#2: How to change strings on a Fender style guitar

You’d be amazed at how much controversy this causes – and over the years, having set up hundreds of guitars there are a few things that I’ve learned.

The aims of restringing the guitar are simple.  This article is aimed at how to change the strings on a Fender style guitar where the capstan has a “hole” in the top.

1. To do it as quickly and easily as possible.

2. To ensure that the string stays in tune for as long as possible.

3. To ensure enough downward pressure at the nut so that the string stays in it’s nut groove.

In order to do this I’ve found the following procedure best.


1. Leave so much excess string that the string overlaps on top of itself – this can cause slippage and tuning problems as the layers of strings slip about on top of each other as tension changes not only during tuning but also during playing.  You’re aiming for 2-3 turns of string, all in touch with the capstan.  MORE IS NOT BETTER

Useful tips:

  1. Don’t try and re-use old strings – it’s a false economy – the string will have “kinks” where it’s been in the capstan, nut and bridge – these are points of weakness and will result in string breakage.
  2. Buy a string winder – These are my most used piece of equipment and save RSI in your wrist 🙂  They also make changing the strings much quicker. – Have a look at the ones that I sell, there only a couple of quid and you will never look back – HERE!

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