How to Change the Strings on an Electric Guitar — Video

You should always change your strings before a gig so as not to break a string during your ripping solo moment.

Surprisingly enough, most of us regard changing or replacing strings as arduous and time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. Depending upon the type of electric guitar you own, string changing can be accomplished in a matter of minutes. In order to be adept at changing strings, constant repetition is the key—kind of like practicing—and as a guitarist, that’s what you do.

Changing is the process of removing your old strings and replacing them with the same brand of strings or moving on to a new brand.

Note that to get started, you’ll need a string cutter, a peg winder and a guitar neck support (Yes, it's optional—but it's ideal).

If the video alone doesn't give you total string-changing confidence, I also break down the process in the photo gallery below. Before getting started, bear in mind that some guitarists like to remove all their old strings at once, which is fine if you are skilled, but I recommend changing them one at a time to make things less complicated and to leave some tension on your guitar as you replace the strings.

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Paul Riario

Paul Riario has been the tech/gear editor and online video presence for Guitar World for over 25 years. Paul is one of the few gear editors who has actually played and owned nearly all the original gear that most guitarists wax poetically about, and has survived this long by knowing every useless musical tidbit of classic rock, new wave, hair metal, grunge, and alternative genres. When Paul is not riding his road bike at any given moment, he remains a working musician, playing in two bands called SuperTrans Am and Radio Nashville.