After you restring your guitar, it is a good idea to stretch the strings. Doing this will not only help to keep your guitar in tune, but it will also aid in preventing your strings from breaking. Stretching your guitar strings is easy. Just follow these instructions.
First, keep in mind that you should stretch the strings before you tune them for the first time. Otherwise the strings could break while tuning. Therefore, stretching them first is the sensible thing to do.
Now, with your index finger and thumb, grasp the first string halfway between the nut and the bridge. Carefully pull the string up until it is approximately one inch off and away from the guitar. Hold the string in this position briefly.
When you feel the tension in the string increase, gradually lower the string back down into place. Repeat this entire procedure two or three times on the same string. Be sure to use great care while performing this procedure. Take your time and avoid any fast or jerky movements. Remember part of the reason you are doing this is to avoid breaking your strings!
After you have finished stretching the first string, move on to the next one. To stretch the next string, just repeat the procedure described for the first one. Then continue on to the next string, and the next one, repeating the same procedure for all of them.
Next, either by electric tuner or by ear, tune each of the strings. Then stretch all of the strings again using the same procedure as before. After that, it will probably be necessary to tune the strings again.
Continue to alternate between stretching and tuning your strings until the strings can be stretched without immediately going out of tune. This may mean repeating the stretching and tuning procedures several times. Once the strings have finally reached the point where they can be stretched without needing to be tuned immediately afterward, you have successfully completed the task.
Remember that properly stretching your guitar strings is the best way to avoid or reduce the possibility of them breaking at the worst possible moment, like perhaps in the middle of a gig! Not only that, but as with anything, taking proper care of your strings is the best way to ensure that you get the most and best use out of them.