Are your guitar strings wearing off and need to change them? Then you’ll want to know how much does it cost to restring a guitar.
If you use the guitar every day, the strings will start to wear out sooner or later. After 10 to 14 weeks of consistent use, you will experience loosened and brittle strings that don’t produce an ideal sound.
The solution to that, of course, is to restring the guitar. Get a new set of strings so you can enjoy the guitar in a pristine condition.
But there’s a small problem, changing the strings is not only a little tricky, but it can also be expensive. That’s why we want to help you understand all the costs you may face and how to proceed if you’re going to restring the guitar with no help.
So, are you ready to learn the costs and the overall steps to take for this? Then keep reading!
How Much Does it Cost to Restring a Guitar in a Music Store?
First off, let’s go over how much it costs to take your guitar to a music store and change the strings there.
This may differ depending on your guitar, the type of strings you want, and the music store you take it to.
But overall, you may face a cost of about $20 to $80. This may seem a little pricey at first, but it’s not. If you’re a beginner or inexperienced with the restringing process, you will save time and effort. Here are some things the music store will do for you:
- Pick the ideal string gauge for it (more on that later).
- Install the strings in the right order without breaking or stretching them.
- Check your guitar in search of any other issues you may have (fixing these issues may require a set up).
It’s crucial that if you only want to re-string the guitar that you’re specific about it. Tell the music store people that you indeed want a restring service and nothing else.
In case the person who checks and restrings your guitar tells you that your guitar may need a “set up,” which is literally maintenance – then you may proceed to do so. Below is a guide of how much it costs.
Costs of Restringing Guitar with Set-Up
Let’s say you bring the guitar to the music store, but they tell you that on top of restringing it, you should also do a “set up.” That means, in short words, that your guitar needs some service or upkeep. This is essential to keep it working for long and prevent any other issue later on.
The price of a restring with a set up may vary depending on the music store and other factors. But overall, the cost is usually between $100 and $200. In case your guitar needs little maintenance, then the price may lower down a bit.
You will get the new strings installed on your guitar. But the music store may also provide these additional services:
- Hardware conditioning & lubrication
- Truss Rod fine-tuning
- Adjustment of the saddle and nut
- Action adjustment
- Cleaning and conditioning the whole guitar
- Cleaning and conditioning of the fingerboard
- Testing and cleaning the electronics
- Adjustments and fine-tuning of the intonation
- Removal of corrosion, scratches or breakage
- General services to keep the guitar neat & clear
After getting a “set up,” your guitar will not only have new strings, it will be easier to use, smoother, and probably even have better sound.
But as you know, this may not be the best way to proceed if you’re on a budget. In that case, getting the job done yourself may be the best idea. Below you’ll learn how.
Costs of DIY Guitar Restringing
Let’s say you don’t have the money to restring the guitar in a music store, and you don’t need any “set up” either.
At the same time, you have a little experience with this process, so you’re confident you can get the job done.
Well, in that case, you will need to consider the different tools for the job. Below there’s a list with their costs and explanation:
New Strings ($5 to $20)
The first thing you need to look for is a set of strings. This will change enormously depending on the type of strings you want. But usually, the price oscillates between $5 to $20 for decent yet affordable strings.
If you’re going high-end, you may end up spending over $50 or a little more. But that’s unlikely and unnecessary if you’re a beginner.
There’s a catch here, though. You need to get the ideal set of strings, and that means considering the thickness or gauge.
A set of light strings will be easier to press down and will emit sound with a softer touch. In contrast, thick strings have extra tension, adding a little difficulty when pressing down, but offering a clearer and warmer tone.
To give you a better idea, light strings are either 10s or 11s. These will be easier to use and ideal for beginners. However, they can be a little hard to use (as they’re prone to break).
Then you’ll find thick strings that usually are 12s and 13s. These will be harder to use but will deliver a brighter tone overall.
As a beginner, a light set of strings may come ideal. But you don’t have to stick to them either. So follow what you think fits better with your style and desires.
Tuner ($5 to $30)
If you’re a guitarist, then you probably already have a tuner. But if you don’t, then getting one will be critical if you want to install the new strings by yourself.
Tuners are typically affordable as well, depending on their overall quality and brand. For example, a high-end model may cost over $50 or more. But they usually come with features that you’re unlikely to use as a beginner.
Overall, you may find a tuner going from $5 to $30 – and the higher end would be a pretty good tuner for sure.
String or Wire Cutter ($5 to $30)
Once you have the perfect strings according to your desired thickness, then you can proceed to pick a string cutter.
Here, you don’t need to check anything apart from making sure it is easy to use, safe, and gets the job done. That’s why you may not need to spend more than $5. But if you want a string cutter that also works for other things, you may want to spend from $20 to $30 (you shouldn’t spend more than that).
Overall Costs ($15 to $80)
So, how much money are you likely to spend? Well, the whole DIY restringing process shouldn’t cost more than $80. If you find that your checks go higher than that, then it probably means you’re getting the wrong items.
Either way, you can start looking for them now. Once you have them, proceed to the below guide.
DIY Guide: How to Restring a Guitar
So you’ve gathered the new strings, and you’re ready to start installing. In that case, follow these tips:
01. Remove the Old Strings
The first step into restringing the guitar is to cut the old strings off. This process seems super-easy, but you need to be super-careful. Here are some things to consider:
- Always place the guitar in a stable place, preferably on a table with a table on its back. This will prevent scratches.
- Then secure the guitar with your hands, so it doesn’t move. You can proceed to start loosening the strings from the headstock. If you want, you can cut them directly with the cutter.
- To get them off safely, try unwinding them and then loosening from the pegs. This will get them off without causing any problem so you can then remove them from the bridge.
- The bridge is composed of the wooden part and the pins that hold the strings. You will have to lift the pins to release the string. Pushing them from the bottom may help. Trying to lift them up from their heads may also work.
Once you have the pins out of the bridge and the pegs on the headstock, then you’ve successfully removed the old strings.
02. Installing the New Strings on the Bridge
With the old strings out, the guitar is ready to receive the new ones. Here’s how to proceed:
- Start by taking a look at the string’s manual (if any). Be sure to know the right order of the strings to prevent any mistake later on (or you’ll have to restring again).
- Then you can proceed to start fitting the strings into the bridge holes (follow the order as needed). We recommend bending the end of the strings at a 45-degree and putting them through the holes. Secure them with the pins.
Once every string is secured on the guitar’s bridge, then you’re ready to tie them up on the headstock.
03. Install the New Strings on the Headstock
This part of the guitar is where the strings are tightened up. So they must be properly installed. For that, follow these tips:
- First, pass the other end of the strings through the pegs. Here, follow the order you saw when removing the old cords. Wrap the strings on the pegs by placing the light strings with the closest pegs, and the heavy ones on the farthest ones.
- When all the strings are inside the peg’s holes, then you can start tightening. Use the winders or buttons as necessary. Cut any remaining string you won’t use.
- Don’t tighten the strings too much, though. Be sure to leave some slack on the string, so they don’t break when you use them. You should be able to lightly stretch them without breaking them.
You’ve installed the new strings. Now it’s time to tune the guitar.
If you want a more visual guide on how to install the new strings, this video may help you out:
04. Tuning the New Strings
Tuning the guitar may feel like a difficult chore if you’re a beginner. To make it easier, follow these tips:
- Grab your tuner (it is vital) unless you want to do it by ear, which we don’t recommend.
- Start by tuning the low E string with the tuner. It should end up in a clear E sound. Then start tuning the rest of the strings accordingly.
- The focus is to play the 5th fret on your low string, and then match the sound on the A string. As you should know, these two sounds are the same, so the low E string will help you tune the A.
- Proceed to do the same with the other strings. Just be sure to match the G string by playing the 4th fret on the B string instead. Once they match, then you have your guitar ready to be played.
This process may take a few minutes up to an hour, depending on your experience. But don’t worry – it’s completely worth it.
Having trouble with this step? Follow this video on how to tune in your guitar properly:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
After following our guide and reading about the different costs, you may still hold some doubts in your head. Well, let’s answer some of them in this section.
How expensive it is to restring a guitar professionally?
If you have a high-end guitar and don’t want to do the job yourself, then you can always hire a professional to do it for you. In that case, you may see prices ranging from $50 to $200 for high-end service.
How often should I restring my guitar?
You should restring your guitar at least every 100 hours of use. This could be translated into 3 months of use if you use the guitar every day.
Can any person restring a guitar?
Yes, as long as they follow the right steps and recommendations, then restringing a guitar shouldn’t be much of a problem.
So, did you learn how much does it cost to restring a guitar? We hope so.
With our brief guide on how to restring a guitar, you should now be ready to tackle the job without any doubt.
What are you waiting for then? Restring your guitar now and start playing right away!