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Dub-T-123

Restringing your guitar

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There is no advantage to NOT taking all the strings off on an acoustic other than being careless and losing some of the parts! 🙂

if you're changing out stings on Paul or SG.  that may be a different story.  I like to keep the two E strings on till I'm done any cleaning or fret board oiling.  The bridge wheels are too easily moved/disturbed and THAT will mess with your setup.  It is easy to get back,, but.. I avoid it if I can.  On my fenders, does not matter.  The action set isn't relying on those thumb wheels like a Gibson does.

About tuning,, ya,, my guitars are usually in tune, but when I check with a tuner, it's usually a few semitones sharp.  And almost always about the same amount (like ME mentions)  We can hypothesize forever on why they go sharp,,  I have theories, but..  that's all they are.  

 

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I got into the habit of changing one string at a time when I first using the Soloist. The Floyd would have to be reset otherwise (before it was blocked off). For 16 years it was my only working guitar. So that became a habit. 

The only guitar I regularly do that with now is the Hofner archtop, so I don't lose the bridge position. There's only a light pencil mark to guide me where it sits. 

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3 hours ago, uncle fester said:

I take all strings off at once, and just do the quick method, but when I get bendy with the strings, they do go out of tune some times - so I'll try the first method, (over then under) next time and see if it makes a difference.  

a little bit of rambling - with respect to taking all the strings off vs not, it is noticeably easier to clean the guitar and fret board with all the strings off, and although it's been a perpetual point of discussion - I have yet to hear of anyone being definitively able to say it makes a difference either way...  so I choose easier cleaning.

Also for those people who say they take the guitar out of their case and it's perfectly in tune...  I do play acoustic mostly, but I notice day to day changes in the tuning due to how the neck bends with different humanities...  does that not occur on electrics, or maybe imply humidity mgt in the case?

Finally, I got a new strap the other day, it's pretty cool.

I usually leave one or two strings on to keep the stopbar in place. 

No need to adjust the truss rod for a half hour or so with no strings on, according to a luthier round here who I really trust. Nothing's gonna explode and your house won't catch fire. 

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I think the way that works for you that leaves your guitar able to stay in tune, specially after bending a few notes, is corect. There are many different ways to lock the strings in so they won't slip. My electrics get the most attention which my one at a time method works for them. My acoustic may wait a while till the strings are dead or showing signs of rust. 

I have been performing all the work on my guitars for a very long time, never using tech's because I believe they can only get you close to how your guitar should be setup. Not taking measurements using my eyeball, feel, the play and adjust method I have setup some real screamers.

Edited by mihcmac

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But... then again.. for most tuning problems that are a result of "bending" notes,  I always look at the nut first.  New strings should settle down and tuning stabilize after a few hours of playing.  

If a nut slot is too tight the string isn't moving freely in the slot.  Bend the note, and the string doesn't quite return to where it was prior, that's where most of the tuning issues will be found. Especially on guitars that have the head stock slanting back like Gibson's do.

Keep some Big Bends nut sauce or some other string lube on hand!  or, to test the theory, Vaseline works in a pinch but wont last as long. 

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I don't really have any problems with tuning.  I use the "over then under" method for regular tuners.  Some of my guitars have locking tuners

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19 minutes ago, badbluesplayer said:

I don't really have any problems with tuning.  I use the "over then under" method for regular tuners.  Some of my guitars have locking tuners

Tuning issues with Gibsons is way blown out of reality.  provided the setup on your axe is good to go ( including regulation of the nut and saddle..) they are just as stale as any other builder.

it's almost always the nut.  The right files, a little known how, and bout 15 minutes, it it's solved until the nuts worn down and needs to be looked at again.

what Gibson is notoriously bad at from the Factory is cutting the nut, I don't think they do a dam thing with them once they put them on the neck.  it's probably the single most important contact point for tuning and action in the lower first few frets.

moral of the story..  when ya'll buy a new guitar, do it and you..  a favor, get it setup...

 

Edited by kidblast
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16 hours ago, kidblast said:

But... then again.. for most tuning problems that are a result of "bending" notes,  I always look at the nut first.  New strings should settle down and tuning stabilize after a few hours of playing.  

If a nut slot is too tight the string isn't moving freely in the slot.  Bend the note, and the string doesn't quite return to where it was prior, that's where most of the tuning issues will be found. Especially on guitars that have the head stock slanting back like Gibson's do.

Keep some Big Bends nut sauce or some other string lube on hand!  or, to test the theory, Vaseline works in a pinch but wont last as long. 

I do have strings that get caught on the nut.  Do you think something like Nut sauce is the way to go - I was thinking a trip to widen the slots a bit was in order.

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2 minutes ago, uncle fester said:

I do have strings that get caught on the nut.  Do you think something like Nut sauce is the way to go - I was thinking a trip to widen the slots a bit was in order.


IMO first set up the nut correctly then add lubrication. I would use graphite before using Vaseline or something like that

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6 minutes ago, uncle fester said:

I do have strings that get caught on the nut.  Do you think something like Nut sauce is the way to go - I was thinking a trip to widen the slots a bit was in order.

yes.. try it, it can't hurt.

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9 minutes ago, uncle fester said:

I do have strings that get caught on the nut.  Do you think something like Nut sauce is the way to go - I was thinking a trip to widen the slots a bit was in order.

 

Jesus H. boroow a nail file from Mrs or one of the kids and spend the entire 15 seconds it takes to alleviate a bound up nut.  Holy crap I can't  believe the acres and acres of internet real estate taken up by something we never. ever. thought about.

rct

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7 minutes ago, rct said:

 

Jesus H. boroow a nail file from Mrs or one of the kids and spend the entire 15 seconds it takes to alleviate a bound up nut.  Holy crap I can't  believe the acres and acres of internet real estate taken up by something we never. ever. thought about.

rct

well,,,.......  act--chally... ya really need nut files, or,, something small enough like the gas element cleaners,  (which really aren't thin enough for all slots) to get into the G, B and E slots..

a set of nut files runs one bout 60 bucks if you shop em out.  worth it if you have a buncha  guitars, if ya don't,, a good setup is about the same...

 

how ever,, that said,, with the right tools,, ya,, it takes a few minutes, and really,, the problem goes away.

 

Edited by kidblast
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19 minutes ago, uncle fester said:

I do have strings that get caught on the nut.  Do you think something like Nut sauce is the way to go - I was thinking a trip to widen the slots a bit was in order.

I use it on my acoustics, in the nut slots and on the bridge.  But your slots need to be the right size. The G is usually the one that goes "PING" alot.

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

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1 hour ago, rct said:

 

Jesus H. boroow a nail file from Mrs or one of the kids and spend the entire 15 seconds it takes to alleviate a bound up nut.  Holy crap I can't  believe the acres and acres of internet real estate taken up by something we never. ever. thought about.

rct

It’s not really a big enough problem to be front and center, but if you want to look for something to fix - I could focus there.  
 
sorry I’m not an expert guitar guy, seems to rub you the wrong way, just trying to learn

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1 hour ago, Sgt. Pepper said:

I use it on my acoustics, in the nut slots and on the bridge.  But your slots need to be the right size. The G is usually the one that goes "PING" alot.

I need to pay more attention, but think it’s the A string gives me the most trouble

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1 hour ago, kidblast said:

well,,,.......  act--chally... ya really need nut files, or,, something small enough like the gas element cleaners

Yep AKA "the right tools for the job".  

Also, keep in mind - you can always file more off but you won't be able to put any of it back.  Point being, if you file the slots too deep, you may need to replace the nut.  Sometimes hiring a professional can save you money. 

I have replaced the nut in my Epi Lucille and also my Fender Jazz bass.  I did the bass nut and saddles myself and had a luthier do the guitar nut.  All were replaced with graphite nuts and saddles.  Now THAT makes a big difference in tuning stability. 

Edited by ghost_of_fl

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36 minutes ago, uncle fester said:

It’s not really a big enough problem to be front and center, but if you want to look for something to fix - I could focus there.  
 
sorry I’m not an expert guitar guy, seems to rub you the wrong way, just trying to learn

 

No, you aren't an expert guitar guy, you are a guy asking folks about sticky nut(s).  Those experts should be able to give you far more than buy some tube of gunk and ejaculate it all over yer nut.  Seriously, it takes about 15 seconds, you can do it with the appropriate string for that slot if you don't have any smal serrated thing.  I've fixed nut slots with a butter knife.  Really.  It's just a guitar and there isn't anything on it that can't be fixed, most things quite simply.

rct

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If I actually have to fool with a nut seriously, I use Mrs jewelry files.  Sure, you can get them to the string gauge I know, but really, if you are just trying to unstick a slot it takes one or two passes on each side with a decent super fine file and you won't have that problem any longer.  I'm not saying go in there with a hacksaw or lean on it with all of your weight.  It's just plastic or bone, it doesn't take much at all to free up a sticky string.  Same for depth, which most nut fixing is actually slots that are TOO deep, so it's some filler and filing or a new nut.

rct

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I usually only mess with the nut when I initially get the guitar and set it up. File the nut to my string gauge.  After that it should not need it ever again unless you go up in gauge.

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Yes.  I don't know why anyone would spend time applying some stuff to a thing that you can never ever have to deal with again with just a minute or two with even a folded piece of sandpaper and some thick eyeglasses.

rct

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52 minutes ago, kidblast said:

Tuning issues with Gibsons is way blown out of reality.  provided the setup on your axe is good to go ( including regulation of the nut and saddle..) they are just as stale as any other builder.

it's almost always the nut.  The right files, a little known how, and bout 15 minutes, it it's solved until the nuts worn down and needs to be looked at again.

what Gibson is notoriously bad at from the Factory is cutting the nut, I don't think they do a dam thing with them once they put them on the neck.  it's probably the single most important contact point for tuning and action in the lower first few frets.

moral of the story..  when ya'll buy a new guitar, do it and you..  a favor, get it setup...

 

The historic reissues these days have nylon nuts which work great in regards to not binding in the slots. And yes the past USA production guitars I have seen more issues on - and they have been corian I believe for a large majority of the time. The new Standards have graphite now I believe, so hopefully that helps... 

But agreed get a setup if you can’t do it yourself. Play the thing the way it was supposedly made to. And once this happens, tuning issues that have been blown out of proportion just “go away”. 

So to me it’s a combination of a properly slotted nut definitely and material it’s made of. I prefer anything that’s nylon, graphite, bone, etc. 

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59 minutes ago, rct said:

If I actually have to fool with a nut seriously, I use Mrs jewelry files.  Sure, you can get them to the string gauge I know, but really, if you are just trying to unstick a slot it takes one or two passes on each side with a decent super fine file and you won't have that problem any longer.  I'm not saying go in there with a hacksaw or lean on it with all of your weight.  It's just plastic or bone, it doesn't take much at all to free up a sticky string.  Same for depth, which most nut fixing is actually slots that are TOO deep, so it's some filler and filing or a new nut.

rct

yea  any thing for a substitute is a good plan cuz nut files are expensive, not worth the cost unless you have a closet full of guitars that need work.  And you need a set for each string gauge.  so another set for acoustics..  that's close to 2 hunnerd buks.

gas element cleaners do come close, it's not exact however, it will suffice.

I have access to a set of files, (my buddy who dabbles in ebay stuff has a set)..  It makes a difference in how quickly and effeciently you get the job done, but man be careful, one or two passes to many, and it's no TOO low.

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3 hours ago, rct said:

Yes.  I don't know why anyone would spend time applying some stuff to a thing that you can never ever have to deal with again with just a minute or two with even a folded piece of sandpaper and some thick eyeglasses.

rct

Maybe you want to use different gauges? I use Big Bends, and I've gone from 46 to 5..6? and back with no issues. Not sure but I think the nut sauce helped. 

I make that assumption based on very little, but still. Protective coating or something.

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I like the folded piece of sandpaper approach (sometimes with the string inside using very fine), just get the break angle right and when you fold the sandpaper scratch the grit off the bottom of the fold so you don't dig the notch deeper, just widening. This method should not take very long. Also I think nut sauce is very helpful if you use a tremolo...

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