Advice on Removing Existing Strings and Re-Stringing

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Digiplay, Feb 8, 2020.

What is your preferred method for re-stringing?

  1. 1) Remove and replace one string at a time.

    55 vote(s)
    35.9%
  2. 2) Loosen and cut all strings.

    98 vote(s)
    64.1%
  1. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Meister

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    This Thread had it genesis on another Thread regarding the best way to install a new pickguard on a Deluxe Nashville Telecaster.


    On that Thread it was suggested to simply remove the strings, and then re-stringing after the new pickguard is installed.



    My eventual question is more about the proper way to put new strings on my guitar, but hopefully it will coincide with removing and putting back on the same strings :)


    I have read many articles stating that the best way to re-string is to start on the high E string first, remove the old string, and then replace it with the new one.


    One would then remove the next string, replace it, and continue one string at a time until all the strings have been replaced.


    The reason this method was considered the "best" way to re-string was because it kept a constant tension on the neck.


    I then read other articles saying to simply loosen all the strings equally, cut/remove all of them, and then re-string one string at a time.




    Which method do you prefer, and if the one string at a time method is preferred, how can I do that and have enough space to remove/install the pickguard that has pu's attached to it?
     

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  2. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Just cut them all off , clean the fretboard and restring.
    Nothing is going to happen to your guitar.
     
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  3. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Meister

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    Hi Nick!

    Would you agree that many times Google confuses many people (ME!!!)? :)
     
  4. Fretting out

    Fretting out Friend of Leo's

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    Yes I’ve been doing it this way for the last decade and have never had an issue
    A guitar neck is an amazingly resilient thing
    The only time I’ve left a string or 2 on while restringing is on my gibson because the tailpiece is a pain in the bottom if it’s loose
    On any fender guitar I just loosen snip and restring
     
  5. Fretting out

    Fretting out Friend of Leo's

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    There might be some science behind it that has been applied to a guitar over time
    But I wouldn’t worry about taking all the strings off at once

    The temperature changes a guitar goes through during the year probably puts just as much strain on it and all that is required is a truss rod adjustment
     
  6. Fretting out

    Fretting out Friend of Leo's

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    You forgot the most important step loosen first
    No one likes a string to the eye ;)
     
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  7. Digiplay

    Digiplay Tele-Meister

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    You'll string your eye out, you'll string your eye out!


    Jerry, aka Ralphie's Mother
     
  8. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi.

    I voted for ‘one at a time.’

    But, it’s not my “preferred” method. It’s my typical method - just what I do mostly. If I deal with them one at a time, I seem to have less stuff floating around and it feels more methodical *for me.*

    I also do it the other way at times. Esp. if I want to clean the fretboard or do something else that’s easier with them all off. It has never made any difference to the guitar doing it this way.

    About the only thing I would say is, I’d never cut the strings without loosening them first. And you already mention that.

    Pax/
    Dean
     
  9. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Nah,I don't even do this.No need to loosen them at all.
    If you are .....afraid just
    place a capo on the sixth fret , nothing will fly off.
     
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  10. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    There's nothing quite like cutting and replacing one string at a time.


    And cutting the new string that you just put on. :cry:


    To replace a scratchplate, capo the strings and take the neck off.
     
  11. LightningPhil

    LightningPhil Tele-Meister

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    Take them all off. Stops the old ones leaving rusty marks when drying after being pressure washed.
     
  12. gimmeatele

    gimmeatele Tele-Meister

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    I loosen slightly first, had one go into a finger when cut at full tension!
     
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  13. WingedWords

    WingedWords Tele-Afflicted

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    I had only acoustic and classical for years and got into the habit of changing one at a time on the advice of my classical luthier. I still do even on solid body electrics and I don't think it does any harm especially if a tremelo is involved.

    I also have a hollow body ES125 and various banjos too all with loose bridges. Definitely one string at a time for them. Also for Les Pauls and Jazzmasters where the bridge is loose, just to stop it falling out and damaging something.

    Special note for resonator guitars - if you take off all the strings at once the cone/s and biscuit or spider can move which is definitely not wanted.

    So I'm in the one at a time camp, but I certainly don't think it's necessary on a Tele.
     
  14. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I go both routes depending on how much dust has accumulated between the pickups. I have never once given thought to the "best" or "proper" order of a string swap.
     
  15. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    Unwind the strings from the tuners and remove.

    Do your other mods.

    Wrap the same strings (unless you are using new strings because you want new strings) from below the eyelet three times around the post and then through the eyelet and pull taught. Then tune up to pitch with a few twists of the tuner knob. Some unwrapped strings are slippery and benefit from having a 4th wrap on b and e strings.

    Make sure no wraps cross over each other, which is a problem with putting old strings back on after a mod that then snaps a string because the crossing creates a high radius bending stress that cuts through.

    No string knots or any over wrapping. No no no.

    Method is from a roadie guitar tech who toured with many famous bands and set up hundreds of stage guitars. This is the fastest way to restring, comparable to locking tuners (which you won't need to consider now).

    Put dry graphite 'lock lube' in the nut slots and saddles to reduce friction. Check any string retainers for stamping burrs underneath and file smooth.

    .
     
  16. Guitardvark

    Guitardvark Tele-Holic

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    i loosen and cut em all of to give the guitar a good wipe down and deep cleaning. you know de gunk it properly cant be done taking one string off at a time. dont be a chicken get a tuner if you dont how to tuna guitar.
     
  17. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I like to do it while smoking a cigarette and enjoying a hot coffee.
    If there's a new western on YouTube to watch while i'm doing it even better.
     
  18. stormsedge

    stormsedge Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I've done it both ways...hey, is this some sort of psychoanalysis test?
     
  19. Andy Summers

    Andy Summers Friend of Leo's

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    I do one at a time. Not for any reason other than that it just feels like less work..dont ask me why. But when I bring to my guitar tech for any kind of work I don’t do myself, he loosens them all up and snips them. Either way is fine in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2020
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  20. LKB3rd

    LKB3rd Friend of Leo's

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    On an acoustic guitar, worrying about the tension on the neck is justified. But for a Tele, cutting them all, giving a wipedown to the fretboard and area near pickups, and restringing, is fine.
    I would say this would be fine for most electric guitars, except some of them have tailpieces that are held on by string tension so I would leave at least a string or two on at all times for those.
    It's a good chance to give a quick cleaning. I even polish the frets from time to time with a rubber eraser type set of polishers from stewmac.
     
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