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How To Change Guitar Strings on an Acoustic Guitar

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How to change strings on an acoustic guitar, (Martin guitar), teaches you to change strings on an acoustic guitar. It is a step-by-step guide to help you properly care for your guitar.  You’ll want to follow along with the video too.

Step #1 – Pre-requisite.

Use the right tool. Make sure the string winder you use has the ability to trim the length of the strings once installed.  

Step #2 – Detune the strings.

Using the string winder detune or lower the pitch of the strings.  You don’t need to remove them yet, just loosen them to make it easier to remove the end pins.

Step #3 – Remove end pins – (How to change strings on an acoustic guitar)

Remove the pins near the bridge of the guitar.  You can use a pin puller included on your string winder provided yours has one. Some string winders do not include one, so another tool may be needed.  How to change strings on an acoustic guitar is a step-by-step process.

Step #4 – Unthread the strings.

Unthread the strings from the tuner. Now that the strings are loosened and no longer held by the end pins, you can slowly remove the tuner end of the string from the tuning peg.

Step #5 – Clean and/or polish

With strings removed, clean polish or perform other maintenance.  This is the best time to clean or polish.  With the strings removed, they won’t accumulate residue from your cleaning solution.

Step #6 – Align tuning mechanisms – (How to change strings on an acoustic guitar)

Turn the tuning mechanisms so that the slot for the string is in alignment with the tuning peg.  This prepares the string to travel in a straight line when you place the end into the peg.  How to change strings on an acoustic guitar is a step-by-step process.

Step #7 – Thread each new string

Start at the end pin, by the bridge, and insert the string into the slot.  It’s important to avoid kinks in the string as that can reduce resonance and string life overall.

Step #8 – Add tension with a string winder

Use your string winder to get enough tension so the string lines up with the peg.  It doesn’t have to be snug against the fretboard at this point.  The goal here is to get the string to line up without getting in the way of other strings as you install them.

Step #9 – Finish installing strings

Install the other strings in the same manner.  Wind them tight enough to not be too loose.  But don’t tune them yet.  That comes next. How to change strings on an acoustic guitar is a step-by-step process.

Step #10 – Tune each new string

Tune the strings – slowly.  Start with the lowest string and work your way up across the fretboard. An electronic tuner comes in handy for this part.  As you tune each string, remember they will be stretching and slipping for a while.  

Finally – You did it!

Lastly, trim the excess string length.  This is especially important to preserve string life and improve intonation.  Congratulations for completing how to change strings on an acoustic guitar. 

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