I bought this semi acoustic guitar 2 weeks ago. It has a pickup attached with an inbuilt tuner. I hadn't put the battery in the case and was trying to tune the high E string manually and broke it in the process. What should I do now? Should I go to a guitar store and have it repaired, or I should buy a new string and try to restring the guitar by myself? I heard it would be expensive at the guitar store so I am hesitating a bit.
Installing a string is pretty easy and quick; I can't believe that any store would charge extra to put it on for you. (If so, can you find a different store?) But if you have any uncertainty about how to do it, there's no harm in taking it in and having them do it, but have them show you so you can do it yourself next time.
While you're at it, buy an extra set of strings so that you'll always have a new one available. Also, although strings sometimes just break for no reason, try to have someone give you some tips on tuning to make sure you aren't accidentally trying to tighten it way beyond its intended range.
Welcome to guitar world! Strings break sometimes - and need replacing as they're old at other times. The process is painless, and all you need to do is work out how the other strings have been fitted, leaving enough slack for two or three turns at the machine head. You'll tune it up to pitch (using the tuner!), and then have to re-tune it several times, as it settles in. Worth buying a full set anyhow, as well as another top string. Take the guitar in with you, in order to buy the same guage string as that that broke.
Generally what the other answers say is correct. A string breaking is a thing that happens occasionally. Replacing a string a very straightforward process, and I do not think the music store or luthier of your choice would charge you for demonstrating you how to do it, if you are not sure.
That being said, if you experience breaking strings very often on specific strings this might be caused by sharp corners on the tuning pegs or the bridge. So in this case it might be an option to get help in smoothening that out (but you can also do this yourself easily).
The high E is the most breakable string, and your ear is not used to hearing that note correctly, so as a beginner, you are likely going to go through a lot. So:
- Put a battery in that thing. Let it do its job and teach you what a high E sounds like.
- New single strings are about a buck, at least where I am. I try to get two sets at a time, so I'm always holding a second set in case there's a problem, but you can just get the one, and as the high E isn't wound, it really doesn't matter much of the rest of your strings are 80/20, phosphor bronze or whatever. Getting a wound string that suits your set and your instrument is much harder.
- The internet contains many explanations on how to change strings. I think there must be one here. You say it's a semi-acoustic, but that's not a thing. If it's an acoustic/electric (which it sounds like), then you probably have bridge pins holding the ball-end in. There is a cut-out in many string winders that allow you to pull out the pins, so as suggested, get one. There are other bridge types, with different ways of securing the strings. Once installed and tuned to pitch, it will stretch out and go flat, so you will have to retune a lot at first.
- There are cheap tuners that clip to the headstock, apps you can get and the one you say is built in; learn to use it and teach your ear what in tune sounds like. It is a skill like any other, and it will serve you well.
Here are a few extra tips:
Since your guitar is new, buy an individual string to replace the broken one and one or two entire sets to have on hand…or just change the entire set if you feel so inclined. Ask for a little guidance at the store. Guitar strings cost about $6-$7. Invest in a string winder ($4 and up). More expensive winders have cutters for trimming excess string from the tuning peg but a cheap one will do. A pair of wire cutters will work as well or better for trimming.
Search YouTube for how to replace strings for your type of guitar. You said “semi acoustic”, I assume you mean an acoustic with electronics. That would be the same as an acoustic. Specify the string type, steel or nylon, you didn’t mention which you have. I’ve seen some very good videos that clearly describe the entire process. Watch a bit of a few different ones and pick one you like with lots of thumbs up.
Grab a free phone app called guitar tuna. It has paid subscription services but you can decline them. It hears the note you’re playing in auto mode and tells you what string it thinks you are playing and if you are too high or too low. In manual mode you can press the virtual tuning pegs to hear how each string is supposed to sound. Not having an audio reference is a big problem for people just starting out, they don’t know if they’re too high or too low and sometimes over-tighten and snap a string. Having an audio reference is a big help. Good luck!
Tuning a string instrument and replacing strings is something you will learn well before you can play anything on the instrument.
Go on and get used to it, it is not hard.
Be ready to sacrifice few hours and few strings. Strings are cheap and you owe these hours anyway.
Of course, there are youtube videos for this. There always are, no matter what exotic activity you try for the first time.
The only risk that I am aware of: Take care not to allow string ends to get in your eyes.
String it yourself. Since you obviously don't know where to begin, I suggest watching a video walkthrough like this one
I had a quick look and that one seems fine but there are many. That was the top hit of many when I searched for "how to string a guitar" and it's for acoustic guitars.
I didn't watch the whole thing. In case he doesn't spell it out, here's a diagram of how to attach a string to a winding post so it won't slip. You may need to left-right reverse this depending on which side of the head you are stringing.