True or False? Most tuning problems are due to the tuning machines...
Sometimes cheap or faulty machines are a problem. And a high-quality set will enable better and more accurate tuning. But "tuning problems" most often come from how the guitar was strung up at the machine heads. Keep reading for more info on tuning issues.
It's crucial to have enough wraps around the machine heads for each string. Make sure you start with enough slack before winding the string so you get 3-5 wraps around the posts. At Custom Sound, we shoot for 5 wraps on the treble strings and 3 wraps on the bass strings. It's also important to bend or kink the string on both sides of the post hole before winding. After a rough tuning, stretch the strings at each end to set them before final tuning. Check out our restring tutorial.
"Many tuning issues can be resolved with a proper restring and some minor adjustments." -Ryan Elewaut
Old strings become almost impossible to get in tune. A string is a long cylinder with a consistent diameter. Over time, they become worn out in the areas where you play most. This causes differences in the string diameter, creating inconsistencies in the vibrational pattern, wave form and overall frequency. Grime from your fingers also weighs the string down, making the problems worse. Come by or contact us to discuss what strings are best for you and your guitar!
Your setup can also affect your tuning. If you are experiencing a guitar that doesn't stay in tune when you play up the neck or when you use a capo, chances are your tuning problems are setup related. Frets that are worn or uneven will also cause intonation issues. Without getting into details, know that the worse off your setup the more pronounced these issues become.
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