I had forgotten what a task re-stringing a guitar can be.
I have so far spent several hours doing the 12 string. Mind you, those are broken into several smaller sessions.
First job: Removing the old string. This involves twiddling the machine-head which is the little twisty thing at the end of the arm. On a 12 string those yokes are quite close together and very stiff. Oil doesn’t work!. Once the string is loose enough it can be unwrapped from the machine head whereupon it springs away like a fucking cheese cutter. Then there is the removal of the bridge pin which is a little yoke like a tooth with a slot in it. That holds the other end of the string, if you can get it out without snapping something or ripping off a finger-nail you’re doing well.
Second job: Putting on a new string. This sounds a lot easier [it isn’t]. Poke one end into the relevant hole in the body of the guitar and poke in the bridge pin. This holds one end of the string. Now poke the other end of the string through the little bobbin on the machine head. Wind around it as much as you can. This is a process that generally involves a lot of cursing and a first-aid kit. The string takes on a life of its own as it refuses to be confined to the bobbin. Once you have tamed it enough so both ends are reasonably secure you can move on the next task.
Third job: Tuning. Again this sounds easy [unintended pun there]. You twiddle the machine head for ages while it slowly takes up the bit of slack. Eventually the string will start to hum balefully which indicates that it finally is getting sense of its purpose in life. Carry on twiddling while plucking the string gently to get the note you require. Simple? No. You twiddle the incredibly stiff machine head until your left fingers are numb and you think you have the right note, but you don’t. You see the string has to settle, and in settling itself it relaxes the tension so the fucking thing is out of tune again. Keep repeating until you get pissed off with the whole exercise.
Fourth job: Start on the next string. Go to First job above and repeat again, eleven more times.
You finally end up with a reasonably tuned instrument [which will require retuning many more times until it settles].
It looks lovely hanging on the wall.
It’s a pity I have forgotten how to play it.