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How to Change Electric Guitar Strings

electric guitar strings

After several hours and sessions of playing your electric guitar, you will need to change your electric guitar strings. The strings will eventually become dirty or start to sound dull or it’s possible you will break a string or two during playing.

This post will explain the process for removing your old electric guitar strings and fastening new strings to your guitar. You shouldn’t need more than 10-15 minutes to properly change your guitar strings.


  • Wire Clippers
  • String Winder
  • Guitar Strings

The first step is to loosen the tension of the guitar strings. This is done with your string winder tool. If you don’t have a string winder tool you should be able to purchase one at your local music store or online at Amazon or another retailer.

Then use your wire clippers to clip the strings in half across the middle of the guitar. Then unwind the old strings from the pins of the electric guitar.

Then remove the back plate and pull the bottom half of the old strings through the back of the guitar. You can now dispose of all of the pieces of the old guitar strings.

Now is a good time to inspect your fret board and perhaps wipe it down and clean it if it is dirty at all. If your fret board is in good condition, you can move forward with changing the electric guitar strings.

It’s time to change the strings. We recommend Fender® strings but any manufacturer will do. The packaging will indicate what guitar models the strings can be used on and how to re-string the guitar so keep the package handy during this project.

Flip your electric guitar over and string the bottom string through the open back plate. Pull each additional string through the back plate and up to the machine head. Now it is time to secure the guitar strings in place.

Start with the bottom string and pull it two machine heads past the pin you will fasten it to and cut the wire with your wire clippers. Now slide the string through the pin and then use your string winder to turn the pin and fasten the wire. Repeat this process with each string. If needed, trim off excess pieces of string using your wire clippers for a clean machine head after the strings are in place.

After all of the strings are in place you will need to tune your guitar to pitch. We will publish a post in the near future on how to tune your guitar to pitch but in the meantime we have included a helpful YouTube video from Fender that offers the necessary instructions to successfully tune your electric guitar.

Your new electric guitar strings should last through several hours of playing unless you break a string. If you change your strings correct there is less chance of that occurring and it is more likely you will not need to change the strings again for a couple of months depending on the amount of time you play your electric guitar.