By: Mantius Cazaubon
Many guitarists, especially beginners, struggle with changing electric guitar strings. But it really is a simple exercise. Here's a straightforward guide you can follow:
You will need a small needle nose pliers to cut and bend the strings, and a string winder to help you wind the strings quickly.
Remove the string.
You should change each guitar string one at a time. That way, you will avoid warping the guitar neck, and you will be able to quickly tune the new string to the other strings.
I usually remove the 6th string first. Use your string winder and turn the tuning peg until the string becomes very slack. Now cut off the twisted end of the old string so that it slips easily out of the guitar. Then wind the top section of your string out of the tuning peg.
What you do next will vary depending on the type of electric guitar you have. The one I'm using, the strings go through the body. Remove the old string. Pay close attention to the way your old string comes off, and do the opposite when putting a new one back on.
Replace the string.
Now let's put back a new string. Feed the string through a hole in the body of your electric guitar, or the tail piece. As said earlier, it depends on your particular electric guitar. Get the ball end of your string in place.
Now pull the string over the bridge, over the nut of the neck, and up past the tuning peg. Make sure it isn't slack. The new string is very long so you will have to cut some of it off. Leave enough string for a few winds around the tuning peg. Two inches above the peg should work.
Pull the string through the hole of the tuning peg and begin winding it. The string shouldn't be slack. To keep the tension, place your fingers under the string. With the guitar facing you, wind the tuning pegs on the left side clockwise. Wind those on the right side anticlockwise.
To speed up the winding process, place your string winder over the tuning peg and wind until the string becomes tight. Then take off the peg winder and use the tuning peg to tune the string.
Now that you've changed and tuned your 6th string, you can just repeat the process for all the other strings.
Since the strings are new, they can stretch and go out of tune easily. They need to break in. You can speed up the breaking in process by stretching the string yourself. Give the strings a few gentle pulls or do some spirited strumming.
You will find yourself having to tune your guitar quite a bit after replacing your strings. But after one or two days everything should be okay.