tie method stringing, who uses is, how do you do it well? Im tired of tuning issues.

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by sssmile, Jul 16, 2006.


  1. sssmile

    sssmile Member

    Messages:
    280
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
    All my guitars are killing me with tuning issues and I am begining to think it has to do with string slippage more than anything. I usually string the guitar up by just a simple thread and wind kind of deal with usually a ton of winds. I just started doing the tie method, and I am terrible at it, in fact I ruined a few packs of new DR's, it was good practice, but still my best effort lacks, the tie is loose, and it takes me forever, and it doesnt look all that great. Plus I keep getting the slack wrong, so some end up with not enough winds, or too many winds. Can someone give me some insight on how to improve, I have read all the online sights, and it still eludes me. Im losing my mind :crazyguy
     
  2. Andy J.

    Andy J. Member

    Messages:
    2,202
    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    Vaasa, Finland, Europe
    Get yerself a copy of the August 2005 Guitar World, there's a tutorial with detailed pictures. Changed my way of tying the strings.
     
  3. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,937
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2005
    Location:
    New Joisey
    I HATE that tie method, to me it is a PITA.

    Just get 3 wraps, one under the other, stretch the strings and you should be fine. Too many winds on the machine head could be your problem, especially if you have this problem on numerous guitars.
     
  4. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

    Messages:
    13,080
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Location:
    Scotland
    Here's how I do it:

    1. Pull the string tightly from bridge to tuner.
    2. Bend the string through 90º exactly 1/4" beyond the post using your thumbnail.
    3. Make sure the hole in the post is set facing along the neck.
    4. Push the string through from the top end of the headstock up to the bend.
    5. Take the loose end round the outside of the post, up under the bend, and pull it up with your left hand while holding the string tight above the fingerboard with your right hand (assuming you're right-handed :)).
    6. Wind on using the key while still holding the string tight, and stretch it as you go to really lock it. It will usually come up to tension in about 1/2 to one full turn of the post.

    Ends up looking like this (after the loose ends are cut off):

    [​IMG]
     
  5. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

    Messages:
    14,348
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    Location:
    MD.
    I always do it this way and never have any slippage issues, even with trems. And as Mr. Hanky stated, keep the winds to 3 or fewer...what seems like strings stretching is actually winds tightening on the post. A lot of winds will make it seem like the strings are constantly stretching flat. AC
     
  6. HEY!YOU!

    HEY!YOU! Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,796
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    Location:
    COLORADO
    I find too light a gauge also can keep stretching. +1 on the above wind.
     
  7. TieDyedDevil

    TieDyedDevil Member

    Messages:
    2,453
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I do a minor variation on what John described - same end result, I believe...

    I only need to retune after wide swings in temperature or humidity.

    Also, old strings don't tune very well. Keep `em fresh. For me, strings start to go after about 20 or 30 hours of playing.
     
  8. Serious Poo

    Serious Poo Armchair Rocket Scientist Graffiti Existentialist Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,136
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    +1 on the wrap method. I've been doing that for 20+ years and haven't had slippage issues. Like others have noted, keeping in under three wraps is key.
     
  9. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

    Messages:
    13,080
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Location:
    Scotland
    Interesting - I usually find the opposite, that they're sometimes not absolutely rock-solid at first, but once the strings really settle down they hold tuning better. If they do go out at first, it isn't so much 'slippage', but tiny random steps. Settling-in seems to coincide with the 'new sound' disappearing as well, so I think it may be some real change in the metal of the strings.

    I change my strings about every couple of years, unless they break first - I much prefer the tone when they've settled. If they don't break, they seem to remain stable for ages until they either indent over the frets, or suddenly go dead-sounding. I do keep them clean though - 'old' strings doesn't have to mean rusted and dead.

    (I do restring a lot of guitars professionally BTW! Otherwise I'd only have fitted a couple of dozen sets in my whole life :)).
     
  10. TieDyedDevil

    TieDyedDevil Member

    Messages:
    2,453
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    It's not so much about slippage, John, as it is being able to get the strings in tune in the first place. Not the open-string string tuning so much as the fretted notes. The intonation just seems to be off on worn strings, for me at least. Maybe I don't have as light a touch as I think, since my wound strings develop indentations over the frets after 20 to 30 hours of playing. That physical deformation is what kills the strings, IME.

    I think I also experience something like the early settling-in process that you describe, but that's almost totally eliminated by a few minutes of stretching and bending the strings after I first put them on.
     
  11. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

    Messages:
    13,080
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Location:
    Scotland
    Some very interesting stuff here :).

    I'm the opposite in that I think I play quite hard - so much so that I can't use light strings because I push/pull them out of tune all the time. I love that big vibrant sound when you hit them really hard, and I need to set my guitars up with more than 'recommended' relief or they rattle. And yet, the strings don't seem to indent much over the frets, neither visibly or causing intonation trouble. They do eventually, but usually what kills them for me is a sudden loss of tone.

    But - I don't use a pick, so the intial 'snap' of the note is probably a lot less than for someone who does. I also play mostly with no vibrato, which might be significant in the indentation process...
     
  12. CMB

    CMB Member

    Messages:
    62
    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Excellent thread - that's why I love this board!

    craig
     
  13. Junior

    Junior Member

    Messages:
    151
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Location:
    Salem
    I'm with John on the pitch stability of old strings. When they came out with stomp box tuners, I was really puzzled. "But, don't you tune before you go on stage?" I asked. I thought tuning up even the week before should be enough. We're not talking whippy necks or whammies, here - you need a stable guitar for this to work. I've used four sets of strings on my Les Paul since I bought it in '75. Even at the height of my pickup swapping mania, I just loosened the strings to get the pups out.

    I don't tie strings on (also like John, changing strings is part of my job description). I wrap one over and the rest under. The capstan shape of the tuner's peg causes the wraps to pinch the tail that pokes through the hole. Then I stretch the hell out of them. I figure if the string's going to break, now's the time, while I have the tools out. :)
     
  14. LaXu

    LaXu Member

    Messages:
    2,333
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2004
    Location:
    Finland
    Instructions courtesy of yours truly. I use these two methods mainly because doing the first method for wound strings is a pain in the ass.

    For unwound strings:
    [​IMG]



    For wound strings:
    [​IMG]
     
  15. exhaust_49

    exhaust_49 Member

    Messages:
    341
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
    I noticed after I started using this method my strings stay in tune better. I always wind about 3 winds on each peg and so far after I stretch the strings I have no problems. It looks nicer too. I just measure 1 1/2 tuner lengths but you have to experiment with what works for your guitar.
     
  16. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Member

    Messages:
    2,617
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2004
    Location:
    A pleasant peninsula
  17. exhaust_49

    exhaust_49 Member

    Messages:
    341
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2003
    The only problems that I find with that method (for the wound strings) is that since the string is thicker you can't get a good kink when you pull the string back. Also there is more chance of breaking the string at the kink.
     
  18. TieDyedDevil

    TieDyedDevil Member

    Messages:
    2,453
    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    This is exactly what I've been doing -- for both wound and unwound strings -- for the past five years (that's a hundred string changes, give or take). Works great!
     
  19. Junior

    Junior Member

    Messages:
    151
    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2003
    Location:
    Salem
    Very nice drawings, LaXu!

    I use your second method on all strings. I might put a few more windings on really light strings, say under .012. (More windings make more friction, so there's less pull on the tail going through the hole. More windings mean you need to stretch more to take up any slack.)
     

Share This Page