Stringing the guitar is a very controversial subject with many
different tried and true methods along with many books and detailed
chapters on the subject of keeping your guitar in tune. Here I will
attempt to provide the simplest method of installing strings on an
electric guitar that has worked for me for many years.
First of all I'm going to assume your guitar is clean and adjusted properly. (There's no point in putting strings on a dirty guitar with a bent neck and intonation problems). Next I'm going to assume that you've also made sure your hands are clean and free of oils. (Nothing kills that "new" sound faster than oils eating away at your strings). This is targeted for the basic electric guitar with stock, non-locking tuners, nothing else.
It is recommended that you not remove all the strings at one time as to not drastically affect the tension or intonation of the neck but, rather change one at a time. This also helps beginners stay in tune until that skill is learned. Also there will be no discussion here of non string related tuning problems due to condition of tuning keys, the shape of the nut and bridge saddle(s) etc....
Slowly unwind the string off of the post (if you dont have a string winder, now is when you will wish you did!) until all tension is off. I usually cut the string with wire cutters at this time to make the curled part come out of the post easier, esp. if the string threads thru the back of the guitar as in some Fenders. I dont save old strings, they are yucky and new ones are not that expensive.
Going in any order you want, thread the string thru the base of the guitar. If its a Fender it will go thru from the back and if its the Gibson type, it will go thru the bridge. Make sure the string doesnt get crimped or bent at any time. On steel string acoustic guitars, make sure the ball end of the string is firmly seated under the bridge by pushing down on the bridge pin while pulling up on the string.
See examples below:
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