Restringing a different way to usual

LesterLester Posts: 1,705Member, Moderator
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.


  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,107Member, Moderator
    That's how I string my guitars, without locking tuners. Never had any slippage. With locking tuners, I just pass the strings through, lock them off, then cut the strings close to the tuners.
  • LesterLester Posts: 1,705Member, Moderator
    I didn't know you have a history with this method, Jocko. That increases my confidence and means I will try it on other guitars.
  • ESBlondeESBlonde Posts: 966Member
    Nicely documented Lester.
    I don't have locking tuners (or anything with a wobble bar at present), and learned decades ago to pull the string through and have my right hand 3 fingers pull up the reguired winding slack while the thumb pushed the string back down to the fingerboard. At that point I make a right angle bend on the string as it exits the capstan hole and begin winding on. Once stretched I've not had string slippage in as long as I can remember, but just as a security tip ( I can't remember who suggested this) I then put another 90 deg bend about 6-7mm along the spare end before cutting off about 6-7mm after that, the idea being if the string did slip you just wind until the next 90 degree bend engages with the capstan and tune up. I have a memory of that happening once at a long gig on an american base - if thats a true memory then it was dacades ago, but saved my bacon.
    The exception is old fender style tuners where I allow 50mm past the capstan and trim to length then put a sharp 90 deg bend about 7-8mm from the end before poking that down the hole and winding on the string. Again never had a slippage issue, I think the bend needs to be quite well defined and sharp.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,107Member, Moderator
    Never had a guitar with the old Fender style tuners.
  • nicholaspaulnicholaspaul Posts: 997Member
    Nice photos Lester. I have locking tuners on guitars without trems because it makes changing easier! You can also remove strings and put them back on more easily because you don’t have to straighten the string when you put it back on.
  • JockoJocko Posts: 7,107Member, Moderator
    I love the Steinberger Gearless Tuners. Pricey but very accurate and easy to change strings.
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