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Problem with changing the strings on my Acoustic Guitar.


(@medarrah)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 103
Topic starter  

This is my first time changing the strings on my acoustic guitar.

The pins keep coming out of the bridge while I tighten the strings.
Please tell me what Im doing wrong!
Heres what I'm doing: I Take all the strings off, and I start with the thickest string and stick the end into the whole, about a half inch. Then, as I push the pin in, I'm pulling the string up a little bit. Now, I start to tighten it. (I keep my finger on the pin while I'm doing this, by the way.) Once I let go of the pin, it pops out. :(

I dont get it. Please help!
Thanks.


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(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5058
 

Common problem for first timers. The ball-ends of the strings are NOT supposed to be held down by the bridge pins. For a properly installed string, the ball-end sits just inside the guitar and off to the side of the bridge hole, "jammed" against the top of the guitar and SIDE of the bridge pin.

(Image from guitarimports.com)

Before pushing a string's ball-end through the bridge hole, bend the last 20 mm into a slight "hook" shape; then insert the string and "hook" it toward the sound hole. Insert the pin and pull the string to seat it. If it pulls out the pin, give the hook a bit more curve and try again.

-=tension & release=-


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(@medarrah)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 103
Topic starter  

Thanks.
Ill try that as soon as I get home. :)
Another quick question: With the way that I did it originally, it made a really weird buzzing noise on the first 4 frets and 4 thickest strings. That would also be because of the way I did it, right? So the buzz will go away when I do this correctly?


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(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5058
 

Possibly -- but I doubt it, unless you couldn't bring the strings up to full tension because they are not fully anchored.

Other reasons:

If you lowered the gauge of your strings, the tension would also be lower. This often requires neck relief adjustment (truss rod) as the neck may take on a slight "back bow" under the lower tension => fret slapping and buzzing. Also, lighter strings vibrate at a greater amplitude ("wider swing") for the same strumming force. Simply: You cannot play lighter strings as hard.

Another phenomenon I've noticed is that new strings, which are brighter and cleaner quite often show up slight set-up issues more than older, worn strings. Often, this results in a little buzzing until the strings break in. If it's a real issue, or is enough to drive you crazy, you may need a set-up. This will include neck relief and bridge height adjustments. (Sometimes the nut needs reslotting as well -- though that would not have much to do with your issues.)

-=tension & release=-


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(@medarrah)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 103
Topic starter  

Thank you so much!
Uum... but if I decide to take it in for the set-up, how much $ would that about cost me? Sorry, Im new to this. :?


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(@joefish)
Trusted Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 76
 

Ran me about $30 at Sam Ash to have my electric set-up.

==================
Pat
joefish
SilverBox

"Music so wishes to be heard that it sometimes calls on unlikely characters to give it voice".
Robert Fripp


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(@gnease)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 5058
 

Ran me about $30 at Sam Ash to have my electric set-up.

While neck relief and nut set-ups should be about the same on both acoustic and electric*, bridge adjustments can be more difficult and time consuming on an acoustic (string removal usually required). So I wouldn't be surprised if a proper acoustic setup costs a bit more. Sorry -- don't have pricing info, as I've been doing my own for many years.

*some exceptions are older "trussless" Martins and Fenders requiring neck removal

-=tension & release=-


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(@medarrah)
Estimable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 103
Topic starter  

Thanks so much guys. I'm getting it taken in this weekend, for a quote. :D


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(@dagwood)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1029
 

Thanks so much guys. I'm getting it taken in this weekend, for a quote. :D

If you can, ask if they'll let you watch them change the strings.. it might be something simple and not obvious that your doing wrong?

Just a thought :)

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. - Wernher Von Braun (1912-1977)


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