Changing Strings

Thursday, November 30, 2006

When you buy your guitar, chances are that it is correctly strung, and you will be able to seeby looking at the bridge how the knot is tied. The illustration below shows the correct way toattach nylon strings to the bridge for the classical or Spanish guitar. After looping in themanner shown, the end should be trimmed so as to be clear of the soundboard. Otherwise itcould cause buzzing.

Approximate settings for comfortable playing action

How the strings attach to the bridge

For acoustic or folk guitars, there is often an arrangement of six pegs in the lower part of thebridge. The string is simply looped around the peg and then the peg inserted into its hole tohold it fast.

Electric guitars feature an attachment at the end of the bridge, usually with six small pins.The loops of the strings are attached around these pins to be held securely. Jazz guitars oftenhave a raised tailpiece and have their own unique method of string attachment.

At the peg-head end of the classical guitar, the string should be passed through the hole inthe white bone barrel. Then pass the string back to make a loop around itself. Finally,holding the string by the end, turn the tuning key so that the twist you have made windsover the top of the barrel and away from you.

Acoustic folk guitars and electric models usually feature solid peg heads with large, steel-barrelled tuning machines. As with the classical guitar, the string is passed through a hole inthe top of the barrel, and then the peg is simply turned to increase its tension. Excess stringsshould be cut off to avoid tangling in the tuning key and to keep a generally clean appear-ance.