In this Guitarbitz guide, we'll show you step by step how to restring a classical guitar. First we'll introduce you to what makes classical guitar strings different, but you can also jump to the steps below.
Remember you can pick up a new set of high quality classical guitar strings from the Guitar Bitz store. You'll need a set before we start changing the strings!

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Classical Guitar Strings

Classical guitars have 6 nylon strings although 3 of them look like metal (these have a nylon core and are wrapped in silver to make them thicker). Guitars need to have their strings changed regularly to get the best tone and playability.

The nylon, when under tension, starts to stretch. This makes it more prone to snapping as it causes micro-fractures in them. You will find that when they get old, it will be difficult to keep in tune and they may snap.

The bass strings (the 3 ones that have a silver winding wrapped around them) show you more obviously when they are old and need changing. These are usually silver-plated copper, so if the copper is starting to show through, this is a good indication that they need changing. They can also turn black due to the silver oxidising, again another indication that they need changing. 

In between the windings, the wrapped strings get gunked up with dead skin cells, oil from your fingers, dust and lots of other yucky things. This causes the string to vibrate unevenly and so not give a good ring when plucked. You may also find that your fingers smell funny after you have played.

If you have broken one, this is another indication that you need to change all 6 of them, so that you get an even tone. 


Remember, when you change them, change all 6 at the same time so that you get an even tone. If you really have to change just one single string, make sure you're using the same gauge, material and even brand to get as close as possible to an even tone. 

If you need any help choosing strings for your classical guitar or need any help when trying to fit them, contact us or drop by the store and we'll be happy to help.


They can cause irreparable damage due to the guitars rarely having truss rods.

Check out our guitar string guide if you're unsure of what kind of strings you need. 

Tools You'll Need

While not all of these tools and accessories are absolutely necessary, they will make the process a lot easier, keep your guitar in top shape and avoid damage while restringing your acoustic guitar. 

  • A new set of classical guitar strings
  • string cutters
  • lemon oil or fretboard polish
  • 2 cleaning cloths - one for cleaning the body and one for the lemon oil 
  • a tuner - to get tuned up after you've finished restringing.

    You can find everything you need to restring your classical guitar strings in our store! Check out our Guitar Cleaning and Care page.

    How to Restring a Classical Guitar: Steps 

    Below you will find a step-by-step guide on how to change the strings on a classical guitar


    STEP 1

    Firstly turn the machine heads clockwise to make them slack. Using a string winder can speed this part up significantly.

    STEP 2

    Cut all 6 near the sound-hole once you have slackened them all off.

    STEP 3

    Us a pair of wire cutters or string snips to cut them.

    STEP 4 

    Remove the string from the barrel. This can be tricky so take your time.

    STEP 5

    Now remove the strings from the bridge.


    STEP 6

    If they're still too tight you can push the string through and unwind the loop.


    STEP 7

    Remove all 6 strings and give the bridge a good dust.

    STEP 8

    Add some Lemon oil to another cloth. Wipe it all over the fretboard but leave it to soak in for 30 seconds to hydrate the wood. This will also help soften any dirt and grime for a deep clean. After 30 seconds wipe the fretboard dry.

    STEP 9

    Now give your guitar a thorough clean and polish with a different cloth as the lemon oil can damage your guitars finish.

    STEP 10

    Get your new set of strings ready. 

    STEP 11

    Sort the new strings, ready for installation. Take note of the system used to identify each string and what order they need to go in.

    STEP 12

    Push the string through (from the sound hole side) the hole in the bridge. Start with the thickest string.

    STEP 13

    You will need around 3 inches pushed through. We will refer to this as the tail.

    STEP 14

    Take the tail, bend it back over the bridge and to the right of the string.

    STEP 15

    Loop the tail around the bottom of the string and back on itself.


    STEP 16

    Feed the tail under itself and pull the slack through.

    STEP 17

    Again, feed the tail under itself a second time.

    STEP 18

    Now pull on the longer part to make the knot tight.

    STEP 19

    Here is a close up of the knot, with the string resting on the saddle.

    STEP 20

    Repeat this process again with the next string.

    STEP 21

    On the next knot take the tale and tuck it in.

    STEP 22

    Here is a close-up showing how the tail is tucked in.

    STEP 23

    Repeat with the rest. With the thinnest E bring it back in the opposite direction and tuck it under the B string.

    STEP 24

    Pull the thickest string through the nut, ready for cutting.

    STEP 25

    Measure 6 inches (15 cm) past the required tuner roller (Low E is bottom right).

    STEP 26

    Cut the string with wire cutters at the 6 inch mark.

    STEP 27

    Pass the string over the tuner roller and then pass it down through the gap.

    STEP 28

    Feed it from underneath and up through the hole.


    STEP 29

    Feed approx 3 inches (7 cm) through the roller to give us another tail.


    STEP 30

    Fold over the tail approx 1/3 inch (1cm).

    STEP 31

    Loop this little hook over the longer part of the string and put it back through the hole in the roller.

    STEP 32

    Pull on the longer part of the string  that passes down the neck to make the loop tight.

    STEP 33

    The next step is much easier with a string winder.

    STEP 34

    Keep the string under tension as you windup up all the slack and bring the string up to tension.

    STEP 35

    This usually leaves you with around 4 winds. Keep the loops looking like this (working towards the middle of the headstock).

    STEP 36

    Now repeat for the rest of the strings. You can now tune and stretch the strings in. Happy playing!



    Ready to restring your classical guitar? Shop our selection of top-quality classical guitar strings and get your guitar sounding its best!

    Shop classical guitar strings now!


    Hopefully you've found this guide on how to change your classical guitar strings useful!

    After a few times doing this, you'll be doing this process much quicker. There are a lot of fiddly steps so It can be slightly daunting at first, but doing it properly will make your guitar far nicer to play. Good luck!

    You can grab any of the classical guitar parts or accessories mentioned in this guide on our website, and check out our other helpful how-to-guides to get the most and best from your instrument. 


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