Leaders are additional, usually thinner, lengths of gut tied at one end of a string. These are useful when you have a string with a large diameter and don’t want to enlarge the hole in the peg or tailpiece to accommodate it. This series of instructions shows the process of attaching a leader to a string for tuning at the peg, but the same method can be used for connecting a string to a tailpiece if needed.

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Step 1

Install one end of the string in the tailpiece as usual. Stretch the string out to the nut.

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Step 2

Mark the string about 1/4”, (6.5mm), from the edge of the nut.

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Step 3

Cut the string at that point.

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Step 4

Burn the end of the string so that there is a small mushroom shape at the end.

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Step 5

Use another string with a smaller diameter to make the leader. Usually, something in the range of .90mm - 1.06mm is a good choice, but just make sure it is small enough to fit through the hole in the peg.

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Step 6

Continue to pull the end around toward the fingers holding the string.

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Step 7

Put the end through the loop you just made.

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Step 8

Holding the loop, pull the end so that the knot tightens on the leader.

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Step 9

Cut the end to about 1/4”, (6.5mm).

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Step 10

Burn the end down to the knot.

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Step 11

You now have a slip-knot that you can put over the end of the playing string.

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Step 12

Pull the slip-knot tight and snug against the mushroomed end of the playing srtring.

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Step 13

Cut the leader to a length of about 3”, (7.5cm), or long enough to wrap around the peg a few times.

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Step 14

Put the leader through the peg in your usual way. After a little stretching, you will be ready to play.