Tuning down after use? After playing?

NikkiMac

Member
Messages
9
So I went to the guitar shop yesterday, bought something and in one of my last conversations with the staff he recommended the following.

To tune down the guitar or bass after using it. To prevent the neck from warping or neck issues in general. Not even with a tuner, just spinning the tuners down a bit after using it.

Now this is Japan with no central heating and the temperatures can fluctuate a bit from day to night, so maybe its better for the instruments in general? It seems very strange to me. Apparently this is very common in Japan(the tuning down thing)

Wouldnt you have to tune up more and wouldnt it cause more strain on the neck to go down and up in tuning on a daily basis? Wouldnt it be better to just leave it in its proper tuning to allow the neck to adjust to it and simply tune normally before playing?

Is this a real recommended practice or is this just some strange custom?
 

MkIIC+

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,559
Sounds like a terrible idea. Especially for the strings. I wouldn’t dream of doing this and I can’t imagine it having any value at all.

When I hear this kind of stuff I ask, what would Jimmy Page do? ...I’m pretty sure the answer is not to down tune his guitar after playing it.
 
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Messages
3,961
So I went to the guitar shop yesterday, bought something and in one of my last conversations with the staff he recommended the following.

To tune down the guitar or bass after using it. To prevent the neck from warping or neck issues in general. Not even with a tuner, just spinning the tuners down a bit after using it.

Now this is Japan with no central heating and the temperatures can fluctuate a bit from day to night, so maybe its better for the instruments in general? It seems very strange to me. Apparently this is very common in Japan(the tuning down thing)

Wouldnt you have to tune up more and wouldnt it cause more strain on the neck to go down and up in tuning on a daily basis? Wouldnt it be better to just leave it in its proper tuning to allow the neck to adjust to it and simply tune normally before playing?

Is this a real recommended practice or is this just some strange custom?
Sounds like the kinda thing you'd cook up after having a few too many. Nonsense.
 

NikkiMac

Member
Messages
9
I had never heard of such a thing either...that is until I came to Japan. I guess it must be a thing some people believe here. Like...many other things
 

rockon1

Supporting Member
Messages
12,591
Sounds like a bad idea actually. The guitar is set up balancing the string tension against the truss rod. Every time you take the tension off it the neck would bow back a bit from the release of tension. Not an issue for short periods of time but to leave it that way doesnt make sense to me. Might not be good.
 

twotone

Member
Messages
3,454
I prefer a bit of a concave bow near the end of the fretboard. It makes it easier to bend strings when playing solos. Constant string tension helps to maintain the neck bow.
 

70 Mach 1

Supporting Member
Messages
4,871
I've heard of the practice but never applied it.
Only tune down during flights or long trips or long storage periods. not after playing.
 

Comanche5

Member
Messages
1,838
I saw this practice in each and every guitar store I visited in Japan. I didn't know the reason behind it and didn't ask why.
 

ripgtr

Member
Messages
8,767
I've heard of the practice but never applied it.
Only tune down during flights or long trips or long storage periods. not after playing.
I used to tune down the one that went into the flight case, but never the one that was in the gig bag/carry on.
One time I forgot. had a gig the night before, someone kept buying me shots and I forgot to set the alarm. Had to rush to get to the airport so pulled the guitar of of its case into the anvil flight case. Flew from SF to NYC, got the guitar out for the gig the next day and it had twisted. It was a cheap early 90s MIM so maybe not the greatest neck. Don't know, maybe the air pressure, maybe the temp, though I've had guitars in the trunk in freezing places (upstate NY, Tahoe) and never had an issue. Drove from TX to NY last year with all my guitars in the back seat, no issue. I've had guitars in cases for years, never an issue. Just the one time flying.
 

NikkiMac

Member
Messages
9
I saw this practice in each and every guitar store I visited in Japan. I didn't know the reason behind it and didn't ask why.
It seemed strange to me at first. its all these temperature changes happening within the course of a single day...
and maybe the high humidity too?

I can see this being a good idea for flight or some kind of other case like long term storage. However, I thought for shorter periods of time it would be better for the neck to have the same tension on it the whole time.
 

Fuelish1

Member
Messages
45
I tune ‘em before playing, leave ‘em as is for however long, and only require slight retuning after extended periods of non-playing. I don’t get it
 

SoPhx

Member
Messages
291
Bad idea. You set the guitar for equilibrium/best playability at full tension, strings vs. neck. Tune it down and it will likely change. It's wood, after all.
 
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