The humble string winder is an item that all guitarists should have in their gig bag…
There are some musical items that, whatever reason, just seem to slip under the radar of many. In many cases, the item is too small to or inexpensive to shout about, and to look at it, it might not be immediately obvious what it does.
The string winder is one such unsung hero. For any guitarist, this pocket-sized gadget is an incredibly useful thing to have, and here’s why…
Here to save the day
Imagine the situation: you’re mid-set at a big gig, and you’ve been playing the set of your life. The band has got real momentum, and the audience is lapping it up.
Then, disaster strikes- a snapped string. Normally, this means muddling your way through the rest of the song with 5 strings, then spending a few minutes changing it. Keeping the audience waiting is never a great idea….
The string winder can make this process a whole lot quicker. Essentially, it is a ratchet, with a slotted end that slides over the machine head.
The player swaps the string, replacing the snapped one with a fresh one, threading it through the bridge, and making it ready to tune. Then, the string winder is placed over the corresponding tuner, and the player can wind it onto the tuning post winder’s handle.
This is much, much quicker than turning the machine head with your fingers.
Aside from using them to minimise restring times when on-stage, string winders can massively reduce the time it takes to fully re-string your guitars at home, too.
And the best thing? They’re inexpensive, and will easily fit into a pocket or gig bag. The Essentials model on our website costs just £2.99, whilst the excellent Planet Waves Model (which also includes string clippers, and a bridge pin puller) is a very reasonable £10.99).
If you’ve never used one, try it for yourself- you’ll never go back 😉
Joe is a contributor for the Dawsons Music blog. Specialising in product reviews and crafting content to help and inspire musicians of all musical backgrounds.