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How to string a guitar

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How To String A Guitar. By Tim Gillespie

Several years ago I moved into a house on North Boulder Park in Boulder, Colorado. Soon afterwards I started to notice guitarists walking by my house carrying expensive guitars that seemed to be broken. Interestingly they were all going next door to my neighbor's house.

It turned out I bought a house right next door to one of the finest Martin Guitar repairmen in the country. My neighbor's name is Bob Westbrook, an authorized repairman for the C. F. Martin Guitar Company. What got my attention was that all those guitarists were famous. It turned out that whenever they broke a guitar, they kept it with them while they were touring, until they played a show in Colorado. Then they would drive up to Boulder and set up an appointment to have this fine luthier work on their prized instrument. I struck gold!

Bob needed help doing chores around the house, so being the opportunist I am, I started to do any favor for Bob he needed. In turn, Bob kept all my guitars in perfect working order. And occasionally, I got to meet and talk with famous guitarists.

One day while playing a guitar that kept slipping out of tune, Bob handed me his official business card and said, "read it". I did and my guitars have stayed in tune ever since.

The diagram presented here is a reproduction of what Bob had printed on the back of his business card. If you follow these guidelines your guitar will not slip out of tune no matter how hard you play it.

This technique pinches the string against itself so that slippage of the string never occurs. I usually forget exactly how to do this correctly, so I keep a picture of it handy. Now you can use the exact same technique.

Bob has always been interested in helping people and when I asked him if I could share this technique with the world, he was happy to allow me to do so. So if you are looking for an excellent way to string your guitar so it never falls out of tune, here it is. Courtesy of Bob Westbrook, the finest guitar repairman I have ever met and a very dear friend. -Uncle Tim.


Tim Gillespie is the author of "The Uncle Tim Series For Guitar". This series maps the fretboard for every key in an easy to understand visual way that is sure to change the way you approach the instrument. His work is available at the C. F. Martin Guitar factory store, Borders Books and Music, Barnes & Noble and hundreds of the finest guitar shops in North America. You can also see this series at his web site, .

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