There are a few options available to you when it comes to restringing a guitar. If you are a guitar playing pro, restringing should be something you can do yourself at home. If you are new to the guitar playing world then the best route to go would be to visit your local music store for a guitar restring. And if you need a set up (when the guitar isn’t feeling or sounding good) it can cost you more.
Here we are looking at all three of these options and how much you can expect to pay out for each.
How Much Does It Cost to Restring Your Own Guitar?
The cost to restring your own guitar is from $6 – $7 – basically the cost of new strings.
Playing guitar for a while means you should have taken the time to learn guitar restringing on your own. Being a regular player means you will end up breaking strings regularly, or the strings will eventually get old. It’s not good on the purse strings to have a professional perform this basic task for you every time.
There are four steps involved in restringing a guitar:
- Buying a brand new set of strings
- Removing the old set from your guitar
- Installing the new guitar strings
- Tuning your guitar
The first thing you will need to fork out for is a set of strings. The one thing you need to know about when it comes to guitar strings is their gauge. This refers to the thickness of the strings that are measured in thousandths of an inch.
The string you want to look at for determining your gauge is the high E or low E. A light set of acoustic guitar strings will usually be a set of 11’s or 52’s. Anyone in your local music store should be able to help you find the right gauge. If you already know the gauge, you can always order online to save money and time.
Removing Old Strings
Great care has to be taken when removing a set of strings. The best way to do it is to:
- Place a towel on the floor so that guitar won’t get scratched as you move around
- Place another towel to support the headstock of the guitar
- Loosen the strings one at a time
- Now you can cut them with some pliers or unwind them from the headstock
- Once the strings have been removed, you can pop the fixing pegs out and remove the entire string
Installing New Ones
Once you have your new strings and have removed the old ones, it’s time to get to work on restringing the guitar.
- Start off by putting the ball end of each string into the correct peg hole
- Make sure that ball end is sitting under the end of each peg and that it is firmly in place before continuing
- Insert the opposite end of the string into the right tune hole
- Start to tighten the string anticlockwise, making sure the strings are matching up with the inside face of the tuners
- Leave some slack so you can wrap the string around the tuners. They need to be firm but not over tightened
Tuning Your Guitar
Now that the new strings are on your guitar, you need to tune it. Ideally, you will own a tuner, but there are other ways of tuning your guitar without one. You need to get a reference note and tune the lowest E string to it. Then you can tune the rest of your guitar to this note using a tuning guide.
How Much Will It Cost for Professional Restringing?
Going to your local music store or having a professional restring the guitar for you will obviously be at a higher price. This is why it’s so important to know how to restring a guitar yourself if this is something that will happen regularly. For electric and acoustic guitar, you are looking at between $20-$60, including some strings for a full restringing service.
We would recommend having someone else replace your strings if you are a beginner and aren’t confident in doing it yourself. Messing up the order of the strings and even breaking them can be a common result of an inexperienced hand in the restringing process.
A music store will offer you their services for a higher price than if you were doing it on your own time. Included in this price should be the replacement strings you need as well. Be sure to confirm with them the final price for their service as some stores will include cleaning and maintenance of the instrument as well as the restringing.
How Much Does a Set Up and Restring Cost?
This is by far the most expensive, costing around $120 for a full set of strings and a set up of your guitar. This is something any electric or acoustic guitar will need from time to time. Guitars that are used over extended periods of time can have their playability, intonation, and tone affected – something which a set up can fix.
Basic maintenance of your guitar is something you can do at home. However, using things like a truss rod and taking on more complicated tasks like this might be something beyond your skillset. In this case, it’s better to hand over the cash and let the professionals handle it.
Restringing Guitar FAQs
How much does it cost to restring a guitar at Guitar Center?
Guitar Center is a store that exists in many American towns, so it may be your local music shop for your restringing needs. Usually, at this multi-store chain, you will be looking at $20 for restringing as well as a set of strings on top of that.
How much does it cost to replace guitar strings?
Guitar strings are relatively cheap to replace. Depending on where you get them from, you can grab a set for as little as $6. However, you should always be careful of the gauge of the strings you are using and the quality of the ones you want to buy.
How often should I restring my guitar?
Strings should be replaced once every three months or at 100 hours of playing – whichever comes first.
Is it easy to restring a guitar?
Restringing a guitar can be easy for those who know how to do it. Doing it for the first time can be daunting, but it could save you money if you plan on playing your guitar a lot.
As you’ll see from the guide above, there isn’t one umbrella price that applies to all guitars needing new strings. There will be different amounts to pay depending on your experience, whether you can do it yourself and also if you need a set up as well as any other maintenance during the process.