As a musician, it is crucial that you know how to take care of your instrument. Guitar players, for example, must learn the basics of replacing guitar strings as regularly restringing a guitar is important to make sure that the sound it makes is up to par.
Restringing a guitar, however, would cost you a few to hundred dollars. The price would depend largely on your knowledge of how to restring a guitar. But a rough estimate would be between $6 and $120.
If you are an amateur, for example, the best option is to check the nearest guitar center in your area and have the strings replaced professionally. It is the best option as well particularly if you do not know how to tune a guitar. Such a service, however, would cost you around $20 to $60.
But that’s not the only choice you have. In fact, there are three.
That being said, this article covers everything you need to know about the cost of restringing a guitar.
Everything You Need to Know About Changing Guitar Strings
Generally, there are three ways to replace a guitar string. You can either do it yourself, hire the service of a professional stringer, or visit the nearest guitar center in your area and purchase a full guitar string replacement setup.
Each option comes with varying prices as well. To help you understand things further, below is a brief explanation.
- DIY restringing. Amateur or not, the best and less hassle way to replace your guitar’s strings is by doing it yourself. It is why, as I mentioned earlier, it is crucial to learn how to take care of your guitar. And that includes restringing.That being said, restringing your own guitar is the cheapest among all three methods.
In general, the estimated amount you would spend is around $6 to $7 only—basically the price of a standard guitar string. But do take note that the price of guitar strings differs as well depending on the brand and also the quality. So, expect to at least spend around $20 or even more if you opt to replace the strings of your guitar on your own.
- Professional restringing. Replacing the strings of your guitar is not a walk in the park. Aside from the fact that you need to learn how to properly remove and install the strings, you also need to tune them. It is why—specifically for those who are planning to go professional—it is also a requirement to learn how to tune a guitar.However, if you are a beginner, it is understandable that you do not know how to restring and tune a guitar yet. In this case, it is wise to hire a professional to do the job for you instead.
Local guitar centers typically offer professional guitar restringing as well as guitar tuning. Generally, replacing the strings of an electric or an acoustic guitar will cost you around $20 to $60; quite expensive unlike when you are restringing your own guitar.
Although there are guitar centers that offer it in a package, which means it may include other guitar maintenance services such as cleaning. Thus, paying more is still better compared to when you, say, installed them inaccurately. Or, worst, break the strings.
- Full setup. Lastly, you can also purchase a full guitar restring and setup. Such a service, however, is highly recommended for professional guitarists only.Having said that, a full guitar setup includes not only restringing but also other complicated cleaning and guitar maintenance tasks. It is highly recommended for both acoustic and electric guitars too, especially those that are heavily used and old. And, in essence, having your guitar fixed and cleaned will practically enhance—or bring back—the instrument’s tone, intonation, and even playability.
The only drawback about it is that its price starts at $120. And yes, it is the most expensive restringing method among the three.
All in all, I do not recommend it to beginners.
Removal, Installation, & Tuning
If you are a beginner, it is okay to avail a professional restringing service in the meantime. However, it is still crucial that you learn how to do these things on your own.
That said, here’s an easy step-by-step guide on how to remove, install, and tune a guitar.
Step 1: Before you start removing the old strings, make sure to prepare a safe space for your guitar to do the task. Place a towel, for example, on the floor to avoid the instrument from getting scratches.
Step 2: Once done, start to loosen each string. Cut each string using pliers. Or you can manually unwind them from the headstock if you do not have the mentioned tool.
Step 3: After that, simply remove each string by either popping the fixing pegs or taking the entire string out.
Step 1: First, place the ball end of each string into the peg hole. Make sure to insert each string in the right hole and is sitting firmly under the end of each peg.
Step 2: Next, insert the opposite end of each string into their proper tune hole.
Step 3: Once done, tighten each string by rotating the peg counterclockwise. Make sure that the strings are faced towards the inside of the tuners.
Step 4: Finally, leave a few inches of the strings to wrap around the tuners. The strings should be firmly—but not too tight to break it—installed as well.
After removing and replacing the old strings with new ones, it is time to tune it! For amateurs, the ideal and most convenient method to do it is through a tuner.
Essentially, an electric guitar tuner is a device used to help guitarists tune their instruments by simply clipping it on the end part of the guitar’s neck. The device detects, as well as displays, the pitch of musical notes that are being played.
On the other hand, you can also tune your guitar manually or traditionally. There are a lot of materials on how to tune a guitar available online that you can download and read. Or, if you have friends who also play the guitar, then you can also try asking them to teach you.
Restringing a guitar is important particularly if it is old and worn out. An unkept guitar strings often lead to inefficient sound and loses the guitar’s original tone and intonation. The good thing is that replacing the string of your guitar on your own is cheap and would cost between $6 to $7 only. There are guitar centers too that offer services not only for restringing, but also other guitar maintenance.
All in all, it is important to keep your guitar clean and well-maintained in order to preserve its original sound.
Eduardo Perez is a multi-instrumentalist with over 20 years of experience playing instruments such as piano, guitar, ukulele, and bass. Having arranged songs and produced music in a recording studio, he has a wealth of knowledge to share about analyzing songs, composing, and producing. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Musical Studies at Berklee College School of Music. Featured on Entrepreneur.com. Subscribe to his YouTube channel, or follow him on Instagram.