Just recently, we’ve published an article about whether you’re able to use locking tuners like regular tuners. You’ll want to know that today we’ll stay in close surroundings to that very same topic. In other words: we’ll try to tackle the issue of whether you should wrap strings with locking tuners!

So, what’s the whole deal with wrapping your strings around your guitar’s tuning posts? Shouldn’t locking tuners eliminate the need for that kind of action? Well, that’s what you’ll find out pretty darn soon, by reading the text that’s below. Additionally, we’ll try to introduce you to some other, locking-tuners-related info you’ll hopefully find useful. Stay tuned! 

There’s no reason why you should wrap guitar strings with locking tuners. Once they’re locked securely in the tuners, you can simply remove the excess parts of the strings that are relatively close to the tuning post. By wrapping the strings once you’ve locked them into place, you’d completely miss the whole point of why folks use locking tuners. 

Why read just the snippet above when there’s a whole article waiting for you below?

Table of Contents

What are locking tuners?

Before we answer the question you’re most probably reading this text for (should you wrap strings with locking tuners?), we might want to handle some of the basics first. Just to get on everyone’s nerves a little bit, that’s why. Jokes aside, let’s consider the definition of locking tuners.

First of all, you’ll want to know that locking tuners are a favorite among guitarists that don’t see any point in painfully long re-stringing of their instrument. We’ll later tell you why that’s so. Anyway, locking tuners look like regular tuners, but with a little twist: they have this so-called clamping mechanism inside the eye of the tuning post that locks the string in place. Therefore, this mechanism will make sure that your strings don’t move.

Just don’t get the idea that your string can’t go out of tune once you lock them (and here’s some info on why drums and cymbals never go out of tune). The whole point of securing your string in place is to prevent them from slipping during the so-called string bends or heavy vibrato. As we’re sure you know, heavy vibrato tends to knock your pitch by a few cents. All in all: keep in mind that you can go out of tune even if you’re using locking tuners.

Now that we’ve figured out what are locking tuners, let’s jump to the main section of this article and answer the following question: should you wrap strings with locking tuners?

A bunch of guitar headstocks with locking tuners on a white background.

Should you wrap strings with locking tuners?

Since there’s no big debate on the issue of whether one should wrap guitar strings with locking tuners, our answer will be quite shorter than you might’ve expected:

  • There’s absolutely no reason to wrap your string with locking tuners. Once you’ve got your strings locked in the tuners, you can simply cut off the excess part of the strings relatively close to the tuning post. By wrapping your string once you’ve they’re locked in place, you’d completely miss the point of why are there locking tuners on the market anyway. 

That’s about it when it comes to wrapping your guitar strings with locking tuners. Oh, and speaking of tuners, here’s an article about whether you’re able to remove fine tuners off a violin.

Next up, let’s see what’s the best possible way you can re-string your guitar with locking tuners!

How to string a guitar with locking tuners?

In this segment, we’ll show you how to re-string your guitar with locking tuners. We’ve prepared a little step-by-step guide on how to do it. So, shall we start?

How to change strings with locking tuners?

Okay, so let’s see what’s the best way to get this done.

Step #1: Lay your guitar down

The first you’ll want to do is lay your guitar down on its back. As a surface, you might want to consider using a solid workbench or your bed or a table. Just about any flat surface. However, you should still avoid placing your guitar on the floor since the risk of missteps is a bit high. Lastly, use a towel or any other type of soft material to cover the surface in order to avoid scratching your favorite instrument.

Step #2: Use something to support the neck

Next up, you’ll want to find something to put under your guitar neck in order to support it. It can be something household-ish as a pillow, or it can be an item designed to serve that very same purpose. This will, of course, keep your instrument stable and prevent some unfortunate incidents.

Step #3: Do away with yer old strings

Now, if this is the first set of strings you’ll install on your new, string-less instrument, simply skip this part. However, we’ll take a wild guess and say that’s not the case. Anyway, release the clamp on the back of your guitar’s locking tuners and pull the old string out. In case your trusty instrument’s got a so-called string-through body, make sure you feed the loose end through right until the string’s completely out of there. In case your strings go through saddles, or you’re sporting a stoptail bridge, simply pull the ball end to do away with your old string.

Step #4: Get the post into position

Now, even though this is a good practice, regardless of the tuners you’re using, it’s an absolute necessity once you’re using locking tuners. In other words: you can’t really skip this one. Anyway, once the old string is no more, you’ll need to turn the tuning machine until the eye of the tuning post is parallel with your guitar’s neck. That way, you’ll ensure that once the string’s through, there will be no bends.

Step #5: Pass the string through

The next task that you’ve got ahead of you is to pass the string either through the guitar body or the bridge. You’ll need to make sure that your guitar strings are properly seated in both the saddles and nut slots. Once done, thread the string through the eye of the tuning post.

Step #6: Lock the string

Okay, so now that your string is aligned in the correct manner, you’ll want to pull it tight with your hand while turning the knob on the back of the tuning machine. This will activate the famous clamp that keeps the string securely in place. Additionally, you’ll need to make sure that the clamp is tight to keep your string from moving, but not too tight that it cuts the string.

Step #7: Tune your string

Instead of turning your tuning pegs multiple times to get the correct sound as you would with a regular, non-locking tuner, you’ll just need to do the following:

  • Once the string’s locked in place, turn your tuning machine head a bit to bring it to the right pitch. 

A quick digression: speaking of guitar strings and all, here’s an article about why are they placed in a well-recognized order (EADGBE).

Step #8: Cut off the excess string

Lastly, you’ll need to utilize your sting cutters and handle the excess material. If, of course, you’re sporting locking tuners that have a built-in string snipper that will automatically handle this task, there’s not much to think about at this step. Also, if you’re wondering why are guitar strings so long, click right here to find your answer.

Now that you’re equipped with some knowledge on how to re-string your favorite instrument, let’s see if there’s any info we’d like to mention concerning the topic of locking tuners!

Is it worth upgrading to locking tuners?

There’s a good chance that, while reading this text, you might’ve wondered: is installing locking tuners on your guitar really worth the money? Keep in mind that most guitars don’t come with built-in locking tuners. Also, quality locking tuners cost a bit more than $50. If you see some that are priced under that amount, you should steer clear of buying them. Anyway, here’s our answer:

  • Locking tuners are totally worth it if you’ve got a guitar that has a tremolo. Also, they’re great if you’re using thinner gauge strings and having some trouble staying in tune. However, if you’re not used to this tuning disbalance and instability, our suggestion is that you stick with regular tuners. 

Oh, it looks like we’ve got another question to pose before we say goodbye!

Do locking tuners affect tone?

You’ll want to know that using locking tuners won’t directly have any effect on the sound that’s coming out of your instrument. Here’s why one might get the impression that locking tuners affect tone:

  • Locking tuners are a bit heavier than regular ones, and an individual guitarist might notice that change in weight. Therefore, the playing style of that individual guitarist might end up modified, too. However, that doesn’t mean that the difference in tone came directly from the locking tuners’ direction. 

The bottom line

Alright, that’s about it on the question of whether you should wrap strings with locking tuners! Now you’ve understood that there’s no point in doing such a thing. Besides, of course, learning a thing or two from the bonus info we’ve shared with you today. Anyway, if you’re on the lookout for more interesting information and valuable tips on playing guitar, click right here.