#1
Hi everyone

I just like to be enlighten on acceptable tuning deviations on any six string guitar be it acoustic or electric, other than being able to hear that its out of tune. The variation I like to know is that its slightly out and only picked up with a tuner.

What I may know now is that deviations can arise from the following factors

1. New Strings (not stretched or settled)
2. Ambient temperature
3. heat transfer to from fingers to string.

The reason is why I am asking this question is that I tune my guitars roughly once a week. I lay the guitar on a guitar mat and get the tuning as perfect as I can from 6th to the 1st string. One issue I face is that the electronic tuner, sometimes goes a little funky and it runs from flat to sharp after sounding a particular string making adjustments a little harder. Once its all done, I like to re-check that the tuning is fine on all strings but it seems that string 6 and 5 goes slightly flat. Its more pronounced on the Fender and even more so on the LTD.

Its not a big issue as I am not playing professionally or anything but its just like someone poking me at the sides....its just a little irritating.

Originally I bought a cheap electronic tuner and got a better one from D'Addario, but its still the same. I just don't want to be too caught up on tuning issues that is taking me away from playing.
Last edited by stkhoo at Jun 25, 2015,
#2
Why do you only tune your guitars once a week? Tune them as and when they need tuning. The more you play, the more you will have to tune them.

When you are tuning the strings, make sure that you are always tightening the string to get the right note not loosening (ie sharpening the note and not flattening). This way the tuners will keep the correct tension.

As long as when you play, you or whoever is listening cannot hear any imperfections in the tuning then it does not matter if the strings are a miniscule amount off.
#3
Hi Matt

Thanks for your input. I am sure you are right that I should be tuning my guitars more often than once a week. Reason being is that most days of the week I dont get home till pretty late in the evening from work.

After showering, getting dinner and getting in to the right frame of mind for practice, there isnt much time left before I start becoming a pain for my neighbours. So I try to save as much time for practice and leave the tuning to the weekends where I do have more time to burn?

I just saw some youtube video on intonation and how a slight 'off' in open string tuning affect upper fret notes....I know its not a big concern now as it is at my stage of practice but its just knowledge for the future...I guess.

Thanks again for taking the time to answer my question.
#4
Setting aside time? I have a tuner on my pedalboard and it takes all of a minute to tune up before practicing.

Don't sweat it so much.
As far as the "frame of mind" nonsense, If you don't feel like practicing, DON'T! Forcing yourself to practice is never a good idea.
Harmony: Stratocaster
Alvarez: F-200
Schecter: Omen 6
Fender: BXR-60
Dean: Metalman Z Bass (Betty)
Egnator: Tweaker 15
Pearl: Maximum
ESP/LTD: EXP-300
Custom: Harley Quinn Bass
Custom: TK-421 Explorer
A steadily growing supply of pedals
#5
Oh I see. Have you not considered using headphones? I know it won't sound quite as good but you won't annoy the neighbours that way, meaning more time to play late at night. Just a suggestion, that's all.

As for the open string tunings, all you can do is just be as precise as your ear and tuner will allow. If you notice that it really does sound that off then there could be a problem with your strings/action/tuners.
#6
If he's got a tube amp, headphones may not be an option. Most don't come equipped with headphone jacks.
Harmony: Stratocaster
Alvarez: F-200
Schecter: Omen 6
Fender: BXR-60
Dean: Metalman Z Bass (Betty)
Egnator: Tweaker 15
Pearl: Maximum
ESP/LTD: EXP-300
Custom: Harley Quinn Bass
Custom: TK-421 Explorer
A steadily growing supply of pedals
#7
For me it is automatic to tune a guitar when I pick it up. With built-in and clip-on tuners to common you'd almost have to avoid them.

Aggressive strumming and incorrect spring tensions if you have a tremolo will also cause your strings to go out of tune. Thicker gauge strings may require spring adjustments.

If you are concerned about intonation and your guitars general setup maybe pay to get them professionally setup?

If its a tube amp, then a loadbox could be an option or a speaker emulator with loadbox. Alternatively a POD bean would be good enough.
#8
Just as an additional suggestion, don't tune with the guitar laying flat. Tune in playing position; it's both less awkward (imo) and, more importantly, most guitars will have a degree (if a relatively small one unless it's like, an SG) of tuning deviation just from the effect of gravity pulling the neck backwards or forwards. Tuning in playing position, clearly, means the guitar is in tune in the position you'll actually use it in.
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#9
tuning any instrument is a matter of perception the 440 we currently use as a standard is relatively recent as the physical structures of instruments have changed over time
read about the evolution of the piano to get a better idea of this.
#10
Ryanbwags - Perhaps I worded what I was trying to say incorrectly. Getting into the right frame of mind, meaning all too often, physically I am out of the office, but some how it follows me home. I realised that if I don't clear my head off office issues, my practice for the night gets muddled up.

Mattgreen2205 - Headphones is a great idea and I did try it. However there is always this 'zzzzzzzzz' sound everytime I plugged in and this 'zzzzzzzzz' sound is distracting. I am currently using a Kustom KG210FX which is a so-so amp I think. The tuning doesn't run off that bad. It just gets to me that immediately after tuning all six strings, just to confirm every string is tuned, the Low E and A strings goes a tad flat.

maidenmyguide - the tremolo springs for both my LTD KH202 and Fender Stratocasters are set correctly. currently on standard string gauges and probably will not deviate string gauges for the moment. I don't have a tube amp at the moment but probably will be getting one later on as I blew my budget getting guitars but its pretty good info you have given me on tube amps of which I know zip about at the moment.

K33nbl4d3 - Thanks for the tip of tuning in play position. Never though of that. I give it a go.

vocoderboy - Now I know what this 440 is about on my tuner. Okay I will search out a little more on this.

Thanks everyone for help me out here. really appreciate it. I guess I have to make it a point to tune my guitar before practice.
Last edited by stkhoo at Jun 25, 2015,
#11
Quote by stkhoo
Ryanbwags - Perhaps I worded what I was trying to say incorrectly. Getting into the right frame of mind, meaning all too often, physically I am out of the office, but some how it follows me home. I realised that if I don't clear my head off office issues, my practice for the night gets muddled up.



I wasn't trying to cut you down or anything. I just see way too many people push themselves to practice X hours a day, then they end up hating the guitar.
It sounded like you were forcing yourself to play, and that is never a good thing.
Harmony: Stratocaster
Alvarez: F-200
Schecter: Omen 6
Fender: BXR-60
Dean: Metalman Z Bass (Betty)
Egnator: Tweaker 15
Pearl: Maximum
ESP/LTD: EXP-300
Custom: Harley Quinn Bass
Custom: TK-421 Explorer
A steadily growing supply of pedals
#12
Quote by stkhoo
I am sure you are right that I should be tuning my guitars more often than once a week. Reason being is that most days of the week I dont get home till pretty late in the evening from work.


Well you might not realise it yet but you are training your ears as well as your fingers. If your tuning varies from day to day then this will be a hard task to master.
If you try to get into the habit of tuning everyday then you will get quicker and only tune the guitar you are going to play that evening.
Even if you rush the tuning and it's a minuscule out, I still think that would be better than a guitar going further out of tune over the week. Your practice probably sounds a lot better on Monday than Friday ;-)
#13
Quote by SpiderM
Well you might not realise it yet but you are training your ears as well as your fingers. If your tuning varies from day to day then this will be a hard task to master.
If you try to get into the habit of tuning everyday then you will get quicker and only tune the guitar you are going to play that evening.
Even if you rush the tuning and it's a minuscule out, I still think that would be better than a guitar going further out of tune over the week. Your practice probably sounds a lot better on Monday than Friday ;-)


yeah you really need to "hear" that the guitar is in tune. tune every time you start to play and if it sounds out even a little then stop and tune it again. playing out of tune isn't constuctive at all. as metnioned those clip on tuners can be a big help and make things pretty easy. surely you can spare the minute it takes. if you keep the guitar reasonably in tune then tuning should be a breeze and go fast.
#14
Quote by ryanbwags
I wasn't trying to cut you down or anything. I just see way too many people push themselves to practice X hours a day, then they end up hating the guitar.
It sounded like you were forcing yourself to play, and that is never a good thing.


Hey Ryanbwags, seriously no offence taken, and I do appreciate that you are correcting a mistake. You are right, there really is no point pushing oneself to play if they don't feel like it. But to be honest, I got there a few times when I just could get some technique down. There are many times I felt like throwing the guitar out the window...LOL!!!!

That is why I finally decided to join the forum. I realize that I don't have to face my struggles alone.
#15
SpiderM and Monwobobbo....thanks for a new tip. I never realized that listening to incorrect pitch is bad practice for the ear!