Restringing Your Electric Guitar

by Frederik Nielsen, Jul 19, 2018 . 4 min read

Restringing Your Electric Guitar

Restringing Your Electric Guitar can be a hassle. I’ve been there, you’ve been there, we’ve all been there. The live performance is going great, the crowd is loving it, and then your guitar string snaps. Quick, quick, what do you do? Ask the roadie to restring it? He doesn’t have time to come on stage before the next song, what are you thinking? You have to do it yourself, and fast! Don’t know how to?

Oops.

Let’s have a look at some restringing techniques for your electric guitar so you don’t disappoint the fans. There is a lot of ground to cover, but at the end of this post, I’ll share a little tip with you that will make your life a whole lot easier.

3+3 headstock

If you’re rocking with a Les Paul or similar, you will have a 3+3 headstock. As you can see from the picture above the name makes perfect sense, unlike 4×4 cars which don’t have 16 wheels. Anyway. Step one is of course to remove the old strings. If you’re really good at snapping strings, this part will be somewhat covered already. Detune each string until it doesn’t make any sound, and remove them one by one. Safety first, kids. Since the bridge will most likely not have a pin, the strings will be going through the boy or stop bar. Pull the end of each string through over the saddles and the other end through the tuner. You want to make sure that the holes are aligned in the same direction as the string. Now, you pull the string back for around the length of one distance between your tuners and wind the strings. Sounds complicated? That’s because it is. Let’s look at some visuals to help us out below.

6-in-line headstock

If you’re a real rockstar, you’ll have a 6-in-line headstock. Just kidding. If you have a Fender or Ibanez guitar, you will most likely have the kind of headstock depicted in the image above. The process for restringing this kind of guitar is not much unlike the 3+3 headstock we just covered, but there are a few things you should be aware of. Follow the process described above, until you get to the part of winding. Instead of measuring the length of one tuner, you measure the length of two. As you can see, the first string is shorter than the sixth string, so you need to compensate for than when measuring. Then there is the question of whether you have a modern or vintage style tuner. Modern guitar players will have a hole to feed the string through. Classicists (or hipsters) with vintage tuners will have a slot and a hole at the bottom where you stick the string through. Again, check the visuals below.

The secret sauce

Let’s revisit the initial scenario. You’re on stage, and ain’t nobody got time for all that. So what do you do? You grab your Roadie 2. It has an automatic string winder, and will make your life (and your live show) much easier. Turn on the Roadie 2 and select Wind/Unwind. Visuals below.

So far so good. Now you turn the navigation wheel in the desired direction, depending on whether you want to wind or unwind the string. Finally, you choose between the three speeds for winding. For live performances, you’ll want to go for Fast. And there you have it! Now go and be great!

Further Reading – Restring your Classical Guitar



Get our free Alternate Tunings Guide!
Submit

Check out some other similar articles

Take advantage of our biggest backer-exclusive discounts and get your hands on this next-generation automatic tuner. Back the Kickstarter campaign today and be the first to receive the Roadie 3.

There are a lot of expectations for upcoming live concerts in 2021. After experiencing one of the toughest and strangest years in 2020, music fans and the music industry are hoping for a comeback this year.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Feb 22, 2021 . 4 min read

The five best podcasts for guitarists represent an incredible collection of invaluable resources for guitarists of all levels and styles.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Feb 1, 2021 . 4 min read

The 5 best bassists of today are nothing short of incredible. You could make an argument that they are underappreciated, despite the fact that they are respected the world over.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jan 29, 2021 . 4 min read

The song “Can’t Help Falling In Love” has become a staple on ukulele. It is one of those special songs that seems to have a life of their own, and popular in different eras.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jan 22, 2021 . 4 min read

In this Beginners guide to pedalboards, we’re gonna help you navigate the sea of choices available.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Jan 15, 2021 . 4 min read

History has witnessed a plethora of guitar geniuses, like the late Eddie Van Halen, who passed away this year — but not after revolutionizing guitar playing and bringing the tapping technique to the forefront.

Ethan Brookes
Jan 7, 2021 . 4 min read

These six best metal versions of classic Christmas songs will surely make an impact at your party.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Dec 21, 2020 . 4 min read

The six best guitar solos of 2020 present a who’s who of top guitar players today. Luckily for all of us, it seems like many of the biggest names in guitar used the time in quarantine to produce top notch material.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Dec 18, 2020 . 4 min read

The musicians we lost in 2020 were highly influential and contributed immensely to culture.

Rodrigo Sanchez
Dec 14, 2020 . 4 min read
We'll be bringing you recommended tabs and plenty of interesting quotes from guitar legends along the way!