There is always a first time for everything and if you are here it is because you have been the lucky owner of an acoustic guitar since not long ago and it was time to change the strings. We will explain to you in a simple way and with the help of some images and videos to change the strings of an acoustic guitar. In case of being an electric guitar, the only variation would be the way of introducing the strings in the bridge because they are different. So let’s start our article called How To Change Acoustic Guitar Strings.
While the vast majority of the planet has decided to spend the rest of their days with a mobile phone in their hands, you are one of those strangely brave people who have chosen to dedicate their time to the art of the six strings. First of all, you should know that you are an endangered species. Fewer and fewer people are interested or attracted to the effort involved in learning an instrument. However, they will never feel the pleasure and satisfaction that the world of music will bring to you.
When should we change our strings?
First, we will identify the three situations in which we must change the strings of our acoustic guitar. And in addition, we will also take a look at some very useful accessories for these tasks.
The first and most evident is the case of a break in one of our strings. In this situation we will have two options: one is to change only the broken string and the other is to change all six strings. Although it may seem like an exaggeration, the ideal would be to change all the strings (unless we have replaced them very few days or weeks).
If we play the original shine of some strings daily it will not last us much more than three or four weeks. Consequently, if after that period of time we replace only one of our strings, we will find ourselves with an unbalanced sound due to their age difference. I know it hurts but it is what it is.
Secondly, and this is usually the most common option, we must change the strings periodically in order to maintain and enjoy a wide and bright sound. In addition, not only the use but also the passage of time produce a decrease in the quality of the sound of our strings.
Humidity and dust or even factors such as tobacco smoke are factors that will influence the poor condition of the strings of our instrument. Therefore, regardless of how we use our guitar, the ideal would be to change them regularly so that we can always enjoy quality sound.
And the third of the situations in which we must change our strings is when we are not comfortable with the chosen string. It is very possible that on some occasion we want to try a different caliber on our strings, or simply that they give us a set and they are not the most appropriate caliber for our way of playing.
As a result of this situation we can find ourselves very uncomfortable with our guitar. And even if the caliber is too large for what we are used to, end up with extremely painful fingers. In conclusion, buy another new set and change the strings of your acoustic guitar as soon as possible. What we want is to enjoy, not suffer.
Accessories needed to change the strings of an acoustic guitar
The first of all will be to choose the most suitable string set for us and the style we are going to interpret. If you are starting in this of the six strings, the ideal is that you always start with low gauges and go testing bigger gauges when your fingers are a little used to it. The sizes (009-042) and (010-046) are usually ideal. You can also take a look at our accessories section where
We could say that having our new set of strings, we practically have the essentials to change the strings of an acoustic guitar, but we will need some other tool.
Extractors and reels
As the following will be to extract the used ropes, we must have some accessory type the Dunlop 100 SL. This contraption allows us to wind and unwind the strings and also remove the bridge pins without damaging the guitar.
The advantage of these guitar accessories is that their cost is very low compared to the investment that we usually make in the purchase of our guitars. In addition, they greatly facilitate the work of having to change the strings of an acoustic guitar, a task that we will have to perform periodically. Therefore, it will surely be a good investment.
A three-in-one accessory
Finally, another great accessory that we can not stop suggesting is this three in one with cutter, extractor and furler. A comfortable and inexpensive way to have everything you need in a single gadget. Ideal to always carry in our guitar case as well as a set of reserve strings.
Well, we have everything we need to change the strings of an acoustic guitar, so let’s get to work. And if we do not have a pin extractor, we will use a spoon-type utensil that does not damage our guitar. We do not have a reel, because we will turn the pegs with our hands and cut the excess string with pliers or by hand.
Whether it’s one way or the other, let’s first see our live guitar friends how to change our strings step by step. And we will also see how they perform this task in the workshops of Martin & Co, one of the best acoustic guitar brands of all time. The video is in English but you can give the option of subtitles in Spanish. It is worth it and you can learn some tricks.