How long are guitars supposed to hold tune?

Dr Doom

Member
Messages
993
I always have to retune upon pulling a guitar out of the case. I can place an in-tune guitar back in it's case. Pull it out the next day and need to retune it. All my guitars do this. I've considered this normal, but every once in awhile I'll read a post from somebody about how his such and such can go a few weeks between tunings, etc. What am I missing here?
 

gadzooka

Member
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507
Certainly, tuning stability improves with the stretching of the strings, so brand new strings that haven't been stretched much will de-tune relatively easily.
 

SPROING!

Member
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8,800
Temperature changes will nearly always throw it out of tune. So will humidity.
But it seems like they're all different. I have one that'll stay in tune for a week and one that'll be out tomorrow just sitting on a stand.
 

Chicago Slim

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4,016
I currently own three guitars with Bigsby's, one 6 screw Tremolo, and two with fixed bridges. Sitting in a case at home, my guitars will stay in tune for months. If I put a guitar in the case, take it to another building, it will be in tune when I take it out of the case. Then it will go out of tune, as it adjusts to the temperature and humidity. If I wait long enough, it will swing back into tune, or pretty close, within about an hour.
 

mxvin

Member
Messages
1,259
My 2 guitars(Strats) hang on the wall in my basement. A dehumidifier is always set to a certain level. They will go slightly sharp after a day or two. All 6 strings equally sharp and both guitars the same. I think a problem arise when a guitar goes way out of tune and indivdual strings are of different levels on "out of tune" so to speak.

PS....I also never retune my guitar after I am done playing. I wipe the strings an hang it on the wall.
 

Jerrod

Silver Supporting Member
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12,787
Check the guitar specs and your warranty for this sort of information.
 

hotrats73

Silver Supporting Member
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2,602
At home my 3 (gibsons) guitars stay in tune well even the one I play less (let's say 2/3 times in a month)

But almost every time I move them, going to our rearshals room or to a gig, they will need to be retuned.

While playing I check tuning almost after every song.
 
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s2y

Member
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19,062
I didn't play my Taylor T5 for 2 months, still in perfect tune when I open it up last week.
My T5 stays in tune extremely well once the strings are stretched.

Most of my Floyd Rose guitars stay in tune a really long time once the strings are stretched.
 

27sauce

Member
Messages
35,362
It depends on many factors. On the right night, with the humidity holding steady at the club, I won't have to check my tuning more than once or twice( besides tuning down for certain songs)

On a night like tonight, the AC has been off since Saturday, so it will be humid as F***, they they will turn the AC on…the tuning nightmare begins. By the 3rd set, the place is packed and the humidity is back.

Ironically, out of all of my guitars, my SG rarely moves, even under these conditions.
 

gvonpaul

Member
Messages
570
Check the guitar specs and your warranty for this sort of information.
I don't believe I have ever seen a guitar's specs or warranty info that stated how long it would stay in tune. That would seem to be an extremely risky (and stupid) promise for a manufacturer to make. Am I misunderstanding something here?
 
Messages
173
Perhaps their tuners are less accurate, or your definition of being out of tune is more stringent than theirs. If it really bothers you, you could try a carbon fiber neck. I had a modulus bass before and it was stable even going from LA to the tropics.
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
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31,815
Even my most stable move with the weather and most move as they warm up whie I am playing.
The 'never goes out of tune thing' is baffling.
 

Be.eM

Member
Messages
1,190
The 'never goes out of tune thing' is baffling.
I recently bought a guitar from Japan. Truck, plane, truck, truck… took it out of the case after about 10 days of travel, and it was in tune :)

Specs: Steinberger GL, one piece carbon body/neck.

Pretty much the same is true for the two GMs I regularly take with me to rehearsals. Put it into the gig bag on Friday night after playing, take it home, leave it untouched for a week, take it out of the gig bag on next Friday, still in tune. I know, life is not fair… :D
 

Ron Kirn

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the characteristic of the metal the strings are made of that facilitates staying in tune is elasticity. This refers to the ability to return to the pre deflected state. It does NOT refer to how much the string can be stretched, except in the context that to return to the pre-deflected state, it would have to be deflected.

Thus every time the string is plucked, or fretted, it is stretched to some degree, and at some point the stretched string will fall far enough out of tune to be noticed...

Some can hear extremely small variances from the true pitch, and others couldn't Identify an out of tune string if their lives depended on it... Being tone deaf is not an on/off condition, there are varying gradients to the condition. Thus some will find a guitar perfectly in tune, when someone else may grit their teeth every time a note is picked.

Todays alloys have a considerably better elasticity, but... still the more ya play the more it will need to be retuned.

through years of deep specialized research at the Institute for Guitar Weirdness, I have determined that a guitar with no strings never goes out of tune.. a guitar never played, stays in tune far longer than one used as a demolition tool on stage.. :D

Ron Kirn
 

Digital Wrath

Member
Messages
296
Very often the woods change the tuning of a guitar. Especially in a climate like ours in Finland (I guess close to Canada) the humidity changes a lot through the seasons. There isn't a guitar that can stay in tune through that - as long as we are talking about necks made of wood.

My PRS stays in tune much better than my Gibsons. That headstock angle might just have something to do with this.
 

hotrats73

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,602
Good point Ron King.

I'm quite sensitive to tuning variations that's why I retune almost after each song.
I have no absolute pitch but I can fine tune a single string alone listening to the harmonics falling in the right place.
 

Aeon

Member
Messages
191
before you start retuning every time you take the guitar out of its case, try playing it for a little bit to warm up the strings. typically the strings are going to be flat, and the heat from your hands will warm up and slightly expand the metal, often bringing it back to pitch. because each string has a different mass, they will seem relatively out of tune, but it's possible that your hand warmth will bring it close to where it should be.
 

Peteyvee

Premium Platinum Member
Messages
56,051
Check the guitar specs and your warranty for this sort of information.
:spit

I don't believe I have ever seen a guitar's specs or warranty info that stated how long it would stay in tune. That would seem to be an extremely risky (and stupid) promise for a manufacturer to make. Am I misunderstanding something here?
Yeah, you're missing the joke...
 




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