Stringing A Classical Guitar

Changing the strings on a classical guitar is essential to maintaining your instrument. This process can seem daunting to many guitarists, but with a few simple steps, you’ll be able to replace and tune your strings quickly and easily.

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know about changing classical guitar strings, from choosing the right strings to tuning them.

How do you know when to change guitar strings?

Here are some key signs that indicate it might be time for a switch:

  • The strings are discolored and have a dull, lifeless sound.
  • The strings have been on your guitar for more than 6 months.
  • You hear rattling noises coming from the strings.
  • The strings feel “dead” – they don’t respond to pressure or vibrate as quickly as new strings do.
  • You’re having difficulty getting notes to stay in tune.
  • Rust starts to accumulate on the string’s surface
  • The core of the string has become visible due to wear
  • The winding on the string begins to break down and unravel.

Changing guitar strings is essential for maintaining the quality of your instrument. If you start to notice discoloration, dull sound, rattling noises, difficulty tuning notes, rust on the strings, or unraveling winding, it’s time to consider changing your guitar strings. Replacing your guitar strings regularly helps ensure you’ll get the best sound out of your instrument and can dramatically improve playability.

What Are The Top 5 Classical Guitar Strings To Buy?

When choosing strings for your classical guitar, there are a few key factors to consider. The type of string (steel or nylon) and the gauge (thickness of the strings) can affect the sound and playability of your instrument. Here are our top five picks for classical guitar strings:

1 – D’Addario EJ45 Pro-Arte Nylon, Normal Tension

Brilliant All Round Strings

Perfect For: Everyone!

String Tension Rating: Normal

Features: Semi-polished bass strings offer rich low end with minimal fret noise


  • Reliable classical tone – D’Addario’s best-selling, normal tension set
  • Superb treble string intonation and consistency, from laser-controlled production
  • Long-lasting, and great for the planet, with eco-friendly, anti-corrosion packaging


  • None

The TedScore: 9/10

2 – Fender 100 Classical Nylon Clear, Silver Tie End Strings

Nylon strings that emit warmth, clarity and sustain

Perfect For: Beginners

String Tension Rating: Normal

Features: String gauges .028 .029 .032 .035 .040 .043


  • Clear and warm tone
  • Made by Fender


  • You pay slightly for the name

The TedScore: 7/10

3 – D’Addario XT SPC Classical Strings, Hard Tension

The best classical nylon strings you’ll ever touch

Perfect For: Intermediate to Advanced Players

String Tension Rating: Hard

Features: Strings that are wound in silver plated copper


  • Bright sound and plenty of volume thanks to hard tension
  • Exceptional feel thanks to quality construction
  • High Tension Strings that are made to last


  • None

The TedScore: 9/10

4 – Augustine Concert Low Tension

For those looking for the best tone from their guitar

Perfect For: Intermediate to Advanced Players

String Tension Rating: Low in Bass Strings, Regular in Treble

Features: A variety of tensions, to make your guitar sound better than ever


  • Top-quality strings for your classical guitar
  • Exceptional feel thanks to quality design
  • Warm and rich with low-tension bass strings


  • A little pricey

The TedScore: 7/10

5 – Classical Guitar Strings by Gear4music

Brilliant beginner strings

Perfect For: Beginners

String Tension Rating: Normal

Features: A very cost-effective set of nylon strings, perfect if you’re a complete beginner


  • Very cheap


  • There are better strings on the market if you have the budget

The TedScore: 5/10

What tools will I need to change classical guitar strings?

Changing your classical guitar strings doesn’t require much beyond the new strings themselves, but having a few supplies on hand can make the process smoother. While preferences vary, all you need is essential items around the house. Here’s a checklist of what to consider if you’re changing your guitar strings:

New Classical Guitar Strings

You can’t string your classical guitar without the right gear. You’ll need new nylon strings specifically designed for use on classical guitars.

Regular steel strings won’t fit and should never be used, as they can cause damage to the instrument.

When selecting strings, normal tension is a great place to start. Try a set of high-tension strings if you’re looking for more volume and projection.

Nail Clippers or Scissors

To start off, you’ll need nail clippers or scissors to cut away the old strings. It’s important to be gentle and not do anything that may damage the instrument while doing this.

Make sure you clip off as much of the old string near the tuning peg as possible so that it can be replaced easily with a new one.

Using nail clippers or scissors gives you a much cleaner look than regular pliers, creating an even cut without damaging the strings’ ends.

Cleaning Materials

Having some cleaning supplies on hand is also essential after you’ve finished stringing your guitar.

This includes microfiber cloths or swabs, which allow you to remove any dirt or grime from the bridge that may have accumulated from the string change.

It’s best to do this while the strings are still damp with oil so they don’t become too challenging to move around after they’ve been put in place.

How to Change Classical Guitar Strings – Tutorial

Changing your classical guitar strings is integral to upkeep and maintenance, not just for sound quality but also for playability.

With the right tools and step-by-step instructions, it’s a task every guitarist should know how to do. The steps below will help you securely tie classical guitar strings to your instrument.

One: Tune down and remove all the strings

Using a string winder or wrench, begin by loosening each string one at a time until they are entirely slack.

Remove the strings. If you are replacing treble (E) strings with a nylon core, check that the replacement has ball ends to fit securely into the bridge.

Two: Clean the guitar

It’s essential with classical guitars since their lack of frets means more dirt builds up around the neck and bridge as you play.

Using a damp cloth, clean off any fretboard gunk or dust around the guitar body, neck, and headstock before re-stringing it.

Three: Tie a new string to the bridge

Insert one end of each string into its insertion point at the guitar’s bridge. To ensure strings stay put while playing, tie them securely on both sides of the bridge with a double knot.

Make sure there is no excess string hanging from either side before moving on to tuning.

Four: Attach the string to the tuning key

Feed each end of each string through its custom tuning key. Remember that unlike metal string guitars, where winding goes clockwise when looking down at it from above, nylon core strings require you to wind counterclockwise so as not to over-tighten them!

Use tools like a peg winder or string winder when working on tight tuning keys for convenience and speed.

Five: Repeat with all the other strings

Attach all other strings individually, following steps three and four until all six strings are ready for stretching and tuning up.

Six: Double-Loop the high E

This is particularly important if you’re using treble e-string with nylon core because they tend to slip out under tension more than other strings.

Feed both ends through twice so that they form two loops inside instead of just one loop outside – this will help hold onto tension better during playtime!

Seven: Stretch it

Once all your classical guitar strings have been replaced, stretch them carefully using two hands (one hand per side).

Gently pull them up and down along their length multiple times until they stay tuned for longer after being tuned up. Focus on the treble strings (E, B, and G), as these will be more prone to slipping out of tune.

Eight: Trim Any Excess String

Finally, trim any excess string away from both sides of your instrument using scissors or wire cutters so that it doesn’t buzz against anything when strumming vigorously on open chords later.

How Often Should I Change Classical Guitar Strings?

Regular classical guitar requires frequent string changes to keep your instrument in top condition. Here’s a guide to how often you should replace the strings based on the amount of time you spend practicing each day:

3+ Hours Practice per Day

If you practice over three hours daily, replace your strings at least once a month. This ensures that your guitar will remain in top condition and maintain its optimal performance.

1-2 Hours Practice per Day

Spending one to two hours each day on practice? Replace our strings every two to three months for the best sound quality and consistency.

1 Hour or Less Practice per Day

For those who practice their instruments an hour or less a day, four months between each string replacement should suffice. Keeping this schedule helps ensure the sound remains bright and vibrant.

Summary – How To Change Classical Guitar Strings

Changing strings on a classical guitar can be done with just a few steps outlined in this guide. Make sure to check each string for any defects before replacing them, as well as clean the guitar body and fretboard properly before re-stringing it. Take special care when attaching the high E string to stay securely in place during practice and performances. Replace your strings every few months to keep your classical guitar in top condition.


  • Is it hard to restring a classical guitar?

A classical guitar string change is a simple task. With patience and the right tools, you can rest your classical guitar in about 10-15 minutes. It is essential to ensure that strings are adequately tightened to avoid buzzes or other tuning issues. Loosening the string tension too much can also cause damage to the instrument’s neck.

When tightening a string, turn the tuning peg slowly and evenly until the string is in tune. It is also essential to be careful not to over-tighten the strings, as this can cause them to break prematurely.

  • How often should classical guitar strings be changed?

The frequency of string changes depends on the time you practice each day. If you practice more than three hours daily, replace your strings once a month. For one to two hours of practice each day, strings should be changed every 2-3 months. For casual players, strings should be replaced every three to four months.

For the best tone and sound quality, change your strings regularly! Remember that string tightness also affects playability – if they’re too loose or tight, it can make playing harder. Check and adjust the tension of your strings regularly for optimal performance. To maximize string life, clean them after each use and store them in a cool, dry place.

  • How do you restring a classical nylon string guitar?

Restringing a classical nylon string guitar is similar to that of other types of guitars. The process involves:

  • Cleaning the instrument.
  • Tying a new string to the bridge.
  • Attaching it to the tuning key and tightening until in tune.
  • Repeating this for all strings.
  • Double looping the high E for extra stability and security.
  • Stretching the strings.
  • Trimming any excess string.

An optional step is lubricating the nut slots with graphite for improved tuning stability. Following these steps will ensure an adequately strung instrument.

  • What is the proper way to string a classical guitar?

The proper way to string a classical guitar is to start by loosening all of the strings, ensuring that none are under any tension.

Next, thread the ball end of each string into the bridge hole and pull it through until the string is taut but not too tight. Finally, tune the strings until they have reached their desired pitches.

  • Learn the best way to change your Classical nylon guitar strings for optimum tuning & stability

To ensure optimal tuning and stability, use a string winder to remove each string one at a time. Unwind it slowly, replacing the old string with the new one while not letting the bridge move or strings from other courses get tangled up. Then, once all strings are replaced, tune them up using either an electronic tuner or by ear.

Lastly, adjust the string tension to your preference and pull each string up against the fretboard with force to ensure it’s seated properly. To string tight, you can use a string cradle or a unique tool designed to create tension on the strings. Doing so will keep them in tune and make playing easier. By following these steps, you’ll be able to change your classical guitar strings easily and ensure they stay in tune longer.