In November I had a crazy idea regarding restringing my Strat. My PRS has locking tuners and there is none of this winding the string around the post a few times that has been my habit on all guitars for the last 50+ years. So, I decided to experiment. In the photos I have concentrated on the 4th string.
Poke the string straight through the string post. I used to do this and then pull it back about half the length of my thumb to provide enough slack that would enable the string to be wound round the post a few times. This time there is no slack. I don't know whether there is a proper name for the bit of loose, excess string that will be cut off but let me refer to it as the string tail for now.
Instead, I simply pulled the string tail around the post to the right. You will see in a minute why this direction is important.
I poked the string tail under the string, as per the photo.
Then I pulled the string tail up and around the string and held on while I started winding the tuner. This is why it was important to pull the string to the right in picture 2, so that as the string tightens up it sits on the tail, adding a little more pressure to keep the 90 degree turn tight and avoid string slippage. I wondered whether it would be a mistake with the plain strings but here I am after 3 months of gigging with these strings that they are still on the guitar.
I took this photo yesterday, 3 months after I restrung the guitar. You may ask, "Why?" I understand one of the reasons that locking tuners help guitars hold their tuning is because there are not numerous windings of the string around the string post, meaning that bending and vibrato (tremolo arm, whammy bar) do not have so much string to pull. Quite how true that is I couldn't say but I can say that my Strat holds its tuning as well as it ever did.