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Installing guitar strings on Fender vintage style slotted tuners properly

This is really easy once you know how to do it.

The one thing about vintage style Fender slotted tuners that a lot of people get flat out wrong - including many presenters in YouTube tutorial videos - is figuring out how much slack you need to get the proper amount of string wraps around the tuner post.

Why do you need to figure out how much slack to use?

The way strings are installed on these type of tuners is that the string is inserted into the center of the post. You can't just insert the string out of the package because you will end up wrapping too much string. This results in overlap and causes tuning problems.

The string must be snipped first, and that's where most guitarists run into the problem of figuring out how much string to snip off first.

Why is it such a problem figuring out how much string to snip off?

Guitar strings don't all come in one universal length. In fact, most string makers use varying lengths. Some ship their sets with really long G strings. Others ship sets with short high-E strings. There's hardly any consistency from string brand to string brand.

As you can see from the video above, the absolute easiest way to determine the correct amount of string to snip every time is to do the following:

(The video shows this, by the way, and assumes a right-handed guitar)

  1. Pull the string through the body so the ball end is as far as it will go.
  2. Pull the string through the nut
  3. Pull the string through the tuner post
  4. Hold the string at the tuner post with the left hand
  5. Hold the string at the nut with the right hand
  6. With the right hand, pull the string from the nut to the 2nd fret. The left hand stays where it is and you slide the string through your left hand fingers.
  7. Snip the string at the tuner post
  8. Insert string into the tuner post
  9. Continue to install string normally

When doing this, you will get the correct amount of string to clip off every single time. No more guessing.

Do you absolutely need to go back two frets? No. You can get away with going back one fret for fewer wraps around the post or three frets for more wraps. But generally speaking, going back two frets will get the correct amount of wraps around the post every time.


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