Help! Restringing guitar?

This is probably ridiculous but I got new strings for my guitar and last time I accidentally messed up the order of some of the thinner strings when putting them on. I’m using Ernie Ball acoustic strings and don’t know how to tell what order to put them on - there are numbers on the backs that may be related that jump around between 0 and 9 but idk if that indicates order. Thank you!!

8 Answers

  • Danny
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    Either figure out what those numbers mean, or see/feel or measure the differences in thickness. The "between 0 and 9" doesn't work. A more typical annotation for a set of acoustic strings would be say 12 to 50, which is short for .012 to .050 inches. The size list should be on the main package. The smallest two numbers are for the first and second strings. Yes, those two are easy to mix up at first. There may only be a .03" difference - that's just three one-hundredths of an inch...

    Your senses should be able to (eventually) detect the small difference. If not, you can buy a five-dollar dial caliper at like Harbor Freight, or less than ten bucks for a digital. Even if you don't hit say .012 dead-on when looking for that first string, the next one will be thicker or thinner. In practice, never start restringing by removing all six strings from their packages...Here's a general read:

  • 3 weeks ago

    the easy answer is to just look at the strings. The thickest is the top one and each string is thinner moving to the bottom. The strings are similar at a glance but if you look closely you can see the difference.

  • Chad
    Lv 4
    4 weeks ago

    Most people f1ck up on the 3 smallest strings. I suggest starting with those first. 

  • 4 weeks ago

    You need to get a guitar player to figure this out, and put the strings on, in the correct order !

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • 4 weeks ago

    The thickness of guitar strings (called gauge) is measured in thousandths of an inch. Depending on which type of set you buy, the gauges will vary from string to string. For example the gauges on a set of Ernie Ball Earthwood Extra Light acoustic strings  ranges from .010-.050 inch. We often skip using the zeros, and just say 10-50. To make packaging simpler, Ernie Ball just puts the string gauge on the outside of the envelopes.  The important thing you need to know is that the lower the number, the thinner the string. So the lowest number will be your high E string. The numbers run in ascending order with the highest number being your low E. Pretty simple really.

    Why does Ernie Ball just use the gauge on the packaging?   That .011 that they use for a B string on their Super Slinky's is the high E string on a set of Beefy's. Rather than print multiple envelopes for the same string, it simplifies things to just use the gauge.  Those same strings are widely stocked in your local music shop as replacements, and some people like to design their own sets using custom gauges.  By printing only the gauge size, the envelopes are universal.   

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    Somewhere on the individual string envelopes will be a specification of the thickness of the strings. Simply sort them in that order.

  • 4 weeks ago

    If you have an actual “set” strings with each one in a separate packet I'd expect them to be labelled - for example “First E”, “Second B”, “Third G“ etc. I've had strings that were all in the same packet and the ball ends were colour-coded - the packet would say which colour was which string.

    Other than  that go by the gauges of the strings - the lightest (thinnest) string is the first and they get gradually heavier (thicker) until you reach the sixth.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Each string should have a letter on the envelope of the note it's tuned to.  E A D G B E.  There are two E strings but one is the heaviest and one is the lightest.

    The way you hold the guitar, the highest string (i.e. closest to your nose) is the low E, then A, D, G, etc.  Or 1 through 6.  Heaviest on top, lightest on the bottom.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.