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JTaylor
post Dec 28 2011, 11:41 AM
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Hey everybody and Happy New Year!
I bought a really inexpensive guitar (Ibanez GSA60) some time back and it has been a great guitar for the price I paid (somewhere around $160US). I do have one problem and that is the tuning. It just will not stay in tune. Like I said, it's pretty cheap, with a non-locking tremolo system, etc. I am using D'Addario strings and have never had a problem with them before. Does anyone know if this is something I can fix relatively cheap? I'm not willing to put a lot of money into this for two reasons: 1. I don't have it. 2. By the time I do have the money, I hope to be advancing along enough to warrant buying a nicer model. Any ideas / feedback is greatly appreciated. wink.gif


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MickeM
post Dec 28 2011, 12:16 PM
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worn strings will go out of tune so make sure they stay relatively new.
And a lot can be helped if you put some graphite in the nut, just lift the strings and carve some off of a pencil with a knife into where the strings run.


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Dec 28 2011, 03:06 PM
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You should check with your luthier but maybe changing the tuners could help. I had tuning problems with my Gibson and everything was solved when I replaced the original tuners for Schaller tuners.


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Nihilist1
post Dec 28 2011, 05:57 PM
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Try keeping it in one tuning? Oftentimes, especially when we start out and have only a few guitars, it is hard to keep a guitar in tune because we want to learn in Standard, Drop C, etc. Just learn music in one tuning for awhile. If you need to detune, try not to go too far past Drop D. It kind of sucks at first, but keep in mind there is a GIANT wealth of knowledge that is to be learned in Standard. No matter what genre you play.


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Dec 28 2011, 08:36 PM
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Try to see if some of the tuning pegs is loose, try tightening them up with a screwdriver a bit. Also, if you don't use the tremolo, try to block it, or add couple of more springs, this should help hold the tuning better. Also, put new strings often, old strings tend to detune faster..

If you can tune the guitar on open strings, and it sounds detuned higher on the fretboad, you have bad intonation on the guitar. Check my tuning tutorial here on GMC to see how intonation is being set.


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llibach
post Dec 28 2011, 09:37 PM
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I had a similar problem a few months ago with D'addario strings not staying in tune, never had the problem before with em but this was often even after streching the strings. Anyway went to the D'addario website and saw an article about fake stings coming out of China. String were bought off E-bay so I ran the serial number through their system and turns out they were fake, might be worth checking out, there's a serial number on the inner packaging that you can check on the D'addario web site.

This post has been edited by llibach: Dec 28 2011, 09:37 PM
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Sinisa Cekic
post Dec 28 2011, 10:42 PM
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Also, don't exclude the possibility of bad tuning mechanism. Unfortunately this often happens with cheap models! Hope that you haven't got such a model.. :/


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TimMcG
post Dec 29 2011, 04:36 AM
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QUOTE (llibach @ Dec 28 2011, 01:37 PM) *
I had a similar problem a few months ago with D'addario strings not staying in tune, never had the problem before with em but this was often even after streching the strings. Anyway went to the D'addario website and saw an article about fake stings coming out of China. String were bought off E-bay so I ran the serial number through their system and turns out they were fake, might be worth checking out, there's a serial number on the inner packaging that you can check on the D'addario web site.



I use D'Addario strings (EXL110) also. I had one set in a 10-set box that would not stay in tune no matter how stretched they were. Replaced the strings with a new set and problem was solved.
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Alex Feather
post Dec 29 2011, 04:46 AM
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The way you install strings can help them stay in tune as well. Leave enough slack so that the string can wrap around 4 or 5 times. The first time you wrap the string around the peg, wrap it above where the end of string comes out of the whole. The next turn, wrap it under the string, then for the rest keep wrapping under. This way after the string gets tight, it will pinch the string end and this helps it to stay in tune better.


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Cosmin Lupu
post Dec 29 2011, 09:06 AM
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Great advice from everyone! I wanted to add that whenever you're replacing the strings, immediately after you have arranged them on the guitar, pull each string lightly so that it may settle better. Do this by pulling each string upwards somewhere about the middle of the neck, while keeping the guitar face up, in your lap. The strings will not be loose anymore smile.gif because this happens most likely when you replace them.


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JTaylor
post Dec 29 2011, 11:57 AM
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Thanks to everyone for the advice! I can't run the serial #'s because it is the old style packaging. That alone tells me it's probably time to change them! laugh.gif (I'll be doing that today. I've added two more springs to the tremolo. I'm gonna check out how tight everything is and add graphite when I change the strings.My strings are not installed the way Alex recommended and I will do that also and then stretch them. Great video on intonation Ivan! I don't have that perfect but I'm working on it. If none of this works, I'll look at the price of new tuning mechanisms. Thanks again! Jon Taylor

I forgot to add that I should probably throw away my tremolo handle while I am at it! laugh.gif I'm not advanced enough to need that thing and I've never understood why there would be a non-locking tremolo installed on any guitar. Maybe I'm wrong here but, it seems to me that the strings would go out of tune every time it's used?


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Dec 29 2011, 05:30 PM
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hey! I didn't know about the D'addario fake strings! I always use D'addario and I have a similar problem with my Monterrey guitar.. I'll check with other brand...


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llibach
post Dec 29 2011, 05:52 PM
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QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Dec 29 2011, 04:30 PM) *
hey! I didn't know about the D'addario fake strings! I always use D'addario and I have a similar problem with my Monterrey guitar.. I'll check with other brand...

Yeah, fake strings who would have thought. On the plastic cover on the inside there's a 10 digit code go to www.daddario.com/playreal and follow the steps if you have any doubt.
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Dec 29 2011, 06:14 PM
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One more thing to consider: If a guitar isn't being played for couple of days, strings get a bit more tighter, and they start to pull the neck. This can cause detuning, and problems when starting to play. If you play your guitar frequently, strings will be soft, and there is less possibility for them to go out of tune.


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Nihilist1
post Dec 29 2011, 06:16 PM
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I have had that problem with my D'addario's recently. They aren't fake, but they just don't want to stay in tune. I ordered some Thomastik/Infeld strings couple days ago. I have heard nothing but good about those strings. All of my favourite jazz guitarists use them and Mikael Akerfeldt recently started using them. At 15 - 20 USD a set, I think they are worth a try.


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JTaylor
post Dec 29 2011, 10:37 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Dec 29 2011, 05:14 PM) *
One more thing to consider: If a guitar isn't being played for couple of days, strings get a bit more tighter, and they start to pull the neck. This can cause detuning, and problems when starting to play. If you play your guitar frequently, strings will be soft, and there is less possibility for them to go out of tune.


You know, I wasn't playing it a whole lot (maybe a couple of times a week) before I came here. That certainly should not be a problem anymore! laugh.gif

QUOTE (Nihilist1 @ Dec 28 2011, 04:57 PM) *
Try keeping it in one tuning? Oftentimes, especially when we start out and have only a few guitars, it is hard to keep a guitar in tune because we want to learn in Standard, Drop C, etc. Just learn music in one tuning for awhile. If you need to detune, try not to go too far past Drop D. It kind of sucks at first, but keep in mind there is a GIANT wealth of knowledge that is to be learned in Standard. No matter what genre you play.


That is very true! I do like to play with drop D but reading this made me realize I need to just stick with learning to play it in standard tuning first. Thanks!


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Daniel Realpe
post Jan 4 2012, 03:44 PM
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QUOTE (Nihilist1 @ Dec 29 2011, 06:16 PM) *
I have had that problem with my D'addario's recently. They aren't fake, but they just don't want to stay in tune. I ordered some Thomastik/Infeld strings couple days ago. I have heard nothing but good about those strings. All of my favourite jazz guitarists use them and Mikael Akerfeldt recently started using them. At 15 - 20 USD a set, I think they are worth a try.

Will try them! I think my strings are a bit out of tune despite all the effort tuning the guitar, maybe that's it


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