#1
This will probably sound stupid but I need help.

So I tried tuning my guitar a half step down, I put my finger on the first fret and turned the knobs until my tuner said it matched the note. I do the same for the other 5 strings. Then I try to play something and the strings are ridiculously out of tune. I check the tuner and now it says they're out of tune when just THIRTY SECONDS AGO it said it was in tune

My question: am I doing something wrong or do you just have to keep re-tuning over and over? Again, sorry if I sound stupid but I've played in standard tuning my whole life and I'm not really familiar with tuning down
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#3
got a trem on that guitar?

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#4
Your guitars intonation might not be right. I would check it or just get a tuner :P

DO you have a floyd rose or fender whammy bar or a stop tailpiece?
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#5
Quote by leony03
Your guitars intonation might not be right. I would check it or just get a tuner :P

DO you have a floyd rose or fender whammy bar or a stop tailpiece?


it has a whammy bar

And about the string gauges, I thought that might be it but I just felt I'd ask here just in case
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Last edited by transplants182 at Aug 25, 2009,
#6
your tuner might be in the wrong mode, it should be in chromatic. Its probably in guitar mode.


and what do you mean by putting your finger on the 1st fret?
#7
Quote by Tedward
your tuner might be in the wrong mode, it should be in chromatic. Its probably in guitar mode.


and what do you mean by putting your finger on the 1st fret?

Tuning first fret of each string to standard tuned notes (i.e EADGBe) on a guitar with good intonation/string gauge etc. will mean the open strings are now tuned 1/2 step down.


Anyway, to TS: I would say that your most likely problem is the bridge and the tension on it. If you wish to keep the guitar in that tuning, tighten the springs at the back a bit until the bridge is level again when the guitar is in tune. Also, keep re-tuning it with the tuner... sometimes old strings lose their stability, and similarly brand new strings need a bit of a stretch to become stable.

Also, if the guitar is cheap then the machineheads (tuning pegs) may not be very good quality and might not hold the tuning well.
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Last edited by DisarmGoliath at Aug 25, 2009,
#8
Quote by Tedward
your tuner might be in the wrong mode, it should be in chromatic. Its probably in guitar mode.


and what do you mean by putting your finger on the 1st fret?


I'm tuning a half step down so I hold the 1st fret to match the note on the tuner

It's an old crappy tuner, all it says is EADGBe and has a little lever that points up when you have the right note
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#10
if you tune your guitar half a step down don`t do it by the 1st fret method, your better off with a chronomatic tuner.

if you aint got a chronomatic tuner use the Ab at the 4th fret E to tune the 5th string then tune by ear using the 5 fret method

with a chronomatic tuner they normally use sharps rather than flats so tune enharmonically
D#,G#,C#,F#,A#D#

the reason it won`t stay in tune is the elasticty in the strings has been stretched out of them whilst they`ll go slightly flat they will try to push themselves back.
Last edited by ibanezgod1973 at Aug 25, 2009,
#11
Quote by transplants182
I'm tuning a half step down so I hold the 1st fret to match the note on the tuner

It's an old crappy tuner, all it says is EADGBe and has a little lever that points up when you have the right note



so that tuner can only say that all the notes are either very flat or very sharp, because it can't recognize that your doing a different tuning.


I suggest a new tuner.
#12
(Posts again so it's actually read)


Anyway, to TS: I would say that your most likely problem is the bridge and the tension on it. If you wish to keep the guitar in that tuning, tighten the springs at the back a bit until the bridge is level again when the guitar is in tune. Also, keep re-tuning it with the tuner... sometimes old strings lose their stability, and similarly brand new strings need a bit of a stretch to become stable.

Also, if the guitar is cheap then the machineheads (tuning pegs) may not be very good quality and might not hold the tuning well.


Also, it is highly unlikely the tuner is your problem, regardless of its age. It's a very simple device and is unlikely to break unless you step on it or throw it around (all it does is read the frequency of the incoming signal afterall and display that).
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#13
Quote by DisarmGoliath
(Posts again so it's actually read)


Anyway, to TS: I would say that your most likely problem is the bridge and the tension on it. If you wish to keep the guitar in that tuning, tighten the springs at the back a bit until the bridge is level again when the guitar is in tune. Also, keep re-tuning it with the tuner... sometimes old strings lose their stability, and similarly brand new strings need a bit of a stretch to become stable.


How do I do that? Sorry I'm kind of a noob with this stuff lol
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#14
Quote by transplants182
How do I do that? Sorry I'm kind of a noob with this stuff lol

No problem If you turn your guitar over (so it's lying on its front) you should see a plastic cover on the back, probably with a couple of long slits cut out that you can see into.

Unscrew the screws that hold this cover on (carefully, 'cos screwdriver + guitar finish = messy!) and take off the cover. You should see two large screws attached to a piece of metal which the springs hang off (or something similar) and at the other end of the springs they will be attached to the bridge of your guitar (the part the strings go into on the front side of guitar).

Tighten the two screws with a couple of turns on your screwdriver, or until the bridge on the front lies flat to the body again (assuming you have a fender-style vibrato which is not floating) and it should add enough tension to the bridge.

BUT this is only to be done if you want to keep the guitar tuned half-step down, as it will affect your guitar's stability in standard tuning.

Also, it might not be the problem...try to look closely at the bridge of your guitar first and determine if it is being pulled upwards towards the neck (i.e the bottom is raised into the air more than it was in standard).

If you are unsure what to do, you might be better off getting a teacher/music shop employee to do all this for you though, so you don't make your guitar any worse
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#15
Quote by DisarmGoliath
No problem If you turn your guitar over (so it's lying on its front) you should see a plastic cover on the back, probably with a couple of long slits cut out that you can see into.

Unscrew the screws that hold this cover on (carefully, 'cos screwdriver + guitar finish = messy!) and take off the cover. You should see two large screws attached to a piece of metal which the springs hang off (or something similar) and at the other end of the springs they will be attached to the bridge of your guitar (the part the strings go into on the front side of guitar).

Tighten the two screws with a couple of turns on your screwdriver, or until the bridge on the front lies flat to the body again (assuming you have a fender-style vibrato which is not floating) and it should add enough tension to the bridge.

BUT this is only to be done if you want to keep the guitar tuned half-step down, as it will affect your guitar's stability in standard tuning.

Also, it might not be the problem...try to look closely at the bridge of your guitar first and determine if it is being pulled upwards towards the neck (i.e the bottom is raised into the air more than it was in standard).

If you are unsure what to do, you might be better off getting a teacher/music shop employee to do all this for you though, so you don't make your guitar any worse


ohhhhhhhhh I know what you mean, I always wondered what all that stuff on the back was for lol. And thanks again, very helpful

I think for now I'll just stay in standard, if I really need to downtune I'll experiment with the bridge or get a different string gauge

Thanks everybody
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Last edited by transplants182 at Aug 25, 2009,
#17
Tune all your strings a little sharp. Tune the the low Eb about 15-20 cents sharp, then go up, tuning the Ab sharp about 10-15 cents sharp and so on. Of course, you'll probably want a chromatic tuner for this.
#18
stop using your finger to tune it
tune to the right notes if your tuner gives you the notes
if it only gives you the notes for standard tuning, then put a capo on the first fret and tune to standard. when you take the capo off it will be half a step down

it simply might be because youre using your finger. if you put light pressure on the string it will give out a note, but if you put heavier pressure itll vary the note. the capo is a sure way of applying equal pressure on each string. youll probably only need to fine tune from there
#19
Quote by Mr Lordi
it's your string gauge, you need thicker strings

That's a lie. I use super lights on a standard bridge and my guitar stays in tune for a few days.
#20
Think about how a floating bridge works, balancing the tension of the strings pulling one way vs the springs in the bridge, and the answer will come to you. I don't know why people can't grasp the concept immediately, it's only logical.

Tuning any floating bridge is a pain, as any change in string resistance moves the bridge, changing the other strings tension. Tune, and then tune up again, and then tune up again. Also, always tune up to a note, not down and the strings will hold tuning slightly better.