Fretlight Guitar / The Players' Blog

5 Steps on How to Restring a Guitar

Written by Fretlight
Fretlight on May 3, 2013

There is more than one way to restring a guitar. If you’re currently having issues doing so, no worries—you’re not alone. It’s all about finding a method that works for you and your guitar.

Before we begin, here are some tools that you’ll need:

String winder
Wire cutters
Polish cloth and cleaner
Guitar strings

Next, follow the 5 easy steps in this article or check out our instructional video. You’ll be restringing your guitar in no time!

Watch how to restring your guitar

Step 1
Using your string winder, loosen the strings so that you can remove them from the tuning pegs.

Loosen the guitar strings

Step 2
With the strings free from the neck, cut the strings near the bridge to feed them through the slots. Sometimes it helps to remove the back plate to get the old strings out and the new ones in.

Cut the guitar strings near the bridge

Step 3
Now the strings are removed, clean the fret board, or any spots that are covered by the strings normally.

Step 4
Take the new strings out of the packet and begin threading them through the bridge to the top of guitar. Remember, if you are looking down at you guitar in the playing position, the low E or the “fattest” string, should be the string at the top. Strings should decrease in thickness so that the smallest string is at the bottom.

Thread the strings through the bridge

Step 5
Now that the strings are in the bridge, run them up the neck one string at a time to the tuning peg that corresponds with that string. Insert the free end of the string into the hole in the tuning peg and mark with your fretting hand about 1” up from the tuning peg (that’s about the next tuning peg).

Adjust tuning peg

While holding the spot with your fretting hand, gently pull back toward the bridge until you fingers hit the peg and bend the excess string upwards. Wrap the string coming up from the bridge over the excess you bent upwards and over the tuning, also making sure that when you tighten the string. It is on the inside of the tuning peg.

Once the string is over the peg and wrapped the right way, you can begin to tighten. When I tighten the strings, I hold them over the nut slot so I don’t cut a deeper groove than needed.

Cut the excess string off close to the tuning peg and repeat with the next string.

As the strings get smaller they need be tighter on the neck to play at pitch. For example, have 2 wraps for the E and A strings, 3-4 for the D and G strings, and 5-6 for the B and E strings. To achieve this, simply mark 1” past for 2 wraps, 1.5” past for 3-4 wraps, and 2” for 5-6 wraps.

That’s it—you’re done! Now, tune to pitch and play your guitar.

Make sure to check back in the future for more tips on how to maintain your guitar. If you have a request on a guitar maintenance issue, or an idea on an article you’d like to see, then make sure to email us at We’d love to help!


Whether you want to learn to play easy songs, complex scales or anything in-between, the Fretlight guitar is the key for you to unlock that ever long desire of playing guitar or getting better. It’s so simple, it works.

Posted Under: From the Fretlight Team, Playing Tips

  • John Graves

    I belive you should never remove all strings at once. It questions the dexterity of the neck as well as its easier to tune to the next string instead of going from scratch if you don’t happen to have a tuner if you are old school and can’t afford one. Guitar necks should always be taught or they will warp, and then you got a nice piece of firewood.