How to String a Classical Acoustic Guitar

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To string a classical acoustic guitar properly, you must unwind each string, run it through a hole in the bridge and pull it tightly up into the corresponding tuning peg hole. A professional guitarist demonstrates in this free video of acoustic guitar lessons.

Part of the Video Series: Acoustic Guitar Lessons
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Chay Alexander Wright, a guitarist in Los Angeles, California, currently playing with Corbin Bleu. Today, we're going to talk about how to string a classical acoustic guitar, and I like to start with the top of the instrument or the bottom note, the bottom string, sixth string E and then work my way to first string E and we'll take string, comes in a pack this way, and I like to take the instrument, lay it flat on my lap so that I can see what I'm doing, and we'll start from the bottom here, and then string it up to the top tuning pegs and go all the way across the instrument until we get to the final first E string. Take the string out the pack, and you'll notice on the bass strings, on the bottom strings there is a loosely wound pattern, which is where you'll tie in to the bridge here and then for the top it's pretty much the wound pattern that is playing. So, we're going to unwind it, going to wrap it a bit unraveled, find that loosely wound pattern here. It's got a bit of an indention already. We're going to take it. You'll find a hole right here in the bridge. Place the strong in the hole, pull it through. Then I like to, this indention here, get it right to the back of the hole here on the bridge. Then I take this part. I go under the string, under this part of the string and then I wrap it through, through the little slot between the string and the bridge. We'll get more of that, as much slack as I can get, I like to have so that the loosely wound part of the string is what's tied together so there's a better grip. You can see what I'm doing. Then I'll pull tight, pulling tight then I'm going to go up to the top of the neck to the tuning peg and just put his right in the hole. The thing about the nylon strings is you can start the wound just by placing it in the hole as opposed to the electric strings where you wrap around a little bit and then put it in the hole so you put it right in this hole and start turning the peg clockwise, turning the peg clockwise is tightening it. And so you hear it getting tighter. It's going to slip, it's going to slip a little bit, that's the string getting settled in. Pull on it and what I like to do is tune the string higher than it's actually going to be so that it stretches and settles in a little bit better at the bridge and the string is a bit worn by the time you tune it when the rest of the instrument is strung up, the string is settled. It's not going to really stretch any more so when you tune it, it should stay in tune for a while right after you tune it as opposed to tuning it and it's slipping and you have to tune it again and it's slipping and you tune it again. So, get it as tight as you can get it above what E, six E string is going to be, pull on it a bit, tug on it a bit, and then we're going to go to the next string, which is string five A, put it in the next hole, and again, that indention there and I like to take, take it under the string, through, through the little hole between the string and the bridge, pull on it tight, same thing. We're going to go right up to the next tuning peg and drop it right in that hole, line it up with its proper place with the fifth position on the nut here, turn the peg clockwise and I should also point out that I'm holding the slack of the string. I'm holding down as I turn the peg clockwise so that there's a good grip starting when tightening the string. If you don't hold that down, if you don't hold this slack down as you first put it in and turn the peg, what will happen is the string will just keep slipping out of the slot. It will keep slipping out of the hole. So, tightening the A string you should hear it slip a bit, pull on it, tug on it. Go back to the sixth string if you need to, tug on it, tune it up some more, get it settling in a bit, keep tuning it, get that settled in, that E settled in. Alright, so we got all the strings in on the guitar from E six to E first. I'm Chay Alexander Wright and that's how to string a classic acoustic guitar.

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