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So this question covers string instruments with tuning pegs (eg. guitars, bass guitars, mandolins, ukuleles, etc). When you are installing a new string and you pull it tight for the first time, you then decide on the "extra" amount of string to use. By extra I mean the point of the string you then slide down to meet the machine head, crimp/bend and then begin to wind your string around the peg.

What is the process for determining the optimum amount of string length ? What are the ramifications of using too little string or too much ? Can an exact measure be decided based on the string material, gauge, target note, the distance between nut and bridge, etc ?

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1 Answer 1

Too little may make the string slip. Too much means you can fill up the tuning peg, but there is a pretty wide range in the middle that will work just fine.

There will be a million answers for this one, but my technique for doing this as quickly as possible with floating bridge guitars is to give a hand's width at the twelfth fret for my unwound strings and half a hand's width on the wound strings.

That then means there is enough slack wound round the tuning peg that it won't slip, but not so much that the peg fills up.

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+1. "a hand's width" is a good starting point. salt to taste. –  luser droog Dec 29 '11 at 0:21

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