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  • adrian 5:13AM

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How do you restring a Gypsy Jazz guitar?

edited July 2013 in Gypsy Jazz 101 Posts: 4
Ok, this may seem like a very simple question... and I have looked on the internet for this answer and found a YT video that addresses this question, but not to the extent that I wanted. The information I'm looking for is how do you wrap the string around the tuning pegs when you go to restring it, and for those of you who are kind enough to answer this question, please be as thorough as you can with your answer.

P.S. - I'm using medium gauge Argentine strings 1610 MF which according to the Djangobooks store medium gauge strings sound best on long scale guitars (670 mm or longer) and my guitar is a Saga Gitane DG-300 that has a scale length of 680mm. Should I actually be using the light gauge strings instead, because when you look at the light gauge strings it says the exact same thing: light gauge strings sound best on long scale guitars... which leaves me perplexed because the descriptions seem very ambiguous. The action at the 12th fret is about 5/32" if you're measuring to the bottom of the string... not the middle.... is this considered a High, med, or low action?


  • With the hole open perpendicular to the headstock face, I go over the top arouind behind and up through the hole and pull til most of the slack is out then bring the string back the way I came, cross it under the string and out the side so that when it tightens the string locks down on itself. Then all I need is another turn on the winding post and slipping

    AND one string at a time
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • klaatuklaatu Nova ScotiaProdigy Rodrigo Shopis D'Artagnan, 1950s Jacques Castelluccia
    Posts: 1,665
    The conventional wisdom used to be that short scale guitars sounded best with medium gauge strings because of the increased tension, and light strings were for long scale guitars. I think most people now believe that it is up to the individual to decide what sounds best on his/her particular guitar. Keep in mind that medium gauge Argentines didn't even exist until sometime in the 90s, and so all gypsy guitars prior to that were strung with light gauge strings regardless of scale. You simply have to try both and decide for yourself. Older guitars were built with 10s in mind and may sound better with them, whereas a great many modern guitars will handle 11s nicely, and the heavier string may give you more punch, although the 10s may be slightly easier to play. My '77 Favino sounds fantastic with 10s, so I see no reason to change, but my Rodrigo Shopis Favino-style guitar definitely responds better to 11s.

    "It's a great feeling to be dealing with material which is better than yourself, that you know you can never live up to."
    -- Orson Welles
  • Posts: 4
    Thank you Jazzaferri for answering my question and klaatu for clearing up the matter about string tensions.
  • My Dunn long scale was bult with 11's in mind and they do give a fuller sound, but Michael is such an experienced builder that is to be expected.
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
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