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Old 10-17-2014, 02:10 AM   #1
gilly_90
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Old guitar tuning issues

I've got what I was told was a '71 Ibanez SG copy. Any modification that were done to it were before I bought it, I've only had it for a couple of years.
I love thing thing, but it won't stay in tune. I just got it professionally set-up in case the problem was there, and it's better, but it's not good.
I've got it set-up 12/56 in C# standard and every string has a habit of going slightly flat after a few minutes of normal playing, but the E (would be G in E standard) string has a habit of dropping almost all the way to Eb.

Apart from buying locking tuners, I don't know what I could do about it. I don't even know if the tuners are the issue.

Guitar in question:

Any ideas, guys?
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Last edited by gilly_90 : 10-17-2014 at 02:31 AM.
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Old 10-17-2014, 02:53 AM   #2
N_J_B_B
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Well we both know that the string is getting longer if it's going flat so my educated guess would be that the tuning pegs have shat themselves. Do they feel loose or overly tight? Does it mainly happen to strings that you bend a lot?

I'd also be lubing the nut with some graphite to make sure that's all smooth and not catching strings.

I'd also check the saddles in the bridge to make sure they're not flimsy/loose
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Old 10-17-2014, 03:02 AM   #3
gilly_90
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Yeah, the tuning pegs are the last thing I can think of that it might be. I was mostly making sure I hadn't forgotten something stupid before I paid for new ones.

Bending the strings does make it go out quicker, but they'll go out pretty quickly anyway.

I've tried lubricating the nut (ooh-err, Matron) and I just checked the saddles and they seem perfectly solid.
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Okay guys, I have a confession to make. Not really a confession since it's something that's been bugging me for awhile but I've always been in denial about it.

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Old 10-17-2014, 07:22 AM   #4
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Have you checked the scale length from nut to 12th -> 12th to saddle is correct? There might be a fault there? Is it out of tune all the way up the neck?

Other than that I'm stumped.
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Old 10-17-2014, 07:03 PM   #5
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Couple of things can cause problems.

Always tune up to the note, not down. That makes a huge difference. Tune below the note you want then up to it, never tune down to the note and stay there. That lets the strings bind in the nut and slip loose later.

With new strings, they always stretch a bit, and I've seen occasions, not often, where the end wrap around the ball would stretch for several days before finally settling in.

The way you wind the strings can cause problems. I cut mine about 1 3/4 inch longer than the tuning peg, put it through and leave a little under 1/2 inch hanging out (tag end) then tune it, making sure the 1st wrap is above the tag end and the next below it. You probably won't get more than 1 1/2 to 2 wraps, and that's plenty. I've done mine that way for over 20 years with no problems at all. The only place you want a kink in the string is on the end opposite the tag end, NOT both sides of the tuning peg. I watched a dummy in a music store do that not long ago, told him it was wrong and he insisted he knew what he was doing...I've only been doing it 55 years...That second kink, where the tag end sticks out, lets the string slip. Leaving it straight minimizes slippage at that point.

When you use more wraps than that, all those wraps around the tuning peg can stretch a lot. Once I started leaving mine shorter I noticed they settled in and stopped stretching much sooner. I've seen them wrapped until the strings pile up on the tuning peg grommets...really bad...

Is this a bolt on neck? If so and that's loose, it could be contributing. (I can't tell from the picture and I'm not familiar with that particular guitar.) That's not too common, and doesn't cause a huge problem, but can contribute.
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Old 10-17-2014, 07:07 PM   #6
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Bad tuners are very rarely the cause of tuning issues. It's nearly always either the way the guitar has been strung, the strings not being stretched out properly, or the nut. Look into those areas first.
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