Introduction: How to Change Guitar Strings on a Electric Guitar

This is a simple step by step process that will show you how to change your electric guitar strings fast and correctly. By following this process your guitar will sound fresh, will maintain proper neck tension, and will be ready for performance.

All you will need is...

  • Guitar strings of choice
  • Clean cloth
  • Wire cutter (optional)

Step 1: Before You Start...

An important thing to know when replacing strings is you want to change one string at a time and replace it right after. Often people will remove all of the previous strings at once and then put in the new strings which is not the best method of changing strings.

This method can...

  • Contribute to warping your guitar neck (see image)
  • Put too much tension on strings
  • Make it harder to tune and keep guitar in tune

Not to worry this can be easily avoided.

Step 2: Pick Some Strings.

No matter what genre of music you play or style of guitar you own the string replacement process is going to remain the same, so pick a set of 6 strings that cater to your personal preference. In this tutorial, I will be using Elixir nanoweb strings with a standard .009-.046 gauge. The gauge just tells you how thick the strings are.

Step 3: Order of String Replacement/ascension

Remember, you want to remove one string at a time and replace it right after to maintain a healthy tension on your guitar neck and strings. New players may find it confusing about the order of string ascension because it can sound contradicting(see photo).

  • The high E being the furthest string down from you
  • The low E being the closest string down from you

Not to worry, it as not as confusing as it sounds and all the information you need to know is the order of ascension which we can label in numbers.


  1. high E string
  2. B string
  3. G string
  4. D string
  5. A string
  6. low E string

Step 4: Remove High E String First, Then Ascend Up.

At the head of the guitar

  1. Turn the corresponding string's tuning peg clockwise to loosen it.
  2. Keep loosening until you are able to pull it out of the peg.
  3. Pull the old string out from back of guitar

After the string is off, use your clean cloth to wipe the entire area on neck where the string was to lift old dust/excess oil off.

Step 5: Replace the High E String (1st String)

When replacing the string

  1. Take out of pouch
  2. Put back the corresponding string bridge on the back of the guitar
  3. Make a counter-clockwise loop on corresponding tuning peg
  4. Wrap around twice and put end of string through tuning peg hole
  5. Turn the peg counter-clockwise in order to tighten the string

Wrapping the strings counter clockwise stretches the new strings out which will help them get use to the new tension, making them stay in tune longer / faster.

Step 6: Repeat Steps 4 and 5

Following the order of string ascension, repeat steps 4 and 5 with the corresponding strings

Step 7: Once All the New Strings Are On...

Tune your guitar, you will have to retune a few times for the new strings to get nice and stretched out. Once you accomplish this, you may use wire cutters to cut off the excess string off of your guitar head if you do not desire the look(this is highly suggested if you have a cat).

Play on!