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If you are a guitarist, it is likely that you are familiar with the problem of broken guitar strings. A broken string at the worst possible moment is the last thing that a guitarist wants. This is why you should know how to fix a guitar string without buying a new one.
A broken guitar string can really put a damper on your day. So learning to fix guitar strings can be a valuable skill to have. Continue scrolling to learn more.
How to Fix a Guitar String
Method 1: How to Fix a Guitar String with Snapped String Fix
For this method, you will need a string winder and cutter.
While you might not have to replace the whole guitar string, you may need to fix a snapped string to ensure your guitar can be played again. Here are steps to carry out a snapped string fix at home.
Step 1: Create Long Tails when Stringing Your Guitar
Many guitarists leave these long tails (at the end of their guitars) in order to spend less time fixing broken strings. If you want to use this trick, make sure there is a lot of string leftover on the tuner (also referred to as a gear head or tuning machine) of your guitar.
When you bring the guitar string to tension, do not snip it off.
Instead, you need to leave the long tails (a few inches) at the top by popping out the bridge. Then release the loose end of the string.
If the string breaks, this will give you a lot of it to play with. Be careful with the bridge pin because it can easily get misplaced when throwing it away accidentally.
It is a good idea to roll the guitar string with a guitar string winder. Just as with a ribbon, it can curl the tails of the strings. What’s more, this will ensure that you don’t get poked by the ends of the strings.
Step 2: Unwind the String That Should Be Fixed
To stick the broken string to the ball end, you should slightly pull its end out first. Then unwind the string by twisting it around itself or the ball end several times (three or four times will be quite enough). This will secure the string.
The goal is to attach the broken string end and the matching ball end. If the tail at the top is long enough, this can work for almost any sting break that occurs in its lower part.
Step 3: Get the Tuning Post Adjusted
Use the restringing tool to adjust the tuning posts.
Once the string is attached to the end of the ball, you’ll need to loosen the top of the string. This will make it easy for you to place the broken part of the string back in the peg hole of your guitar.
You may consider noting how much of the guitar string is twisted so far. This way you will have a clear idea of how much slack is actually needed. But if there’s a lot of string at the top, then you will not have any problem.
Step 4: Take the Broken End and Return It into the Peg Hole
This is something that should be done before you pull the guitar string back up. Once done, the bridge pin should be snapped back into the original position.
Be sure to line the guitar string so that it is placed parallel to the bridge before running it back up into the peg hole. Also, make sure the tuning back is adjusted to the proper tensile strength.
If there are more guitar strings remaining at the head, these should be curled underneath it; they can be used later.
Tip: The bridge pin should snap into place right away. If not, put a thumb on it to ensure that it doesn’t pop out when you’re returning the string back up.
Method 2: Replace the Actual String
For this method, you will need a guitar string repairing kit. You’ll need your choice of replacement strings as well as a winding tool.
Step 1: Remove the String That Is Broken
Pull out the broken string from both the machine head and bridge pin of your guitar, thereby freeing the lower end. This will allow you to remove the string with ease.
Next, the top end should be unwinded from the tuning post. Be careful because the post can get damaged if you yank it out.
Tip: Before you dispose of the string pieces, coil them to prevent the sharp ends from being exposed. This is important because they could poke someone or cause a plastic garbage bag to tear.
Step 2: Replacing the Pin
In this step, you need to replace the pin by taking a new string and inserting its ball end into the peg hole (at about 25 millimeters in depth).
Then take care of the bridge by placing it back into the matching hole. Simply press the bridge with fingers when snapping into place. Make sure it’s tightly settled. Once done, you need to ensure that the bridge pin is in place by tugging on the string a bit.
Step 3: Pull the New Guitar String through the Tuning Peg
You can do it by uncoiling the string and running it through its slot as well as the fretboard. Then take the other end of the string and insert it into the tuning peg through the holes.
How to do it right? As a good rule of thumb, about 5 cm (2 inches) of string should be pulled through the post. Before winding, you need to pull it around 13 cm (5 inches) away from the guitar for the best results.
Step 4: Use a Peg Winder on the Tuning Peg
Once the string is placed into the tuning post, you will have to bend it 90 degrees before winding the tuning post. This way you will not tangle it up at all.
Afterward, you need to wind the string by turning the tuning peg/post in the direction opposite to the rotation of the clock hands. Do it slowly to prevent it from crossing itself.
The string needs to wind neatly, making sure it’s not too tight because you may end up with another broken string.
Step 5: Tune the Guitar String to the Proper Position
Lastly, you need to get the string back to the right tension. This final step involves testing the string. It is supposed to make a tight, clean sound. Once you hear such a sound, you should not wind the tuning peg anymore.
Extra tips: To make sure the string produces the correct tone, you should consider using an electronic tuner. You will probably have to tune other strings too after changing the broken string. That’s because they tend to lose tension when removing a string.
FAQs About How to Fix a Guitar String
Does a Broken String Damage My Guitar in Any Way?
No, it doesn’t. However, a broken string will have an impact on the whole tension of your guitar, especially its neck. If a string breaks for some reason, the original tension will be changed immediately.
Why Does Guitar String Break?
Overuse as well as regular wear and tear are the most common reasons why guitar strings break. Besides, a string wound too tightly is likely to break after a relatively short period of use.
There are many reasons why guitar strings may break. Fortunately, repairing a guitar string is a fairly simple process with a guitar string repairing kit, that just about anyone can complete. Now that you know how to fix a guitar string, you will not have to replace broken strings anymore.
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