A year ago, I bought an Epiphone SG because I thought it had a great sound to it. Trouble is, the tuning for the G string and occasionally the B string wouldn't hold. If I made the slightest bend, the tuning would go down considerably. After a few months of frustration, replacing strings and cleaning the nut and strings, I resigned myself to living with it.

It wasn't until a month ago that I took a couple of guitar lessons from a private teacher. Upon hearing me play, he noticed that my guitar strings were all unbalanced. He then took my guitar, and adjusted the bridge somehow while he listened to the harmonics he was making to test the sound (I'm guessing), and then he unscrewed the headstock to reveal what he called the "Truss Rod". I'm not sure if he added or removed tension in the neck, but after he was done tinkering with my instrument, not only were my harmonics more accurate, but my strings weren't going out of tune anymore! I was free to bend and play as I pleased.

Alas, a few days ago my mom was cleaning the basement while I was gone and moved my guitar aside to do the cleaning. When I came back from school, the G string started going out of tune again. I can't bend the string to play the solo to "Rocket Queen" without completely changing the tuning. What I do then is to put it back to its tuning, but it's getting frustrating. Plus, I'm noticing that the tuning peg, despite the change in tuning, is not spinning back. I don't know if that's normal or relevant. Anyway, last night I cleaned the nut slot with a lead pencil (as I read on the internet) and changed the string. No results.

The guitar shop has told me to send it in to them, but I don't want to have to be without my guitar for two weeks, and pay a fee. It seems to me that I would have to follow the process my guitar teacher undertook to fix in the first place, but I don't know what he did. What do I do?
Do you by any chance stretch the strings after you change them, I didn't see it mentioned in there.

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Have you thought about getting new tuning machines? They're not that expensive and some of them are locking which means you would tune up the strings, screw in the little lock and then the strings would almost never go out of tune.

Edit: You could also ask ur private teacher what he did and how to do it so you can do it again whenever you need to.
Last edited by GibsonMan321 at Jun 18, 2010,
Ive never had this problem, but from what it sounds your tuners are good.

So at this point the problem might be coming from your bridge or the truss rod. Start with just simply taking a good hard look at your bridge. look for anything that seems out of place or worn, even disconnected. Try tinkering a bit, small adjustments wont hurt, some of the biggest problems are simple things.

If you do intend to mess with your Truss rod, take it in. Its easy to mess up a guitar with improper rod adjustment so having a pro do it is your best bet.

Have you took a good look at the body?


Quote by PeaceReeper
What I do then is to put it back to its tuning, but it's getting frustrating. Plus, I'm noticing that the tuning peg, despite the change in tuning, is not spinning back. I don't know if that's normal or relevant.

The way I read it, tuners sound good but what exactly do you mean? the tuning pegs dont turn when the string goes out of tune? they dont turn when you tune it, is the tuning correction so minimal that the peg hardly turns?
Last edited by SaucyRebel at Jun 18, 2010,
Yeah I thought my description might have been unclear. I have to turn it quite a bit once it has gone out of tune, but when it goes out of tune and I have to turn it again, the tuner hasn't moved. Basically, since I've been fighting with this thing, the tuner has probably done a 360 while still at the same note.

What do I do with the bridge? What kind of adjustment do I have to do?

Also, are there irregularities I have to look for in the body?
on the body just look for the obvious stuff, like cracks. particularly where the neck meets the body.
I have no idea what adjustments to the bridge you can make to fix this problem. Fiddle with it, see what you can adjust, and if it changes anthing. try watching the bridge as you play and it goes out of tune, see what happens compared to whats supposed to happen. Your best bet is to take it to a tech, mabey you can watch as they look at it?

so the string keeps coiling itself on the peg like an elastic band as the tune goes out and you adjust?
It sounds like you are wrapping your strings incorrectly. Do you wrap your strings and then pull them through the tuning peg? Or do you just put the string through the hole and then crank the tuning machine?
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Nut slots are too tight. You need to open them up a bit, so the strings don't bind in them.

Make sure you don't deepen the slots, you only need to make them slightly wider. Fine sandpaper fold into half works. The pencil lead trick is good, but it only works if the nut slots themselves are ok.