Are you one of those people that spend dollars and dollars worth of money on getting your guitar strings fixed?
Let me stop you right there for a second. It’s time to reconsider your choices and change categories. Be the master of your own fate, or in this case your own guitar and fix your guitar strings like a pro. All you need to do is follow a few easy steps.
What is a guitar?
Guitar is an instrument that belongs to the string instruments family. It is made of wood, and has frets that divides its neck into different segments which in turn, helps to play and to change the scale and set the tune while playing. The insides of a guitar are hollow.
There is a simple reason for this. Resonance. When playing, in order for the sound to be louder and resonate better.
Strings are what produce the sound in a guitar. It is more or less of an understood fact that the strings play the most important role. Without strings in a guitar there is no music, and without music, well, it really defeats the purpose of owning a guitar.
All you need to know about guitar strings
A guitar has a total of six strings. The strings have names and follow a sequence. Mainly, E, A, D, G, B, E. Most commonly, the material used to make these strings is steel, nickel, brass, bronze or nylon.
Identification and information about a string is based on some factors –
Gauge in a string means how thick the string of a guitar is. It is known that the thicker is the string, the heavier is the noise. A higher gauge would mean a thicker string and vice versa. It is also quite a common fact in the music world that thicker strings are harder to play and experiment with, while the thinner strings are included to the easier side of things.
- String Core
A string core indicates the shape that the guitar string is of. There are two types of string cores, the round one and the hex core. The Round core offers softer and mellow sound. Some may describe it as soothing and calm. On the other hand, hex core can be put upto the task of providing louder and brighter music. More life of the party style than the calm music of the former.
- Winding type
Modern guitars usually come with three types of winding. The roundwound, flatwound and halfwound. The roundwounds usually provide a brighter, louder sound. The flatwounds are more notable for their flat surface and jazz music like sounds. The last type, i.e. the halfwound is like a combination between, roundworm and flatwound.
- String Coating
A string is most commonly coated in plastic polimer. The reason is preservation. The coated strings will noticeably last longer that the uncoated ones. Due to it’s quality of preservation, a guitar string that is coated, might coat more.
How to fix a guitar string?
- A snapped guitar string –
- In order to begin, while setting up the strings, always make it a point to leave quite some amount of string at the end. After the strings are in place, pulled taut, let there be extra string to play and experiment with.
- As an added tip, curl the end of these strings using a coin, so that they do not poke you, either while playing or even while fixing it up.
- Once the string is pulled tightly from the top, pop out the bridge string. Make sure to keep the pin safely with utmost caution as it is an important part of fixing up the guitar. If you lose it, the process will be much harder.
- Pull out the broken string. Untwist it from around the ball. Now insert the new wire through that ball, and twist it around like a coil. Make sure that less is more. Around three to four turns are more than sufficient. More than that is unnecessary and less? Less will be a futile attempt.
- Now place accordingly and reinsert the pin that was formerly pulled out. Line up the string according to the bridge and then run it back up using the tuning post.
- Insert the string back through the tuning post and keep turning until it feels like the string provides, just the right tension.
- Replacing the string
- In order to first remove the string, unwind it from above and remove the bridge pin from down. Do not yano out the string. That may be damaging. Be gentle and calculative in your movements.
- Take the ball that is attached to the new string. Now insert it into the peg which should be about, 1 inch. Apply a little bit pressure. This will help to set the string in place. Taut and firm.
- Uncoil this new string and put it through the slot that is supported by the bridge and runs up the fretboard. Insert the end of the string into the tuning post and pull around 2 inches (5.1 cm) of string through the post for a sturdy grip.
- Now first, bend the string at a ninety-degree angle so that it is easier to work with and doesn’t poke you while doing so. Now, turn the peg in a counter clockwise pattern to wind the string. Keep in mind that while winding the string, do not overlap. This will make the string out of tune.
- After you are certain that the string is pulled taut and rests at just the right amount of tension, pluck the string to check how they sound. Once it feels right, you may use an electric tuner in order to get the strings in tune. Properly at a good scale.
- Stretch and experiment with the string. Rigidity here is not a good option. Play around with it. Pull it a little, stretch it out. This way you’ll be sure that even when put through that, the string will not easily go out of tune.
- As mentioned before, leaving extra string at the end is never a bad choice. Now curl up the leftover extra string with a coin.
Prevention from breakage and care for guitar strings
- There are two very prominent reasons that cause breakage. Either the string is too worn out, or due to long exposure to sharp edges in a guitar. While the first one may come with time, the second one is to be monitored. If that is the case, take note of where the string usually breaks from, and then look for the sharp edges that may be causing this.
- If you are a keen fan of alternate tuning, experimenting with the existing strings might not be such a great idea. Those strings are designed to handle very specific levels of tension. More or less will or may lead to them breaking. To avoid that from happening, using strings that are suited for such activity is a better precaution.
- Clean up the strings using a gentle cloth or tissue paper after playing. Oil, grim and dirt nay get in the strings while you play. Prevention is important, but so is care. Be gentle and frequent in cleaning your guitar strings
- While picks are normally designed to play guitar, there is nothing wrong with being a little extra precaution as a harder pick is not the best option compared to a lighter pick. For string maintenance and care, a lighter pick is the suggested choice.
- If you are a regular player, changing out the strings every three weeks would be a good precaution. Strings do wear out with use. To prevent them snapping while playing with a chance of hurting yourself, it’s better to change them out after a decided duration.
- Stretch up the new strings and get them comfortable and set into the playing arena. Stretch it, pull it play with the tune until you get comfortable and set the perfect tone.
Get more information on 4 String vs 5 String Bass: Which is the Best?
Your dates with the guitar shop aren’t such a necessary chore now. Just take out a day and work on those strings.
Taking care and repairing them isn’t as hard a task anymore, as it seems to be. Following a few easy steps will yield desirable results. You save money and in a way gain control over your playing routine. So, get started with maintenance today and when needed, follow these steps. The results will be desirable.
Hey Everyone! I’m Herbert Smith. I’m a guitar enthusiast and I love helping beginners to master their string instruments!