Guitar Tech-Tips

Featuring Branon Dempsey Posted on July 9, 2008

Many of you may have a system down as there are 1001 ways to string a guitar. Here are a few tips I generally follow.

Ingredients: Guitar, new strings, pliers, neck rest system and cleaner-polish.

1. Rest Guitar on a neck rest system to ease stress.
2. Don't rip off those strings yet! Try this idea.

 Change one string at a time; leave the remaining strings on until complete.
Work outer-strings first to inner strings: 1, 6 | 2, 5 | 3, 4.

This method ensures the fret board and truss rod
from bending too much during typical string changing. 
Keep the old strings on as you change your baby.
The guitar truss rod will not freak-out.


3. Put on each new string, thread the string through the machine head with one hand,
keep tension on the string slack with the other hand.

Thread the string through.
At the top end of the string, bend it back once.
Hold it down to make the string lock over the existing loop.
(this ensures no slippage.)

4. Wind the number of loops per peg-shaft.

        D – 4   G - 5

        A – 3   B - 6

        E – 2    E - 6

5. The string needs to be wound completely down to the peg-shaft over the nut,
make each loop smooth as it winds.

Be sure to check/press bridge pins down before you wind the string.
Make sure the pins stay down-flush as you wind.
(this ensures the string's seating under the bridge - hey that's a song!)

6. As you wind the machine head to tighten the string, keep tension down on the slack
to ensure a smooth wind around the peg-shaft. Tune-up to the string's tuning note.

7. After initial tuning of new string, take one hand near the sound hole and locate the new string.
On the top of the fretboard, press down on the new string with your thumb, hold and stretch.

Work your way up the fretboard as a combination of thumb and fingers.
Carefully pull/stretch the string as you move from frets 12, 7, 5, 3.
This process helps stretch and breaks in the string more evenly.

8. Repeat above steps on other strings – make sure you follow the order of string changing: 1, 6 | 2, 5 | 3, 4.

Pull to stretch the string carefully and evenly.
Move your hand along the fretboard from the sound hole up to the headstock.
Re-tune the string each time when you finish moving from one end of the fretboard to the other.

Repeat this process of stretching the strings along the frets about 3-4 times. Watch out for that G string
because it's the highest tuned note for that particular string it can easily snap. Then you'll be like that Christmas Story boy, everyone says to him: crazy kid, you'll poke your eye out!

9. Wipe-down strings and guitar with Martin Guitar Polish.

Play at 350 degrees as long as you like – caution: fret board may still be hot!


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