These instructions are general for replacing a broken or worn string on a guitar. These instructions are general guidelines and variations exist. With practice, personal preferences will develop and help make the process faster and unique to your instrument. The main variations in all guitars are seen in the way the tremlo is set up, mainly in the saddle and the bridge. The guitar pictured here is a Gibson Les Paul.
Step 1: Familiarize Yourself with the Guitar you are Working with
Parts: Start at the bottom of the guitar:
Saddle: where the string rests and is held in place
Bridge: string is positioned and sits in its own slot to ensure adequate spacing among all the strings
Electric pickups: magnetic pickups that translate the strings vibration into the correct sound
Peg and tuner: At the head of the guitar, you will find the pegs and the tuners. The tuners are the six knobs on the ends of the pegs that, when turned, tighten or loosen the string. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with which pegs and tuners go with which strings.
Step 2: Remove the Broken String
Many factors contribute to breaking a string. It varies hugely among who is playing the instrument and how long the string has been on the instrument and in use. The bottom line though, is that you still have a broken string and it must be fixed.
In order to remove the string, first you must pull the string out through the bottom of the saddle. You will notice an eyelet at the end of the string which will help you grasp the string when removing it.
Step 3: Unwinding the String
Move to the top of the guitar and either unwind the string around the peg or by using the tuner. This is more easily completed by simply unwinding the string from around the peg because it is already broken. However, if you just want to put a new string on your instrument and replace an intact string, using the tuner is a much better option. This is because the string has tension that does not exist when it has broken.