#1
Hey UG

So i was wondering, is it bad for the guitar to change the tuning a lot, like from standard to half step down, then drop d or c#?

cuz usually when i sit down to play i play a few rise against (half-step down), then a few random drop d's and standard in between...

i heard its bad for the neck, so thats my question

thanks a lot
#2
Not if you know how to tune it back. But, changing tunings throws of the intonation slightly for the whole guitar, meaning your strings will buzz and the high frets will not sound in tune with the low frets. Only a problem if you're performing because you can fix it, but yeah.
#3
Ya it's not super bad if ur running strings that ur guitar is up for in e standard. However anything more then drop d will mean ur tension and intonation are off.
Prs se Holcomb is the answer
#4
i wouldn't worry about it, the neck is wood that has tension on it, so obviously drastic changes in tension aren't 'good' for it, but necks don't last forever anyway. i have guitars that i have changed tunings on a bunch, had them for over 12 years now. haven't had to replace a neck yet.

but changing tunings will make it harder for you to keep the guitar setup properly, hopefully you have a fixed bridge guitar as it is much easier to change tunings on a fixed bridge setup.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
#7
I have about 20 guitars. when my nephews and their friends want to play them there are just two rules....

1. wash your hands well before touching a guitar

2. no alternate tunings

Yes, guitars are made to be tuned in a variety of ways but it shortens the life of the strings, tuners, nuts, etc. Any fiddling with the guitar is not a positive unless it needs to be done...it's okay to change string sizes, action, adjust the truss rod, etc. but the less done the better.
#8
Quote by Snowman388
But, changing tunings throws of the intonation slightly for the whole guitar, meaning your strings will buzz and the high frets will not sound in tune with the low frets.

Only a problem if you're performing because you can fix it, but yeah.



in response to the 'out of intonation playing live', i have found a relatively good fix for that (not perfect, but works well in a pinch, but doesn't fix fret buzz). what you do is abandon 12 TET (12 tone equal temperament) and tune to chord shapes or intervals of 3rds, 4ths or 5ths. this keeps chord shapes sounding good/correct within certain ranges of the neck.

for example, if i played a [slightly] non-intonation guitar and had to make it work, i'd find a source not (lets say C# for drop C# tuning). i usually tune to the A string or D string so you can hear more 'troughs' of the waveforms and tune easier. so i'd tune the D string down to C#, then tune the E string from the D string via a unison. then i'd tune the A string to the E string via a 5th (C# with G#). then i'd tune the G string to the D string via a 4th (C# and F#). etc.

you keep the intervals close together and it works pretty well, just don't do any big stretches or wander around the neck too much. basically you tune up a sweet spot on the guitar and stay around there. abandon this method if a trem system is involved
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
Last edited by gumbilicious at Jun 13, 2010,
#9
Quote by Elvenballer
So basicaly if i use a tuner its alright?


getting a guitar properly intonated is a little more than 'using a tuner', it has to do with the length of the string from nut to bridge and also the height of the string on the neck.

usually a guitar is 'setup' for a particular tuning and adjustments are made to make the guitar optimally playable in the tuning. when you change the tuning/tension on the strings you mess with the math.

also, as Raptorfingers mentioned, changing the stress of the strings on the neck does have consequences, and if you have a guitar you are trying to preserve or protect, then putting lots of tension or too little tension on a regular basis is not good for the lifetime longevity of the neck. but as i also mentioned, i have guitars i have abused for over 12 years without noticeable adverse effects.

the best way to think about it is the guitar is designed to have a nominal amount of tension on it, any extra tension or less tension is going to put stress/strain on the neck. the amount won't usually cause a catastrophic failure; but just like anything stressed beyond it's nominal rating, it has a higher failure rate are shorter time intervals and probably show indications of stressing (misalign, warping). these indications might not even be noticeable to many players, i have recently gotten to the point where i can notice a few and i have been playing for a while.

now, you get down to the educated decision here. you know alternate tunings 'stress' the neck, but not critically. you know long term exposure to these methods may cause some playing issues. should it worry you? i would let it worry me too bad, i have guitars i do alternate tunings (a couple fixed bridge guitars) with and some that i baby and keep in standard and setup(strat and semi hollow).

note: necks are NOT designed to last forever, truth is guitar necks last way far longer now we have truss rods standard and we have never had it so good
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae