Whether you’re a professional or beginner guitar player, at some point, you’re going to find yourself with a broken string.
Various metals like steel and nickel make up guitar strings, but it’s also possible to find nylon or synthetic guitar strings.
Because they’re usually made of metal, guitar strings last for a long time.
However, depending on how much you handle your guitar, it’s inevitable that a string will break, become discolored, or just no longer sound great.
Here’s what you need to know about restringing guitar strings.
How Much Does It Cost To Restring A Guitar?
The average cost of having your strings professionally replaced is between $25 and $50.
If you have a specialty guitar or use expensive strings, then you can expect the cost to be higher.
In this case, the cost will be the cost of your strings plus some sort of service fee that may be $20 or $30.
The cost to restring a single string on your guitar is between $1 and $3.
If you need to restring the entire guitar, then the average cost is between $4 and $7.
For those with flatwound strings, you’re looking to pay around $16 to $25.
Those with a 12-string guitar will need to pay between $11 and $15 for their new strings.
If you don’t think you can restring your guitar on your own, then you’ll need to take it to a professional.
Having your strings professionally restrung costs a bit more than doing it yourself since you’re paying for someone’s time.
Where Can You Get Your Guitar Restrung?
If you don’t want to risk restringing your guitar on your own, there are a few places that can do it for you.
Here are some of the places that can restring your guitar.
1. Guitar Center
One of the best places to take your guitar for restringing is Guitar Center.
This entire business revolves around guitars and their maintenance.
At this store, you’ll find experts who can help you find the right guitar, strings, and other accessories for you.
They’re also able to restring your guitar for you.
The average cost of restringing your guitar at Guitar Center is between $25 and $50.
They essentially charge you $20 or more for their labor.
If you’re planning to buy your strings at the store, too, then you can expect that to add to the cost.
They’ll also usually charge around $10 extra for restringing a unique or complex guitar.
The extra cost is due to the extra time and effort that the employees need to give to your guitar instead of manning the shop and making sales.
One of the benefits of taking your guitar to the Guitar Center for restringing is that you’re sure to find the strings you need.
Since they essentially have everything a guitarist needs, it ends up becoming your one-stop shop for your guitar.
If you want your guitar professionally restrung, then Guitar Center is a great option.
2. Music Manor
Another place that can restring your guitar is Music Manor.
This is another chain of music stores that serves all types of different musicians.
They sell everything from guitars to keyboards to even instruments found in high school bands.
They also have an abundance of accessories and services.
One of the services they offer is repairs.
You can bring your guitar into a Music Manor store and have them restring your guitar for a price between $15 and $25.
They’re a little bit cheaper than Guitar Center, so if you’re on a budget, then it might be worth visiting Music Manor instead.
That said, you’ll also have to buy your guitar strings at the store or bring them in.
Since they’ll restring your guitar regardless of where you bought your strings, that makes it a great option.
While you’re waiting for your guitar, you can also browse the store.
Since they cater to different instruments, you can find an abundance of different tools and accessories at their store that might catch your interest.
They also sell guitars and amps.
If you have a Music Manor near you, it’s worth visiting to get your guitar restrung.
3. Marshall Music Co.
Another big chain of music stores is Marshall Music Co.
They tend to cater to high school bands and orchestras, but they also sell guitars and other accessories.
Like other music stores, you’ll find plenty of experts at Marshall Music Co.
They don’t give flat prices on their store’s website.
Instead, they require you to bring in your guitar for an inspection.
That said, they’ll be able to give you a free estimate on how much it will cost to restring your guitar.
Since restringing guitars is relatively easy, you shouldn’t expect to pay too much for the service.
It mostly depends on how busy they are.
Since Marshall Music Co. often partners with various high schools, they also spend a lot of time repairing old high school instruments.
That might inflate their guitar restringing prices since they’ll have to focus on your guitar instead of their usual customers.
Because the music store sells and even rents various instruments, you can also find an abundance of different items for sale there.
They also have a large selection of musical scores and sheets of music for guitars.
While you’re waiting for your guitar to finish, you can browse their collection and perhaps find something new to play.
Marshall Music Co. is a great place to restring your guitar since they’re quite a large music chain and likely close to a shopping center or district near you.
4. Menchey Music Services Inc.
Those who live in Pennsylvania or Maryland will be able to bring their guitars to a Menchy Music Services Inc. store.
This is a large chain of musical instrument retailers that sell everything from guitars to high school band equipment.
They also allow you to rent instruments.
Along with selling audio equipment, they offer several services.
One of those services is repairs for your guitar.
According to the Menchey website, you can get your guitar restrung for $20 plus the cost of strings.
If you use relatively cheap strings, then you’ll find the service quite affordable.
One of the benefits of bringing your guitar to Menchey Music is that they’ll also inspect your guitar for other damage at no cost.
This not only helps them identify problems that might make restringing more difficult, but it also makes you aware of a problem with your guitar.
You may find out that the weird sound you thought was coming from your strings is a result of a problem elsewhere.
If they discover a problem, then they’ll inform you about it, and you’ll be able to make a decision from there.
You can either have them repair the problem, or you can take it home and try to repair it yourself.
Since they have affordable restringing services, Menchey Music is a great option to have your guitar professionally restrung.
5. Local Music Stores
Although there are plenty of music chains, you can also find local music stores in your area that can also likely restring your guitar for you.
It’s worth doing a quick search in your area to look for any local music stores that offer that service.
Even if they don’t advertise guitar restringing services directly, if they sell guitars, then there’s a good chance that they’ll also offer restringing services.
Taking your guitar to a local music store is ideal because it helps support local businesses.
You can also usually find cheaper prices since the store owner can set their own prices.
Finally, building a relationship with local business owners can sometimes offer benefits like free repairs or other advantages.
If you don’t have a music store chain near you, then there’s a good chance that you have a local and independent music store nearby instead.
How To Restring Your Guitar
If you want to save some money and try and restring your guitar yourself, then you’ll need to know how to do so.
Follow these steps to restring your guitar on your own.
1. Understand Your Strings
Before you even touch your strings, you need to know what kind they are.
Most acoustic guitars have six strings.
Four of them are bass strings that are wound.
The other two are treble strings that are plain.
Bass strings are a bit thicker than treble strings because they need to carry lower vibrations to emit deeper and lower tones.
Most bass strings are also made of bronze or phosphor bronze.
Treble strings, on the other hand, are usually made out of nickel-plated steel.
When shopping for your strings, it’s important that you buy the right ones.
Also, it’s a good idea to replace all your strings at the same time even if they’re not broken.
That’s because if you have one new string but the rest are old, then the tone isn’t going to be even.
It also makes knowing the age of your strings a lot easier.
2. Release Pressure On The Strings
Once you have the right strings, it’s time to get started on replacing them.
The first thing you need to do is slacken the strings on your guitar.
You can do this by turning the tuning peg at the top of the guitar.
If you have a winder, it can do most of this for you.
Otherwise, you’ll need to manually turn the peg until the string is loose.
Then remove the strings from the tuning pegs.
3. Remove String Towards Peg
This part may get a little complex.
To remove the string from the peg, you first need to push the string towards the peg.
It should go into the guitar body.
If the string doesn’t move, then go on to the next step.
4. Push Pegs
If you were able to remove the string from the peg, then ignore this step.
Otherwise, if you’re struggling, you’ll want to get a cloth.
With the cloth, reach into the sound hole and put your hand underneath the peg board.
You’ll want to use the cloth to press into the board since they’re sharp.
Press up on the peg board to get the strings loose.
If they won’t budge, it might be because the ball end is jamming it.
To remove the jam, pull the ball down and pull the string up at the same time.
This should let you get the strings loose.
5. Remove Bridge Pins
Now, you’ll need to remove the bridge pins or pegs themselves.
To do this, you should have a winder.
Most winders have a tool on them that easily pops the pegs from the board.
However, if you don’t have that available, then you can use pliers.
The problem with pliers is that they have a tendency to mark the wood.
You can help reduce the chance of this happening by wrapping the ends of the pliers with a cloth.
However, it’s best to purchase a winder for this task.
Regardless of the tool you use, you’ll want to carefully remove each peg from the bridge.
To do so, you just pull the peg upwards.
6. Remove Strings
With the peg gone, you can pull the strings through the hole and set them aside.
This is also a great time to clean your guitar.
Take your favorite guitar spray and spray it on the wood.
Then take a fresh cloth and gently wipe it into the wood.
You’ll want to clean inside of the sound hole or spray some of the dust out of it.
7. Check Order Of New Strings
When you’re done cleaning, it’s time to put the new strings on.
Each package of new strings will tell you the order that they go on the guitar.
It’s important to remember the order as you don’t want to have to pull them off and then put them back on if you get it wrong.
8. Add 45-Degree Bend To String
At the bottom of the string, which will go back under the peg on the bridge, you’ll want to add a 45-degree bend at its end.
This makes it easier for the peg to pin it.
It will make it easier to replace your strings next time as well.
It also helps ensure that the peg fits snugly which can make tuning a lot easier and better.
9. Push String Into Peg
You’ll see a small slot at the bottom of the peg.
Put your string into that slot, then push the peg down through the hole on the bridge.
You also want to make sure that the slot is going in the direction of the neck of the guitar.
Repeat this step for each string, then do a small test to ensure it’s connected properly by lightly pulling on the string.
If they remain tight, then the bottom of the strings is ready to go.
10. String The Head
Before you wrap your strings around the peg on the head of the guitar, you’ll want to make sure that the holes on the pegs are in the direction of the neck.
Then place the strings over the saddle and through the hole.
You’ll then need to twist the peg a few times until it’s tight enough.
You should wrap the string in a counterclockwise direction.
Once it’s wrapped tight, you can cut off the excess string.
Once you do the same thing for all the other strings, you can start to tune your guitar.
That usually means you need to tighten or loosen strings until you find the perfect pitch.
After all your strings have the right tune, you have successfully restrung your guitar.
Restringing your guitar isn’t too expensive provided you don’t have a unique guitar or use specialty strings.
You can save money by restringing your guitar yourself, or you can have a professional do it for more money.
Several stores offer restringing services, but you can also follow the steps above to do it yourself.