This is the proper way to change your guitar strings, according to Guthrie Trapp

Close up of electric guitar strings
(Image credit: Future)

One of the greatest things about guitar is the learning never stops; it's not just playing but everything from the type of pick we use to even the way we fit new electric guitar strings. This new Guthrie Trapp video on his YouTube channel is a case in point; because it's very easy to overlook some of these steps. 

"I wanted to give you show you guys and give you guys rundown on how I change strings on a Telecaster and how I learned to do this over 30 years ago from a guy in my local guitar shop down in Pensacola, Florida," begins Guthrie. It works for the session ace, who recently completed a new album with his peer and friend Tom Bukovac. So what does it involve?

You need wire cutters and a string winder to start. You remove and replace one string at a time (unless you're conditioning your fretboard this is the best way for minimising tension changes to your guitar neck) and then Guthrie measures two tuning pegs past the one for the low E and A strings he's changing before cutting. "That's gonna give you the proper windings every time," says Guthrie. But the other strings require more. 

"When the strings get smaller, you need to have a few more winds on there," he notes. And this is something that is often overlooked. While Guthrie advises two and a half to three winds on the low E string and the same for the A string, he says three to three and a half on the D and then four on the high three strings is best for consistency. 

Guthrie also highlights best winding technique for tension and how important stretching the new strings is; don't skip this step as it's vital for bedding them in. It's great advice for all players – because string changes are something we all have in common.  

And make sure you watch to the end of this video for Guthrie's unexpected tip on improving the feel of your strings too! 

We also urge you to subscribe to Guthrie Trapp's YouTube channel for some great lessons. 

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.