Changing the Strings (Guitar Lesson)

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Jim Deeming

Changing the Strings

Jim Deeming walks you through the process of changing your strings. He gives some excellent tips on this important process.

Taught by Jim Deeming in Basic Guitar with Jim seriesLength: 41:09Difficulty: 0.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (01:20) Intro Music Can you guess how Jim Deeming gets such a sweet sound out of his Gibson? Fresh strings definitely help! In the scenes that follow, Jim explains how to change the strings on a steel string acoustic and a classical guitar.
Chapter 2: (01:14) Introduction to Changing Strings Note: Some of the following information is taken from lesson 14 of Steve Eulberg's Phase 1 Lesson series. Please visit this lesson for more information about changing strings.

A. How Do I Know When to Change My Strings?

There are several common symptoms that indicate that your stings need to be changed. Here are the most common indications:

1. The strings feel uncomfortable as a result of excessive build-up of dirt on the strings. Over time, the natural oil and dirt generated by your fingers builds up on the strings.

2. If the guitar is not staying in tune, it is definitely time to change the strings. A guitar with fresh strings should stay in tune for roughly an hour regardless of how often you bend your strings. If you notice that a string instantly goes out of tune after bending a string, the string either needs to be changed, or it was installed improperly.

3. The bottoms of the strings flatten and blacken from repetitious contact with the frets. Once the strings decrease in mass, their tone diminishes significantly as well.

4. Tone becomes significantly less bright when strings are corroded and in need of a change. Tone is the best indicator of when the strings need changing. Your ears should be familiar with what your guitar should sound like. Old strings loose their brightness and volume. In general, guitar strings begin to sound like rubber bands when they are at the end of their life.

Playing a guitar with dead strings can kill your inspiration. On the other hand, playing with fresh strings can have the opposite effect. You may find yourself taking the guitar out of the case more.

5.Wound strings begin to unravel slightly from contact with frets. This causes a severe drop in tone quality as well as limited playability.

B. How Often Should I Change My Strings?

This depends entirely upon the individual. There is no standard life expectancy for a set of guitar strings. Touring professionals have guitar techs that change their strings prior to every single performance. Strings are changed on every guitar including instruments used as backups. Strings are changed on back up guitars regardless of whether they were played at the previous gig! For most of you however, strings will not need to be changed this frequently. To make a long story short, the amount of time you spend practicing and performing is directly proportional to how often you will need to change your strings. If you notice one of the symptoms listed in "Section A," it is most likely time to put on a fresh set. One other factor also determines how often your strings will need to be replaced. Some people’s hands sweat more than others do. If you have sweaty hands, your strings will need to be replaced more frequently.

Note: Although there is no set time interval for changing strings, they should ALWAYS be changed prior to a performance or recording session. This is especially true if you do not perform or record very often. Since people do not have many opportunities to hear/ see you perform, you want to make sure that you are doing everything in your power to create the best performance possible. This includes changing your strings prior to every gig.

C. Types of Strings

1. Acoustic Strings

a. Bronze or Brass-Bronze is much softer than steel. Most acoustic guitars are strung with bronze.

b. Steel-Produces a loud, bright tone. Electric guitars are strung with steel.

c. Nylon-Nylon produces a softer and rounder sound than both steel and bronze. Classical guitars are strung with nylon.

2. String Size or "Gauge"

Gauge refers to the size of the string in millimeters. String gauge effects your overall playing in three different ways.

a. String gauge affects your tone in a big way. A higher string gauge may increase overall sustain and volume. Remember, more mass=more volume.

b. Gauge affects the action and setup of your guitar. When switching to a different string gauge, a professional must perform a new setup. Due to the change in tension placed on the neck, the truss rod will probably need to be adjusted as well.

c. Gauge also affects comfortability while playing. Larger strings put more pressure on the tips of the fingers. This will require a development of harder calluses. More importantly though, gauge effects one’s ability to perform certain techniques such as vibrato and bending. Quite simply, larger strings are harder too bend.

Here are some typical gauges used by professionals. They are organized by genre.

Blues: heavy strings-usually 11 gauge+
Rock: light strings-usually 9's or 10's. (Players that tune down a full step or more usually choose 11's.)
Country: heavy strings-11's+

3. Brand of String

Contrary to what endorsement advertisements may lead you to believe, the brand of string you choose is of very little importance. Many popular brands are owned by the same company. For example, Fender owns several of the major string companies. In terms of electric guitar strings, there is only one brand to be avoided: Snarling Dogs. D'Addario offers the best string for a reasonable price. DR strings are typically the most expensive, but they offer the greatest tone and durability.

D. Tools Needed for Changing Strings

1. Needle nose pliers are needed to cut the strings. Nail clippers are the best cutting implement for nylon strings.

E. Review of Guitar Anatomy

Before removing the strings on his acoustic, Jim reviews some key parts involved in this process. The strings attach to the guitar at both ends. The bridge pins hold the strings in place at the bridge. The tuning pegs anchor the strings to the other end of the guitar. The strings are guided to the tuning pegs by the nut. For a string to function properly, it must be installed properly at both locations.
Chapter 3: (01:47) Removing the Strings Many students are intimidated by the string changing process the first time that they do it. It gets easier and less frustrating each time that you do it. Most people are afraid of breaking strings. This could happen. Consequently, buy a few packs of strings the first time that you must change your strings. That way, you'll have extras in case you do break a string. If you don't break any strings, you'll have these strings ready for the next time you must change a set of strings.

Removing Old Strings

1. Loosen each string at the tuning peg. Detach the string from the tuning peg.

Note: Jim removes all of the strings at once. Removing all of the strings at once enables you to clean every part of the guitar in one easy step. However, the guitar will require slightly more work to keep the strings in tune. Strings provide a specific level of tension on the neck, which the guitar becomes accustomed to. If you remove all of the strings at once, all of this tension is removed.

2.Once a string is loosened, clean the area of fretboard underneath it with a soft cloth. 3M makes a soft scrubbing surface that is ideal for this application. DO NOT USE STEEL WOOL! Steel wool can potentially damage the surface of the fingerboard. Also, it breaks apart and leaves annoying pieces across the fingerboard.

3. Polish the body and headstock to preserve the finish. We recommend Martin or Gibson guitar polish. In addition to enhancing the appearance of your guitar, polish adds needed moisture to the finish. This is quite important, especially if you live in a cool, dry climate like Steve does.

4. Pry up the bridge pin. Remove the string from the bridge.
Chapter 4: (07:32) Putting Strings On When installing new strings, it doesn't matter which string you start with. Jim prefers to start with the first string.

First, insert the bead head of the string into the hole where the bridge pin was. Then, put the bridge pin back in place. The bridge pin has a grooved slide. The bead head should rest up against the back of this grooved slide. The groove should point directly towards the nut. The string comes out of the hole from this groove. Before you push the bridge pin all the way down in, pull up on the string so that it is taught against the inner top of the bridge pin.

Next, pull the other end of the string towards the tuning pegs. Then, pinch the string down through the nut. The string always goes through the hole in the tuning peg from the inside of the guitar. Consequently, the top three strings are wound in different directions from the bottom three. If you have a guitar that features six tuners on one side of the headstock, all of the strings will be wrapped in the same direction.

Turn the peg so that the hole is pointing a specific direction. The hole should be pointing inwards at roughly a 45o angle (about 7 o'clock). Refer to Jim's marker board drawing for a clear example.

After the string is threaded through the tuning pin, the string must be wrapped under itself to ensure that it will not slip out of place. As soon as the string comes through the hole, pull the string outwards away from the guitar. Then tuck the string underneath itself. Watch Jim very closely at 03:53 with the quality of the video set to high for a clear demonstration of this process. Once the string is tucked underneath itself, bend the slack of the string so that it is pointing directly upwards towards the ceiling. Then, tune the string to pitch.

Cut off the excess string coming from the tuning peg. Be careful! The ends of strings are very sharp.
Chapter 5: (03:30) Putting on the Low E / 6th String Jim demonstrates the process of installing a string once again. This time around, he installs the sixth string since it is bigger and easier to see. Also, this string is connected to a tuner on the opposite side of the headstock.

Remember to pull the string as tight as possible before locking the bridge pin in place. Once the string is properly secured with the bridge pin, take the string up through the middle of the headstock. The tuning pin must point from 11 o'clock to 5 o'clock. After pulling the string through the pin, bend the string to the outside and wrap it underneath itself. Bend the remaining portion of string up towards the ceiling. Watch Jim at about 02:45 as he demonstrates this step. Then, tune the string close to pitch. Cut off the extra string coming out of the tuning peg.
Chapter 6: (05:11) Removing Extra Slack If you don't stretch your strings out, you'll fight to keep your guitar in tune over the next several days. The strings are still settling in when you first install them. Soon after installation, the strings wiggle loose at the bridge and tuning pegs. Also, the string stretches to some degree across its entire length. To combat these problems, lightly pull on each string. This process will remove any excess slack across the length of the string. Stretch the strings until they no longer go flat after being stretched. Be careful not to stretch the treble strings too much! You will snap them if you are not careful!
Chapter 7: (01:53) Clipping off the Extra String Leaving extra string hanging out of the tuning peg may look cool, but it can cause some unwanted buzz from the strings. Only leave half an inch of string hanging out. Use a pair of wire cutters or needle nose pliers to trim off the excess. When trimming nylon strings, nail clippers work the best.
Chapter 8: (01:23) Final Thoughts on Steel String Acoustic Strings Changing strings is a tedious, yet very worthwhile process. Remember that how often you change your strings depends on individual circumstances. How often do you play? How long are your practice sessions. Do you have oily or dry hands? All of these factors determine how often strings need to be changed.
Chapter 9: (02:21) String Changing on Nylon / Classical Guitars The process of stringing a classical guitar is quite similar to stringing a steel string acoustic. However, there are a few notable differences. One key difference is the way the tuners face. Nylon string guitars have tuners that point directly back towards you when you are holding the guitar in the playing position. Steel string guitars feature tuners that point down towards the floor and up towards the ceiling.
Chapter 10: (08:29) Replacing the Strings 1. Loosen and remove the old string.

2. Take out the new string. If there is a leader on it, cut it off. The leader is the short, frayed portion on the end of the string.

3. Pull the new string through the bridge. Leave approximately 3-4 inches of string sticking out of the end of the bridge. This length of string will be used to loop the string. Take this portion and wrap it under the section of string on the other side of the bridge. Create two loops for bass strings and three for the treble strings. After tying the knot, there needs to be enough string left over to tuck it underneath the knot of the adjacent string.Watch Jim perform this step of the process to see exactly how this should be done.

4. Refer to Jim's marker board for indication of how the tuning peg should be positioned before pulling the string through. Go over the top of the pin and pull the string back through the hole.

5. Similar to installing a steel string, a nylon string must be looped underneath itself. This will ensure that the string is locked securely in place. Tuck the string under itself. Then, pull out to the outside, away from the headstock. Once again, watch Jim closely with the video player set to "high quality" for a demonstration of this process.

6. Tune and stretch the strings.

Note: It is quite helpful to tune every string up a full step and leave them there for about an hour. Then, tune them down to standard pitch. This stretches the strings in a more efficient manner. With this method, you will have a much easier time keeping your strings in tune.

7. Remove any excess string extending from the saddle or the tuning peg.
Chapter 11: (02:58) Finishing up the Last Two Strings The high E string must be tied backwards to the bridge so that it can be looped underneath the second string. Consequently, the second string holds onto the tail of both the first and third strings. Make sure that these two strings are stacked on top of one another and not side to side. Otherwise, they will slip and both strings will go out of tune.
Chapter 12: (03:35) Finishing Up Nylon String Guitar + Lesson Final Thoughts Jim provides a close-up look at the strings wrapped around the tuning pegs. Hopefully this will provide you with a clear view of how the string is wrapped underneath itself. The string is pinched against the round part of the tuning peg rather than the hole.

Once the strings are installed, perform the stretching process. The stretching process is even more important with nylon strings. Nylon takes much longer than steel to settle into place. Consequently, more time must be spent during the stretching process.

Note: The D string is prone to breakage on some classical guitars. Therefore, tune this string about a half step flat before you put the guitar back in the case.

Final Thoughts

Remember that all guitars are individuals. Different strings work better with different guitars. Experiment with a variety of string brands and types to find the string that you like the best.

Video Subtitles / Captions

Scene 1

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Instructor Jim Deeming plays.

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Instructor Jim Deeming plays.

Scene 2

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Hi. I'm Jim Deeming.
Instructor for

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I'm going to talk to you today about putting new strings on your guitar.

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A lot of students especially when they are new to the guitar can be intimidated by the process

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and wait for someone else to do it for them or it just never gets done.

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There is really no reason to be that afraid of the job it's not hard to do and it's really worth doing.

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Playing a guitar with dead strings certainly takes that life out of it and a lot of the fun out of it.

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So what I want to do is show you how easy this can be and maybe eliminate a couple common mistakes that are made

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when people put strings on the guitar.

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First I am going to talk about or review if you have already seen this where strings are anchored and what it looks like.

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The tuning mechanisms are up here in the head of the guitar.

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We have tuning pegs that where they actually tie off.

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Everything runs through the nut on the guitar and on the opposite end we are anchored here on the saddle behind the bridge.

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What we will be doing is focusing on how to get these connections solid and what we can do to eliminate slipping and going out of tune.

Scene 3

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First thing we want to do is take the old strings off.

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While I am doing this I want to talk to you a little bit about a tool you have probably seen in a guitar store or maybe you own one.

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It's a little crank, a little plastic crank that fits over the tuning pegs and lets you spin the dickens out of those things.

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I'm not a big advocate of using that because it causes a very bad habit and that is for to people to think in order to get their money's worth

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They need to use the whole string as delivered by the factory and that's not the case.

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As I said before one of the things we want to do is avoid slipping or stretching the other strings as much as possible.

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When you have a lot of extra string wound around the pegs it takes a lot of time for that to stretch out.

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So the easiest solution is just to not have it in the first place.

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What you are going to see in my stringing process here in a little bit is that we're going to leave almost no slack at all up on the tuning pegs

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and I'll show you how that's done.

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One other note.

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A common question some people have is should I take all the strings off all at once or string them one at a time to avoid stressing the neck.

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In most cases it's really not an issue you can do whichever way you prefer.

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I like to take them off all at once on a normal basis because that gives me a chance to do some house cleaning underneath the strings

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with a guitar polish and a good dust cloth.

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I'll begin taking all of these off and rejoin you in a minute when we're ready to start tying new ones on.

Scene 4

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Ok. Hopefully you've used the crank for the last time getting the hundred yards of string off of your tuning pegs.

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I've got all six of them detached from the head now.

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Now we will take a look at the saddle and the bridge pins.

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These simply lift out and on a steel string acoustic what you'll see is usually a bead head on the end.

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In a bit I am going to talk about the differences between a steel string and a nylon .

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Particularly on the bridge is where they differ but the technique I am going to teach you for tying off the strings on the head.

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The principles apply to either nylon or steel string guitars and works regardless of what size strings you use etcetera.

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This is a pretty universal technique.

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Ok. We are done with these and one editorial comment if you're ever tempted to donate your old strings to new students

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don't do that to them, spend the extra five dollars and send them a new set.

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Actually once you begin using this technique there won't be enough string leftover to send to them anyway.

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Let's get started with putting a new string on.

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For no particular reason I start with the first string, the smallest one.

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The order you do this in is not critical.

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The bead head goes back down in this hole where your bridge pin was and then one thing to pay attention to is your bridge pin will typically have

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a grooved slack in it and that's where the string is going to come out of the hole alongside the bridge pin.

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So what we will do is put the bead head in there and the pin in alongside of it

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and then before you punch that in somewhat tight begin to bring the slack back out of that string.

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You want the head to come out as far as it's going to before you lock it in place because we want this slack out before we go any further.

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We don't want that coming in later after we're trying to tune up.

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Then coming up to the head of the guitar I like to pinch the string down in the nut

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and I've done something here that I want to point out and that's the position of this pin before we start threading the string into the pin.

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What I want you to see is that I've turned these pins so that the hole inside the pin is facing a specific direction.

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Basically from about a one o'clock to a seven o'clock position and then what I'm very specifically going to do is bring the strings up the center of

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the head everything is going to cascade up through between the pins and then work toward the outside of the head after they've gone past the pin.

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So it'd be like a waterfall effect coming up the middle, going around and coming back down through the pins at an angle.

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A close up of that is right here and this is an example for the right side of the guitar.

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The string will come up and angle back just a little bit through that hole and there's a very good reason why we're doing that.

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I'll attempt to draw this for you.

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After we do this, after we thread the hole we're going to come around like this and go through the hole and then we're going to come around another

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half turn and tuck that string right underneath the entry of the string and that's it.

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We are not going to do a lot of winding or anything else.

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There is only going to be one half of a twist there and what that looks like up close is bringing the string here holding the tension out and from the

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inside coming around back through the hole, grabbing it, grabbing it again and by the way this works on all six strings.

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Some people are concerned the smaller strings are harder to hold onto and that they tend to slip more.

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When you see how this locks into place you will realize why the size of the string doesn't matter.

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So there's the beginning of what I would call the "S" turn, we're coming down through there, pull the slack right out of it, you don't need anymore

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than what it takes to get to the hole.

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Now we'll come back around the outside of the guitar or the outside of the head.

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I like to come in underneath when I tuck under the string and pull the rest of the slack out of the string there

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and then take a deliberate bend out or up from this perspective.

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What we are doing when we do this is the main part of the string is now laying on top of a very small part of string that's already gone through the

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hole that locks it in place and you don't need multiple winds to achieve that lock.

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As I begin to crank the string down it lays down on it's own tail harder and harder and it will not slip.

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Now one other note.

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Something I want you to think about when you're laying strings on here that will not only help your guitar stay in tune better

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but it will also minimize string buzz.

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Looking at the guitar flat like this the string needs to ride very close to the fret board all along the guitar.

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What you want to have happen is at the nut the string needs to at least some amount take a bend down from this perspective

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or back if you are holding the guitar this way.

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The idea being that at the bridge you want some minimal amount of angle.

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What can happen is if the string comes across the nut and then flies straight out to a peg then you can imagine

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the string will have a tendency to buzz in the groove of the nut.

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We don't want that.
So it eliminates buzz and it helps just a little bit to lock in your tuning.

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This is a drawing of the same view of the guitar that I was just talking about.

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This would be the neck and your frets would be along here and this is the pin that we've just threaded the string through the hole on

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and what you really want to see is for the string to come along the surface of the neck, hit the nut

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and then rather than go out straight it needs to angle down to the pin.

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Now some of this is limited by how your guitar is made.

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If the guitar is made with a very shallow angle then it's going to be up to you to make sure that when you come out of that hole

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you wind that string underneath and get a bend.

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This is another reason why to not wrap a lot of string around here because it takes away some of the control where the string is tied on here.

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So that's the idea.

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We want to bend the string a little and hopefully that's at a downward angle to the head and don't worry about these wavy lines this is common

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with Esteban guitars but that's ok, I'm sure you probably have a better guitar but this is what we want to accomplish with the strings.

Scene 5

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Ok. I am going to show you this again with the sixth string because it's larger and you can see it better.

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I won't drag you through tying all six strings but I want to do it a couple times so you have the process down.

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Once again we start with the pin at the bridge and saddle and this is where it actually is a little bit trickier to get done what I showed you earlier.

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When you put the head or the end of the string in and you start to push that pin down make sure that the slot is riding alongside the string

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and pretty soon you will get to the point to where you can feel the bead kind of separate from the pin and you can pull it up and down in that hole.

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What you want is that string all the way back out as far as it can go before you lock the pin in place.

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That bead is not resting against the pin.

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The bead is resting in a little pocket behind the saddle.

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The pins only job is to hold that string in the little groove it's not up to the pin to hold the thousand pound pressure on the string

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it's just merely a locking mechanism to hold it in place.

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If you get that slack out now and pull it tight it will save you tuning problems later.

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Going up here again and placing your finger on the nut and you're going to hold it until we can start cranking.

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We have once again the pin has the hole.

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Now we're on the opposite side of the clock and we're at 11 o'clock to 5 o'clock and I want to come from the inside of the pins,

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around the top and then thread back down through that hole and come underneath it and if that folds over it's ok just flip it back in place.

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The idea is we want to get to the point to where it's in place and we've taken as much of the slack out of it as we can.

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You may have to fiddle with it just a little bit to get that done.

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It doesn't have to be tight that's not the goal.

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The goal is just to minimize the number of turns on the peg.

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Now we're going to do our "S" turn again and come back around the outside of the pin and that's where we're actually bending the string.

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Come underneath the main part of the string fix our tuck, again leaving no slack and then a deliberate bend out coming from underneath the string

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so that when you start cranking on the string that first bend of the string lays down on top of itself and locks it in place.

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The easiest way to think about it is an "S" bend with a tuck underneath to lock it.

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We're there.

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Now we can take the rest of the slack out and begin to get close to tuning pitch but we're not going to go all the way up.

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I'm going to go ahead and put the other four strings on and then we will talk about the next step.

Scene 6

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I've gone ahead and put the remaining strings in this guitar and followed the exact same procedure we've already discussed.

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There's one thing I want to point out as I'm bringing these up to tension to further help in terms of keeping a bend on it which you might find

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if you have a shallow angle here.

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In order to help achieve that bend what you can do is lay a finger on top of the string as you're tightening it up

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and what that will do is help tuck it under other winds of the string.

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Even though I've pulled all of the slack out and attempted to minimize it, it will be pretty typical to have at least one turn around the peg.

00:45.875 --> 00:55.326
So if your string return can go under the wind that you've got that's just a little more pressure downward to help achieve the nut bend that I talked about.

00:55.326 --> 01:05.973
We're getting close now to tuning the guitar but there is something we're going to do pretty critical before we actually come to tune the guitar.

01:05.973 --> 01:14.495
If you listen to this it won't sound very good but I've got the strings starting to vibrate and make noise but they are not tight yet.

01:14.495 --> 01:17.281
This is the place where we are going to park and take another step.

01:17.281 --> 01:21.460
This step is to attempt to take most of the stretch out of the strings.

01:21.460 --> 01:27.499
The reason why when you string a guitar and then for the next few days you're fighting tuning

01:27.499 --> 01:30.680
is because the strings are still settling into their position.

01:30.680 --> 01:32.537
That happens three places.

01:32.537 --> 01:37.948
That happens here like we've talked about on the bridge pin we want that good and settled.

01:37.948 --> 01:45.261
It can happen on the tuning peg. Especially if you have a bunch of winds and even with a minimal amount there is still some settling that happens.

01:45.261 --> 01:51.368
Also the string stretches to some degree along it's entire length.

01:51.368 --> 01:59.286
The one thing we can do to minimize the amount of time that it takes to get to that settle is to go ahead and manually do that stretch.

01:59.286 --> 02:05.762
This might look a little aggressive but I don't think you can hurt the guitar unless you attack it like a gorilla.

02:05.762 --> 02:13.424
What we are going to do is lift the string up a little bit from the center you can begin to apply a reasonable amount of pressure

02:13.424 --> 02:18.138
and that will begin to settle both ends just a little bit.

02:18.138 --> 02:26.543
Now we're going to work this string in short little sections all along it's length and I'll actually just bend it like this between thumb and fingers.

02:26.543 --> 02:30.026
Put a little bit of stretch along it's full length.

02:30.026 --> 02:36.156
I do this on all guitars but this is especially critical on a nylon string guitar.

02:36.156 --> 02:39.035
The strings definitely tend to stretch more.

02:39.035 --> 02:44.097
Again, repeating with all strings.

02:44.097 --> 02:48.787
This is the beginning of getting the settling done.

02:48.787 --> 02:56.170
There's one other trick we'll do when we get closer to tuning that should take the last edge off.

02:56.170 --> 03:00.373
On the fifth string now.

03:00.373 --> 03:07.803
You will feel this as you do it to. You will feel a little stretch coming out of the string and a little bit of settling.

03:07.803 --> 03:11.843
There is the last one.

03:11.843 --> 03:15.791
Now to demonstrate I'll work on this big sixth string here on the bottom.

03:15.791 --> 03:18.507
We will bring this string up close to pitch.

03:18.507 --> 03:27.121
Now stretch it again and listen to this.

03:27.121 --> 03:38.429
Let's do the stretch again, a little bit more.

03:38.429 --> 03:45.356
I don't know if you can hear that but it dropped pitch again.

03:45.356 --> 03:48.490
We want that string to stop doing that.

03:48.490 --> 03:54.133
It is actually easier on the sixth and fifth string, the bigger ones.

03:54.133 --> 03:57.941
We're probably very close already.

03:57.941 --> 04:02.355
That's close.

04:02.355 --> 04:04.375
Let's do a small string now.

04:04.375 --> 04:16.937
We'll get it up close and then let's do a little bit of a stretch.

04:16.937 --> 04:22.904
Be careful on this one. Especially if you're running light strings because you can snap these ones if you're too aggressive.

04:22.904 --> 04:28.523
A little bit along each section and then one final tug.

04:28.523 --> 04:31.263
Listen to how much that lost.

04:31.263 --> 04:37.114
You don't want that going on while you're performing.

04:37.114 --> 04:44.057
A little bit more.

04:44.057 --> 04:49.931
Less of a drop that time.

04:49.931 --> 04:53.576
Very close.

04:53.576 --> 04:56.690
We can get away with just one last stretch.

04:56.690 --> 05:05.049
Almost none and I would call that good for now and finish the rest of it at tune and we're probably good.

05:05.049 --> 05:11.341
I'm going to repeat this process for the middle four strings and then I will have some final comments for you.

Scene 7

00:00.000 --> 00:10.865
Ok. We've got six brand new strings on our guitar and it's ready to sound happy.

00:10.865 --> 00:12.885
We have a couple more things to accomplish.

00:12.885 --> 00:19.758
If you like you can go ahead and twirl these and have a nice big loop.

00:19.758 --> 00:26.166
I don't like to do that because first of all I don't like the way it looks but more importantly it still buzzes up here

00:26.166 --> 00:31.437
and we don't need that when we are trying to sound good so we will cut them off.

00:31.437 --> 00:35.547
This is a bit of a personal preference and you can do what you like here.

00:35.547 --> 00:43.720
I like to get within less than a half of an inch of slack up here and cut everything off.

00:43.720 --> 00:53.101
A regular pair of wire cutters is best.

00:53.101 --> 01:05.105
Once you've done this there is a very important step to take care of on steel string guitars it's not so critical on an acoustic nylon string.

01:05.105 --> 01:09.934
This tip right here especially on your first and second strings is sharp as a needle.

01:09.934 --> 01:20.940
Take needle nose plyers and grab about the last quarter even eighth of an inch and give it about a ninety degree bend or more if you like.

01:20.940 --> 01:28.185
I bend it back toward the face of the guitar that gets it out of the way and if you bump it, it'll save you some trouble.

01:28.185 --> 01:35.406
There's a technique that I use called a "B" bend which is where I'm reaching back behind the nut and bending the string up.

01:35.406 --> 01:42.859
It's bad news if you've got a little needle sticking out of that first string and you reach up there in a hurry and grab it, that hurts.

01:42.859 --> 01:48.246
I'm always very careful to cut those off and put a little bend into the end of them.

01:48.246 --> 01:53.331
I'll go ahead and take care of the rest of these and then we'll have some final notes on tuning.

Scene 8

00:00.000 --> 00:08.520
We are done.

00:08.520 --> 00:12.653
We have nicely tied off and cut the strings up here.

00:12.653 --> 00:21.685
There's not a lot of slack or a lot of winds to let the tuning move and we've got bright sounding brand new strings ready to go, ready to play.

00:21.685 --> 00:25.748
If you want to reiterate that it's worth doing this fairly often.

00:25.748 --> 00:34.455
How often is an individual choice and depends on what kind of strings you buy, the chemical make up of your hands, how much you do or don't

00:34.455 --> 00:37.683
put oil on the strings and how often you play.

00:37.683 --> 00:46.878
I'm not rigid about this but I would say on average I change strings after about eight to twelve hours of playing on a given set.

00:46.878 --> 00:50.989
There are certainly some guitar players that are more fanatical about that.

00:50.989 --> 00:55.586
Tommy Emmanuel for example changes strings before every show.

00:55.586 --> 01:00.091
Literally minutes before he walks on stage he is doing what I just showed you to do.

01:00.091 --> 01:09.843
It sounds really good and it's also proof that what I'm talking about here is a good locking mechanism for strings that won't move, they'll stay in tune.

01:09.843 --> 01:19.571
Now I'm going to switch guitars to a nylon string and we won't repeat this whole process but I want to explain the difference in each end

01:19.571 --> 01:20.918
and how they tie off.

01:20.918 --> 01:22.799
The rest of the principles are the same.

Scene 9

00:00.000 --> 00:13.442
Now we are going to look at some differences on what I just showed you on the steel string guitar and on a nylon string guitar.

00:13.442 --> 00:18.899
This is a nylon string guitar. It may be a little different than typical classicals you are use to seeing.

00:18.899 --> 00:22.405
It's a solid body.
It's actually an electric classical.

00:22.405 --> 00:25.539
The principles are still the same in terms of putting strings on.

00:25.539 --> 00:31.273
Most importantly we want to look at the head and the saddle.

00:31.273 --> 00:40.683
The difference on the head on the nylon string guitar is that the pins that the string winds around run this direction rather than sticking up

00:40.683 --> 00:46.349
perpendicular to the guitar so as you're cranking you're actually rolling a pin this way.

00:46.349 --> 00:54.499
What that looks like from the side the string is going to come over the top and then curl around this way around a pin.

00:54.499 --> 00:55.961
As we discussed before.

00:55.961 --> 01:02.022
Before we start threading strings through here one of the things we're going to pay attention to is the angle of the hole in that pin.

01:02.022 --> 01:04.970
That's the reason for the diagram on the board.

01:04.970 --> 01:18.043
What we will be doing is bringing the string across the nut again, it angles down, we're going to go over the top of the pin and then come back

01:18.043 --> 01:26.657
around underneath and then again when we get there we will bring this back around in the "S" bend and tuck.

01:26.657 --> 01:30.372
Same principle. We're going to get one half turn underneath there.

01:30.372 --> 01:36.200
The string is going to lock itself down and we will start turning.

01:36.200 --> 01:45.163
You will see because nylon strings stretch more than steel do you'll notice that it looks like I have an average of two winds all the way around the pin.

01:45.163 --> 01:51.850
I am still applying these the same but because of the stretch there is a little bit of extra string that ends up on this end.

01:51.850 --> 02:00.975
The other difference is down on the bridge and saddle and that is basically usually on a nylon string or classical guitar

02:00.975 --> 02:03.343
the strings are effectively tied off.

02:03.343 --> 02:07.755
I'm going to show you the knot that I use and what I do.

02:07.755 --> 02:15.301
There are probably simpler knots that will function but I like the way this looks and it ties off nice and neat and does not allow any slip.

02:15.301 --> 02:17.437
I'll break that down for you when we get there.

02:17.437 --> 02:21.454
First thing I'm going to do is take these strings off and we'll be right back.

Scene 10

00:00.000 --> 00:11.329
I've removed the old strings and we are ready to start putting new ones on.

00:11.329 --> 00:20.779
It's fairly common on classical or nylon strings guitars that your threading this end of the string through a little hole and then tying a knot.

00:20.779 --> 00:22.985
So that's what I'll be showing you on this guitar.

00:22.985 --> 00:31.948
The string comes in over the bridge and on into that hole and then we need to find some way to tie this off so it doesn't slip.

00:31.948 --> 00:41.259
What I like to do and it requires a little bit of extra work but I think it's worth the time is to leave after the knot that I'll show you,

00:41.259 --> 00:46.576
leave a little bit of the tail of the string long enough that it will lay under the next string.

00:46.576 --> 00:53.797
That way each successive string that you add is clamping down on the previous one and that works really well.

00:53.797 --> 00:59.091
However that leaves us with a little magic to pull down here on the last two strings.

00:59.091 --> 01:02.783
They need to hold each other down so we will do two at a time when we get to there.

01:02.783 --> 01:04.501
Let's begin with the knot.

01:04.501 --> 01:13.742
After you've gone through the hole you can bring the string back around this way and tuck it underneath itself like that.

01:13.742 --> 01:16.807
Basically a simple half hitch.

01:16.807 --> 01:30.884
The goal here if possible is for this tail of the string to go over the bend in this saddle before the rest of the string weighs down on it.

01:30.884 --> 01:35.969
Let me see if I can get an example of that and then we will do a close up so you can see what I mean.

01:35.969 --> 01:38.708
Here is an example of what not to do.

01:38.708 --> 01:48.646
If they cross up here and on the flat part there is no grab and it will slip but by bending over that shoulder first and then clamping down

01:48.646 --> 01:53.383
it adds a tremendous amount of locking or clamping pressure on that string.

01:53.383 --> 02:01.765
You can see that I've left almost an inch of tail on this just to give you a visual of where the next hole is.

02:01.765 --> 02:10.960
It's coming out right about there so the next string will grab plenty of the top string and they will hold each other.

02:10.960 --> 02:20.479
We've got the first string on and now we'll go up here an anchor it similar to what we did on the steel string and that is to take all the slack out.

02:20.479 --> 02:30.440
We are doing the same job so you need to rotate your thinking ninety degrees and we're going to go over the top of the pin

02:30.440 --> 02:38.010
and then through the hole that is angled back up and toward the nut.

02:38.010 --> 02:53.241
The reason I am so particular about the angle of that hole is because I need just enough of the string laying on the pin before we start so it'll pinch it.

02:53.241 --> 03:02.738
If I have it too far forward the string would come out of the hole, go around and then there wouldn't be a start for the pinch.

03:02.738 --> 03:15.671
So by backing it off a little bit at this angle you can see that there's a contact point that's going to happen right here at the tuck

03:15.671 --> 03:20.361
and that string will lay down on it and won't let it slip back into the hole.

03:20.361 --> 03:24.703
That's why I am focused on the angle of the pins before we start.

03:24.703 --> 03:35.361
So we've gone through and then we're actually going to go to the back of the guitar to complete the "S" turn around the pin.

03:35.361 --> 03:40.933
Then we'll bring it out through this hole and this is our tuck.

03:40.933 --> 03:44.927
I like to go toward the outside of the guitar in this case.

03:44.927 --> 03:48.828
That's not particularly important it's more of a personal preference.

03:48.828 --> 03:50.221
Here we go.

03:50.221 --> 04:02.875
We've gone a little bit under that string we're taking all of the slack out and we'll do a close up view of what 'm doing here before I start cranking.

04:02.875 --> 04:08.674
Up close.

04:08.674 --> 04:17.126
What's happening here is the string is going over the top of the pin, through it, behind and then tucking up here.

04:17.126 --> 04:24.347
This part of the string is now laying on top of the tail on the pin and that's the lock.

04:24.347 --> 04:31.568
As I begin to turn and this winds the pin back to begin tightening the string.

04:31.568 --> 04:36.537
It's already locked and will not come loose even though I've got less than a half turn.

04:36.537 --> 04:42.899
Dispelling the myth that you've got to have several turns in order for it to hang on.

04:42.899 --> 04:49.911
That actually has the opposite effect and creates too many problems and does not help anymore on holding the string tight.

04:49.911 --> 04:58.038
Now we will repeat the process again for the next string and I'll show you how I do the tuck on the bridge side.

04:58.038 --> 05:01.799
We need the next size string down.

05:01.799 --> 05:06.582
This is the fifth string.

05:06.582 --> 05:10.971
One other note by the way on classical strings.

05:10.971 --> 05:17.319
Most manufacturers do this on their strings.

05:17.319 --> 05:25.260
On one end you'll find that the winding on the wound strings, the winding loosens up.

05:25.260 --> 05:39.099
That makes that string much more flexible and floppy and a lot of people use that to make it easier to tie the knot on the bridge end of the guitar.

05:39.099 --> 05:45.136
I specifically don't do that and the reason why is because it's been my experience that it's a weak part of the string

05:45.136 --> 05:47.272
and we want to cut the weak part off.

05:47.272 --> 05:56.931
I use tight wound all the way from end to end and I don't believe it makes it more difficult to tie the knot and we eliminate breakage.

05:56.931 --> 06:05.429
I think that nylon guitar strings are far more prone to string breakage anyway and anything we can do to eliminate that helps us.

06:05.429 --> 06:16.180
Now we are going to go through the tunnel in the saddle here and now what you want to do is be sure that you are coming underneath the tail

06:16.180 --> 06:17.596
of the previous string.

06:17.596 --> 06:21.718
That's going to cause the string to get caught in the knot.

06:21.718 --> 06:26.779
We are now adding here the same kind of knot around and coming underneath.

06:26.779 --> 06:29.798
One tuck under here is plenty.

06:29.798 --> 06:37.530
It's looks a little fancier maybe and if you like it you can actually do a double or a triple if you'd like to see a nice spiral right there.

06:37.530 --> 06:45.447
I don't think it contributes anything to the anchoring of the string other than it looks pretty and everybody likes pretty guitars.

06:45.447 --> 06:57.243
Once again focus on getting the tail over this sharp bend in the saddle before you tighten that down.

06:57.243 --> 07:02.792
Now we are beginning to get a cascading knot down here that you'll see.

07:02.792 --> 07:06.554
This strings tail is laying under this one.

07:06.554 --> 07:11.476
This strings tail is now laying next to the next hole waiting to also be anchored.

07:11.476 --> 07:14.773
All of the strings are helping each other out and that's a good thing.

07:14.773 --> 07:18.604
Now we will repeat this process again.

07:18.604 --> 07:23.248
Over the top and I'll go a little bit faster this time.

07:23.248 --> 07:32.884
It's actually a fairly quick procedure and I want you to believe that because I want you to change strings a lot more often.

07:32.884 --> 07:41.800
Guitars with dead strings are not fun to play, not fun to listen to and I think they actually are discouraging to students.

07:41.800 --> 07:49.137
When you pick up a guitar with new strings on it you instantly know it has more life and a much better sound.

07:49.137 --> 07:58.634
Many low quality guitars have probably been sold in a pawn shop over nothing more than someone probably putting new strings on it

07:58.634 --> 08:00.607
and making it sound spiffy for a few days.

08:00.607 --> 08:10.661
Alright we are tucked under, we pull it out a little bit to accentuate that bend and the lock, just pull it up a little bit, it's hanging on

08:10.661 --> 08:16.675
and we start the crank and it's already locked and it's not coming off.

08:16.675 --> 08:21.738
We've got two on and I'm going to go ahead and add the next ones

08:21.738 --> 08:26.243
but I will be back to show you the last two and show you how we get those to tie to each other.

08:26.243 --> 08:28.913
It's just a little variation from what we've already been doing.

Scene 11

00:00.000 --> 00:08.473
Ok. Four strings are on.

00:08.473 --> 00:13.930
I've saved the last two to show you because there is a little bit of a difference here in how we tie them off.

00:13.930 --> 00:18.295
Once again I am going through the tunnel, underneath the previous string

00:18.295 --> 00:24.239
and I'm ready to begin tying a knot but I'm going to go ahead and start the last string at the same time.

00:24.239 --> 00:30.601
What we want to end up with is both of these strings tucked under each other.

00:30.601 --> 00:32.505
The way I get that done is this.

00:32.505 --> 00:43.906
You start with the second string, the slightly larger one, get it's knot ready to go and the same tail down on the end that you want to tuck underneath

00:43.906 --> 00:51.150
the first string and you begin to tighten it up but you cannot take all the slack out yet because it's not quite ready.

00:51.150 --> 00:54.424
Get it close.

00:54.424 --> 01:02.225
Ideally tight enough to where it will sit there without us having to hang on to it very much.

01:02.225 --> 01:10.143
Sometimes this goes well and sometimes it can be a little tricky so let's see what we can do here.

01:10.143 --> 01:25.003
Now tie the same knot in the first string and don't forget we want to grab the second string in the first strings knot.

01:25.003 --> 01:31.087
The difference is going to be when I tie this knot I am going to go around the string the opposite direction

01:31.087 --> 01:36.055
because I want it's tail pointing up toward the second string.

01:36.055 --> 01:45.807
Now comes the surgery.

01:45.807 --> 02:00.900
I'm going to thread this one back up through the same hole and the knot of the previous string that we've been hitting everywhere else.

02:00.900 --> 02:12.486
One fundamental difference here is that the second string in it's knot is it's actually holding on to the tail of both the third and the first string.

02:12.486 --> 02:15.505
It's a little tricky to get that all laid in there.

02:15.505 --> 02:23.515
Remember again, get over the sharp point of the saddle before you pull the slack out and pull it tight.

02:23.515 --> 02:26.510
It's easiest to just work them together like this.

02:26.510 --> 02:30.550
Pull them a little bit snug and there we have it.

02:30.550 --> 02:38.464
You can see the close up here and see every string is tucked under a neighbor including the string on the end that came back up

02:38.464 --> 02:39.741
underneath number two.

02:39.741 --> 02:41.900
Number two is holding two strings.

02:41.900 --> 02:48.866
The procedure for tying off up at the top is the same but since you are doing two at a time make sure you do not twist them

02:48.866 --> 02:52.442
because that will make your guitar sound like a snare drum.

02:52.442 --> 02:57.504
I'll go ahead and tie these off and be back for some final comments.

Scene 12

00:00.000 --> 00:15.987
I want to give you a good close up view of the locking knot on the nylon string guitar if you look at this peg right here for string number two it just

00:15.987 --> 00:22.009
so happens that the knot is right here on the top and you can see it really well.

00:22.009 --> 00:32.411
You can see that the tail that I've cut off is actually tucked under one layer of the string and rather than being pinched over the hole it is being

00:32.411 --> 00:38.123
pinched against the round side of the pin and that's all the lock that it needs to be able to hold it down.

00:38.123 --> 00:46.017
That's what we are after when we thread through the hole at a certain angle, tie that little "S" turn and then tuck.

00:46.017 --> 00:47.434
That's what we're after.

00:47.434 --> 00:49.454
So now we've strung a nylon string guitar.

00:49.454 --> 01:00.413
Once again the stretching process applies here and is actually more important and a little bit more work than it is on a steel string guitar.

01:00.413 --> 01:05.916
Classical strings stretch more and take a little bit more settling in to do

01:05.916 --> 01:14.112
but if you follow this procedure you should have it ninety nine percent within the first few minutes after putting the strings on.

01:14.112 --> 01:18.199
After playing just a lit bit they'll settle in and should be ready to go.

01:18.199 --> 01:27.533
You really should be able to replace a broken string and walk out on stage and perform without too many embarrassing tuning struggles.

01:27.533 --> 01:30.784
One other note about a classical guitar.

01:30.784 --> 01:35.653
It is fairly common when you put a classical guitar away for a little while

01:35.653 --> 01:45.207
The guitar is just sitting there and the D string will just break.

01:45.207 --> 01:52.103
For some reason it's the nature of about the size of the string and the fact that it's a wound string it is prone to do that.

01:52.103 --> 02:00.694
A very simple solution for that if you are having that problem is before you put the guitar away, tune it down a couple of cranks to take a little

02:00.694 --> 02:05.199
pressure off and that string will last as long as the rest of the strings on your guitar.

02:05.199 --> 02:16.297
Also, when you are picking strings and this applies to both nylon and steel string guitars be aware of the fact that your guitar is an individual

02:16.297 --> 02:19.316
and it may like or dislike some sets of strings.

02:19.316 --> 02:23.704
There are different manufacturers, different sizes and different coatings.

02:23.704 --> 02:32.388
Some people like what we would call a wound third string, a clear nylon or an unwound steel third string.

02:32.388 --> 02:39.354
I like a wound string I think it's got a little bit brighter of a tone but on some guitars that may tend to have a buzzing problem.

02:39.354 --> 02:47.620
Plan on experimenting with different manufacturers, different types of strings and see which one is best for your guitar.

02:47.620 --> 02:51.428
This also goes in combination with how your guitar is setup.

02:51.428 --> 02:58.254
If you are playing bluegrass, heavy strumming, you will want the heavier gauge strings as many of them wound as possible.

02:58.254 --> 03:07.147
If you're playing finger style or classical and you need a light touch you will be tending toward the lighter or thinner gauge strings and when you do

03:07.147 --> 03:14.182
that very often going to lighter gauge strings you will find pretty quickly that there's a limit before you start to have problems with buzzing.

03:14.182 --> 03:16.504
Don't be afraid to experiment.

03:16.504 --> 03:20.730
Don't throw your guitar away just because one set of strings causes you problems.

03:20.730 --> 03:26.140
Make an effort to try different sizes and see if you can find something that will work for you.

03:26.140 --> 03:35.010
I hope this has been informative to you and especially hope it encourages you to change strings more often and enjoy playing your guitar better.

03:35.010 --> 03:36.031
Thank you very much.


Supplemental Learning Material



Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.

RalphCordellRalphCordell replied

I have been playing guitar for more than 60 years and changed countless sets of strings. Still found this well worth the time to view and learned something from it. Thanks.

GouletteGoulette replied

I have a question about "slack," since it's one the main things that Jim emphasizes throughout the lesson. If we're supposed to get rid of as much slack as possible when changing strings, then why does Jim want us to bring the string up past the tuning peg and then bend the string around and place the string into peg hole at the "1 o'clock" spot? Wouldn't there be less slack if you put the string in the hole at the 7 o'clock hole? (I'm referring to the video lesson at 2:20 to about 4:40) Thanks.

namuhnamuh replied

Just one comment after watching the video on replacing steel strings. Steel guitar strings are the same as piano strings, conventionally called "music wire". It's hardened and tempered. Because of this, Mr. Deeming should not be showing the use of a Leatherman tool to cut the strings as the tool will ultimately be damaged. Music wire should be cut with a hardened cutter not regular diagonal cutters.

wmmiltonwmmilton replied

Are these knots shown in any literature?

wmmiltonwmmilton replied

What have you done to your nails on the right hand?

Bradley.ConwayBradley.Conway replied

Hi wmmilton! Jim is also a very proficient fingerstyle guitarist and that requires longer fingernails to play with a decent amount of volume. Some players will grow theirs out, while other will just use the press on adhesive nails. I hope this helps!

kcozenskcozens replied

If you lock the strings together on a classical as shown here how do you go about changing a single string if one breaks?

Bradley.ConwayBradley.Conway replied

Hi kcozens! When I need to change out a single string on my classical I'll usually do a "double-under" wrap on the string. Meaning that where you see Jim come across the saddle and through the bridge, then come around to wrap the string, you would wrap it one additional time before tightening down and tuning up. This extra wrap makes up for the tuning stability that you lose by not having the end of the string tucked under the adjacent string. I hope this helps :)

egr7egr7 replied

Thanks for showing this method of changing strings. It is the best method I have come across so far. The guitar stays in tune!

kylehcakylehca replied

Enter your comment here.

philb52philb52 replied

I havnt had to change strings yet but this was a very informatuve video.

kcozenskcozens replied

When I was getting ready to buy a classical guitar I saw one that had the strings tied as shown in this video. I had not seen it done this way before. Looks nice. The methods I've seen before said to use two knots on the low strings and three knots on the upper strings to prevent them from slipping and affecting the tuning. Not a problem with this technique.

clm123clm123 replied

Great instruction on putting on strings!

toddgtoddg replied

Best instructions on changing strings

RoloZRoloZ replied

If I knew all of this before, it would save me lots of time and nerves... Nice tips, though, thank you very much, Jim (if I may call you so).

flymasterflymaster replied

thanks JIM .

PaddyNo1PaddyNo1 replied

Good Job.

JWEjamJWEjam replied

Hi Jim, Is the classical electric you use for string changing nylon strings a Kirk Sands make? Thanks Jim Evans

fredb1949fredb1949 replied

Thanks Jim. Your detailed instructions were easy to follow and worked great. Once I had all the new strings installed, I used my tuner to tune one whole step below the final pitch (DGCFAD) before doing the string stretching you recommended. It took three cycles of stretching and tuning to settle the strings and then I did the final tuning to EADGBE and left it overnight. In the morning, it only needed a little tweaking and I was good to go. Thanks again!

RobinHoodMtlRobinHoodMtl replied

Wow, this will be very useful. Thanks for all the detailed procédures.

Linni85Linni85 replied

Please can anyone help me? I've just tried to change my guitar strings for the first time. But failed at the bridge pins - I can't get them out. Has anyone experienced that problem and how did you solve it? What can I do to loosen them/what can I use to help?

Linni85Linni85 replied

I've worked it out! All fine and very proud about my first string change - sorry Jim I did manage it with someone else's video on changing steel strings :).

gbeckgbeck replied

Jim, great lesson and advice!!! Does the shortness of the wrap prevent alternate tunings from being used? Thanks for any feedback you may have....

karolkakarolka replied

Thank you for the precise explanation on changing strings. I was able to do this myself and with confidence.

tgillytgilly replied

Thanks for the tips Jim.

CrashDeltaCrashDelta replied

This even works on vintage telecaster type tuning pegs! I used to hate stringing my tele. Not no more!

Ykraina2012Ykraina2012 replied

Jim, thanks for the lessons. I only stringed my guitar by myself once before watching your videos. When I did I found a youtube video but it suggested leaving more slack. I liked your way much better! It definitely does not need as much string as others suggest. The locking "S" you described is great for getting the strings snug before you even begin to add tension which also helps with keeping them in tune. Again, thanks!

Ray McKenzieRay McKenzie replied

Jim, thank you very much for this lesson, I fumbled through changing strings on my own: and laughter and a few colorful metaphors spewed forth as I tried by myself, your step by step instruction works!! As a side note, I changed to Martin silk and steel strings, and what a nice difference to the tone of the guitar and great for finger-style too, especially for newbies. Just my 2 cents worth!!

boergoatboergoat replied

Hey Jim, thanks for the lesson on changing the strings. I noticed your finger nails on your picking hand, are those real or some kind of pick. I enjkoy your teaching style and subject matter...

drdavidmorrisdrdavidmorris replied

Hi Jim, I've recently joined. Great tips for removing excess string on posts. Just wondering what the pros and cons are regarding your solid body electric classical/nylon guitar. Is this the right place to ask this question?

solsticestringssolsticestrings replied

Hi Jim, and thanks for a great lesson! I've had several guitars over my life and I don't think I've ever changed the strings myself. I was either too embarrassed to try, or afraid I'd mess it up somehow. This was a very detailed demo and I now have the courage to try myself!

bogeybusterbogeybuster replied

Very nice video Jim and I am so glad you included it your syllabus. Learned a lot of tips from watching it. TYVM

togbluestogblues replied

Really good lesson and something we should all know but of course have always completed adhoc. Not anymore! my only suggestion would be nice to have a diagram of the head knot method.

CBCB replied

Many thanks Jim, Your instructions are clear and at a pace that allow Newbies to understand. Other than reversing the placement of the strings,(High E where the Low E should be etc. etc.) It worked out just fine. Great Job! Lanny (CB)

jthorjthor replied

Good practical advice. I thought this lesson would just be something to play in the background, but I wound up learning quite a bit. Thanks!

joenegronjoenegron replied

Jim...thanks for the string lesson. I have the nylon strings and the last two at the bridge and saddle were a booger! - I am sure it will get easier!

joenegronjoenegron replied

Jim...thanks for the string lesson. I have the nylon strings and the last two at the bridge and saddle were a booger! - I am sure it will get easier!

Maroun91Maroun91 replied

the video don't work :s

radiodomeradiodome replied

Thanks for a great lesson, Jim. I was having a bit of a problem with the pins popping up out of the hole as you tighten down on the strings. I guess the bead-head was resting against the bottom of the pins, pushing them up as the strings tighten. I've discovered that if you bend the string close to the bead-head, the bead-head rests against the side of the pin and it doesn't pop out of the hole.

jnc51jnc51 replied

Jim, I refer to this lesson time and time again. Great way to put strings on, thanks

jeannenoeljeannenoel replied

Question regarding fret tuning. When I had a pickup installed in my guitar the tech suggested I have my turnings n frets tuned for a cost of $100.00 apx. My guitar, in 1975, cost $400.00 IC made in Japan. It has a nice tone and requires little tuning. It survived a fire causing the belly to have a slight bulge but still plays the as it always has and same great tone. Is this tune up a good idea or before doing so are their symptoms I should look for. I hadn't heard of this before so hesitated.

jeannenoeljeannenoel replied

The best in depth demonstration of changing strings and string info I've ever received. I immediately went to my string inventory and only have 1 set which is missing the D string. Then I jumped online to see what I might try next - lots of experimenting to do. Thank you.

jim6044jim6044 replied

Hi Jim. Thanks for a great lesson. I just completed changing my strings using your method. It is easy to do, and took my fear of changing strings completely away. Thanks again.

onceupononceupon replied

My guitar doesnt use pins and beads at the bridge - its just tied. I'll just have to be creative then.

mactavishmactavish replied

Great lesson Jim, thank you - learnt a lot. One question on the steel string pins - are they "hole specific", or are they all the same? I'm wondering if the slot in the pin is somewhat matched to the thickness of the string. Thanks again - brilliant!

clintcamclintcam replied

Hi Jim This is a great lesson, like the way you lock the strings. Played fingerstyle for years, stumbled our lessons, looking for sheet music for Freight Train. Change my strings often, will change strings today on one of my guitars to try your method. Thanks, Camille

daweiladaweila replied

Thank you!

msdnmanmsdnman replied

Jim, any thoughts on guitar hydration and humidity. General guitar storage and maintenance stuff. I was fortunate enough to be able to get a Taylor 814ce, love it and want to make sure that I do everything I can to keep it happy! Great lessons, love your style!

al benwayal benway replied

Enter your comment here.

tadpole17tadpole17 replied

Thanks! I've been changing strings for a looooong time, and tried this technique last night. I thought I needed the extra windings as I play in open tunings (G, D especially), but not so. Turning the cut ends under is a great tip. The strings settled right in with the stretching technique. Thanks again!

beeho15beeho15 replied

thank you so very much it works for me I finally did it

seadog471seadog471 replied

Great information on changing strings. I've been playing since the sixties and you put some old myths out to pasture. When I change strings again, it certainly will be a lot easier.

roachdabugroachdabug replied

Quite possibly the most detailed string changing instructions on the entire interweb. I've had 10 years of changing strings and I still learned a thing or two!

davetehslavedavetehslave replied

I just wanted to say, "thanks". Thanks to your video I was able to change my strings out for the first time. I was getting my tuning back to standard after having it set up for Goo Goo Dolls', Iris, and the B string popped in half. It needed it anyway, the strings on it were hard and I was able to put my Ernie Balls Hardwood light strings on it. :)

atsugi60atsugi60 replied

Really good advice on changing strings. I've never known to change them that often. I've always done it only once or twice in the last twenty years and that certainly explains the lack of quality sound I've gottened used to.

gvanausdlegvanausdle replied

Wow this is cool! I now know how to Really string both kinds of guitars. Pretty cool!

tclowertclower replied

Jim, I notice your right hand fingernails look as though you glued something to them....I assume you have trouble letting your nails grow like I do (still a biter after 50 years). What is on your fingernails?? I have trouble generating volume when I play the songs you are teaching, maybe this will help. Terry

kickingkicking replied

Thank you for this video eliminated my fear and I changed my strings for the very first time a few minutes ago (still had the strings "it came with" on it). Wow it does make a big difference in sound quality, even feels much better !!

hnryvrnnhnryvrnn replied

Appreciate all the "new" info on guitars. Makes me realize there's much to learn about the instrument. There's one comment that is not too clear. Has to do with the "waviness" in the neck of the Esteban guitars. I happen to have an Esteban and I don't understand what you meant. Please explain.

mab1208mab1208 replied

re : Bridge pins - "These simply lift out" - not on my guitar they don't! I just changed strings on my guitar for the first time and when I tried to remove the pin for the low e string it was nigh on impossible to remove. The wound end of the string had wedged itself into the grove in the pin and wedged itself solid. Is this normal? should I just be more confident and pull away? Should I widen the groove on the pin? should I replace the pins? In short how did you manage to just lift the pin out when it seems that as the string is wider than the groove it's going to be inclined to jam.

pneumapilotpneumapilot replied

I've always had to use a tool on mine because I have no nails. In fact, I've got a simple Planet Waves tool that is a winder, cutter, and bridge pin extractor, and I think I paid like 4 bucks for it.

biggreenbuddhabiggreenbuddha replied

Worth the price of admission. I bought a Joe Walsh video years ago to learn to chg strings and think your suggestions are a step up. I'd chg them now, if I had a pack of 10s. QUESTION: Where, how and what size nails do you buy? I just installed my first set yesterday because my naturals were breaking all the time. Be good to know how you do them, shape you suggest etc. Thanks! BGB

miketarmiketar replied

Thanks for the excellent lesson. Reviving playing after 40 years. Changed strings differently for all that time. What brand is your thin body classical guitar used in this lesson? Thanks.

jim61042jim61042 replied

I used to wrap 5-6 windings around the post, as most of us did in the 80's.....This is much easier....I use the "open, curved end" of the String Winder (available at all music stores) to remove stubborn pins and remember make sure the ball end of the string is properly seated in the pin groove.

soonersooner replied

Hey...great lesson Jim. I have been playing for about 4 months...change my strings about every 3 weeks or so (I practice a couple of hours a day) and this is the first time, tonight, that I have felt comfortable changing strings. Thanks a lot.

jaysanjaysan replied

Hello. I live in france and know the song you played in the intro part but it's sung by a singer called Rock Voisine and the lyrics are in french. I know that it's a remake of an old song in france but i was wondering if the one you're playing was an american version or if it was the one i know. Thanks.

jaysanjaysan replied

Hello. Sorry for before but after some research on google i found that originally it was an american song of Steve Goodman named City of New Orleans and it was translated in french by Joe Dassin. Though it could be really great if you could make a lesson on how to play it in phase 3 section. I love the sounding it makes on guitar with this country like tune. Thanks again.

duayneduayne replied

Jim, great lesson one I will refer back to when time to restring one of my guitars-Happy New Year!!

franrfranr replied

Great lessons there, Jim. I learned a great deal, just a bit of a shame I just restrung my guitar a few days ago; with the old 3 winds on the fat strings/6 winds on the skinny strings myth.

franrfranr replied

Ack, I forgot. I was told to change the strings on my guitar every 6 to 12 months. I'm still having trouble believing my ears that you said you change them every 10 hours of playing! Of course your 10 hours of playing are far more intense than my practice sessions, however, I do jam weekly with a bunch of very nice guys and we jam for 2 hours each time. That brings me to 5 weeks if I understand you really correctly. Though I agree they're not expensive and fresh set of strings do sound great.

jboothjbooth replied

I would guess when people recommend changes after 10 hours of playing that is in a more performance oriented mindset. I'm sure if you are on stage that's a pretty good thing to do, or in the studio, but yeah for home use that is definitely not feasible.

OdatOdat replied

Just wanted to say, Excellent lesson. I have now replaced the strings on my Acoustic for the first time ever. Ran into a few little snafu's along the way; I had a hard time pulling the strings tight at the post so some of them have a little loop, and the B string went from Bb to G about 5 times while I was tuning it up (I could hear the string shifting at the pin). However nothing has snapped or flown across the room and I gave it a pretty good workout, so so far so good. I've been putting off changing the strings but your mention of not needing a bunch of winds to keep the string from slipping finally nudged me into trying it, for which I'm quite thankful!

andybaldyandybaldy replied

Hey Jim, thanks to your great guidance, I want to dive in and change my (long overdue!) strings but actually the action is way too high - is this easy to lower by adjusting the bridge or do I need special tools/need to go to a store as I can't really see how you can access it etc...?? Thanks

Jim.DeemingJim.Deeming replied

This depends on your guitar. Some have adjustable bridges. If you're not sure, take it to a shop. A simple adjustment of the action should not cost very much.

mkorsmomkorsmo replied

What metronome setting should I use when changing strings? Should I start with 65 and work my way up to 120bpm?

Jim.DeemingJim.Deeming replied

I really can't recommend going over 80 Matt. You'll likely hurt yourself.... :D

malcmalc replied

very good lesson Jim thanks i'll now change my strings

rj surfsrj surfs replied

Nice lesson Jim... I thought I knew everything about changing strings but wanted to watch the lesson anyway. Glad I did... very good method that you show us here. Thanks!

werwinwerwin replied

For a much better clarity sound, what would you recommend, Nylon, or steel?

Jim.DeemingJim.Deeming replied

Werwin, I'm not sure "clarity" is the word - both types of strings should have clarity if played properly. I would characterize steel strings as a "brighter" sound, and nylon strings as a "warmer" sound. However each can be played in so many ways that it's hard to stereotype them. You should choose the strings that suit the style you want to play.

xelsxels replied

What I can say apart from THANK YOU! You made it look easy and the step by step video is really reassuring. Thanks to you I have changed the chords to my guitar for the first time. I can tell you now that I won't by the last! Once again, thanks for this lesson.

Don.SDon.S replied

Great lesson on changing strings, especially the classical strings. I've been having problems with getting the minimal amount of windings on the pegs but am confident I have that licked now. Great job, Jim. Don

kittu0011kittu0011 replied

Thanks Jim, I never had problem in changing string and I thought of skipping these lessons. But fortunately I saw your lesson and I realized what mistakes I was doing in changing strings. Now I learned right way of changing strings. Good lesson thanks

boris308boris308 replied

Thanks Jim !!! I had gotten pretty good at the 2 1/2 wraps method, but with my Ibanez AS-73 I always had tuning problems. The G string would always slip out of tune very quickly. Well, this time when I changed the strings I used your method instead and now I can't get it to go out of tune. Nothing seems to affect it !! I'm VERY happy !

rdmtbrdmtb replied

Yes this was and excellent lesson I am very pleased with the value of Jamplay!

ceyeber62ceyeber62 replied

Jim, thank you for showing me the way to really string my guitars; spiffy job!!

playstringsplaystrings replied

Jim, I have changed strings for a couple of years but wondered how some guys always had nice neat jobs. ..... Thanks to you and your great S curve - I too have a neat job. Thanks for the excellent class. Regards PS....

parkcath11parkcath11 replied

thanks jim, the lesson was great. one question- what determines light vs. say, medium strings? I want to use what's right for me.

Jim.DeemingJim.Deeming replied

Catherine, The designation light, medium, or heavy, is a broad category used to describe the gauge (diameter) of the strings. Light strings have smaller diameters than mediums or heavys, and as a result are regarded as easier to play. However, the tradeoff is that light strings do not project as much volume. Also, light strings will put less tension on the neck than the others so if the guitar was not set up for them, they may not have enough clearance and buzz. You'll have to experiment with what feels the best and then make sure the guitar is set up for them. For a beginner, I'd definitely recommend light strings to start.

estabanestaban replied

Great lesson..I was really worried about changing my strings, and too embarrassed to have it done. this solves that problem..i will change my own strings now and they are probably due.

arlentarlent replied

This was a fantastic tutorial Jim, I used to shy away from changing the strings but your lesson helped me change strings on two different guitars, thanks!

zeedrvrzeedrvr replied

Jim, I agree with ginrose,this was a great lesson on stringing your guitar.

Jim.DeemingJim.Deeming replied

Thanks ginrose. I hope it inspires you to change them more often! Which will in turn inspire you to play more! Which will in turn require you to change them more often... Hmmm... I think I need to go buy some GHS stock... ;)

ginroseginrose replied

Nobody has ever shown me how to change strings in the detail you presented in this lesson. It was excellent. Thanks so much!:)

Basic Guitar with Jim

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Fingerstyle master Jim Deeming teaches you the basics of guitar playing. With over 30 years of experience teaching and playing, Jim will definitely start you in the right direction. This is a great series for beginners and guitarists looking to refresh their knowledge.

Introduction LessonLesson 1

Introduction Lesson

In this short lesson, Jim Deeming will introduce himself and talk about his upcoming lessons.

Length: 6:12 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Choosing a GuitarLesson 2

Choosing a Guitar

Jim gives his thoughts on purchasing your first guitar.

Length: 7:09 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Goal SettingLesson 3

Goal Setting

Jim discusses the importance of setting goals. He provides some tips that will help steer your practicing in the right direction.

Length: 11:00 Difficulty: 0.5 FREE
Changing the StringsLesson 4

Changing the Strings

Jim Deeming walks you through the process of changing your strings. He gives some excellent tips on this important process.

Length: 41:09 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Meet Your New GuitarLesson 5

Meet Your New Guitar

Jim introduces proper playing technique. Then, he explains how to play your first chord.

Length: 52:24 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Learning More ChordsLesson 6

Learning More Chords

Jim teaches you the 3 primary chords in G major. He also explains how chords relate to specific keys. A great lesson!

Length: 39:15 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Right Hand RevisitedLesson 7

Right Hand Revisited

Jim discusses a plethora of right hand techniques that are essential to guitar playing.

Length: 35:19 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
New Chords and KeysLesson 8

New Chords and Keys

This lesson provides additional information about chords and keys.

Length: 19:08 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Let's PlayLesson 9

Let's Play

This lesson is all about playing. Jim will start you off playing a song. You will have the opportunity to play along with him.

Length: 20:10 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Alternating Bass and ChordsLesson 10

Alternating Bass and Chords

Jim teaches you a few more commonly used chords. Then, he discusses a technique known as the alternating bass line.

Length: 40:54 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
A Shape ChordsLesson 11

A Shape Chords

Jim covers all possible fingering options pertaining to the basic open A chord shape.

Length: 17:42 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Basic Guitar CheckupLesson 12

Basic Guitar Checkup

Jim talks about the future of his Phase 1 guitar series and where to go from here.

Length: 4:18 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Notes, Scales and TheoryLesson 13

Notes, Scales and Theory

Jim delves into basic music theory. He starts from square one in this lesson.

Length: 29:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Chord FiestaLesson 14

Chord Fiesta

Jim Deeming invites you to a veritable chord fiesta. He demonstrates common dominant and minor chord shapes.

Length: 43:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Movable ChordsLesson 15

Movable Chords

This lesson is all about movable chords. Learn the importance of barre chords and other movable shapes.

Length: 40:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Proper PracticingLesson 16

Proper Practicing

Jim Deeming explains how to create a productive practice routine. Make sure you aren't wasting needless time!

Length: 30:00 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
The Pinky AnchorLesson 17

The Pinky Anchor

Many guitarists use their pinky as an anchor. Jim explains the pros and cons of this technique.

Length: 9:00 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Palm MutingLesson 18

Palm Muting

Jim discusses an important technique--palm muting. He explains how palm muting is used by flatpickers and fingerstyle players.

Length: 7:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Reading TablatureLesson 19

Reading Tablature

Jim Deeming covers the basics of reading guitar tablature. Knowledge of tablature will help with JamPlay lessons as well as learning your favorite songs.

Length: 21:12 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Tuning ExtravaganzaLesson 20

Tuning Extravaganza

Jim explains various tuning methods. He provides useful tips and tricks that will ensure that your guitar is sounding its best.

Length: 31:45 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Let's Play: Lesson 21

Let's Play: "Red River Valley"

Jim is back with another "let's play" style lesson. He teaches the classic song "Red River Valley" and encourages you to play along.

Length: 52:38 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Drop D TuningLesson 22

Drop D Tuning

Jim Deeming introduces drop D tuning. Drop D is a popular alternate tuning used in many styles of music including rock, fingerstyle and blues.

Length: 25:25 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Let's Play: Lesson 23

Let's Play: "Wayfaring Stranger"

Jim Deeming breaks down the song sections to the classic tune "Wayfaring Stranger".

Length: 29:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
More On Drop DLesson 24

More On Drop D

Jim Deeming takes another, more focused look at drop D tuning.

Length: 6:27 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Your Friend, the MetronomeLesson 25

Your Friend, the Metronome

Jim Deeming discusses how to use a metronome for practice, skill building, and speed building.

Length: 24:02 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Jim Deeming

About Jim Deeming View Full Biography Jim Deeming got his first guitar when he was only six years old. His Dad was taking fingerpicking lessons, and Jim wanted to be just like him. The Mel Bay books didn't last very long before he strapped on a thumb pick and added the Chet part to Red River Valley so it sounded better.

Most of Jim's early learning was by ear. With unlimited access to his Dad's collection of Chet Atkins albums, he spent countless hours decoding his favorite songs. They were never "right" until they sounded just like Chet. Around the age of 12, Jim heard Jerry Reed for the first time and just knew he had to be able to make that "Alabama Wild Man" sound. The styles of Chet & Jerry always have been a big influence on his playing.

More recently he has pursued arrangements by Tommy Emmanuel and Doyle Dykes, in addition to creating some of his own and writing originals.

Jim has performed in front of a variety of audiences, including concerts, competitions, weddings and the like, but playing at church has always been a mainstay. Whether playing in worship bands or guitar solos, gospel music is deep in his roots and is also the driving theme behind his debut CD release, titled "First Fruits".

Jim has been playing for about 38 years. He also has taught private lessons in the past but believes is an exciting and better venue with many advantages over the traditional method of weekly 30 minute sessions.

Jim lives in Berthoud, Colorado with his wife, Linda, and their four children. Although he still has a "day job", he is actively performing and is already back in the studio working on the next CD. If you wonder how he finds time, look no further than the back seat of his truck where he keeps a "travel guitar" to take advantage of any practice or song-writing opportunities he can get.

The opening song you hear in Jim's introductory JamPlay video is called, "A Pick In My Pocket". It's an original tune, written in memory of Jim's father who told him early on he should always keep a pick in his pocket in case he ever met Chet Atkins and got the chance to play for him. That song is slated to be the title track for his next CD, which will feature several more originals plus some of his favorite covers of Chet and Jerry arrangements.

Lesson Information

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Acoustic Guitar

Our acoustic guitar lessons are taught by qualified instructors with various backgrounds with the instrument.

Steve Eulberg Steve Eulberg

Steve Eulberg does a quick review of this lesson series and talks about moving on.

Free LessonSeries Details
Amber Russell Amber Russell

Now we look at more harmonics, using a section of Amber's song - 'Love vs. Logic'

Free LessonSeries Details
Justin Roth Justin Roth

In this lesson Justin introduces his series on playing with a capo and dishes out some basic tips, including how to properly...

Free LessonSeries Details
Jessica Baron Jessica Baron

Jessica kindly introduces herself, her background, and her approach to this series.

Free LessonSeries Details
Robbie Merrill Robbie Merrill

JamPlay welcomes bassist and founding member of Godsmack, Robbie Merrill. In this short introduction lesson, Robbie showcases...

Free LessonSeries Details
Don Ross Don Ross

New fingerstyle instructor Don Ross introduces himself, his background, and what you should expect in this series.

Free LessonSeries Details
Trace Bundy Trace Bundy

Trace Bundy talks about the different ways you can use multiple capos to enhance your playing.

Free LessonSeries Details
Eve Goldberg Eve Goldberg

Eve talks about the boom-chuck strum pattern. This strum pattern will completely change the sound of your playing.

Free LessonSeries Details
Kaki King Kaki King

In lesson 6, Kaki discusses how the left and right hands can work together or independently of each other to create different...

Free LessonSeries Details
Randall Williams Randall Williams

In this lesson Randall introduces the partial capo (using a short-cut capo by Kyser) and talks about how it can make the...

Free LessonSeries Details

Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

Electric Guitar

Our electric guitar lessons are taught by instructors with an incredible amount of teaching experience.

Evan Brewer Evan Brewer

Evan Brewer explains everything you need to know in order to get going with your bass guitar. Topics include the parts of...

Free LessonSeries Details
Bumblefoot Bumblefoot

Guns N' Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal pulls out all the stops in his blistering artist series. Dive into the intense,...

Free LessonSeries Details
Dennis Hodges Dennis Hodges

Learn a variety of essential techniques commonly used in the metal genre, including palm muting, string slides, and chord...

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David Davidson David Davidson

JamPlay interviews Revocation's Dave Davidson.

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Lauren Passarelli Lauren Passarelli

Lauren Passarelli offers up her wisdom on purchasing a guitar. She also includes information regarding proper setup and care....

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Jeff Kollman Jeff Kollman

Been playing the standard 12 bar blues and looking to add some flare? Look no further than Jeff Kollmann's series, "Blowing...

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Jeff Gunn Jeff Gunn

Now that we have explored the various distances needed to sound artificial harmonics, will learn how to move between artificial...

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David Ellefson David Ellefson

David Ellefson, co-founding member of Megadeth, explains his overall approach to teaching and learning bass in this introductory...

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Tony MacAlpine Tony MacAlpine

Free LessonSeries Details

Join over 521273 guitarists who have learned how to play in weeks... not years!

Signup today to enjoy access to our entire database of video lessons, along with our exclusive set of learning tools and features.

Unlimited Lesson Viewing

A JamPlay membership gives you access to every lesson, from every teacher on our staff. Additionally, there is no restriction on how many times you watch a lesson. Watch as many times as you need.

Live Lessons

Exclusive only to JamPlay, we currently broadcast 8-10 hours of steaming lesson services directly to you! Enjoy the benefits of in-person instructors and the conveniences of our community.

Interactive Community

Create your own profile, manage your friends list, and contact users with your own JamPlay Mailbox. JamPlay also features live chat with teachers and members, and an active Forum.

Chord Library

Each chord in our library contains a full chart, related tablature, and a photograph of how the chord is played. A comprehensive learning resource for any guitarist.

Scale Library

Our software allows you to document your progress for any lesson, including notes and percent of the lesson completed. This gives you the ability to document what you need to work on, and where you left off.

Custom Chord Sheets

At JamPlay, not only can you reference our Chord Library, but you can also select any variety of chords you need to work on, and generate your own printable chord sheet.

Backing Tracks

Jam-along backing tracks give the guitarist a platform for improvising and soloing. Our backing tracks provide a wide variety of tracks from different genres of music, and serves as a great learning tool.

Interactive Games

We have teachers covering beginner lessons, rock, classic rock, jazz, bluegrass, fingerstyle, slack key and more. Learn how to play the guitar from experienced players, in a casual environment.

Beginners Welcome.. and Up

Unlike a lot of guitar websites and DVDs, we start our Beginner Lessons at the VERY start of the learning process, as if you just picked up a guitar for the first time.Our teaching is structured for all players.

Take a minute to compare JamPlay to other traditional and new methods of learning guitar. Our estimates for "In-Person" lessons below are based on a weekly face-to-face lesson for $40 per hour.

Price Per Lesson < $0.01 $4 - $5 $30 - $50 Free
Money Back Guarantee Sometimes n/a
Number of Instructors 128 1 – 3 1 Zillions
Interaction with Instructors Daily Webcam Sessions Weekly
Professional Instructors Luck of the Draw Luck of the Draw
New Lessons Daily Weekly Minutely
Structured Lessons
Learn Any Style Sorta
Track Progress
HD Video - Sometimes
Multiple Camera Angles Sometimes - Sometimes
Accurate Tabs Maybe Maybe
Scale/Chord Libraries
Custom JamTracks
Interactive Games
Learn in Sweatpants Socially Unacceptable
Gasoline Needed $0.00 $0.00 ~$4 / gallon! $0.00
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Mike H.

"I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar!"

I am 66 years young and I still got it! I would have never known this if it had not been for Jamplay! I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar! Ha! I cannot express enough how great you're website is! It is for beginners and advanced pickers! I am an advanced picker and thought I had lost it but thanks to you all, I found it again! Even though I only play by ear, I have been a member a whopping whole two weeks now and have already got Brent's country shuffle and country blues down and of course with embellishments. Thank you all for your wonderful program!

Greg J.

"With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace"

I'm a fifty eight year old newbie who owns a guitar which has been sitting untouched in a corner for about seven years now. Last weekend I got inspired to pick it up and finally learn how to play after watching an amazing Spanish guitarist on TV. So, here I am. I'm starting at the beginning with Steve Eulberg and I couldn't be happier (except for the sore fingers :) Some day I'm going to play like Steve! I'm self employed with a hectic schedule. With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace, rewinding and replaying the videos until I get it. This is a very enjoyable diversion from my work yet I still feel like I'm accomplishing something worthwhile. Thanks a lot, Greg


"I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students."

I am commenting here to tell you and everyone at JamPlay that I believe this is the absolute best site for guitar students. I truly enjoy learning to play the guitar on Yes, I said the words, ""enjoy learning."" It is by far the best deal for the money.

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