tighten the string until it’s taut, but not too tight, and have your tuner ready. As the string goes taut you’ll need to tune it to the correct frequency.

Once you’ve locked in all of the strings to the proper pitch, pull the strings away from the bridge of the guitar a couple of times. Retune the guitar immediately. This will stretch them into place, and help them settle and hold their tuning longer.

Play the guitar a bit and retune as needed! The guitar should settle into place soon enough.

Learn About Music Theory and More in Beat Lab’s Online Course!

Just like the process explained in today’s article, Beat Lab Online will have you making music in no time. Further your production while maintaining social distancing with Beat Lab’s Online Certification program! Take advantage of this limited-time sale price of 50% off!



Recommended Modules

0 responses on "How To String a Guitar From Start To Finish"

    Leave a Message

    © 2020 Beat Lab Academy

    About The Lab
    Signup for Free Workshops and Ableton Goodies
    Enter name and email below and we'll get you lit
    Foundation of Music Theory
    • Rhythm Theory
    • Using Semitones and Intervals
    • Diatonic composition
    • Harmonizing and building chords
    • Styling
    Learn the language of music to help you make the music you want to make, To communicate with other musicians and reveal the magic behind your favorie songs.
    Progremming Beats
    • How Drum Racks work
    • Choosing the right samples
    • How to use Syncopation
    • Layering Techniques
    • Drum Processing methods
    Sequence drums in any style using Ableton Live's Drum Racks. Learn tricks and techniques to take your beats to the next level.
    Ableton Live 101
    • Why Ableton Live?
    • Session vs. Arrangement
    • Recording & Editing Audio
    • Live's Warp Engine
    • Using & customizing MIDI controllers
    Experience the leading software today for modern music production.
    Demystify the world of Ableton Live to make any style of music.
    Thank you! We'll contact you shortly with more info and discounts.
    • History of Sampling
    • Hardware Samplers
    • Simpler vs. Sampler
    • Sampling your own instruments
    • Slicing Samples
    Explore the endless world of sampling.
    Add organic texture or make it into an instrument
    Everything is possible with sampling
    Using MIDI Controllers
    • Which Controller Should I Get?
    • Setting Up
    • Expression Controls
    • Advance MIDI Utilities
    • Playing Live Beats
    Choose the right MIDI controller for your production/live needs.
    Use MIDI remote scritps to enahce your workflow
    Learn tricks and tips to customize your controller
    Recording & Warping
    • Choosing the right mic
    • Setting up recording session
    • Working with other musicians
    • Time Stretching
    • Live's editing tools
    Learn how to setup and record mics and instruments in Ableton Live.
    Master the warp engine for syncronizing audio and sound design
    Class Jams
    • Play in a band with your computer
    • Try out different instruments and MIDI controllers
    • Improvise on any given scale
    • Develop your ear for melodies, harmonies & Basslines
    Play live with your classmates in the first modern ClassJam environment.
    Develop collaboration skills, performance focus and improvisation techniques.
    Structure & Styling
    • Active Listening
    • Pre-Determined Arrangement Techniques
    • BPM Ranges
    • Song Segments and how to use them
    • Finishing a full song
    Get your own sound from analyzing and deconstrucing modern song structures.
    Learn different musical genres to help you achive your own unique sound.
    Please provide your name and email
      We hate spam as much as you. You will only get valuble content delievered.
    Get Notified About Future Events
    Music Theory 202
    • Parallel Harmony
    • Relative Scales
    • Pentatonic & Blues Scales
    • Jazz in Modern Music
    • Voicing Techniques
    • Borrowed Chords
    Progress your composition skills by learning advanced music theory methods.
    You will get a deeper understanding of how to produce strong harmonies, melodies and arrangements.
    Ableton Live 202
    • The Launchbox
    • Modulation Vs. Automation
    • Session View Production Techniques
    • Advance Audio & MIDI Editing
    • Clip Envelopes
    Learn advance Ableton techniques to take your production to the next level.
    Everything is possible with Ableton Live let your imagination be your guide.
    • Analyzing Electronic vs. Acoustic music
    • Odd Time Signatures
    • Arrangment Styling
    • Sound Selection
    • Deconstructing Methods.
    Learn the key characteristic of all popular music styles.
    You have a specific style in mind you want to produce? We'll show you all the secrets.
    • Analog vs. Digital
    • Synth Signal Path
    • Oscillators, Filters, Envelopes and LFOs
    • Advance Modulators
    • Reverse Engineering
    Take the sounds in your head and create them in the computer using synthesizers.
    Demystify the vast world of virtual synths.
    Sound Design
    • Advanced Time Stretching
    • Psychoacoustics
    • Fractal Soundscapes
    • Experiments in Sound
    • Field Recordings
    • The Art of Layering
    Develop creative thinking by using multiple techniques to create unique and complex sounds.
    Become a sonic master.
    • Ableton Link
    • Class Production Sessions
    • Project Managment
    • Real vs. Virtual instruments
    • Live Performance Routines
    • Rewiring
    Collaborate with class mates with in-class synchronization.
    Develope the skills needed to productevlly work with other musicians.
    • Choosing The Right Song to Remix
    • Flipping a Sample
    • Remixer Tools
    • Stems and Multi-Tracks
    • Preparing your Original Production for Remixing
    Learn the art of remixing from top remixers in the industry.
    Take your favorite songs and filp them with your own style.
    Live Performance
    • DJing in Ableton Live
    • Preparing your Songs for Live Performance
    • Playing with a Band
    • Live Looping
    • DIY Controllers
    Use the computer as a live musical performance tool.
    DJ or play your own orgianls in any way you can imagine.
    Max for Live
    • Max for Live Essentials
    • Modifying Exciting Devices
    • Creating your own Devices
    • Ableton as a Modular Environment
    • Live's API
    • VJing using Jitter
    Explore the infinite potenital of Cycling 74's and Ableton's Max for Live.
    Control Live in ways that weren't possible before.
    Anything is possible with Max for Live
    • Win the Loudness Wars
    • Mastering Song vs. Album
    • Prepering Your Music for Distribution
    • Understanding the importance of Dynamic Range
    Master your songs to sound as good as possible on as many playback systems as possible.
    Learn the secrets on how to make your songs loud and punchy.
    Finger Drumming
    • Choosing the Right Controller
    • Sound Design for Live Performance
    • Building Custom Racks
    • Using DIY Controllers
    • Planning your Controller's Configuration
    Humanize your production or impress your audience on stage.
    Build your own sound packs and develope your live performace skill with finger drumming.
    Live Looping
    • Hardware Looping
    • Using Live's Looper
    • Live Looping in the Session View
    • Automatic Loop Recording using MIDI Scripts
    • Setup and Routing
    Master the art of live looping with virtual instruments, conventional instruments and mics.
    Come up with quick musical ideas, build your songs live on stage.
    Online Presence
    • Social Media
    • How to Reach Out to Labels
    • Booking Shows
    • Getting Signed
    • Getting more Followers
    • Making a Music Video
    Develop your artist brand and get your music heard by the right people.
    Book shows, tours and festivals.
    Find the right label and make music your career.
    Entertainment Law
    • Clearing Samples
    • Commercial vs. Indie Distribution
    • Getting your music on TV and Film
    • Working with a Manager
    • Copyright your Music
    • Performance Rights
    Understand the legallty behind the music industry.
    Get the most out of your shows and releases. Maximize income streams.
    Distribute your music the right way.
    Production Sessions
    • Class Jams
    • Live Routines Assignments
    • Additive Composition
    • Produce other Classmates
    • Online Collaboration Methods
    • Musical Chairs
    Collaborate in class.
    Get private mentorship sessions from Beat Lab's instructors
    Learn how to add part of yourself creatively to an exciting song.
    • Understanding How Sound Work
    • Gain Staging
    • Controlling the Stereo Field
    • Using Compressor & EQs
    • Using Time Based Effects
    • Bussing and Pre-Mastering
    Master the art of sound mixing.
    Make your music sound more clear, punchy and loud.
    Learn the techniques and tools to help you take your music to the next level.
    Mondays-Wednesdays: 4/25/16
    Tuesdays-Thursdays: 4/26/16
    Now Offering Day Classes
    Our certification program is now available during the day. 6 months of intensive, comprehensive music production classes. Fill your email below and we'll send you ALL the details. Dates, scheduling, pricing & payment plans available.
    We would never spam or give your email to anyone
    Free Class Visits Available
    Your Free Download
    we hate spam
    Your Free Download
    we hate spam
    Your Free Download
    we hate spam
    Your Free Download
    we hate spam
    Your Free Download
    we hate spam
    Your Free Download
    we hate spam
    Your Free Download
    we hate spam
    Your Free Download
    we hate spam
    Your Free Download
    we hate spam
    Your Free Download
    we hate spam
    Your Free Download
    we hate spam
    Your Free Download
    we hate spam
    Your Free Download
    we hate spam
    Your Free Download
    we hate spam
    Your Free Download
    we hate spam
    Your Free Download
    we hate spam
    Your Free Download
    we hate spam
    Your Free Download
    we hate spam
    Your Free Download
    we hate spam
    Your Free Download
    we hate spam
    We got the exclusives
    We would never spam or give your email to anyone
    Free Class Visits Available
    Free Class Visits Available
    Your Free Download
    we hate spam
    Sing up for the 6 months certification program and get Serum - Wavetable Synthesis class for free.
    We would never spam or give your email to anyone
    Your Free Download
    we hate spam
    CONTEST - Accusonus x Beat Lab Giveaway
    Win Free Plugins!
    Your Free Download
    we hate spam
    Interested in a free class? Enter your number below to join
    Application for 2020 Winter Semester are now open.
    Fill Your Email Below or more details
    We would never spam or give your email to anyone
    Free Class Visits Available
    Free Class Visits Available
    Your Free Download
    we hate spam
    To book a FREE class visit to any of our other courses please click the image below.
    This promotion has ended. Visit the Modules page to purchase access to our Masterclasses.