Restringing Your Slot-head Guitar

Fear no more! This simple method will have you restringing your slotted-headstock guitars with ease.

Posted by Andy Cambria

One of the most frequently asked questions here at TME is: Can you restring my guitar for me? (Question typically followed by extraction of slotted-headstock guitar from guitar case and a recital of the usual laundry list of problems the task presents ... uncertainty, time consumption, potential for fingertip injury, etc.) If you've never attempted to restring a guitar with a slotted peghead, or you've been putting off such a string change for want of a new method, hopefully this little tutorial will prove useful. 

After you've removed your old strings and installed the new ones at the bridge, making sure to seat the ball ends firmly, and rotated the tuners so that the tuning post holes are facing up, here are the steps we follow (please refer to pictures below for illustration):

1. Address the E strings first, as these will wind toward the inside of the peghead (other strings wind toward the outisde of the peghead)
2. Pull the low E string tight through the nut and measure about 1 1/2 tuning posts beyond the low E post
3. Clip the end of the string and bend a firm right angle into it
4. Insert the bent string end into the post and begin tuning up
5. Manually guide the still-slack portion of the string across the clipped string end so that the slack winds toward the inside of the peghead
6. After a few passes, you should be nearly up to pitch and ready to repeat these same steps with the high E string
7. Repeat these steps with the rest of the strings, only changing step 5 (with the A, D, G and B string, you'll manually glide the still-slack portion of the string across the clipped string end so that the slack winds toward the outside of the peghead)

After a couple practice runs, we're sure you'll master this technique, and your slothead guitars will be singing like new! 

Go back

Visit our Blog for other exclusive interviews and more.