How to Restring your Guitar like a Pro


There are many good ways to restring your guitar. Electric and acoustic are about the same depending on the mechanics of the guitar. The acoustic uses pegs to hold the strings by the bridge as electrics have a metal grid that holds the string. Some as the inexpensive guitar I own, have you pass the string through the back of the guitar.

I have always taken off all the strings so that I could clean and polish the guitar and fretboard.
Many teach that you should only change one or two strings at a time and keep the tension consistent. Honestly, I felt guilty but took all the strings off for years without a problem.
The video I will share is from Martin Guitar and the way they have restrung guitars for years. They also take all the strings off and clean and polish the guitar, I feel vindicated as they too say that the guitar does not self-destruct or go into a warp. Please check my “how to properly care for your guitar” page.

Seating the brass connector correctly with the bridge pin is important. It will stop string movement and bad tones. This is covered in the video. I also add a small drop of lite weight  sewing machine oil where the string meets the bridge and the nut. Reducing the friction when tuning will stop many string breaks.  This is not covered in the video.

I would take the string and pull it snug. I would then use the width of three fingers to get the space for the wind. At the end of three fingers, I would add a complete bend. I then pulled the string back so that the bend was at the guitar side of the hole in the machine tool.
I would bend the string in the opposite direction on the other side of the hole. This would give plenty of revolutions on the key to the string. I use a winder that is cheap to buy and wind it from the inside of the headstock. I keep tension with my finger on the string as I wind.  

Don’t be afraid to pull on the strings before they are completely tight. This will take some stretch out and help them stay in tune better. When you tune it is good to tune your sixth string to a pitch pipe so that your guitar will be in pitch with other instruments. I use a tuning device that is also a chord finder. If you have an electric pickup on your acoustic guitar you can plug into the tuner. There are also tuners that clip onto your headstock.

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Since I watched the video from Martin Guitar I may change some of my methods and I encourage you to watch it also.

Best Regards,



Martin Guitar video


6 thoughts on “How to Restring your Guitar like a Pro

  • September 23, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    These are great tips. My son loves guitars..this site will really help him get acquainted with his acoustic guitar.

    • September 23, 2016 at 5:13 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Enid,
      I would be glad to help and answer any questions that your son may have. I remember when I was starting out and it still remains a musical adventure.
      There are ways to make the learning process easier and more fun and as you progress you can include more complex practices.


  • September 15, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    Hello again Marty,
    Another useful tip by you that just clicked with me, super! I own a guitar for 2 years now but somehow I’m still scared to restring my own guitar.

    I had a bad experience last time when pulling and tightening the strings, it somehow snapped and hit my face until it bled. How do we know how tight can the strings go?

    • September 15, 2016 at 10:30 pm

      Hi Riaz,Thanks for stopping back. When I was a new guitar player I used open D as well as regular tuning. I had one guitar so I had to go from one tuning to the other depending on what song I wanted to do. Even if you have a good ear sometimes you get tone deaf and I broke many strings.
      The way to not break them is to not over tighten. If you are putting old strings on your guitar they may just break.
      Eye protection is a good idea. Also, a drop of lite sewing machine type oil where the string goes through the nut and the bridge will make it last longer.
      I will pull on the strings to get the stretch out and will only snug them up until I bring them up to pitch. I use my other guitars to reference where the string tightness is.
      Usually you have to retune several times as the new strings break in.

  • September 15, 2016 at 3:35 am

    Wow, this is a super helpful article! I’ve always wanted to learn guitar, and I’m finally getting lessons soon myself.
    This will be very useful when I do start.
    You’ve detailed your article very well and don’t information clog. You’ve provided just what we need to know, and it’s written well !

    I’ll be sure to bookmark this site so I can come back to it :3

    • September 15, 2016 at 9:45 am

      Thank you for your comment and welcome back anytime. “Information overclog” is something I try to stay away from as it sends your head spinning and you can’t recall the simple important things. Please fell free to ask any questions as we are hear to help.

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