If you own a guitar and intend to play it regularly, you will soon learn that restringing it is an essential part of the maintenance work.
Nevertheless, if you are inexperienced in this area, lack confidence, or simply prefer to allow a professional to handle the job, you may need to pay for a restringing service.
Restringing is a process that you will need to go through time and time again, so in the long run it is best to try to learn how to restring your guitar yourself.
Yet, having a professional restring your guitar will give you guaranteed results. So how much does it cost to restring a guitar in this way? In this article, we explore this question fully.
Why Should You Restring Your Guitar?
Before getting into the cost to restring your guitar, it is first important to go over precisely why you need to restring a guitar anyway.
Essentially, over time, the quality of sound produced by your guitar strings will decline and they may not stay in tune for long. Additionally, you may start to see and feel the effects of strings becoming corroded.
In the worst cases, your guitar strings may even break, making it impossible to keep playing. There is no precise rule on how often you should restring your guitar, because this will depend on a number of factors, including the strings you use, how often you play, the local climate, and even the techniques you use when playing.
As a general rule, it is recommended that you restring your guitar after every 100 hours of playing. Some strings will be able to withstand much more play than this, but every 100 hours is a reasonable estimate to work with.
How Much to Restring a Guitar?
Now that you have a basic understanding of why restringing is necessary, let’s answer the key question: how much does it cost to string a guitar?
In truth, the answer here can vary depending on precisely which service you require, while prices can also differ significantly from one guitar store to another.
To provide an estimate, the current Guitar Center restring cost stands at around $20, plus the cost of the new guitar strings. The cost of your guitar strings will depend on the type of guitar you are playing and the precise strings you prefer, but they can be purchased for as little as $5, or as much as $30.
Some guitar stores may offer restringing services for as little as $20, while it is not uncommon to see services priced in the $50 range. It should be noted that the price difference between electric guitars, acoustic guitars, and bass guitars is negligible in most cases, although you will pay considerably more for a 12-string guitar.
Of course, if you restring the guitar yourself, you will only pay the price of the strings and this should be the long-term goal, as spending on professional restringing services each time will be expensive.
What is a Professional Guitar Setup Service?
When answering the question of how much to restring a guitar, it is also crucial to address the issue of professional guitar setup services.
These services are offered by many guitar stores and include restringing, but also a range of additional services that are not covered by a simple restringing service alone.
For example, a professional guitar setup service is likely to include cleaning, truss rod adjustments, hardware fixes, and removal of scratches and other forms of superficial damage. Effectively, these services attempt to get your guitar in the best possible working order and this can be especially valuable before a gig.
These services cover both acoustic and electric guitars, as well as bass guitars and other similar instruments. All of these instruments will experience wear and tear over time and this can adversely affect the sound produced and the aesthetic appeal. Unlike with a simple restringing, you are unlikely to be able to do a full setup yourself.
How Much Does a Guitar Setup Cost?
Guitar setup services are far more comprehensive than restringing services, utilizing specific expertise and advanced techniques. As you would expect, this means these services tend to be significantly more expensive. Again, however, the precise price you pay will depend on the store in question and the range of services provided.
It is common for guitar stores to charge anywhere from around $50 to $120 for a professional guitar setup. Electric guitars and bass guitars will tend to be more expensive to service than acoustic guitars.
While this kind of service is significantly more expensive than a more simple restringing service, it is worth noting that it needs to be done far less frequently. In fact, you may be able to go several years without needing to pay for a professional guitar setup service, whereas restringing is going to be necessary far more often.
You can also reduce the need to pay for this more comprehensive service further by taking good care of your guitar in general. This means handling it carefully, using a protective case, and keeping your guitar clean.
Additional Information About Restringing
As you become more experienced with your guitar, you will be able to identify the signs that your guitar requires new strings more easily and you will also build the confidence to restring the guitar yourself.
However, professional services do offer a level of convenience and more of a guarantee that the restringing will be successful.
If you do change the strings on your guitar and still find that you are experiencing issues with sound quality and performance, this could be a good indicator that you require the more in-depth guitar setup service instead. However, this should be far less common, as long as you treat your guitar with respect and invest in a quality model.
A good guitar store will also be perfectly willing to show you how to change guitar strings yourself. Of course, you will need to pay for their restringing service, but you will also learn a valuable lesson that will help to save you money in the future – so do not be afraid to ask about the possibility of observing the restringing process.
The Last Word
Over time, guitar strings suffer from wear and tear, resulting in poorer sound quality, the feeling of corrosion, and even broken strings.
Restringing your guitar regularly is a necessity and professional services can be essential if you lack the knowledge and/or confidence to change the guitar strings yourself.
With that being said, it is beneficial to learn to do it yourself and this will save you a considerable amount of money over the longer term.
In some cases, it may also be necessary to go a step further and pay for a full, professional guitar setup service, but this will be much less frequent and many guitarists go years without needing this.