Yes I can Already hear you say, What!, everyone knows how to string a guitar. Wrong, you would be amazed at the amount of musicians I have met who truly don't know how.
I'm not going to talk about poking the string through the bottom (bridge) end, a bit of waggling about and Hey Presto! thats done. No it's the tuning peg end I want to talk about. This method will remove all the annoying times when the string takes forever before it stops slipping.
First thing to mention is the strings themselves. The thickness or 'gauge' of the strings matters. Always take note of what strings are on the guitar when you first buy it. When you purchase new strings they come in packs with numbers : 09,011,016 etc. Try to stick to the same gauge if at all possible. Another good thing is once you have found a "brand" of strings you like,Stick to that brand.
Ok, that said lets get on. This method was shown to me many years ago by someone I was gigging with at the time. He left a week or so later to work on the cruise ships as a session musician for a famous singer at the time. I bumped into this guy maybe twice after that and I believe today his still doing some session work in L.A.
Sorry, started to stray a bit there. Right ,turn the tuning key until the hole in the string post is in line with the nut slot. ( the 'nut' is the white or black bit at the top of the fretboard) You will see it has slots in it where the strings sit.
Next pass the string through the hole and pull it up until theres around 2" - 2.5"still to go ( Thats roughly 5 - 7cm ) for those of you with funny rulers. Now making sure it's seated in the Nut slot keep a firm grip so your not going to pull it all through. This will give close to 3 windings, this is more than enough to secure it firmly. Three windings is ample, more than this and the string will tend to slip when your tuning.
Next thing is to bend the direction of the string( keep it gripped all the time your doing this) towards the center of the headstock, loop it underneath itself and then back over itself. You should have it pointing back to the center of the headstock. Ok, start winding, Now its the 2" or so that we are winding in so make certain that it winds from top to bottom.( Each wind lower down the post than the previous one). By winding in this way we are making a greater angle from the string post to the nut.
This increased angle will apply more downwards pressure in the nut and will greatly increase your sustain. The string wound this way will have wound around itself at the beginning and will have locked on. Thats it ! Easy eh ?
Once the string stretches you will find that the guitar will stay in tune far longer than it did.
I hope you find this small tip useful.
Rock on ! Alf.H.
How To String a Guitar
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22 May 2008
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