#1
Every night after playing for about an hour I put my guitar in the guitar stand without tuning it. The next night when I go to play, it's out of tune...but out of tune higher than it should be.

Shouldn't it be lower, if anything, from strings stretching...etc? Has anyone else seen this? Is it normal? Does anyone know why?
#2
Heeeey! this is one of those questions i ask myself out loud all the time but never thought to investigate....


so yeah, why does this happen?

i'll accept unknown musical phenomenon as an answer.
#3
Only thing i could think of is perhaps the strings contracting when they get cold? E.g. you play it at night and then the strings cool. I'm not too sure myself either
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#4
That used to happen to me on my Squier, but it happened like....instantly. I have since dismantled the guitar.
Whenever i tuned in Drop C (with the exception of Zakk Wylde 11's strings) it always used to instantly spiring UP out of tune.
It miiight have somehting to do with the elasticity of the strings, but honestly i ave no idea.v
#5
well, I'm not 100% sure, but I think it goes a little like this:

your strings are cut and streched to a certain length.
And they're made of metal, and as we all know, metal expands when heated, and
contracts when cooled.
So, this is a bit complex thinking.
The string of a set length contracts on a molecular level, but still stays the same length, therefore the pitch you hear is higher.

That's just my theory tho.
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#6
It's a humidity thing. I'm guessing you let the temp in your house drop a little at night. This will raise the humidity in your home which is absorbed by your guitar which then tightens the strings and raises the pitch. Over the course of the day, after your heating has kicked back on, the humidity in your home gets lower causing the top of your guitar to shrink. When your guitar shrinks that should make the tuning go back down, but if your strings are getting caught in the nut then it will stay a slightly higher pitch. That is why they tell you to tune up, not down; because the strings catch when you are trying to tune down. Even if you are not running your heating at a lower temp at night, humidity still tends to go up at night, which is why you get morning dew, so it’s still a humidity issue.
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#7
Quote by CorduroyEW
It's a humidity thing. I'm guessing you let the temp in your house drop a little at night. This will raise the humidity in your home which is absorbed by your guitar which then tightens the strings and raises the pitch. Over the course of the day, after your heating has kicked back on, the humidity in your home gets lower causing the top of your guitar to shrink. When your guitar shrinks that should make the tuning go back down, but if your strings are getting caught in the nut then it will stay a slightly higher pitch. That is why they tell you to tune up, not down; because the strings catch when you are trying to tune down. Even if you are not running your heating at a lower temp at night, humidity still tends to go up at night, which is why you get morning dew, so it’s still a humidity issue.


I have to agree. I find that the tuning is altered by temperature\humidity as well.
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#8
Maybe you have magical tuning trolls in your room?
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#9
Quote by CorduroyEW
It's a humidity thing. I'm guessing you let the temp in your house drop a little at night. This will raise the humidity in your home which is absorbed by your guitar which then tightens the strings and raises the pitch. Over the course of the day, after your heating has kicked back on, the humidity in your home gets lower causing the top of your guitar to shrink. When your guitar shrinks that should make the tuning go back down, but if your strings are getting caught in the nut then it will stay a slightly higher pitch. That is why they tell you to tune up, not down; because the strings catch when you are trying to tune down. Even if you are not running your heating at a lower temp at night, humidity still tends to go up at night, which is why you get morning dew, so it’s still a humidity issue.


Perfect explanation. That's why often when you transport your instrument in your car during the winter or summer, and arrive at the gig, you find that you're either flat or sharp. It's all about temperature and humidity.
#10
100% agreed on that

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#12
Its not "all" about humidity. While humidity has some bearing on it, Its more temperature than anything else.

If you apply heat to any object (IE Metal or Wood) the atoms vibrate and move and causes the mateial to expand, and contracts when its cold.

Heat Expands the guitar neck and body, which pulls the strings tighter making it sound higher (sharp), and when the guitar cools, it contracts (shrinks) easing the tension on the strings making it sound lower (flat)

Wood is effected by temperature more than most materials. IE A piano is a stringed instrument as is a guitar, but a piamo has a metal frame which is more stable than wood, thats why it rarely needs tuning.

If you tune your guitar, and the next day you pick it up the conditions are primarily hotter than the conditions to which it was tuned, it will be sharp, if lower it will be flat. (IE It was tuned in the comfort of your heated Lounge, then arrive at a venue which is significantly colder).
.
Cole Clark FL1AC Acoustic

Quote by 2007 Stupidity Awards


Instead of using Valves, could I use Light Bulbs instead? If so, would the new energy saving ones be OK? Coz I do a lot of playing

I got my pick stuck inside my guitar . . . . how am I supposed to get it out?
Last edited by DJaye at Mar 16, 2007,
#13
^--- but it's because of humidity that wood is so susceptible to changes in temperature. changes in temperature are what affects humidity. blocks of air can hold certain amounts of water at certain temperatures. the amount of difference in the excitement level of the atoms in a piece of wood at temperatures within a few degrees of each other Fahrenheit is negligible really.
#14
If thats the case, why would my guitar go out of tune at gigs where there is no humidity? I've played at pubs in the outback where there is zero humidity (Lightning Ridge, Broken Hill, Coober Pedy where its that hot that people live underground)

While I'm not discounting your theory completely, Its primarily temperature dude.

I've lived out west for over a year, and practiced during the heat of the day, then gone to a gig in the evening (The Pub) when it was cooler, and the guitar was flat. Then practiced the next day (after it was tuned at the gig the night before) and the guitar was sharp.
.
Cole Clark FL1AC Acoustic

Quote by 2007 Stupidity Awards


Instead of using Valves, could I use Light Bulbs instead? If so, would the new energy saving ones be OK? Coz I do a lot of playing

I got my pick stuck inside my guitar . . . . how am I supposed to get it out?
Last edited by DJaye at Mar 17, 2007,
#15
Quote by DJaye
Its not "all" about humidity. While humidity has some bearing on it, Its more temperature than anything else.

If you apply heat to any object (IE Metal or Wood) the atoms vibrate and move and causes the mateial to expand, and contracts when its cold.

Heat Expands the guitar neck and body, which pulls the strings tighter making it sound higher (sharp), and when the guitar cools, it contracts (shrinks) easing the tension on the strings making it sound lower (flat)

Wood is effected by temperature more than most materials. IE A piano is a stringed instrument as is a guitar, but a piamo has a metal frame which is more stable than wood, thats why it rarely needs tuning.

If you tune your guitar, and the next day you pick it up the conditions are primarily hotter than the conditions to which it was tuned, it will be sharp, if lower it will be flat. (IE It was tuned in the comfort of your heated Lounge, then arrive at a venue which is significantly colder).


Sorry dude, but your first statement is wrong. Although you are right about high temps making the wood expand and low temps making wood shrink, humidity makes a much bigger difference than heat. If the temp goes up by 10% and the humidity goes down 10% the wood will shrink. If the humidity goes up 10% and the temp goes down 10% the wood on the guitar will expand. So it’s not more about heat. It’s more about humidity.
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#16
Quote by DJaye
If thats the case, why would my guitar go out of tune at gigs where there is no humidity? I've played at pubs in the outback where there is zero humidity (Lightning Ridge, Broken Hill, Coober Pedy where its that hot that people live underground)

While I'm not discounting your theory completely, Its primarily temperature dude.


Guitars are built at around 40 to 50 Percent humidity. Keeping a guitar in 0 humidity, even if only for a few hrs, will crack the guitar. I doubt the club had 0 humidity. But if they did... If the change in humidity goes down slightly but the change in temp goes up a lot, then the guitar wood will still expand, but the temp has to go up a lot more then the humidity drops.

I've lived out west for over a year, and practiced during the heat of the day, then gone to a gig in the evening (The Pub) when it was cooler, and the guitar was flat. Then practiced the next day (after it was tuned at the gig the night before) and the guitar was sharp.


The pub probably had the air conditioning running. Even if you had an air conditioner running at your home, the pub is going to have to run their air conditioner a lot harder because they have people going in and out all day which heats the place up more. Because they would have to work their AC longer and harder it sucks more moisture than the one at your home so the humidity would be lower. When you take the guitar back home, where your ac isn't running as hard (if it's running at all) then the humidity your guitar is exposed to goes up and the wood expands.
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#17
Quote by CorduroyEW
The pub probably had the air conditioning running. Even if you had an air conditioner running at your home, the pub is going to have to run their air conditioner a lot harder because they have people going in and out all day which heats the place up more. Because they would have to work their AC longer and harder it sucks more moisture than the one at your home so the humidity would be lower. When you take the guitar back home, where your ac isn't running as hard (if it's running at all) then the humidity your guitar is exposed to goes up and the wood expands.


LOL . . . its obvious you'e never been to outback Australia. Trust me, there was no Airconditioning (I wish), so that blows that theory out the window. Its temperature mate, ask anyone who's spent a bit of time out west. Its common knowledge.
.
Cole Clark FL1AC Acoustic

Quote by 2007 Stupidity Awards


Instead of using Valves, could I use Light Bulbs instead? If so, would the new energy saving ones be OK? Coz I do a lot of playing

I got my pick stuck inside my guitar . . . . how am I supposed to get it out?
Last edited by DJaye at Mar 17, 2007,
#18
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't humidity have an effect on temperature or vice versa?
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#19
Not when you live in the Simpson Desert, where there is zero humidity, and hasn't rained in 12 years.

Ask Corduroy, he works for the Bureau of Meteorology and has a graduate degree in this stuff. I'm just some dumb arse Dec 2006'er hippy, whos been playing for 22 years, what would I know?

LOL

jj
.
Cole Clark FL1AC Acoustic

Quote by 2007 Stupidity Awards


Instead of using Valves, could I use Light Bulbs instead? If so, would the new energy saving ones be OK? Coz I do a lot of playing

I got my pick stuck inside my guitar . . . . how am I supposed to get it out?
Last edited by DJaye at Mar 18, 2007,
#20
^--- i'm gonna step aside and let you two figure this one out as it appears that you both know more about this than i do... but i am curious as to whom "CM" is
#21
it was a typo, I meant our mate, a few posts above.
.
Cole Clark FL1AC Acoustic

Quote by 2007 Stupidity Awards


Instead of using Valves, could I use Light Bulbs instead? If so, would the new energy saving ones be OK? Coz I do a lot of playing

I got my pick stuck inside my guitar . . . . how am I supposed to get it out?
#22
Quote by DJaye
LOL . . . its obvious you'e never been to outback Australia. Trust me, there was no Airconditioning (I wish), so that blows that theory out the window. Its temperature mate, ask anyone who's spent a bit of time out west. Its common knowledge.


I've been to Oz and they did have AC in the clubs I was in but I realize that things work different in the big cities. I guess this takes us back to one of my other 2 theories. 1 is that the humidity in the club isn't really any lower than the humidity in your home so then it would be temp, or 2 is that you are wrong about the humidity levels in general. Have you actually gone into the clubs with a hydrometer to compair the humidity levels to your home humidity levels? There are things that can raise humidity other than rain. Things like body sweat for example. Stuff lots of hot sweaty people into a room and it can get really muggy.

Explain this one to me. Before I make my guitars I cook the tops at 180 degrees. After 2 hrs in an electric oven the tops shrink a lot. Sometimes each half will be 1/8" smaller for a total of 1/4" across the whole top. I then have to leave the top in the workshop that is kept at 68 degrees and 40% humidity while the top expands to it's original size. Sometimes this can take as long as a week. To make things even more interesting, when I cooked wood in a gas oven the top didn't shirk nearly as much. Sometimes they ended up almost the same size.

Now here is a bit of info about gas vs electric ovens. Gas ovens don't suck humidity. Depending on the quality of gas you are using they can actually add humidity. Electric ovens do suck humidity.

So explain why the tops don't expand when they go into an environment that is nearly 300% hotter than where they are stored.

I'm not saying temp doesn't change things. If you read my above posts you will see that I did say you were right about the way temp changes the wood, it's just that there is another, bigger, factor.
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#23
I dont know all about that. All I know is thatI have dirct experience with playing guitars in environments of zero humidity.

There's not even a close arguement, its a fact.

A guitar in zero humidity tuned in the heat of the day will go flat as the temperature cools. And likewise, a guitar in zero humidity, tuned in the cool of the evening will play sharp when played again during the heat of the day.

Although humidity is of signifcance, it isn't the pending factor, temperature is.
.
Cole Clark FL1AC Acoustic

Quote by 2007 Stupidity Awards


Instead of using Valves, could I use Light Bulbs instead? If so, would the new energy saving ones be OK? Coz I do a lot of playing

I got my pick stuck inside my guitar . . . . how am I supposed to get it out?
Last edited by DJaye at Mar 18, 2007,
#24
Quote by DJaye
I dont know all about that. All I know is thatI have dirct experience with playing guitars in environments of zero humidity.

There's not even a close arguement, its a fact.

A guitar in zero humidity tuned in the heat of the day will go flat as the temperature cools. And likewise, a guitar in zero humidity, tuned in the cool of the evening will play sharp when played again during the heat of the day.


Duh. I've already agreed with that

Although humidity is of signifcance, it isn't the pending factor, temperature is.


Humidity isn't even of significance when you take it completely out of the equation. You are saying that your guitar is always at 0 humidity so that would make temp the only factor for your guitar.
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#25
Jesus Christ cry me a river of blood, are we still going on about this?

You claimed it was "all about humidity", and I squashed that theory by proving that if you remove "humidity" from the equation, a guitar will still go out of tune.

So it ISN'T "all about humidity". If it was "all about humidity", my guitar would have stayed in tune during the time I spent in that environment. Therefore, it must be "all about temperature".

Why can't you admit you do not know everything about eveything? I would have more respect for a person who actually gave creedance to another musicians personal experience, instead of trying to be right, and telling them they are an idiot. (in a roundabout way).

Give it up, its getting REALLY old.
.
Cole Clark FL1AC Acoustic

Quote by 2007 Stupidity Awards


Instead of using Valves, could I use Light Bulbs instead? If so, would the new energy saving ones be OK? Coz I do a lot of playing

I got my pick stuck inside my guitar . . . . how am I supposed to get it out?
Last edited by DJaye at Mar 18, 2007,
#26
In his case it was about the humidity. His guitar was not doing the same thing as your guitar. His guitar was doing the opposite thing.

Why don't you take this to the www.mimf.com or to luthierforum.com. Ask them which makes a bigger difference and see what they tell you. I would be willing to bet that they say both are important, that temperature is often overlooked, and humidity makes a bigger difference than temp.


I just googled cairns and the current humidity is 78% which is a far cry from zero. http://www.wunderground.com/global/stations/94287.html and check out these averages http://www.reflections.com.au/Cairns/Weather/index.html

I googled several other parts of Oz that are supposed to be particularly dry and right now the dryest place I found was still 23% average humidity in the evening and 42% in the morning. http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/world/city_guides/results.shtml?tt=TT003000 If you are going to make stuff up don't do it with things that can be looked up. Now, this info actually supports your claim not mine, but I presenting it because I still think you are just making this stuff up. The reason it seems like I'm never wrong is because when I don't know what I'm talking about I keep my mouth shut. Even on things I do know about I have made mistakes. Jimtaka has caught me, bill has caught me, pink queen... and I have admitted to them. The information you are pulling out of your backside and stating as fact can lead people to mistreat their guitars and can end in severe damage. I don't want that to happen to people and that is why I'm calling you out on this one. I disagree with the majority of what you say in this forum but I very rarely tell you that you are wrong. There is always a good reason.


I've had enough of this. I doubt many more people are going to look at this anyway.
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Last edited by CorduroyEW at Mar 18, 2007,
#27
Get a load of you. LOL

Googled Cairns? What a knob, I am not talking about Cairns you idiot, I'm talking about the Western Interior. Even if I did, humidity today will hardly be the same as it was all those years back anyway. Ask any Aussie, the interior has just received rain for the first time in over a decade.

You live on a small Island about a 1/4 of the size of Tasmania, do you know how vast this country is? and how diverse our weather sytems are?

Who the hell are you to question my past experiences anyway, You Know It All. I used to hold you in high esteem until this performance.

Even at the start of this you insisted I was playing at an airconditioned venue LOL, despite being told POINT BLANK that I hadn't, and you still insisted I had.

Instead of pathetically grasping desperately at straws to help you save face infront of your peers, why not be a man an admit you know stuff all, yet you wrap your theories in a few fancy words, and a couple of URL's and think that dazzels us all. bwaaa ha ha

Give it up, for gods sake, this is boring me.
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Cole Clark FL1AC Acoustic

Quote by 2007 Stupidity Awards


Instead of using Valves, could I use Light Bulbs instead? If so, would the new energy saving ones be OK? Coz I do a lot of playing

I got my pick stuck inside my guitar . . . . how am I supposed to get it out?
Last edited by DJaye at Mar 18, 2007,