Introduction

With just a few tools and some time, you can give your guitar the strings it deserves!

Examine the bridge of the guitar to see if it is currently balanced.
  • Examine the bridge of the guitar to see if it is currently balanced.

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Unlock and remove the string clamps at the head of the guitar by using your allen wrench to unscrew the clamp. Unlock and remove the string clamps at the head of the guitar by using your allen wrench to unscrew the clamp. Unlock and remove the string clamps at the head of the guitar by using your allen wrench to unscrew the clamp.
  • Unlock and remove the string clamps at the head of the guitar by using your allen wrench to unscrew the clamp.

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Unwind the first string you wish to change. If you have one available, or you wish to purchase one, a string winder can be used here to quicken this process.
  • Unwind the first string you wish to change.

  • If you have one available, or you wish to purchase one, a string winder can be used here to quicken this process.

  • Unwinding strings on a guitar with a floating bridge could cause the other strings to tighten. Therefore, it would be a good idea to start at the smallest string.

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Using your allen wrench, loosen the string clamp at the bridge and remove the string. You can use a "whammy bar", that should be included with the guitar, to lift up the bridge if need be. You can use a "whammy bar", that should be included with the guitar, to lift up the bridge if need be.
  • Using your allen wrench, loosen the string clamp at the bridge and remove the string.

    • You can use a "whammy bar", that should be included with the guitar, to lift up the bridge if need be.

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Using your wire cutters, remove the ball end from the string and place that end into the bridge of the guitar. Using your wire cutters, remove the ball end from the string and place that end into the bridge of the guitar.
  • Using your wire cutters, remove the ball end from the string and place that end into the bridge of the guitar.

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Tighten the string clamp at the bridge of the guitar. Remember that you can use your whammy bar to lift up the bridge if you need to.
  • Tighten the string clamp at the bridge of the guitar.

    • Remember that you can use your whammy bar to lift up the bridge if you need to.

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Insert the string into the tuning peg from the right side of the guitar. Insert the string into the tuning peg from the right side of the guitar.
  • Insert the string into the tuning peg from the right side of the guitar.

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Using one finger of one hand, press down lightly onto the first fret of the string you are changing. Use the remaining fingers to lift up the string. This will ensure that there is slack on the string to use when winding it later. Wrap the string around the peg clockwise and underneath itself. Fold the string over itself and crease it so it will stay in that position when you wind it.
  • Using one finger of one hand, press down lightly onto the first fret of the string you are changing. Use the remaining fingers to lift up the string. This will ensure that there is slack on the string to use when winding it later.

  • Wrap the string around the peg clockwise and underneath itself.

  • Fold the string over itself and crease it so it will stay in that position when you wind it.

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Pull upwards on the string as shown in the picture several times and in several different spots along the neck to stretch the string. Be sure not to pull too hard, or you'll snap the string!
  • Pull upwards on the string as shown in the picture several times and in several different spots along the neck to stretch the string.

  • Be sure not to pull too hard, or you'll snap the string!

  • Now, repeat steps 3 through 9 to replace the remaining strings.

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Re-examine the bridge for any changes in bridge balance. If the bridge does not line up with the body of the guitar, move on to the next steps to adjust the tension in the springs on the back of the guitar.
  • Re-examine the bridge for any changes in bridge balance. If the bridge does not line up with the body of the guitar, move on to the next steps to adjust the tension in the springs on the back of the guitar.

  • The picture to the left shows one example of a bridge that is unbalanced, where the tension in the back springs are pulling too hard on the bridge and must be adjusted.

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Using your screwdriver, unscrew the 6 1.2 cm Phillips #0 screws that hold on the back plate of the guitar, and remove the back plate. Using your screwdriver, unscrew the 6 1.2 cm Phillips #0 screws that hold on the back plate of the guitar, and remove the back plate. Using your screwdriver, unscrew the 6 1.2 cm Phillips #0 screws that hold on the back plate of the guitar, and remove the back plate.
  • Using your screwdriver, unscrew the 6 1.2 cm Phillips #0 screws that hold on the back plate of the guitar, and remove the back plate.

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Adjust the tension in the springs in the back of the guitar by using your Phillips head screwdriver to tighten or loosen the screws pulling on the springs. It shouldn't take too much to adjust the tension, maybe half a turn or so for each screw.
  • Adjust the tension in the springs in the back of the guitar by using your Phillips head screwdriver to tighten or loosen the screws pulling on the springs.

  • It shouldn't take too much to adjust the tension, maybe half a turn or so for each screw.

  • Be absolutely sure to turn both screws (if more than one exist) the same amount.

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Tune your strings once again to see if the adjustment you made to the spring tension was enough to balance the bridge. Now you must repeat this step several times. Go back and forth between tuning the strings and adjusting the spring tension until the bridge lines up with the body of the guitar. This is the part that will take quite a bit of time. Now you must repeat this step several times. Go back and forth between tuning the strings and adjusting the spring tension until the bridge lines up with the body of the guitar. This is the part that will take quite a bit of time.
  • Tune your strings once again to see if the adjustment you made to the spring tension was enough to balance the bridge.

  • Now you must repeat this step several times. Go back and forth between tuning the strings and adjusting the spring tension until the bridge lines up with the body of the guitar. This is the part that will take quite a bit of time.

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Conclusion

After balancing the bridge and tuning the strings, simply replace the back plate, lock the string clamps at the head of the guitar, and play to your heart's content!

Matt Bryan

Member since: 09/29/2015

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Cal Poly, Team 14-4, Green Fall 2015 Member of Cal Poly, Team 14-4, Green Fall 2015

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