Wrap guitar strings around tuning pegs

How to Make Guitar String Wraps on Your Guitar

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Wrap guitar strings around tuning pegs

Have you ever seen guitar string wraps on a friend’s guitar and thought to yourself, “Hey, I want to try that.” So, read on to find out how to do it yourself!

Basic Wrap

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Hands should be washed.

1.Hands should be washed. If you have fat or oil on your hands, it is possible that your strings may sound duller.

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Bring the fresh guitar string up to the tuning key. [1]

2. Bring the fresh guitar string up to the tuning key. [1]

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Place your right index finger on top of the tuning key.

3. Place your right index finger on top of the tuning key.

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Wrap your string twice, three times, or four times around the tuning key. [2]

4. Wrap your string twice, three times, or four times around the tuning key. [2]

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Insert the string through the keyhole.

5. Insert the string through the keyhole. So you don’t ruin your guitar bag, cut the remaining string.

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Extend the strings.

6. Extend the strings. Strings must frequently be stretched before they will stay in tune.

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Extend the strings.

7. Tune to taste.

Self-locking wrap

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String should be threaded.

1. String should be threaded. Bring the straight end of the string up to the headstock and thread it through the eye of the machine head after fastening the eye-side of the string at the bridge of the instrument. [3]
This approach is meant for steel-string acoustic or electric guitars, not classical guitars with horizontal tuning pegs and nylon strings.

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The string should be wrapped around the machine’s head.

2. The string should be wrapped around the machine’s head. For the first pass, make sure it goes over the free end of the string. Turning the key to get this initial loop in place is easier than looping the loose thread over the machine head and holding it with your right hand. It makes it simple to modify the amount of slack, which decides how much string you’ll have for the wrap. [4]

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Make certain that it is wound appropriately.

3. Make certain that it is wound appropriately. Check that the string is wound around the tuning head in such a way that winding it counter-clockwise tightens the string (machine heads on the right side of the headstock – usually for higher strings – should turn clockwise instead). This will maintain a consistent tuning direction and appropriately align the strings. If you’re doing anything incorrectly, it should be evident.

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Adjust the string’s tension.

4. Adjust the string’s tension. With your right hand, hold the first loop in place and wind the machine head to tighten the string (sometimes you have enough slack that you can cheat and throw your second loop over the top, too, but it can be tricky to keep the first one in place when you try this). [5]
Your string should now pass under the loose end.

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Continue winding the thread, looping it under itself such that each loop pushes the preceding loops higher.

5. Continue winding the thread, looping it under itself such that each loop pushes the preceding loops higher. Three or four loops are sufficient for the lower strings, but more loops are required to protect the plain steel strings (typically the B and high E) from slipping.
This is a good moment to emphasize that it takes practice to figure out how much slack you need to start with in order to finish the wrap and tune the string. If you don’t have enough string, simply back up and start over with a bit extra slack.

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Check to ensure that the wrap is properly applied.

6. Check to ensure that the wrap is properly applied. The finished product should be a loose end of string protruding from the machine head, trapped between one loop passing over the top and the remainder of the wrap pressing up from below.

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The additional ends of the strings should not be cut off.

7. The additional ends of the strings should not be cut off. Leave them on during the stretching process (you can tuck them out of the way to make it easier) and don’t cut them until your guitar is staying in tune on its own; you never know when you’ll need to unstring and restring one or two of them due to something you notice while tuning; it’s best to be safe.

  • Allow about 3/4-inch of string to protrude from the machine head so that the ends of the strings may be bent back on themselves (needle nose pliers help a lot). Anyone who has ever accidently jammed the tip of a guitar string under their fingernail understands why this is useful.
  • This approach has the advantage of using less thread to form a secure wrap, which reduces stretching and break-in time. (Plus, you don’t have to wound as much and there aren’t any unsightly strings on your machine heads.)
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