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AC_Vince

SG Keeps Going Out Of Tune

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I just got me an SG Special a few months ago. I love it so far but I can't bend the strings or it goes out of tune.

 

I'm not sure what's causing this because I can take my other guitars and throw them at the wall and they still stay in tune.

 

Everything is setup perfectly for me. The one thing I have tried is putting a little graphite in the nut slots since I thought the nut could be the culprit.

 

Does anyone or did anyone have issue with their SGs going out of tune easily? Any suggestions what to check?

 

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Do the strings catch, or "ping" when you tighten them. If so, the nut slots are too narrow. If you're not familiar

with cutting nut slots, then take it to a competent luthier, and have them do it, for you. The other (common) problem,

is incorrectly wrapped strings, on the tuning posts. Do a search, and you'll find illustrations, to show the proper way.

Is your truss rod snug? IF you've done all this, and it's still a problem? I say take it to a Gibson tech/repair person,

and have them go over it. Some strings, too, take a longer time to "stretch out," so they'll stay in tune. Might need

to change strings, or even string brands? So many variables. Weather, too, can have an effect. Humidity, especially.

My guitars seem to have this problem, during "transitional" phases, between seasons...when temps, and especially

humidity can be all over the place. Wood reacts! But, they all (eventually) settle down.

 

Hope you get it figured out! ;>)

 

CB

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So many variables is right.

 

I've pretty much ruled out the strings as the issue. I use the exact same brand one gauge lighter on my strat and it almost never goes out of tune. I'm only using 10 gauge strings so I don't see how it could be that the strings are too big for the nut and they are getting stuck. I rarely get the ping issue either. I also stretch the strings very thoroughly before playing. It's also not an issue of the strings being new since it will go out of tune when I first put them on or when I've had them on for two weeks.

 

Someone said it could be the tuners but I find it hard to believe that stock Gibson tuners would go out of tune so easily.

 

Out of curiosity, do you wrap your strings over top once before winding them under (I think that makes sense)? Perhaps I need a more secure wind on this guitar.

 

Specifically, it I bend any string up a whole step it almost always goes out of tune.

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If bending the strings throws it out........there are a few things to check.....as stated the nut.....how many wraps the string is wound around the post

and in general string stretching.

 

Also if all that is not the cause .....maybe there is a problem with the neck at the neck body joint. Also your playing may flex the neck.......on

SG's it is very easy to move the neck ............

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I have the same tuning problem with my Faded Special SG that I got about six months ago. It will NOT stay in tune... I have Squiers that stay in tune better.. Pretty disappointing for a brand new $600 Gibson guitar IMO... I've changed strings, lubed the nut with graphite, tried Big Bend's Nut Sauce - same problem: won't stay in tune at all. (I love the guitar otherwise...)

 

Guess I'm going to have to take it in to my luthier for a new nut or nut re-cut, but you shouldn't have to do this on a brand new Gibson...

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Well, unfortunately, "Shouldn't have to," regarding New Gibson nuts, is more "ideal," than reality...at least, in my experience.

It seems to be the least of their QC checks? The good news is, it's an easy and inexpensive Fix. And, it is true, that SG's

tend to flex the neck a bit easier, than LP's or ES models. Fender's are not AS prone to that, but they have their own set

of idiosyncrasies.

 

From the Gibson Website: (Sorry, the photos didn't transfer, for some reason?)

 

Gibson Tuning Tips

One of the most common complaints among guitar players is that their guitar won’t stay in tune. More often than not, the solution to the problem is as simple as a little preventive maintenance and proper set-up and stringing of the instrument. The easiest and most logical way to approach tuning problems is simply to follow the string path from one end to the other and inspect the operation of each component that interacts with the string.

 

1. Tuning Machines: If they’re hard to adjust, damaged or prone to slippage, replace them with good quality tuners. Be sure all nuts and screws are tight.

 

 

 

2. The Truss Rod: A truss rod that is improperly adjusted can cause a guitar to play out of tune throughout the entire neck. Truss rod adjustments are best left to the experienced. It’s easier to spend a few bucks on a setup from a good tech than spend a few hundred on replacing a snapped truss rod.

 

 

 

3. The Nut: If you hear a “tink” when tuning, the nut slots are too narrow and the string is binding. If first position notes or chords sound out of tune, the string slots may not be low enough and the string is traveling so far to contact the fret that it’s being pulled out of tune. Either of these conditions is easily corrected by a competent tech. Also, there are “nut lube” products available that can help prevent string binding.

 

 

 

4. The Frets: If the frets are not level and properly crowned, the guitar can sound out of tune. In extreme cases, a fretted note will actually sound at an adjacent, higher fret.

 

 

 

5. Pickups: In some cases, a pickup raised too near the strings will exert a magnetic pull on the strings, causing them to sound out of tune. This can also reduce sustain. Recommended pickup heights are a good starting point but don’t be afraid to use your ears to dial in the best position.

 

 

 

6. The Bridge: A bridge that needs to be adjusted too low or too high may be an indication of a neck that needs resetting. An improperly set neck can cause the entire guitar to play out of tune. The bridge or saddles should be intonated with a properly calibrated strobe or electronic tuner.

 

 

 

7. The Tailpiece: If the guitar has a stop or trapeze tailpiece, it should rest at a height that provides for a good break angle over the bridge without allowing the string to make contact with the back side of the bridge.

 

 

 

8. The Strings. Use good quality strings. Loop the string through and around the post in the manner shown, allowing for 2-3 turns of the string around the post. Stretch each string as you tune it until it no longer drops in pitch.

 

 

 

If you follow the steps above, any tuning problems should be eliminated.

 

http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/ProductSpotlight/RepairAndRestoration/Tech%20Tips/Tuning%20Tips/

 

CB

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Well' date=' unfortunately, "Shouldn't have to," regarding New Gibson nuts, is more "ideal," than reality...at least, in my experience.

It seems to be the least of their QC checks? The good news is, it's an easy and inexpensive Fix. And, it is true, that SG's

tend to flex the neck a bit easier, than LP's or ES models. Fender's are not AS prone to that, but they have their own set

of idiosyncrasies.

 

From the Gibson Website: (Sorry, the photos didn't transfer, for some reason?)

 

Gibson Tuning Tips

One of the most common complaints among guitar players is that their guitar won’t stay in tune. More often than not, the solution to the problem is as simple as a little preventive maintenance and proper set-up and stringing of the instrument. The easiest and most logical way to approach tuning problems is simply to follow the string path from one end to the other and inspect the operation of each component that interacts with the string.

 

1. Tuning Machines: If they’re hard to adjust, damaged or prone to slippage, replace them with good quality tuners. Be sure all nuts and screws are tight.

 

 

 

2. The Truss Rod: A truss rod that is improperly adjusted can cause a guitar to play out of tune throughout the entire neck. Truss rod adjustments are best left to the experienced. It’s easier to spend a few bucks on a setup from a good tech than spend a few hundred on replacing a snapped truss rod.

 

 

 

3. The Nut: If you hear a “tink” when tuning, the nut slots are too narrow and the string is binding. If first position notes or chords sound out of tune, the string slots may not be low enough and the string is traveling so far to contact the fret that it’s being pulled out of tune. Either of these conditions is easily corrected by a competent tech. Also, there are “nut lube” products available that can help prevent string binding.

 

 

 

4. The Frets: If the frets are not level and properly crowned, the guitar can sound out of tune. In extreme cases, a fretted note will actually sound at an adjacent, higher fret.

 

 

 

5. Pickups: In some cases, a pickup raised too near the strings will exert a magnetic pull on the strings, causing them to sound out of tune. This can also reduce sustain. Recommended pickup heights are a good starting point but don’t be afraid to use your ears to dial in the best position.

 

 

 

6. The Bridge: A bridge that needs to be adjusted too low or too high may be an indication of a neck that needs resetting. An improperly set neck can cause the entire guitar to play out of tune. The bridge or saddles should be intonated with a properly calibrated strobe or electronic tuner.

 

 

 

7. The Tailpiece: If the guitar has a stop or trapeze tailpiece, it should rest at a height that provides for a good break angle over the bridge without allowing the string to make contact with the back side of the bridge.

 

 

 

8. The Strings. Use good quality strings. Loop the string through and around the post in the manner shown, allowing for 2-3 turns of the string around the post. Stretch each string as you tune it until it no longer drops in pitch.

 

 

 

If you follow the steps above, any tuning problems should be eliminated.

 

http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Lifestyle/ProductSpotlight/RepairAndRestoration/Tech%20Tips/Tuning%20Tips/

 

CB

 

 

 

[/quote']

 

 

Thanks - all good tips!

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No other brand has given me as much trouble. I have wasted too much time and money. I've owned several Gibsons(I returned them all) ( these mods and tips should not be required on a well made guitar. Does anyone want a 2013 standard in ebony? MINT WITH CASE( warrenty and 2 yr free tech service...I will lose money, but keep my sanity.

 

I HAVE HAD ENOUGH

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Most of the problems are about nut, machine heads, strings, stringing technique and adjustments. For everything else I love my TP-6 tailpieces and my double-locked Floyd Rose systems. [thumbup]

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Remember, if everything is correct, the guitar will stay in tune. Check to make sure that the retainer nuts on top of the headstock are snugged down. Make sure that the tuner doesn't have any slack or play in the gears. Grab the tuning peg from the top and make sure it doesn't move. Make one wrap over the string and one wrap under the string and no more wraps than that and see if that's better.

 

Make sure to stretch your strings until they won't stretch any more. Both when you string the guitar and before you play. [thumbup]

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As a general rule, every guitar lacks tuning stability in case the strings are tuned down as last step. After being sharp, every string should be tuned down until it's slightly flat, and then pulled up to the correct pitch. This is the best procedure regardless of using machine heads or fine tuners, and in case of having both for either.

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I use this method and it works really well:

 

string_zpsfdbedbcc.jpg

 

Stretch the hell out of them a few times and you should be good to go.

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

 

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AC Vince... when restringing... and after locking the end of your string inside the tuning peg, start pulling up on your strings around the neck pick up... this will make the string stretch and will stay in tune faster...

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My money is on it being the nut. It is a special skill cutting them for an SG. Shouldn't be, but it is. Less about the slot depth and more about the angle of the strings. To prove my theory, when your guitar goes out of tune do the strings go sharp?

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Thro a capo on the first or second fret and see if it still goes out ( my money is it wont)...I have 3 gibsons ( soon to have a fourth) and have no , or should I say ,I just have the standard tunning issues that you get with temp change or playing hard etc etc....I had a mexico Telecaster last year that was real bad for tunning specially the G...so it's not just Gibsons that go out.

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I use this method and it works really well:

 

string_zpsfdbedbcc.jpg

 

Stretch the hell out of them a few times and you should be good to go.

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

This is the same method I use also.. Never had a problem with any vibrato losing it's tune..... I have heard some horror stories...

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after the "post purchase swiss needle file nut cleanup", instead of graphite, I use a tiny dab of teflon grease from American Scientific Products in every slot for every string-change....this has reduced any and all tuning issues by 99%.

 

stop-bar/t-o-m.....string thru/Strat fulcrum......Bigsbied Tele....frequensator....

all issue free due to either 18/1 or locking tuners + teflon grease [thumbup]

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As a general rule, every guitar lacks tuning stability in case the strings are tuned down as last step. After being sharp, every string should be tuned down until it's slightly flat, and then pulled up to the correct pitch. This is the best procedure regardless of using machine heads or fine tuners, and in case of having both for either.

 

That would be my suggestion too. My Gibsons have no tuning issues whatsoever aside from slight changes due to temperature.

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Been playing on my '61 Les Paul Tribute SG (Sideways Vibrola model), today.

Took it out of the case, fully expecting to have to retune it, as it's been

a couple weeks, since I had it out last (been playing on the other SG's).

But, it didn't even need a tweek! I put it on the tuner, as I always do,

when uncasing a guitar, and it was right there! I was pleasantly surprised.

But, none of my SG's have "tuning problems," per se. They need a tweek, now

and then, but no more (probably less so, as a matter of fact) than any of my

other guitar, Gibson or otherwise. So...??? There ARE times, when all my

guitar seem to go a bit "whacky" that way, and it's usually in the changes

in seasons, where humidity levels change drastically. The temps are constant,

but humidity varies a bit. That seems to effect them, more than anything.

 

Cheers,

 

CB

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I use this method and it works really well:

 

string_zpsfdbedbcc.jpg

 

Stretch the hell out of them a few times and you should be good to go.

 

Hope this helps.

"

Ditto....I tune all of my guitars this way. No tuning issuies. I also like to have at least three wraps on low E, A, D,and at least four wraps on G,B and "e strings. Always streatch you new strings after they are installed.

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Over the years I tried various methods of stringing. In the end I found every method of knotting or additional locking useless for steel strings. To my experiences, the advantage is not that big when stringing and neglectable, if at all present, for tuning stability.

 

My way of stringing is simply winding a sensible number of clean and precisely tight wraps around the pegs. While tensioning strings with one hand, I wind the tuning knobs with the other. It also will allow for faster pulling off the old strings before restringing than any other method.

 

What number of wraps might be sensible, depends on string gauge, peg design and sizes, and guitar design, in particular breaking angle across the nut. It will be hardly one and a half turns for a .050" E6th on a Gibson vintage tuner with radial hole, but seven or eight for a .010" E1st on a Fender vintage tuner with axial centre hole.

 

I do the same thing on locking tuners although it takes more time compared to either simply locking strings or stringing plain tuners this way. It simply performs best in the long run. A few minutes more for restringing help avoid hours of hassle and awkward or annoying situations during the useful string life.

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One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the intonation. Way back when I didnt now squat about setup, I was going crazy trying to keep a '70 LP Custom in tune. Many years later and much the wiser, I check the intonation regularly and all my guitars keep tune...Even my prized LP custom!

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